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Well, it is April and spring is in full bloom. For all (four of you) who read my column sorry for the lack of one in March. There appeared to be a technical glitch and the article didn’t get posted to the DRO site. I apologize for that.
In the interest of fair reporting, the column was my prognostications for the 2015 March Meet. To be completely honest with (all four of) you, my predictions to win the March Meet somewhat mirrored my NCAA Brackets.
In Top Fuel I went against the grain and picked those plucky youngsters from San Diego Neal and White to win. In Funny Car, since the event was in California I choose “Hollywood” Kris Krabill to win. In Fuel Altered, I went with Keith Wilson in the Witch Doctor.
Thus, ol’ Brian went zero for three. That’s right … doughnut, zero, zip, nada, couldn’t find my behind with both hands in my back pockets.
Which in a convoluted way leads me to this month’s column, which will be brief.
The AA Funny Car group which a couple years ago was basically the Jason Rupert show seems to have possibly caught up to the multi-time, multi-sanctioning body champion. In the three different flopper races that have run so far this year, Mike McIntire and Tim Boychuk have taken the wins over in the “I”. While in the NHRA Steven Densham took the win at Bakersfield.
Now I just want to clarify one thing. It was a surprise to many that Steven Densham took the win at Bakersfield. He by no means backed into that victory. His father and that Teachers Pet team took the Funny Car field to the woodshed on that weekend. If they decide it would be a good return of financial investments to run more races in the Heritage Series, folks may be looking at a new sheriff in town.
However, one should not be shedding any tears for the Rupert bunch. Yes, they are 0 for 3 (sounds familiar) this year in Funny Car, but the team has two time runners up in the “I” out of two races in addition to leading the points chase. Not to worry if you are a Black Plague fan.
Speaking of the “I” big props go out to Tim Boychuk, Crew Chief Roland Leong and Car Chief Twig Ziegler on their win at Baton Rouge. It has been two years since Boychuk had tasted victory in drag racing. The new “Hawaiian” arguably is one of the prettiest cars running and now it seems the team has found the performance again to match the aesthetics.
In talking about the win in Baton Rouge (Red Stick for you non-French speakers), Boychuk opined about the key to getting back into the winners circle. There was thinking that maybe the tune up was possibly too aggressive and that changes needed to occur. “We calmed the car down from where we were last and it worked real good,” he explained.
Sometimes in this sport as counter-intuitive as it sounds, you really do have so slow down to go faster.
He went on to say, “It was a tough weekend but the guys worked hard and we made it through. It was two years to the month since our last win.”
Boychuk is only a couple of markers behind the aforementioned Jason Rupert for the point lead in the IHRA.
The brain trust that Boychuk has assembled is second to none, and if Team Boychuk gets on a roll, they have proven to be very stout and could seriously contend for the IHRA championship this year.
The flopper guys will be headed to Bradenton Motorsports Park on the 17th and 18th of April for the Southern Nationals, and then the teams will make the 178-mile venture over to West Palm Beach for the following weekends Palm Beach Nationals.
If you have the time and would like to watch live the IHRA streams all their Nitro Jams from their website, IHRA.com. It allows fans and other racers to keep tabs on what is happening on the Nitro Jam Series.
The Heritage Series has a long break until May when their schedule picks up and heads to Idaho. Then three weeks later they Heritage Series heads to the Wasatch Mountains of Utah for a Funny Car along with a Group 1 and 2 race in Salt Lake City.
It looks as though it is going to be a very interesting season ahead.
Even though the season has started there is lots of speculation about new cars being built in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. If so reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. We will surely show you some love.