VIPsports.com Slips Out of Houston-- Milford, Michigan. A Texas oil gusher put an early end to the VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus' effort to win Top Alcohol Funny Car at the 19th Annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals. The gusher, in the form of a...
VIPsports.com Slips Out of Houston--
Milford, Michigan. A Texas oil gusher put an early end to the VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus' effort to win Top Alcohol Funny Car at the 19th Annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals. The gusher, in the form of a competitor's split oil tank, occurred just before Danny Townsend staged for the last match-up in the second round of TAFC eliminations.
The ParkerTech Racing-prepped car went into the race fresh from a win at Bradenton, Florida. The Houston Winner's Circle seemed a strong possibility, as the Dodge Stratus claimed the top qualifying spot in the first round. When the final ladder was posted, the car was in the fifth spot with a 5.662 e.t. and 255.77 mph speed. The first elimination run turned into a tuning session, when John Patton's Firebird left before the tree was activated. Townsend's 5.689, 254.42 run in 72 degree, 92 percent humidity weather was a good lead-in for Sunday's second round.
Sunday morning, Frank Parker's crew had the VIPsports.com Mopar Hemi tuned and their driver strapped in for the second round of eliminations. The competitor ahead, in their lane, did his burnout, but gushed oil on the track while backing up. Without lane choice, the ParkerTech crew could only hope for the best track cleaning possible. In the lane beside them would be their old nemesis, Bob Newberry, defending TAFC National Champion and the victim of their win the prior weekend.
Newberry got away slightly ahead of Townsend. Townsend later said the car seemed to have the power to catch Newberry. But, that power went to waste when the car started moving around on the track. "We probably hit a little patch of oil that wasn't quite dry," said Townsend. "All of a sudden I was doing far too much driving and not enough racing." Townsend's 5.681 e.t., at 254.81, couldn't overcome the winning 5.640 and 256.70.
The VIPsports.com team is now packed and on the road to the last stop of their "spring tour." It's a long haul to Las Vegas, but they are looking forward to getting there and holding the winning hand.