Atlanta: Alan Pittman final report

Commerce, GA - An old saying goes: "sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you." At this weekend's Pro Mod exhibition at the NHRA's Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals, things got plenty grizzly for Alan Pittman and the...

Commerce, GA - An old saying goes: "sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you." At this weekend's Pro Mod exhibition at the NHRA's Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals, things got plenty grizzly for Alan Pittman and the Westbrook Motorsports team, as they failed to qualify for the eight car field.

Coming into the event as top qualifier in two previous races, Pittman may have been looking past the qualifying sessions to Sunday's elimination rounds, where he hoped to redeem himself after a first round exit last weekend in Bristol.

Unfortunately, during Friday's two rounds, the tire shake and handling problems that forced the blown '41 Willys' early departure in Tennessee were still in evidence, and after two early shut-offs, Pittman found himself in the qualifying basement at number 16.

On Saturday, with the racing surface temperature at Atlanta Dragway approaching 140 degrees Fahrenheit, the second-year driver from South Carolina threw everything he had at the track in the third round, only to have tire shake once again spoil the attempt. Finally, in a do-or-die last round effort, the nostalgia-bodied coupe grabbed the track, and Pittman registered his first full pass of the weekend, 6.379 at 222.07.

While the bear may have loosened his grip a little, however, the run was not enough to let Pittman into the quickest Pro Mod field in NHRA history, all the qualifiers being in at 6.348 or better.

"It was a tough weekend for us, that's for sure," said Pittman. "We had our hands full with the car, and the heat and humidity made calling the tune-up a toss of the dice. The conditions favored the nitrous guys this time, but we've run 6.21 with this car already this year, and we can do it again. You know what they say - there's always next time - and we'll come back strong."

-WM-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Alan Pittman