Dallas started out great, spending time with Damon Gregg, who owns multiple franchises. We went to Sam’s Auto Repair shop in Ft. Worth where we met a lot of customers and gave away some great prizes. One of the cool things about the area was we got there early enough to go to Kennedale Dragway, which is right across from the speedway, formerly called Cowtown. I used to run my midget cars there with Danny Stratton and J.J. Yeley. I met the owner and it was nice to be where there’s so much history. I remember back in the day when former Texas greats like Gene Snow, Paul Candies and the Blue Max used to run there. I know why they called it Cowtown because there were cows everywhere. LOL
Once we got to the track, we had a packed house in our hospitality, over 200 guests each day. I want to thank Snap-on manager Rusty Patillo for taking care of us and supporting our team! When it came to the race, we lost the first two qualifying runs on Friday to rain so we were down to two shots on Saturday to get in the race. We ended up qualifying second and going on to beat Force in the final. We ran a 4.10 at 312 mph, which was the second fastest speed for funny cars for the entire weekend. We were also sporting our Snap-on Franchise scheme, which took us to a win in Denver. It was just a solid race all around with ETs of 4.09, 4.10, 4.09, 4.13, and 4.10. It was an all-star performance and huge win for our team. It moved us from eighth to second in points and put us in a good position to head to St. Louis.
This is when it really counts as these championship points don’t come very easy. Dallas marked our fourth win of the season and fifth final round so we’re really pumped. We’re also excited that we’ve won races throughout the year in all different conditions so we feel confident we can overcome anything.
I can’t thank the team enough, Johnny West, Chris “Warrior” Kullberg, Narciso “Nacho” Bravo, Archie Singleton, Sterling VanDusen, Ethan Dooling, Ryan Carrillo, Andrew Moore, John Silva and Mike Rodriguez. These guys really give their all and it shows. Without their support and dedication, I wouldn’t be where I am this year!
In St. Louis, I spent the day with Snap-on manager Rick Farrow and franchisee Brian Haar at Tom’s Auto Repair in Granite City. We had a great turnout and I got to meet a lot of true drag race fans. Snap-on had a hospitality tent with over 500 people on Saturday, so I spent some time there signing autographs and meeting customers. It’s great that they continue to have such a huge crowd year after year.
The race weekend in St. Louis wasn’t what we expected. We made a couple good runs on Friday but struggled on Saturday. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see the car’s potential as the throttle cable broke in round one against Wilkerson, ending our weekend. We brushed it off and spent a couple days in the shop working on the car in preparation for Reading.
Before I headed to the track in Reading, I spent time with Snap-on franchisee, Dave O’Neill and his customers at Milham Toyota dealership and had a great time. He even sent me home with a box of Snap-on socks (the best socks ever). LOL
We had a great turnout for hospitality but the race itself was interesting from a lot of perspectives. We started out strong on Friday, finishing 3rd after Q-1. For Q-2, we were on track to run about a 4.02-03 but the blower belt came off just past halftrack. The car still ran a 4.09 so we’re confident we would’ve finished in the top thereafter Friday. On Saturday, we were trying to move up the ladder and spun the tires both runs, putting us 8th going into race day. Sunday first round, it seemed like the track had deteriorated because a lot of the fast cars were getting loose. We did manage to get by Tasca but lost second round to eventual race winner, Force. The team is now back in the shop and taking some time to go through everything with a fine-tooth comb and take a few days to relax. We’re 5th in points and still mathematically alive for the championship so we’ll be ready for the competition in Vegas! We won that race in the spring so there’s no reason this Snap-on Toyota can’t go out for a repeat!