National: Johnny Ahten Pomona Friday report

AHTEN BLAZES POMONA TRACK TO 3RD QUALIFYING POSITION Pomona, Calif. -- The 'flame chaser' is ready to burn up the competition tomorrow. Johnny Ahten, the fire fighting specialist from Santa Clarita, Calif., will enter final eliminations in ...

AHTEN BLAZES POMONA TRACK TO 3RD QUALIFYING POSITION

Pomona, Calif. -- The 'flame chaser' is ready to burn up the competition tomorrow.

Johnny Ahten, the fire fighting specialist from Santa Clarita, Calif., will enter final eliminations in the

Top Alcohol Dragster division from the 3rd qualified spot, after his 5.310 second elapsed time recorded in the second qualifying session at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif. earlier today.

During the second qualifying session earlier today, the Lucas Oil/Island Renovations Ahten Racing A/Fuel Dragster left the starting line with a very quick 60 foot time, very similar to the team's career best elapsed time recorded last season. Incremental numbers down the Pomona 1320 foot race track kept pace with the 5.256 second E.T. best. However, at approximately 1000 feet into the run, the powerful nitromethane injected assisted engine lost power in one cylinder, slowing the car nearly 14 miles per hour off their personal record pace. The run was not a total loss for the Ahten Racing team.

"The car launched very hard, very similar to that 5.25 we ran here last year," noted driver Johnny Ahten. "Right at 1000 foot I felt it nose over a bit, (the same feeling I get when the car drops a cylinder) so I legged it out, pulled the chutes and knew the car was on a great pass. We'll service the car; skip the final qualifying session tonight in order to save parts for eliminations."

Ahten and his team will line up for first round tomorrow against the 14th qualifier, Mike Austin, driving a team car of Jerry Maddern Racing's Peen Rite team. Austin qualified nearly three tenths of a second slower than the Lucas Oil / Island Renovations A/Fuel Dragster, however Ahten is very well aware of the fact, anything can happen in eliminations.

"These cars run on such a fine edge, anything is possible," concluded Ahten. "Those Maddern Racing guys can hop that car up to run a solid number at any time. I know Mike will be on his game tomorrow, but I also know Dad, Uncle Bob, Howard, "Rocky" and "Shark" will be too. I'm cautiously optimistic we will have a good run tomorrow."

-source: ahten racing

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