Roger Bateman Las Vegas preview

Bateman looking for paydirt in Vegas LAS VEGAS - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car veteran Roger Bateman and the NobelSmile.com/Friesen Motorsports team will be looking to finish the year strong at this weekend's Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing ...

Bateman looking for paydirt in Vegas

LAS VEGAS - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car veteran Roger Bateman and the NobelSmile.com/Friesen Motorsports team will be looking to finish the year strong at this weekend's Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series closer at "The Strip" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The team enters what is considered by many to be the toughest divisional event of the year due to extremely high car counts. Coming off a strong semifinal showing in Noble, Okla., last weekend, the Brian Friesen owned team looks forward to battling with some of the best cars in the country.

Bateman, from Calgary, Alb., plans on bringing a level head to the 'gun fight' this weekend. No less than 32 cars are pre-entered in the event, all vying for a spot in the eight car field. With strong showings at this weekend's event and next weekend's season-ending AAA Auto Club Finals in Pomona, Calif., the team has a shot at finishing in the top ten nationally.

"This is a very tough event," said Bateman. "Right now we still have a shot technically at finishing in the top ten, but it really would have helped to win last weekend. We were on a great run in the semifinals, but it broke the blower belt early in the run. [Crew Chief] Ken [Murray] and the guys have the car running great right now; it's very consistent. We just want to build on that this weekend and race smart. If we can do that, and make a strong showing for NobelSmile.com, the points will take care of themselves."

After qualifying No. 1 in Oklahoma with a 5.65, Bateman sites it may take that just to make the field this weekend.

"It's a tightrope here," stated Bateman. "With as many good cars as we have here this weekend, you can't afford to back it down to be conservative, but there is no room for error in getting too aggressive. We're on a good track, so that should help. It's going to be interesting to say the least."

Qualifying begins on Friday for the alcohol cars with two more sessions on Saturday. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday.

-credit: fm

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