Bertsch moves into top ten with quarterfinal finish MARTIN, Mich. - After another strong showing at this past weekend's IHRA Torco Race Fuels Nationals at Knoll Gas Motorsports Park just outside of Grand Rapids, Mich., IHRA Torco's ...
Bertsch moves into top ten with quarterfinal finish
MARTIN, Mich. - After another strong showing at this past weekend's IHRA Torco Race Fuels Nationals at Knoll Gas Motorsports Park just outside of Grand Rapids, Mich., IHRA Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock driver Bob Bertsch and his Rislone Engine Treatment backed team moved into ninth place in national points standings. A wounded engine caused Bertsch's Rislone Mustang to slow in the quarterfinals.
Bertsch, from Willis, Mich., qualified his Jon Kaase powered 2007 Mustang seventh in the 16 car field with a 6.423 second elapsed time at 217.14 mph, which was a career best starting spot for the second-year Pro Stock racer. Bertsch ran that time during the first qualifying session, when many cars did not make it down the track. However, the Rislone team noticed the performance of their Mustang slowly dropping off from that point on. Knowing he was going into eliminations with a wounded motor, Bertsch brought his 'A' game to the starting line, taking a holeshot win over Anthony Paone in round one. Bertsch took a .052 to .074 reaction time advantage and held on with a 6.525 at 214.31 mph to Paone's quicker-but-later 6.514 at 212.93 mph. In his quarterfinal bout with No. 3 qualifier Steve Spiess, Bertsch once again took the starting line advantage with a .044 to .067 holeshot, but his wounded mount could not hold off Spiess' 6.421 at 216.93 mph with his own 6.572 at 213.03 mph.
"We started losing vacuum in the motor," said Bertsch. "Something is hurt inside the motor; most likely a bad ring. We're heading straight to Jon Kaase's engine shop in Georgia. After the engine is done, I'll head straight from there to New Hampshire. Needless to say, we'll be doing a lot of traveling."
"Other than hurting the motor, we had a great weekend," Bertsch continued. "We came out in Friday's first session and hit the track with the right combination. We were third after the first session, but we really started losing vacuum in the motor and slowed from there. Our time was good enough to keep us seventh, which was our goal to start in the top half of the field. We changed all the external components like vacuum pumps and the like, but nothing would help, so the problem is internal. We don't think it's anything major. We pulled off a holeshot win in the first round, but just didn't have enough for Spiess in the second round."
There will be little time for rest as the Rislone Engine Treatment backed team head to New England for this weekend's Amalie Oil Nationals presented by New England Dodge Dealers in Epping, N.H.