WOOTTON'S WILD RIDE ENDS TOPEKA WEEKEND Rookie Driver Shows Veteran Skills during Second Round Loss Topeka, Kan. - They say if you can't win, be spectacular and gracious defeat. 32-year old rookie Top Alcohol Dragster driver Kristen...
WOOTTON'S WILD RIDE ENDS TOPEKA WEEKEND
Rookie Driver Shows Veteran Skills during Second Round Loss
Topeka, Kan. - They say if you can't win, be spectacular and gracious defeat. 32-year old rookie Top Alcohol Dragster driver Kristen Wootton was both in the second round of eliminations during the O'Reilly NHRA Summernationals contested at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan.
After capturing a first round victory against Spring Hill, Kan. resident Randy Meyer and recording low elapsed time of the opening round of eliminations in the process, Wootton, the owner of Glass Depot in Magnolia, Texas and driver of the Mettle-Armor.com A/Fuel Dragster prepared to enter final eliminations on Sunday at a NHRA National Event for the first time. Her opponent would be none other than Courtney Force, the youngest daughter of 14-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion John Force and driver of Jerry Darien's potent Ford/Brand Source A/Fuel Dragster.
It was a race Wootton and the thousands of fans in attendance at HPT won't soon forget.
At the flash of the green light, Force grabbed a hole-shot of 0.021 seconds against Wootton and her Mettle-Armor.com A/Fuel rail. However, this was when the race got entertaining. As Wootton launched, the car hiked the front tires and made a fairly decisive turn towards the center-line. She slapped the throttle to get the tires back down to earth and then expertly jerked the car back to the center of the lane. The car still wanted to move around and she had to lift off the throttle once more to get the car back into the groove. Wootton crossed the finish-line in the center of the lane; calm, cool and collected.
Meanwhile in the other lane, Force was hot, straight and normal en route to a 5.527 elapsed time, which was good enough to hold off Wootton's hard charging 5.639 ET at 255 mile per hour run and hand the Yorba Linda, Calif. driver the round 2 win.
"That was one heck of a run," noted Wootton. "We had a career best 60 foot time of 0.937 seconds as (Crew Chief) Joe Monden had this car set on kill. From that point, the wheels were up and the car drifted towards the center-line. I smacked the throttle quickly to set the front end down and then wrestled this car towards the center of the groove. I went a bit too hard on the steering wheel and the car went towards the wall, so I had to lift again. Eventually we got it back in the groove, but by then I had killed too much ET and Courtney passed me up and she took the win. It was eliminations, and you can't lift when winning is on the line."
"I am very happy with this team and the performance of our METTLE ARMOR Racing Oil A/Fuel Dragster," Wootton said. "Joe has an incredible base-line tune up for this car and we'll pack it up and head to Chicago in two weeks. The world's best TAD's will be racing there and this will give us a good indication how we match up against the cream of the crop. This car was hauling the mail this weekend and I'm confident we'll give the boys and girls in Chicago a run for their money."
-source: kw PR