Englishtown: Raymond Commisso Saturday report

Commisso advances R2B2 cause with big first round win ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 12) -- Pro Mod racer Raymond Commisso of the vaunted R2B2 Racing team finally figured out why his performances have been a bit erratic this year, and now he's charging...

Commisso advances R2B2 cause with big first round win

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 12) -- Pro Mod racer Raymond Commisso of the vaunted R2B2 Racing team finally figured out why his performances have been a bit erratic this year, and now he's charging back to the forefront at a race he won last season -- the United Association NHRA SuperNationals at historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

"Yesterday marked one month since my father passed away and I was here in the pit working on the car by myself and I started thinking about him and I realized I'd been so worried about him over the first part of this year that I'd lost my focus in the car," Commisso said. "His health had been deteriorating for awhile and we were so close that I just spent all my time thinking about him, even at the races.

"Now he's passed and he's in a better place and I felt it was time to come back out and race. It's been great being here with all my friends, even better to qualifying No. 1 in the field, and even better yet to win Round 1 this evening. My mind is clear now and I want to finish this up with a trophy for my dad. It's really driving me at the moment."

Commisso will be the only driver to carry the R2B2 Racing flag into Sunday's final three rounds of eliminations as teammates Roger Burgess and Melanie Troxel both exited the event during Saturday's action. Burgess lost in the opening round against Scott Ray, while Troxel failed to qualify her In-N-Out Burger Corvette for what turned out to be the quickest Pro Mod field ever assembled.

Against Ray, Burgess earned a sizable .033-second advantage at the starting line but a laboring engine slowed his ProCare Rx Camaro down track, allowing Ray to take the win with a 5.935 at 238.93 mph to Burgess' 6.038 at 241.54 mph.

"I had a great start against Scott and we were trucking down there when a spark plug failed on us," Burgess said. "It took away just enough power for him to drive past us. This is the third time this has happened to one of our cars this year and it's really confounded the guys. We're all scratching our heads a bit but we'll get it straightened out and we'll be ready for Bristol."

Troxel missed the cut by just .006 seconds, running a best of 5.986 at 244.03 mph in the two rounds of qualifying that were completed.

"We finally started running in the five-second range, which is a great step forward, but we still ended up one spot short of making the field," Troxel said. "We lost a qualifying round yesterday because things got so far behind schedule and that probably came back to haunt us.

"It's kind of a surprise to have the quickest field ever assembled at this race but that's the way it turned out. We would have loved to have been a part of it. I guess the good news out of this weekend is we're still hanging right there in the middle of the top 10 in the standings and the season is halfway along, so we have plenty of time to get after it and win some races. That's a big personal goal of mine."

Action will resume Sunday afternoon when Commisso will square off against Pat Musi, who beat Ed Hoover in Round 1. Commisso will have lane choice over Musi.

-source: r2b2

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Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Ray , Ed Hoover , Melanie Troxel , Roger Burgess