VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car A Ready-To-Win Dodge-- Milford, Michigan -- Indianapolis Raceway Park has been good to the VIPsports.com race team. In 2003, the ParkerTech Racing Services car won the U.S. Nationals. In...
VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus
NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car
A Ready-To-Win Dodge--
Milford, Michigan -- Indianapolis Raceway Park has been good to the VIPsports.com race team. In 2003, the ParkerTech Racing Services car won the U.S. Nationals. In 2004, they were runner-up at the divisional meet. Earlier this year, at the NHRA Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series race, the team hit every mark -- low qualifier, top speed, low e.t. and top eliminator. But, with the good also comes occasional bad.
The 2005 edition of the Mac Tools NHRA U.S Nationals, at Indianapolis Raceway Park, had a less than friendly welcome for the VIPsports.com Top Alcohol Funny Car. In spite of Danny Townsend's driving expertise and best efforts, the track just refused to allow the car a good run. In spite of three straight good looking qualifying runs, the car couldn't make it into the top half of a very tough field.
For the fourth and final qualifying round, Frank Parker, team owner, driver Townsend and team patriarch, Dan Parker, focused their cumulative knowledge on beating the track. The resulting set-up enabled the VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus to hit its best-ever sixty-foot time. Although that seemed a prelude to a great run, the track yanked the groove out from under the tires, causing them to shake and move the car around. And, as if being given additional penance for challenging the track, the car ran down a timing reflector and picked up minor cosmetic body damage. For all the effort and a near-great qualifying run, the blue and white VIPsports.com funny car ended up in the thirteenth qualifying spot.
With the improved sixty-foot data factored in, Parker's crew delivered a ready-to-win Dodge Stratus to Sunday's first round of eliminations. Their first opponent was Frank Manzo, a long-time rival. Manzo took a slight advantage off the line, but Townsend was gunning for the win. Just when it looked like Manzo would have to defend his lead, the track pushed Townsend towards the right hand wall. Townsend pushed right back and held his foot on the pedal and the car off the concrete wall. But, the slight deviation was enough to give Manzo the round and, eventually, the TAFC title.
Danny Townsend and the VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus Top Alcohol Funny Car still hold the third spot in NHRA's Division 3 title race and are settled into the tenth spot, nationally. The next race for the team will be September 23 -25, at National Trail Raceway, in Columbus, Ohio. This event will be a "double header," with the final rounds of the rained-out Bowling Green race being completed. The VIPsports.com Stratus advanced to that event's second round of eliminations before the rains came.
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