Pittman Rides Another Strong Qualifying Effort to Quarter-Finals in Michigan Stanton, MI - During the first half of what can only be described as a dream sophomore season, Mopar Performance Parts Pro Modified competitor Alan Pittman has recorded...
Pittman Rides Another Strong Qualifying Effort to Quarter-Finals in Michigan
Stanton, MI - During the first half of what can only be described as a dream sophomore season, Mopar Performance Parts Pro Modified competitor Alan Pittman has recorded an impressive number of strong qualifying and elimination round efforts in his quest for championship gold.
At this weekend's sixth of eleven IHRA national events, the 20th Annual CARQUEST Northern Nationals at Mid-Michigan Motorplex, his race-winning performance potential was again on full display as the hard-charger from Pelzer, SC kept the pressure on the competition with another robust outing.
The talented chassis-builder-turned-driver, who was recently named as a finalist in voting for Car Craft Magazine's All-Star Drag Racing Team, wheeled his classic supercharged Westbrook Motorsports '41 Willys mount to the number 4 spot in the preliminaries by virtue of a strong 6.285/226.13 performance turned in during Friday's second attempt.
Ironically, for the second race in a row, Pittman found himself a little too close to the action as things heated up during qualifying. Two weeks ago, at Leicester, NY, he had some tense moments before emerging uninjured from his car after it caught fire at the top end. This time around he was on the opposite side of the coin, running alongside Sal Passarelli when a spectacular fire from an apparent engine explosion engulfed Passarelli's car.
Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, and Pittman brushed the distractions aside just as he had two weeks earlier as he prepared to take the Darren Mayer-tuned coupe into battle at Mid-Michigan. In Sunday's first round, facing the nitrous-injected '63 Corvette of number 13 qualifier Mitch Stott, Pittman took advantage of an off-pace run by Stott to take an easy win, although he lost lane choice to another of the nitrous crowd's big shooters, Ed Hoover, in the process.
So far this season, Pittman and Mike Janis, who also runs a supercharged combination, have been keeping the bottle-fed cars at bay, running one-two in the points chase. But recently, several nitrous teams, including Hoover's, have been making some serious noise of their own, and Pittman knew he had his work cut out for round two. In a great side-by-side drag race, Hoover took a slight advantage off the line and held off a hard-charging Pittman for the win.
"All in all we had a pretty good weekend," Pittman said after the event. "Of course we'd liked to have won it, but we'd like to win them all. I said earlier in the season that this was like a bar fight, and it's getting to be a bigger and rowdier one as the season goes on. You never know who's going to try to knock you down, and more and more guys are lining up to take a shot at us. We've just got to keep doing what we're doing, qualifying well and going as deep into the rounds as possible. If the driver keeps his act together, and we keep from breaking too many parts, we'll be there at the end."
With the season now down to five events, and a number of teams showing signs of mounting a serious second-half charge, the battle for domination of the class promises to be a real nail-biter the rest of the way. For fans of the Pro Mod class, this is what it's all about.
For more information on Westbrook Motorsports, visit their website at www.westbrookmotorsports.com, or log into drag racing's largest Internet magazine at www.competitionplus.com.