Plain Vanilla Racing Blue Bunny Ice Cream Wells breaks through with runner-up finish LAS VEGAS - After having a dismal year with no final round appearances on the national event level, NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster driver David Wells broke...
Plain Vanilla Racing
Blue Bunny Ice Cream
Wells breaks through with runner-up finish
LAS VEGAS - After having a dismal year with no final round appearances on the national event level, NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster driver David Wells broke through his drought with a runner-up finish during this past weekend's AC Delco Nationals at "The Strip" in Las Vegas.
Wells, from LeMars, Iowa, entered the event chasing an ignition problem. After finding the problem, Wells qualified the Blue Bunny Ice Cream/ "Plain Vanilla" Blown Alcohol Dragster seventh with a 5.55 second elapsed time at 249.72 mph. In round one, he defeated Bill Reichert with a 5.587 at 252.95 mph, then disposed of Darryl Hitchman with a 5.539 at 253.09 mph in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Wells used a near perfect .407 reaction time (.400 is perfect) to take a holeshot win over Mike Strasburg with a 5.587 at 251.81 mph.
Wells final round opponent, Brian Hough had also won on a holeshot in the semifinals, so both drivers knew the starting line was going to be critical. Wells took a slight jump on Hough, but could not hang on as Hough stepped up to a 5.473 at 258.02 mph over Wells' 5.542 at 254.04 mph.
"We got out there, and the first thing we did was to put a different [ignition] control box on," said Wells. "We have had some ignition problems, and we figured that was the problem. It went out there and just did the same thing it had been doing, nosing over in high gear. So, we came back, fixed some other things, put a new coil and magneto on it, and that seemed to take care of it."
"So finally we got to work on the tune-up a little bit," continued Wells. "It was kind of nice to get to run the A/Fuel cars, because they were running slow in the altitude anyway. We ran Reichert in the first round; he was right there with me, but we got by him. Darryl Hitchman got by Mark Hentges in the first round when they kicked a blower belt off, so that gave me another pretty good setup for the second round. We got by him, and had to run Strasburg. Strasburg had run pretty well, so we knew he was going to be right there. I stepped on the tree as hard as I could, and got around him that way, but just beat him by two-thousandths. In the final, I knew those guys [Hough] would be right there too. I stepped on the tree, but I didn't step on it as hard so I wouldn't red--light. I got him on the tree, but judging by the numbers, about half track, he caught me. It was about 1000' before I saw that he was out in front of me. It was a pretty good race for us, though."
With the runner-up finish, the Blue Bunny Ice Cream/ "Plain Vanilla" team will head into the final race of the year, the AAA Auto Club Finals, Nov. 8-11, in Pomona, Calif., with new enthusiasm and determination.
"We got it back to the basic tune-up again," explained Wells. "Its working pretty good. Hopefully the temperature will be a little warmer so the A/Fuel cars don't get an advantage on us. Hopefully we can win out there, and go out with a win."