Pomona II: Angelle Savoie Thursday summary

Angelle ties for 1st in Pomona on Thursday. Angelle Savoie and the Mohegan Sun Racing team made their first on-track appearance since clinching the 2002 POWERade championship during today's opening qualifying session for the Auto Club of...

Angelle ties for 1st in Pomona on Thursday.

Angelle Savoie and the Mohegan Sun Racing team made their first on-track appearance since clinching the 2002 POWERade championship during today's opening qualifying session for the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals. Racing under threatening skies that would eventually curtail the day's activities, Angelle displayed the performance that earned her title, covering the quarter-mile in 7.183 seconds, tying her with Shawn Gann for the quickest time of the session.

Under the NHRA rule covering such an occasion, Gann was awarded the temporary No. 1 position. When two competitors post the same elapsed time, the first tie-breaker is top speed. Ironically, Angelle and Gann each posted an identical speed of 185.87 mph. In this case, the tie is then broken by whoever recorded the time first. As the current points leader, Angelle is the last competitor to make an attempt in the first qualifying session, with No. 4 points man Gann running in the pair ahead. Therefore, Gann was listed in the top spot. However, with three sessions remaining, the Star Racing team was not concerned.

"Looking at the computer after the run," explained team owner George Bryce, "we had a couple glitches which slowed us down. Without those, I believe it would have been a 7.12 or 7.14 run. Besides, with the best time in Pro Stock car being a 6.79, we should be able to run a 7.09, if we did everything right. Basically, we rolled the dice on a tune-up for the first lap, so we're pleased that we tied Shawn for number one. I know how the tie-breaker works, but, hey, they told us to go last!"

For her part, Angelle was also pleased with the run, but more interested in talking about the John Force-style burnout she had performed prior to her run.

"This is a cool way to race, because we don't have to worry about the points, which is a very unusual situation for us. Even though we are just as serious about winning, it seems like every pass we make is for fun. We made the decision coming out here to have a good time this weekend.

"I loved doing that long, smoky burnout. I put the bike in fourth gear instead of third, and just sat there with the tire smoking. I usually wait until George gives me the signal, and today I just kept it going until he finally waved me off. As soon as I stopped, I heard the fans laughing, screaming and clapping. It's just a way for us to show our appreciation to the fans for their support, and we plan on doing those burnouts all weekend."

-msr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force