Tate Branch Baytown preview

Branch looking for another Houston win BAYTOWN, Texas - Despite having much success on the divisional level, defending three-time NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion Tate Branch has still yet to taste the victory at the national event...

Branch looking for another Houston win

BAYTOWN, Texas - Despite having much success on the divisional level, defending three-time NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion Tate Branch has still yet to taste the victory at the national event level. Branch, with team co-owners George & Jane Etterman and their Bar's Leaks Head Gasket Repair backed team hope to change that during this weekend's O'Reilly Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park.

Branch, from Artesia, N.M., has had a tremendous amount of success at Houston Raceway Park alone. He has won the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional event five out of the past six years (the only year he didn't, he took the year off). During this year's meet, Branch looked as strong as ever, rattling off several runs in the 5.50 zone. The team hopes to improve on that this weekend.

"We always seem to do good at the Houston divisional," said Branch. "Hopefully we can turn it into a national event win. We found some things here at the divisional, and hopefully we can improve on them and get this car even further into the 5.50's. It's going to be tough this weekend, because you have the best of the best that are going to be there this weekend. Just to make it into the late rounds at this race will be an accomplishment. We want the ultimate accomplishment, and that's winning."

The event will also play host to a number of fans and sponsors alike for the team.

"One of our associate sponsors that has been with us for a long time, PetroSpect, is based out of Houston," explained Branch. "They are going to bring a lot of people out there to the race, so we would like to do well for all of them and our other sponsors. We put the Bar's Leaks car in the winner's circle at the divisional, so hopefully we can do it again. The pit ought to be interesting because in addition to all the sponsors, we have a lot of fans in Houston, so we're definitely looking forward to it."

Qualifying begins on Friday for the alcohol cars, with one final session Saturday morning. Eliminations begin Saturday evening, and final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday. Stay tuned to InsideTopAlcohol.com for the latest news in alcohol racing.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tate Branch