CHANDLER, Ariz. - Defending Division 5 Federal Mogul Dragster Champion Bruce Bowler is currently qualified No. 10 with an elapsed time of 5.502 at 250.92 mph at this weekend's Checker's-Schuck's-Kraegen Nationals at Firebird Raceway, just...
CHANDLER, Ariz. - Defending Division 5 Federal Mogul Dragster Champion Bruce Bowler is currently qualified No. 10 with an elapsed time of 5.502 at 250.92 mph at this weekend's Checker's-Schuck's-Kraegen Nationals at Firebird Raceway, just outside of Phoenix.
Bowler, 58, who resides in Denver, had high hopes coming into this weekend's event, experienced parts breakage in both of today's qualifying sessions. In his first session, a blown head gasket caused him to slow from his normal low 5.40 pace to the 5.50. In the second session, a broken rear end gear ended his run prematurely. Bowler feels his Phoenix Custom Apparel A/Fuel Dragster has much more left in it.
"On the first run, we were going on a good run, and ended up torching a cylinder head," said Bowler. "It dropped one cylinder, then another, and ended up torching the head."
"On the second pass, the car launched really well, then shook the tires about 150 feet out," Bowler continued. "I pulled the brake a little bit to get that under control, the car really started to take off, and it just quit. I thought I might have broken the motor, but when I got out of the car, I saw that we had a hole in the third member for the rear end. Even with that, the car went 188 mph to the eighth mile, so it was on a really good pass. Without the rearend, it doesn't go anywhere."
With the data Bowler has received from his two runs today, Bowler is confident of his chances to step up in the qualifying order tomorrow.
"The field here doesn't appear to be quite as quick as it was in Pomona," stated Bowler. "Although Baca blistered the track today with two 274 mph runs. So, we know there's a way to make some power out here. If the car can stay together, we feel that we can run 5.30's. We feel like if we wouldn't have hurt that rear end today, we would have run a .30. We know it's there, we just have to find it."
The final qualifying session for the Federal Mogul Dragsters will be at 10 a.m. First round of eliminations will be a 12:30 p.m. Stay tuned to SummitRacing.com's Drag Race Central for round by round updates of the racing action from Phoenix.