CLERMONT, Ind. - The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park is the biggest event in drag racing. Despite not winning, it can be said that Federal Mogul Dragster driver Paul Jones had a pretty good outing in the Western ...
CLERMONT, Ind. - The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park is the biggest event in drag racing. Despite not winning, it can be said that Federal Mogul Dragster driver Paul Jones had a pretty good outing in the Western Stabilization/Redline Oil Blown Alcohol Dragster. The rookie pilot qualified sixth and advanced to the quarterfinals in his first trip to the "Big Go" as Indy is referred to, which would make many seasoned veterans happy, let alone a rookie.
The Desert Storm veteran from Stockton, Calif., ran a 5.573 second elapsed time at 255.68 mph to put him in the show sixth out of 28 cars trying to make the 16 car field. In round one, Jones ran a 5.446 at 257.14 mph to take out fellow rookie Jason Cannon. His next opponent would be the eventual winner, Keith Stark in his A/Fuel Dragster. In the first round, Stark ran low e.t. and top speed of the meet with a 5.329 at 265.90 mph, which gave him lane choice against Jones. Jones had problems negotiating the tricky right lane, and smoked the tires, slowing to a 5.699 at 253.95 mph. Stark continued his torrid pace with a 5.439 at 264.34 mph, which was the quickest and fastest run of the round.
"We kind of underestimated the A/Fuel cars today," said Jones. "With the heat and humidity present, we figured the blown cars would basically have the advantage. I think to all of our surprise, the A/Fuel cars have kind of taken over the whole race."
"We pretty much left the tune-up alone," Jones continued. "We thought we could run a conservative high .40, low .50, and make him beat us, if he had it in him. It shook the tires and went into tire smoke in low gear. I hit the shifts right on the shift light, and he plain and simply outran us. Our 5.69 to his 5.43, was more than enough to get us."
After making a strong showing among some of the best cars in the country, Jones is confident of his chances at his next race, this weekend's Division 5 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series race in Earlville, Iowa.
"At least we are coming away from here with a lot of knowledge," stated Jones. "Now we know kind of what it takes to get down the track when you have this kind of humidity, and these kind of conditions in general. We don't have these conditions out on the West Coast very often. I think going back to Iowa is going to give us kind of the middle of the East Coast conditions vs. the West Coast conditions. Just the knowledge we are going to take away from here is certainly going to help us in Iowa. Like I say any time we show up at a track, I think we have a good chance of doing some good there."