A Skate In The Park-- Milford, Michigan -- Frank Parker brought a happy crew home from the May 29th 17th Annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals, in Topeka, Kansas. Their VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus Top Alcohol Funny Car ran flawlessly and they...
A Skate In The Park--
Milford, Michigan -- Frank Parker brought a happy crew home from the May 29th 17th Annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals, in Topeka, Kansas. Their VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus Top Alcohol Funny Car ran flawlessly and they had a good time -- in spite of being eliminated in the second round.
"We had a great weekend going," said Parker. "Danny had his sights locked on the win and the car was capable of getting it for him. We just ended up a little short on luck."
With one qualifying round lost to rain, Townsend and Parker had only two runs to work out the right tune-up for the track. In his typically consistent manner, Townsend put together two nearly identical passes, 5.764 at 252.90 and 5.763 at 251056, to qualify the VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus third. In round one of eliminations, on Saturday evening, Townsend left .044 ahead of Bruce Carlson's Firebird and turned another nearly identical run of 5.761 at 251.72 for the win.
Sunday morning started off with signs that good things were going to happen-- Frank Parker, team owner, won the Drag Racing Association of Women's 50-50 raffle. He promptly donated the money back to DRAW in the name of his sponsor, VIPsports.com. Meanwhile, back at the "ranch," the Kansas Bikini Team headed up an impromptu pep rally for driver Danny Townsend. With the bikini team's help, Townsend handed out over a thousand of his VIPsports.com hero cards, then reluctantly tore himself away from the unusually large crowd of fans and saddled up for the second round of TAFC eliminations.
The second round pitted the VIPsports.com Stratus against Jackie Stidham's Camaro. Townsend had another great light and jumped ahead of Stidham. Then, both cars started to skate on the Heartland Park track. Rather than good things coming to pass, as it seemed they would in the morning, Stidham came to pass Townsend, instead. A little more luck and a little less skating gave Stidham the win.
Townsend is still the 2005 Division 3 TAFC points leader and second in the Jeg's All-Stars series. The Topeka results, though, move him up to tenth in NHRA's Top Fifty TAFC standings. And he is now first in the hearts of the Kansas Bikini Team.
Be sure to watch ESPN2 for TAFC action from the 17th Annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals. Broadcast times are June 5th, 12 -- 1 p.m. eastern time and June 12th, 2:30 -- 3:30 a.m. eastern time. The next race for the VIPsports.com Top Alcohol Funny Car will be the 8th Annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, June 10th -- 11th, at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Il.
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