Wilson makes quarterfinals with new car debut. BAYTOWN, Texas - In most situations, when a raceteam gets a new car, they usually have the opportunity to test it before running it in competition. NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Jeff Wilson did...
Wilson makes quarterfinals with new car debut.
BAYTOWN, Texas - In most situations, when a raceteam gets a new car, they usually have the opportunity to test it before running it in competition. NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Jeff Wilson did not have that luxury heading into this past weekend's O'Reilly Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park. Wilson jumped into the deep end, so to speak, debuting his brand new Mike Spitzer chassis with no prior testing to the event, and was able to wheel his Associated Builders & Contractors/ Starcon backed dragster to a quarterfinal round finish.
Wilson, from Winfield, Mo., qualified his Blown Alcohol Dragster fifth in a tough field with a 5.466 second elapsed time at 261.37 mph in only the third pass on the car. In round one, he took out former Nitro Funny Car racer Tony Bartone with a solid 5.530 at 257.33 mph. In the quarterfinals, he fell victim to eventual winner Duane Shields after having difficulty with the car staging, and fell off to a 5.854 at 189.39 mph while Shields took the victory with a 5.394 at 260.86 mph.
"We was a little dissappointed that we didn't go a little further than we did," said Wilson. "Overall, for the first weekend on the car, we felt it was a success. We are looking forward to our next races so we can get it tuned up and get back to running consistent again."
"We are definitely going in the right direction," Wilson continued. "We hit on something Saturday morning, and the car seemed to respond to it very well. We hurt the motor, and we didn't catch it in time enough to fix it before the first round, so that is why we fell off a bit. For the second round, we made an adjustment to the clutch pedal, probably shouldn't have and it changed the feel of the car during staging, and the car started rolling on me, and I just couldn't catch it."
With a solid debut behind them, Wilson and the ABC/Starcon team are excited about their next race, the Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series opener at Route 66 Raceway just outside of Chicago. Wilson hopes to start a run there that will ultimately lead to regaining the Division 3 Championship, in which he won in 2000.
"We are looking to get the motor tuned up where it should be," stated Wilson. "I think we should have good success up there. It's a pretty good track, and I seem to think we will do pretty good. Mike Spitzer will be up there, so hopefully we can tune on the chassis a little bit, and if the track is not as good, hopefully we can 'make' it that way with the car."