Hedges Qualifies ...
Hedges Qualifies #1 in Valdosta
Last Thursday when the Division 3 opener in Indianapolis was postponed due to the winter weather expected to continue throughout the weekend, Dave Hedges and the Knoll Gas -- Torco Racing Fuels Team got in their rig and headed down to Valdosta, Georgia for the Division 2 Lucas Oil Racing Series event. Their determination to get their divisional series underway paid off when the Team qualified #1 for the event in the highly competitive Top Alcohol Dragster class.
"We were already loaded up and ready to head down to Indianapolis when we got the word that the event was going to be postponed until later in the season. We really like the Valdosta facility; we tested here earlier this year and we felt like we could run well on this track so we called a few people and headed south to warmer weather," said Brian Pfeifer, crew chief on the car owned by Evan Knoll.
During the first qualifying pass, the car was on a good pass and ran 5.52 at 260 MPH to take the number one qualifying spot. As they were getting ready for the second pass, scheduled to be at 7 PM, the rain started to move in over the track. Thinking the action would be called, the team loaded the car for the day. Even though a couple of dragsters later made the pass down the quarter mile, their numbers stood up to the challenge of their A-fuel competitors. As the day of qualifying came to a close, the Knoll Gas -- Torco Racing Fuels blown alcohol dragster was at the top of the list.
Unfortunately, as the rain moved in overnight, so did the wind. On early Sunday afternoon, when it was apparent that the wind was not going to die down, they called the event and postponed it until May 12th. Disappointed they were unable to complete the race, the Team loaded up the rig and fought the wind as they headed back to Michigan.
-credit: Shanna Snyder-Bell