Will Hanna Valdosta preview

ATC Racing set to 'redebut' in Valdosta VALDOSTA, Ga. - Rookie NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Will Hanna and the ATC Transmission Center team will be looking to 'redebut' at this weekend's Division 2 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at ...

ATC Racing set to 'redebut' in Valdosta

VALDOSTA, Ga. - Rookie NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Will Hanna and the ATC Transmission Center team will be looking to 'redebut' at this weekend's Division 2 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Southern Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta, Ga. There Hanna hopes to complete his NHRA competition license and make a strong showing at the team's first competition event.

The 26 year old Hanna, from Richwood, Texas, plans to get back to basics this weekend after an unsuccessful attempt to get his license at the Montgomery Division 2 event three weeks ago. At that event, persistent rains limited him to only two attempts to complete his license. This weekend he must make one more run quicker than 6.20 seconds at over 205 mph. Hanna has already logged one run of 5.997 seconds at 236 mph.

"I'm just going back to basics this weekend," said Hanna. "I'm going to rely more on my instincts and quit trying to do so much. I help tune the car, so in Montgomery I got a little ahead of myself trying to do 50 things perfectly to make the perfect run, and I think I ended up doing too much thinking inside the cockpit and not enough driving. I know better than that. I'm a rookie in one of the hardest categories to drive, so I just have to take mistakes and make learning experiences out of them. Once they lower the body on me, I have to leave all the tuning stuff right there, and put 100% of my concentration into getting the car down the track. As much as I want this to run right at the top of the pack, just like on the tune-up, I have to take it one step at a time as a driver. So when I light the bottom bulb this weekend, I'm just going to relax and 'zone out' like I did when we were testing. In Montgomery, I think I was worried to death about revving it up in low gear. This weekend I'm certainly going to try, but I'm not going to think about it anymore once I'm ready to go."

The team was originally scheduled to make a car show appearance this weekend in Lafayette, La., where the team is based out of, but when that show was canceled, team owner Harry Clack made the call to pick up the race in Valdosta. Influencing his decision is the fact the track is all concrete and was laser ground over the offseason.

"Testing is our main focus," stated Clack. "We're not neccesarily in a race mindset. Essentially we are testing under race conditions. We really want to collect data from the computer and see where we stack up against the competition. The last few outings we have had problems with our computer and only collected a limited amount of data. We just want to get some more laps on our tune-up, get Will some more seat time, and get the crew more experience in a race atmosphere."

With a good track to race on Hanna is confident the team can make a strong showing.

"All the pieces are in place for this team to do well," explained Hanna. "We have a great crew, and Harry has assembled a great car, and this Lencodrive transmission and Coan converter shows a lot of potential. We ran that 5.99 pedaling it in similar conditions, so we definitely have something to build off of. We've made some changes in the combination that should calm some of the tireshake in low gear down, which will make the car more drivable. These cars can certainly humble you. I went into Montgomery ready to kill the world. I think it's given me a better mindset this weekend; because all I'm worried about is that first test run on Thursday. We'll focus on the rest after that."

Qualifying for the event will be ran on Friday evening, with final eliminations concluding the event Saturday afternoon. Stay tuned to InsideTopAlcohol.com for the latest news in alcohol racing.

-atc-

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Series NHRA