It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to write new blog for NHRA.com but if you’ve been following the NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car series you know that I’ve had my hands full pretty much all season trying to make the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang competitive.
As a fan of professional drag racing, you know how difficult this sport is. If it was easy, the best Funny Car driver in history – John Force – would win every race based on pure talent.
But it’s not easy.
There is such a fine line in nitro Funny Car racing between maintaining traction for the full 1,000 feet and doing so competitively. We’re not going out there to run slow. We’re going out there to win races. Clearly that puts you on the edge of smoking the tires on the track. But when you’re up against John, Tim Wilkerson or these other drivers and cars that are capable of putting up big numbers, you don’t want to run 4.200 and get beat by four car lengths. You want to go out there and press but press responsibly. We’ve been too aggressive of late.
I really thought we would hit our stride in Bristol. Leaving Englishtown, as disappointed as we were, I really felt we were going in the right direction. Unfortunately we didn’t get the results we wanted in Bristol.
The good news is there’s a lot of time left in the season to get into the Top 10. There are a lot of races and plenty of rounds remaining. We’ve got the car that we need to have. I’m as confident as I’ve ever been behind the wheel.
From the outside looking in it probably looks like we’ve bumped our heads and don’t know what we’re doing. The truth is we have a lot of talented people who know exactly what they’re doing. We’ve worked so hard and lost so much sleep recently and have nothing to show for it, but the guys on this team who look at the data and work on this race car know positively how close we are to really turning this corner.
We’re to the point that we’re not making wholesale changes between races, we’re just picking away at it to get the balance we need with this car. We’ve got to find that balance and I’m very confident that we’re very close to finding that balance.
As I write this, we’re looking forward to the race in Epping, N.H., which my family and I, along with a lot of other people, helped make possible last year. The fans in New England were great last year and really turned out for the race. Presale tickets for this year are selling well and I know we’ll have a huge crowd there this weekend.
The New England Dragway is a special place for me since it’s the first place I ever drove down a drag strip. Because we live and work so close to Epping, there are thousands of people there who know me, know my family and want to see our team do well. Not that any race has more pressure than another, but we want to have a good weekend at Epping.