Rapisarda Autosport International’s 2016 U.S. Nationals campaign ended in heartbreak when they were bumped from the field by NHRA veteran Terry McMillen by a mere .002 sec. in the final qualifying session for the 62nd Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway, Indianapolis.
Under NHRA qualifying rules in an effort to ensure exciting final round of qualifying, only the top twelve qualified teams keep their ET’s going into the final day of qualifying, all other racers including Rapisarda have theirs reset – meaning the team’s earlier 3.81 now does not count towards the final qualifying order.
“It was a disappointing way to end our weekend,” said team driver Wayne Newby.
“On our first run of the day the car spun the tyres off the line then smoked the tyres 1.5 seconds into the run, after quick pedal we ran a 4.46/480 km/h and were in 16th place.”
The team recovered in the final session to post a cylinder dropping 3.897 but it was not enough.
“In the final session we watched McMillen go down the track and run a 3.895 to bump our car out of the field. We were confident of running faster and regaining our spot however our chances disappeared when we dropped a cylinder early in the run.”
“The team gave it there best shot,” according to team owner Santo Rapisarda. “We knew it was going to be a challenge to come over and race at Indy. I’m proud of my boys Santo Jnr and Santino and all the team. We learnt a lot over the weekend and the team can hold their heads high.”