Definitely The Right Move-- Milford, Michigan -- The VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus Top Alcohol Funny Car team found themselves knee deep in June weather at the recent 8th Annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. The heat, humidity, sun and rain...
Definitely The Right Move--
Milford, Michigan -- The VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus Top Alcohol Funny Car team found themselves knee deep in June weather at the recent 8th Annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. The heat, humidity, sun and rain of Joliet, Illinois sapped a bit of the momentum the team hoped would carry them to a national win.
Danny Townsend's first Friday qualifying run put the VIPsports.com Stratus sixth in the field. Team owner Frank Parker then set about making adjustments for the uncertain weather. The second round looked promising until one of the rods quit connecting and found other things to do. In spite of his crew's insistence that the hour was late and duct tape would effectively seal the hole in the block, Parker wisely brought out his spare bullet. When that was finally loaded and fired, Rt. 66 thoughtfully celebrated with a terrific display of fireworks, right above the VIPsports.com transporter. Fans, mistaking the display for the end of qualifying, headed for home.
Saturday morning showed the effectiveness of the team's work, as the VIPsports.com Stratus improved its Friday qualifying times and anchored itself seventh in a fourteen car field. With just normal preparations necessary for the first round of eliminations, the ParkerTech Racing Services crew was able to direct attention to a special guest. Alistair Assheton, the Managing Director of team sponsor VIPsports.com, was attending his first-ever NHRA drag race. "Frank has been telling me of the excitement of NHRA racing, the passion its fans have for their favorite driver or car and, most of all, the sounds," said Assheton. "I thought I was ready," he continued, "but I had no comprehension that it would be like this! Teaming up with ParkerTech Racing, for NHRA events, was definitely the right move for us."
Mr. Assheton had no trouble comprehending the term "red light start," when the team's first round opponent left early. As the VIPsports.com tow truck headed down the return road, Mr. Assheton could be seen in the back, jubilantly tossing t-shirts into the stands as fast as he could. Later sightings reported NHRA's newest fan on Manufacturer's Midway, at the concession stands, in the Nitro Mall, hanging on the starting line spectator fence, competing in a POWERade "sipping" contest and waxing "his" VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus.
As racing luck often goes, Sunday's second elimination round was delayed by rain and Mr. Assheton had to catch a flight back to the VIPsports.com headquarters on the Netherlands Antilles island of Curacao. He learned of the car's weekend-best 5.759 and 252.47 run, via cell phone, while sitting in the staging lanes at Chicago's O'Hare airport. In spite of the run being a losing effort, Mr. Assheton was still excited. "This program has no where to go but up!"
Danny Townsend and the VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus picked up enough points to move into the ninth spot in NHRA's Top 50 POWERade TAFC points. They are still first in Division Three and second in Jeg's ALLSTARS Division Three points. Sportsman action, from Rt. 66, can be seen on ESPN2, Saturday, June 18th, at 10 p.m. (eastern) and Tuesday, June 21st, at 6 p.m. (eastern). The next race will be the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 3 event, July 1-3, at the Stanton, Michigan, Mid-Michigan Motorplex.
VIPsports.com provides sports enthusiasts, around the world, up-to-the-minute sports news, statistical information and safe, reliable sports betting, casino games, horse racing and poker. Learn more about VIPsports.com, "Where the World Wagers," at www.vipsports.com. Click on the VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus to see NHRA race action, crew photos, pit activities and more.