After conducting a test session last weekend at Firebird International Raceway, Phoenix AZ, the Rapisarda Racing team was eager to see how things were going to turn out in competition. Today, the team received the answer to that important question.
During the opening qualifying session of the 2011 Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts Winternationals, contested at the Auto Club Raceway (Pomona, California), the opening event of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Terry Sainty and the Rapisarda Racing team turned in a time of (4.053/280.31), which was good enough to place the team in the 13th position at the conclusion of the first qualifying session.
The team would have liked to have been further up the ladder; however, driver Terry Sainty realizes that this is nothing short of the ‘big boy’s league’.
“Anytime you go to a race and there is 20 cars making an attempt to qualify, you know that you need to be on your game. This event is not only important in terms of being the first Top Fuel event that I have taken part in outside of Australia; it’s also the event that will kick-off NHRA’s 60TH Anniversary season. We have been looking at the weather forecast for the rest of the weekend and Saturday looks like it might come with inclement weather, so taking this into account we need to ensure that we don’t leave our run until the last minute,” said Sainty.
Antron Brown was the pole-sitter after the first session of qualifying with a stunning (3.804/319.98), while team-mates Spencer Massey and Tony Schumacher followed with identical elapsed times. Massey getting second position by virtue of speed (319.90).
“This goes to show how tough the competition is here compared to what we have back in Australia. It’s a great thing for all involved,” remarked Sainty.
Sainty and the Rapisarda Racing team will continue to improve their qualifying position tomorrow, followed by two sessions on Saturday if permitted by weather.
Photo: Bruce Biegler| www.dragracecanada.com