Hirata to be hot at Martin

MARTIN, Mich - Red hot Federal Mogul Dragster pilot Dave Hirata will be looking to make his fourth final round appearance in a row, and come away with his first divisional win of the year this weekend during the Division 3 Federal Mogul Drag...

MARTIN, Mich - Red hot Federal Mogul Dragster pilot Dave Hirata will be looking to make his fourth final round appearance in a row, and come away with his first divisional win of the year this weekend during the Division 3 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series race at U.S. 131 Dragway, the Parts Pro Nights of Thunder.

The Lowell, Indiana native comes into the event hot off the heels of three straight final round appearances, winning the Sears Craftsman Nationals in St. Louis, and most recently finishing runner up at the Winston No-Bull Showdown in Bristol, Tennessee. Hirata has been the most successful during night races as well, running high .30's and low .40's in Columbus [Ohio], and Madison[Illinois(St. Louis)].

Hirata said, "It has been really cool for this time of year here lately. It has been in the mid seventies at night for the last week. The night racing really works to our advantage, if the track can hold it. We'll just have to go into that first session, try to get in the show, and go from there."

"If we go into the .40's we'll be really happy. I don't think the track will be terrible, but it won't be like a national event such as Madison . With as cool as it's been, the air will be better than Madison."

Hirata will be gunning to pick up his first divisional win of the year. He already has one runner-up finish to his credit this year [Memphis-Division 4], and hopes to make a run at the Division 3 Championship.

"To win the championship, we are probably going to have to pick up an out of division race somewhere, because we missed the race in Salem [Ohio-Division 3] last week, and we don't normally go to Bowling Green [Kentucky] because it is the week before Indy. It really depends on how good we do this weekend as to how hard we push for a Division Championship."

"As for the National Championship, I think we will have to rely on someone taking out Santos or Meyer. If we make a top five finish, we will be really happy. To win it, we have to win every race from here on out, so we will just stick with that goal and see what happens."

With the tear Hirata has been on of late, a top five finish is almost a given with two wins and two runner ups on the national level, with many races left to go. Qualifying begins at 5 p.m. Friday, with eliminations beginning Saturday night. Check NHRA's website, www.nhra.com, for day by day updates on the Hirata Motorsports' progress in Martin.

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