Hawley, Troxel leave early at Carolina Nationals; Neither driver makes full pass on race day CONCORD, N.C., Sept. 14, 2008 -- Frank Hawley's bid for a Funny Car victory Sunday went up in smoke, literally, when a clutch malfunction caused the...
Hawley, Troxel leave early at Carolina Nationals; Neither driver makes full pass on race day
CONCORD, N.C., Sept. 14, 2008 -- Frank Hawley's bid for a Funny Car victory Sunday went up in smoke, literally, when a clutch malfunction caused the tires to spin -- and the R2B2 Racing Rite Aid Dodge Charger R/T slowed to a 5.007-second thousand-foot time at 156.19 mph in the opening round of the first Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway.
Tony Pedregon took advantage of Hawley's misfortune and won with a 4.173 at 301.07 mph.
A disappointed Aaron Brooks, the team crew chief, said a clutch disc didn't work properly. "It was too aggressive and pulled the tires loose," he said. "We had a blower-snout problem yesterday and that led to the clutch situation.
"The No. 1 (qualifying position) was nice but it's frustrating because we weren't going down the track. The crew didn't do anything stupid . . . the gremlins just got us. We'll just live and learn."
Melanie Troxel's R2B2 Racing Dodge Charger R/T also experienced traction trouble against Ron Capps. It was a close race until the Charger spun the tires, forcing Troxel to shut it off. She coasted through in 4.856 second, 168.49 mph while Capps lit the win light in 4.153 seconds, 301.74 mph.
Troxel, who began eliminations from the sixth position, said the clutch was a little too aggressive, too. "It was frustrating because it did not do that during qualifying earlier in the weekend."
Crew chief Brian Corradi was surprised by the tire smoke. "We just missed the tune-up," he said. "We thought it would run better than that. We just made more horsepower than the track allowed us."
The team returns to NHRA POWERade Series competition Friday in the O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas.