Event Coverage: NHRA Winternationals Finals


Funny Car Semi Finals

Bob Tasca III Winternationals
First up to the burnout boxes for the Semi Finals in Funny Car, Bob Tasca III would face Courtney Force, who has been on a tear up to this point. With Courtney also number 1 qualifier, Bob had a mountain to climb as Courtney was fast with passes in the 4.56 and 4.07 ranges. Because of the nature of Funny Car and even Top Fuel, with violent launches, rigid chassis, and staying on the ragged edge of control at all times, reaction time doesn't have the same effect as it does in Pro Stock. In fact, in first round eliminations, she turned in a .110 reaction time. In the Quarter Finals, her reaction time had improved, but was still slower than Matt Hagan at a .074 versus Hagan's .069 RT.
Courtney Force Winternationals
However, in both instances, her setup for power, clutch timing, and traction performed by her team at Force proved to be vital as she would make full passes each time where her opponents would shake their tires and have to pedal the car to keep it going, if they could.
Winternationals Semi Finals Funny Car
That's not to say that reaction time still isn't key in some of the races and cutting a good light is still important. At the same time, Funny Car drivers will also cut close lights and foul out. As was the case for Bob Tasca III. His reaction time of -.086 handed the win to Courtney even before the 60 foot mark. Courtney, upon seeing what had happened, shut the car down and let it coast to the end of the track with a 10.422 at 49.91 MPH. That also shows how much power is in a Funny Car. To still turn a sub-10.5 time coasting at under 50 MPH should be at least a small indication. A Saleen S7 is able to turn close to a 10.5 second quarter mile time at 145 MPH. Don't forget, this is also to 1000 feet, not a full quarter mile.
Johnny Gray Winternationals
Johnny Gray in the Pitch Energy Charger Funny Car would look to surpass the “NAPA Know How” of Ron Caps and his NAPA Dodge Charger Funny Car. In the Quarter Finals, Johnny Gray was able to defeat Todd Lensenko on speed alone. Both cars were able to reach 307 MPH, but Gray's extra .42 MPH turned a time of 4.038 versus Lesenko's 4.202 at 307.30. Lensenko even had .059 second RT over Gray.
Ron Capps Winternationals
Ron Capps would defeat his Funny Car rivals by being able to reach 1000 feet without shaking the tires, save for the Quarter Final round against Densham, but Ron was able to recover and keep going where Gary Densham couldn't recover.
Winternationals Semi Finals Funny Car
The NAPA Auto Parts Crew really pulled out that “Know How” against Gray, though. Ron turned in a pass of 4.036 at 316 MPH versus Gray's 4.056 at 301 MPH. It would be Courtney Force facing off against Ron Capps, who defeated John Force in round 1 eliminations. Could Capps stop the Force or would Courtney gain revenge for her father?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *