White and team overcome fire to make finals at Indy CLERMONT, Ind. - In a roller-coaster of a weekend, NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Marc White and the Bar's Leaks/Etterman Racing team recorded a runner-up finish at this past weekend's Mac...
White and team overcome fire to make finals at Indy
CLERMONT, Ind. - In a roller-coaster of a weekend, NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Marc White and the Bar's Leaks/Etterman Racing team recorded a runner-up finish at this past weekend's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park, the biggest race in all of drag racing. After experiencing an engine explosion and fire in round one, the team battled back to come within .002 of winning it all.
White, from Glendale Heights, Ill., qualified the Bar's Leaks/Etterman Racing Pontiac Firebird No. 4 in the quickest field in the history of the class with a 5.652 at 252.80 mph. In round one, he defeated Vern Moats, but encountered serious problems at half track. A dropped intake valve lead to a violent explosion and subsequent fire. White was able to extinguish the fire with the onboard fire system and got the car safely, escaping with minor burns to his arms. Luckily for the team, the body was undamaged. Also playing into the team's hand was the fact that first round was at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, a full day before round two was to be ran Sunday.
The team was able to get the car back together, and in round two appeared to never miss a beat by running a 5.666 at 253.04 mph in defeating Mick Snyder. White then earned his keep as a driver by defeating former World Champion Bob Newberry on a holeshot with a 5.678 at 252.76 mph to Newberry's quicker-but-later 5.667 at 252.57 mph. The margin of victory was a mere .009 of a second.
In the final round, White would square off with Jeff Craig. The race was over right at the start, as White left a mere .002 of a second too early, drawing the red-light and automatic disqualification. Adding insult to injury, Craig had a .325 reaction time.
"It's enough to make you sick," said White. "To come that close to winning and then just miss. I guess I got too pumped up for the final, and I staged it a little deeper than I normally do. The end result was I screwed up and redlighted, no excuses. I did see yellow; I didn't anticipate it. Other than that, we were pretty happy to make it as far as we did, considering the way things looked Saturday morning after the fire. We didn't know if we had enough parts to get it back together, but we were able to take things from here and there to get it back together. I was pretty proud that we came back out and ran a 5.66. That's a real testament to this team."
"They've taken all sharp objects from me and put me on suicide watch," laughed White.
The next event for the Bar's Leaks/Etterman Racing team will be the Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series closer at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio. Stay tuned to InsideTopAlcohol.com for the latest news in alcohol racing.
For more information on the Etterman team, visit their website at EttermanRacing.com