Broke spark plug derails "Time Machine" in Memphis final MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Former six-time NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion Jackie Stidham reached his second-straight final during this past weekend's Lucas Oil Drag Racing...
Broke spark plug derails "Time Machine" in Memphis final
MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Former six-time NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion Jackie Stidham reached his second-straight final during this past weekend's Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Memphis Motorsports Park. A cracked spark plug slowed the Stidham & Wilson "Time Machine" in their final round matchup with defending Division 4 Champion Jimmy Jones' "Tremor" entry.
Stidham and co-owner Jerry Wilson tuned the "Time Machine" Monte Carlo to the No. 3 spot in qualifying with a 5.729 second run at 245.18 mph. In the opening round, Stidham received a single when his scheduled opponent Brandon Lewis could not make the call, but ran it hard regardless, carding a 5.668 at 252.61 mph. Stidham's semifinal round opponent would be Austrailian-native Steve Harker, whom he defeated with a 5.691 at 253.28 mph. In the final, both drivers left nearly together, but a cracked plug caused the Time Machine to drop a cylinder at half track, which slowed Stidham to a 5.864 at 242.93 mph, which left the door open for Jones' 5.825 at 249.26 mph to take the win.
"We all of a sudden started having a problem with breaking plugs," explained Stidham. "I've never had this problem before. It happened on the first run of the weekend, so we changed all the wires on that side of the motor, then it happened again in the final. It dropped number four cylinder just past half track, and he came around me in the lights. It's like Brad Anderson told me years ago, it's just another one of the thousand ways to lose a race. I just hate losing a race over a $4 spark plug."
Stidham & Wilson won't have to wait long to redeem themselves, as the team's 25th Anniversary "Last Time Around" tour will roll into Houston Raceway Park for this weekend's O'Reilly Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil.
"We're coming into Houston with high expectations," said Stidham. "It's going to be tough with all the heavy-hitters that will be there, but we're happy with the way the car is running. It will be interesting."
Qualifying begins with two sessions on Friday for the alcohol cars. Qualifying concludes Saturday morning, with round one of eliminations Saturday evening. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday. Stay tuned to InsideTopAlcohol.com for the latest news in alcohol racing.