ENNIS, Texas - Second year Federal Mogul Dragster pilot Joe Fuentes had a career best outing during this past weekend's NHRA Division 4 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series event at the Texas Motorplex, just south of Dallas. Fuentes made it all...
ENNIS, Texas - Second year Federal Mogul Dragster pilot Joe Fuentes had a career best outing during this past weekend's NHRA Division 4 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series event at the Texas Motorplex, just south of Dallas. Fuentes made it all the way to the finals where he faced Houston runner-up Shelly Howard. A clogged fuel line caused Fuentes to have engine problems which slowed him and gave Howard the win.
Fuentes, of Austin, Texas, qualified for the eight car field third with an elapsed time of 5.533 at 253.37 mph. In the first round, Fuentes put away fellow Texan Lee Callaway, of Channelview, with a 5.595 at 247.32 mph. In the semifinals, Fuentes took out former Division 5 Champion David Wells with a 5.486 at 253.30 mph, that was low e.t. of the round, and gave him lane choice going into the finals. In the final, both drivers left right together, and stayed neck and neck until around the 1000' mark. At that point, a clogged fuel nozzle caused an extreme lean [hot] condition in the No. 4 cylinder which exploded the engine's burst panels. With no power, Fuentes watched Howard pull away for the win. With the runner-up finish, Fuentes currently sits No. 3 in Division 4 points standings.
"Everything went pretty much how we expected," said Fuentes. "We did better than we thought we would, though. My crew performed great all weekend, I had some good reaction times, and the car was running real good. Having Ora Vasquez back with us this weekend was the key."
"After the final, we initially thought we had dropped a valve, and that made the burst panel go," Fuentes commented on his final round. "We looked at the No. 4 plug, and it was black [fouled], and the computer showed that the cylinder was getting hotter and hotter down the run. After we saw that, we checked the nozzles, and it had a small piece of trash in the No. 4 nozzle."
The next stop on the J&D Racing schedule will be at race No. 3 of the Division 4 FMDRS at State Capitol Dragway in Baton Rouge, La. There, Fuentes hopes to improve on his Dallas runner-up for his first win.
"The gameplan is going to be the same going into Baton Rouge," stated Fuentes. "We're going to really check from now on to make sure the fuel system is clean."
"We're really going to get after them in Baton Rouge. This team is ready to win."