Shane Tucker race recap: NHRA Route 66 Nationals

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Shane Tucker competed this weekend at the 20th annual Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N but fell short in the first round of eliminations at Route 66 Raceway.

Friday, Tucker could be seen as a little apprehensive. After hurting two engines in Epping one month ago, Tucker’s team has been burning the midnight oil to repair them and return to competition. Tucker began his Route 66 Nationals with an honest 6.827-second pass at 203.34 mph. Having a little baseline to work off of, Tucker returned in the evening session and improved with a 6.752, 205.51.

On Saturday, Tucker continued to make gains when he clocked in with a 6.726, 205.72 in the opening round of the day and with that pass, he shaved more than a tenth off his originally qualifying time on Friday. Due to some possible electrical issues after his burnout, Tucker was forced to shut off his car in the final session and push off the track.

“I always whip the throttle after my burnout to clean it off,” Tucker explained. “I went to whip it in the final session and it felt like it didn’t want to rev up. I whipped the throttle again and it came clean. Right after, it started making a weird noise again so I shut it off. I think it’s an electrical problem.”

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Tucker came into raceday in the No. 14 spot and had a first round matchup against No. 3 Drew Skillman. In the first round, Tucker had a .015-second reaction time and outperformed each of the other 15 competitors on the starting line in the first round by having the best light of the opening round. Tucker clocked in with a 6.762-second pass at 204.54 mph but was narrowly edged out by Skillman’s 6.624, 209.23.

“We might’ve gone a little in the wrong direction with the tune-up in the first round but we would’ve been able to have seen that if we didn’t have those electrical problems in the final qualifying session yesterday,” Tucker said.

“All in all, the motor stayed together for all four runs and first round and I think between now and Indy, the guys will work on the dyno a little bit more and get the motor where it needs to be for the U.S. Nationals.”

Tucker’s next NHRA event will be the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals August 30th- September 4th, 2017.

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