Heckel reaches semifinals at home event BAYTOWN, Texas - NHRA Competition Eliminator driver Shane Heckel had a good day at the track in spite of a weekend filled with concern during this past weekend's O'Reilly Spring Nationals presented by ...
Heckel reaches semifinals at home event
BAYTOWN, Texas - NHRA Competition Eliminator driver Shane Heckel had a good day at the track in spite of a weekend filled with concern during this past weekend's O'Reilly Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park. Heckel wheeled his B/Dragster into the semifinals in front of his hometown fans, but had his daughter Brooke, who was hospitalized with kidney problems over the weekend, on his mind.
Heckel, who lives just miles from the track in La Porte, Texas, qualified his TRE powered Ballistic Racecraft B/D second in the quick field with a 6.646 second elapsed time that put him .654 under the class index. In round one, he defeated Scott Benham's Team Rooftec machine with a 6.79 (-.503), then took out J. Allen Sherman's Super Mod entry with a 6.719 (-.581), which knocked .08 off his index. Heckel was forced to use up more index to take the stripe against Doug Engels' V-6 powered dragster with a 6.682 (-.538). Heckel's semifinal opponent was Team Rooftec's flagship with owner Rodger Brogdon at the wheel. After realizing he wasn't going to catch Brogdon, Heckel lifted to save the index and registered a 6.770 (-.420). Heckel will receive a permanent penalty to his index of .01 due to cumulative runs under the index totaling .61.
"The car ran good," said Heckel. "It's just hard to drive the finish line when you're going 200 mph and your opponents are only going 140 mph. I just didn't drive the finish line as well as I should. We'll still take the semifinal finish at home. We lost a penny of index this weekend, so we'll just have to work a little harder to find it back. It was just hard to really concentrate on the race with my daughter Brooke in the hospital."
Heckel's good day at the track was followed by a good day at home Monday when his daughter Brooke was released. She went back to school that day.