Debut Race "Awesome Experience" for IHRA Nitro Funny Car Driver Allan Middendorf At Recent San Antonio Nitro Jam Event (Living The Dream) San Antonio, TX - April 14, 2008 - "Driving a Nitro Funny Car must be like riding a Texas Brahma Bull -...
Debut Race "Awesome Experience" for IHRA Nitro Funny Car Driver Allan Middendorf At Recent San Antonio Nitro Jam Event (Living The Dream)
San Antonio, TX - April 14, 2008 - "Driving a Nitro Funny Car must be like riding a Texas Brahma Bull - you strap yourself in, hold on tight and in the next few seconds you go for a crazy, wild ride." That's how Rookie IHRA Nitro Funny Car driver Allan Middendorf summed up his recent debut race at the Amalie Motor Oil Nationals in San Antonio, TX.
Middendorf's professional debut into the Nitro Funny Car competition was everything he had hoped it would be and more. "The extreme noise of the race car engines; the smell of the Nitro Fuel; the excitement of the fans; that incredible sensation of hurtling down the race track at a speed of 300 mph; the challenge of competing with the other highly skilled race car drivers; and the heartbreaking knowledge of how quickly you can be bumped from the spot which you single-mindedly strived so hard to obtain a few minutes before. It all blended together and was all part of an incredible experience. It was an awesome weekend," said Middendorf. "Friday was great, I met a lot of awesome fans, and people couldn't believe it was my first race. Everyone was really supportive."
Middendorf got off to a good start in the first qualifying run with his 8,000 horsepower, fire breathing Chevy Nitro Fuel Funny Car on Friday night. Well.., at least it started out good, but then things began to happen. "The car ran really good on the first qualifying run Friday night, until it started to shake the tires and shook the clutch blow-by tube off the bellhousing filling the inside of the cockpit with clutch dust; I couldn't see a thing out of the front or side windows. It was so dense it was like driving with a blindfold on. Like someone spray painted the windshield with black paint. It finally cleared. 'WOW!! FIRST RUN AT NIGHT, SHOOK THE TIRES, COULDN'T SEE, IT WAS AWESOME.' At least I got all that out of the way on the first run," explained Middendorf. But after Friday night, Middendorf was sitting number 8 on the bump spot. "I was totally happy with that, for my first race," said Middendorf.
Saturday, in the first qualifying run of the day, the outlook was better for Middendorf and his crew. "We slowed the car down a little just to get down the track. One car before me ran quicker and bumped me out. Then we really ran well and got back in the field. The car was drifting toward the centerline and I fought to bring it back. We were back in the field! As I was getting out of the car at the top end, the two cars stepped up their numbers and bumped me out. Wow all in about 8 minutes! After that the crew went back and prepped the car for Saturday night."
In the second qualifying run Saturday night, Middendorf said he was a "little anxious." "We towed to the staging lanes and got ready. I was in the first pair of the Nitro Funny Cars. I was a little nervous; I just wanted to get the car in the field. It went out about 330 feet; it was flying, but broke an intake valve and started smoking the tires. If that hadn't occurred, I would have been in the field, according to the numbers on the computer. But it didn't happen!" Allan placed eleventh (11th) and was knocked out of the Sunday Nitro Funny Car Finals.
"It was a still a great weekend. We met a lot of great fans and people at the race track, and had a wonderful eight-year-old girl (patient) from the Methodist Children's Hospital, along with her mom and two brothers, as guests at the track on Saturday," said Allan.
Middendorf also looks at this weekend's race from a different perspective - "Our visit to the Methodist Children's Hospital on Wednesday and seeing the courage of those young patients, makes me realize that it is not so bad that we did not make the final elimination race on Sunday.
Middendorf says he is not discouraged with this weekends race results and will continue to pursue his dream. His long range goal is to own a three- car race team. To that end, Middendorf is working with several companies as potential sponsors. Securing major sponsors is the key to making it all happen. "Hey, I saw my first-ever drag race a little over 5 years ago. I am happy to have reached this point in my racing career and to be heading in the right direction. Now I'm looking to the future and it all takes time."
"Thanks to the IHRA and Live Nation for all your help! And the fans, for spending your hard earned money to watch us race. Wouldn't be possible without you! All the IHRA staff I dealt with at the race were awesome people. They asked me to be a part of the autograph session Saturday night after qualifying and I really enjoyed meeting all the fans."