- Tuesday 21 May, 2013
Number one qualifier loses oil pressure, watches number eight shake tires.
By Nate Van Wagnen, NVW Motorsports Promotion.
NORWALK, Ohio, May 21, 2013 – For the second race in a row, a simple parts failure prevented Top Alcohol Dragster pilot Brandon Booher from turning a solid qualifying effort into late round results at the Mickey Mart Rewards Cavalcade of Stars presented by Budweiser in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series race at Summit Motorsports Park.
The Illinois driver earned his first number one qualifier position but lost first round when his supercharged entry lost oil pressure prior to staging.
Brandon Booher set the pace for the weekend in the opening qualifying session, running 5.386 at 267 miles per hour. He struggled in the second session, but so did the rest of the thirteen-car field, which included NHRA Division 3 champions Bill Reichert and Marty Thacker.
Running in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 40,000 fans, Brandon Booher clicked off a 5.403 at 268 mph pass during the final qualifying session on Saturday night. No one beat his first elapsed time, so he entered Sunday’s eliminations as the number one qualifier for the first time in his four-year Top Alcohol Dragster career.
“To take it out of the trailer and run that quick was awesome. It’s always nice to get down the track on the first qualifying run. To be in the top half is great, but to be number one is as good as you can hope for. I was trying to push the elapsed time a little lower over the course of the weekend but the conditions just weren’t there. The rest of the alcohol cars proved that; everyone else was struggling to make power,” said Brandon Booher, who uses a torque converter instead of the class-standard clutch.
Hopes were high leading into Brandon Booher’s first round matchup with Paul Fishburn. No problems were apparent until the AB Construction/Torque Management car lost oil pressure on the starting line.
“The oil pump locked up on me just before I went in to prestage. It was fine when we warmed it up in the pits. I did the burnout, backed up, revved it up, then I watched the oil pressure drop to zero as I was getting ready to prestage. I let it run for a second then said something to my dad over the radio. He saw the belt shredding as the motor was running so I shut it off,” Brandon Booher recalled.
The former Junior Dragster driver had no choice but to shut the motor off to avoid damage. Paul Fishburn went on to shake the tires early into his single run – adding salt to Brandon Booher’s wounds.
“You’re racing the eighth qualifier, your car isn’t running, then you sit there and watch your opponent shake the tires eighty feet out and shut it off. It’s tough. We have the solution, but you hate to find these things first round.”
The weekend had its positives despite the early exit, according to Brandon Booher.
“We got a lot of great data from the three runs we were able to make, so I think we’ll go into Joliet stronger than we’ve been at the past two races. Hopefully we can parlay the success we’ve had in qualifying into eliminations. If we can do that, we have a car that’s capable of winning rounds and winning races.”
Booher Racing, a Top Alcohol Dragster team based in Champaign, Ill., competes in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
Former Junior Dragster driver Brandon Booher pilots the family-owned AB Construction blown alcohol dragster.
The team owns the world record for quickest and fastest converter-equipped TAD.
Booher Racing receives support from Motorsports Unlimited, Goodson Tools, Spitzer Race Cars, and Torque Management.
To learn more about Booher Racing, please visit www.nitronate.com/booher.
For news and results throughout the 2013 season, follow Booher Racing on Facebook and Twitter.