SM: Tony Bartone Pomona Thursday report

Event: Pomona


Pomona, Calif. - After the first day of qualifying at the Kragen O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline, contested in Pomona, Calif., the Rick Jackson Racing Top Alcohol Funny Car team is currently qualified in the fifth position, after recording a conservative 5.623 second elapsed time at 262.23 miles per hour.

Coming off a highly disappointing first round exit at last week's season opening and rain-delayed Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., the Jackson Racing team from Santa Clarita, Calif. is happy to return to the friendly confines of Auto Club Raceway at the historic Pomona Fairplex. The same racetrack which yielded their 5.449 ET at last season's World Finals and the same facility which provided Tony Bartone with his first 30th NHRA National Event Wally two years ago in his return to the TAFC division.

"This place holds a special place in our heart," noted Tony Bartone, the team driver from Long Island City, NY. "When I teamed up with Rick Jackson's team here two years ago, we expected to do well, but not in my wildest dreams did we expect to win right out of the box. It was my first race back in the Alcohol Car and I had some cobwebs to dust off. Steve Boggs gave me a great car to drive that weekend, and he has every weekend since. We're expecting a lot this season, so we'll move past last weekend's event and press forward to hopefully a good showing in Pomona."

The first qualifying session yielded some surprisingly soft runs for the 14 TAFC's who made runs today in very cool and lightning quick conditions. The biggest surprise came from the current number one qualifier Bret Williamson, who guided his 2001 Corvette-bodied Funny Car to a career best 5.524 ET to provisionally sit on the pole position.

"It's great to see a quality guy like Bret Williamson make an impressive run like that today," noted team owner Rick Jackson. "We were looking to lay down a good baseline run to tune from, and I think the .62 accomplished this task. Sure we'd like to be a little quicker, but it's always best to have a good, solid, smooth run to tune from. We'll hopefully have two more shots at improving our qualifying position before first round. Either way, we have some good history here at this track, and look forward to a great Winternationals."

-source: rick jackson racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Bartone , Bret Williamson
Teams Williams
Tags funny car, top alcohol, winternationals