Both defending champions in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car from the 2004 NHRA Lucas Oils Drag Racing Series West Central Divisional at Brainerd International Raceway may have qualified No. 1 Friday in the first round of qualifying for the 2005 division but they haven't had stellar seasons so far.
Dave Wells, who qualified No. 1 with a 5.518 at 247.02 mph in his dragster , didn't qualify for the NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series NHRA National at Topeka last month. In the division opener at Great Bend, Kan., he was runner-up.
Cy Chesterman, who qualified No.1 with a 5.795 at 248.29 mph in his Chevrolet Corvette Funny Car, hasn't advanced past the second round of final eliminations this season.
Wells said his dragster was set up "soft" Friday. He said this was because the track was "a little green" plus his setup was too aggressive at his last race in Topeka. He said his goal was to make it down BIR's strip without losing traction.
Wells wasn't the only racer to click off passes in less than 5.7 seconds at BIR. Richard Putz qualified second, 5.546; Bill Reichert qualified third, 5.561, Randy Meyer qualified fourth, 5.673, and Todd Datweiler qualified fifth, 5.699. Reichert, who won the divisional at BIR in 2003, had the fastest speed at 261.02 mph.
Chesterman, the defending NHRA national and division points champion, said the track was a little slippery. He said his car spun its tires at about the 70-foot mark but the loss of traction didn't cause him to pedal the accelerator. "It just quivered," he said.
Chesterman said his team has been struggling with a different style clutch all season. He said at Great Bend his car lost so traction so bad it almost "shook his brain out."
Chesterman, who has won this divisional seven times, was the only racer to break the 5.8 mark. John Patton was the only other racer to have a run in less than six seconds. He qualified second in 5.922.
Final eliminations start at noon Sunday. Defending Funny Car champion is Chesterman and Wells will defend his Dragster title.
First round Qualifying results
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER
1- David Wells, 5.518 seconds, 247.02 mph; 2- Richard Putz 5.546, 250.78; 3- Bill Reichert, Owosso, Mich., 5.561, 261.02; 4-Randy Meyer, Spring Hill, Kan., 5.673, 242.19; 5-Todd Datweiler, Herscher, Ill., 5.699, 246.21; 6-Shannon Beal, Lenexa, Kan., 6.685, 145.11; 7-Jeff Hamelink, Savage, Minn., 10.168, 77.07; 8-Scott Murray, Winnipeg, Man., 11.013, 82.57.
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR
1- Cy Chesterman, Sioux City, Iowa, '02 Firebird, 5.795 seconds, 248.29 mph; 2- John Patton, Peoria, Ariz., '03 Firebird, 5.922, 242.45; 3-Bruce Carlson, Prior Lake, Minn., '97 Firebird, 6.089, 234.70; 4-Kirk Williams, Glenwood, Iowa, '98 Firebird, 6.239, 240.25; 5-Vern Moats, Des Moines, Iowa, '02 Camaro, 6.253, 171.75; 6-Gage Chaffee, Big Lake, Minn., '02 Corvette, 6.356, 180.43; 7-Scott McVey, Winnipeg, Man., '00 Avenger, 6.563, 181.28.
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