Etterman Racing White makes it to All-Star final; then semifinal finish on Sunday KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio - Although NHRA Federal Mogul Funny Car racer Marc White did not come away with the double win he had hoped for, after winning six of eight ...
White makes it to All-Star final; then semifinal finish on Sunday
KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio - Although NHRA Federal Mogul Funny Car racer Marc White did not come away with the double win he had hoped for, after winning six of eight rounds in the grueling June heat during this past weekend's Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing at National Trail Raceway near Columbus, Ohio, White still feels it was a good race for the team. On Saturday, White wheeled the Etterman Racing 2001 Firebird to a runner-up finish during the NHRA Sportsman All-Stars event for the third straight year, then went to the semifinals of Sunday's race, where he lost to the defending six-time World Champion Frank Manzo.
White, from Glendale Heights, Ill., qualified third for the All-Star event with a 5.922 second elapsed time at 234.49 mph. In round one, he defeated the Division 4 All-Star representative Todd Simpson with a 5.830 at 247.11 mph, which set the stage for a showdown with Division 3 rival Chuck Cheeseman in the semifinals. White won this race on the starting line by virtue of a huge .489 to .584 holeshot, and held on with a 5.925 at 228.92 mph over Cheeseman's quicker-but-later 5.855 at 244.21 mph. In the finals, White's fortune was reversed, as his opponent Von Smith took the holeshot victory with a 6.035 at 240.08 mph over White, who wounded an engine, and slowed to a 5.997 at 231.00 mph.
"I think it was a pretty good weekend," said White. "The track was tricky. When we got there on Friday it was 100 degrees and the track was very hot, so that made it very tough to get down the track. We had to learn how to run in the real hot weather, which is what we're going to be in for quite a while now. We're pretty happy with the way the tune-up came around on it. We hurt a motor in the semifinal round of the All-Star race, and it was wounded in the final. It gave up just before the finish line, so that cost us any chance of winning that race. Von Smith did a pretty good job driving, put a pretty good holeshot on me, and we just didn't have enough to make it up."
Sunday's eliminations for the national event started a clean slate for the team. White entered Sunday's show the No. 4 qualifier, and took out Jason Rupert in the first round with a 5.812 at 231.04 mph, then beat rival Cheeseman for a second time in round two with a 5.821 at 241.80 mph. White grabbed the holeshot in his semifinal matchup against Manzo, but had to pedal the car when it launched into heavy tireshake. That was all Manzo needed to move around White with a 5.827 at 249.95 mph to White's right-there 5.885 at 245.81 mph. Manzo went on to win the race.
"Everyone was shaking the tires, along with us," explained White. "I had to pedal it, and I didn't really see much of Frank until high gear. Frank's car runs some big speed on the top end, and for some reason, our car wasn't running the big mph that it usually does. He caught me in high gear, drove by for the win, and that was it for us."
From Columbus, the Etterman Racing team will head west to St. Louis for this weekend's Sears Craftsman Nationals. White feels they will face the same hot conditions they did last weekend.
"I think St. Louis will be pretty identical to what Columbus was," commented White. "It will be a hot, muggy, greasy race track. We should have a much better start going into St. Louis than we did in Columbus, since we have a few runs under our belt under those types of conditions. I'm optimistic about the St. Louis race. I think our tune-up will be condusive to the weather and track conditions that we will see there."
Television coverage of the NHRA Sportsman All-Stars event, featuring Federal Mogul Funny Car, will air on ESPN2 June 23 from 6-7 p.m. (EST).
For more information on the team, visit their website at EttermanRacing.com.</A>