Rapisarda International Racing has opened their 2013 Mello Yello championship season with a regulation mid- track shut – off pass of 3.96/244 mph on day one of qualifying at the 53rd. annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals.
“It was an excellent way to kick off our weekend,” according to co – tuner Santo Rapisarda Jr. “We damaged no parts and the early numbers from the run were good. The engine came back in mint condition. To finally see the family car on the track was terrific and a credit to the crew back in our Indianapolis workshop that worked so hard to make it all happen.”
Rapisarda International Racing sits in tenth spot after first round of qualifying. Veteran Brandon Bernstein heading the charts ahead of seven -time champ Tony Schumacher and unheralded Clay Millicen.
Tomorrow will see RIR hit the track for their second qualifier followed by the final two rounds on Saturday ahead of eliminations on Sunday.
Junior Rapisarda’s sentiments regarding the debut of Rapisarda International Racing were echoed by new team pilot and three- time NHRA champ Larry Dixon making his first run after being out of the saddle for three months.
“It felt nice,” according to the laconic Dixon. “And a real achievement for the team that has worked 24/7 since January 7 th. to make today happen. There is a real buzz around the team and hopefully we will only get better over the weekend.”