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Back to Back 5’s! A Semi-Final Finish for Nitro Kitty

April 25, 2009

photo my Mark King c/o

photo by Mark "Sharky" King c/o

Funny Car Fever was a weekend of firsts for both myself and McCain’s Bomb Squad: I had never posted a 5-second elapsed time in a Nitro Funny Car and MCain’s ’73 Duster had never run in that zone either….

Imagine the team’s collective surprise when we posted back-to-back 5-second clockings today! The first transpired in the opening round of eliminations, and was at the expense of Dennis La Charite and his menacing Back In Black machine. By virtue of that win, as well as our #1 Qualifier status, we earned a bye run in the second round. (Twelve cars answered the bell for a 16-car show — there was bound to be a solo run for us sometime in today’s competition.)

Even though I ran unopposed in the quarter-finals, I was determined to run quick enough to earn lane choice for out semi-final joust. To that end, we clocked another 5, this time a 5.94 at a set-me-back-in-the-seat 241 mph. Practically speaking, these numbers, while impressive, didn’t mean much as my eventual opponent, Garrett Bateman in the Plueger & Gyger Mustang,  put up a jaw-dropping 5.81 in his heat.

The back story here is that one of Sacramento Raceway’s lanes — the left — leaves a little something to be desired. Specifically, it has a gnarly bump in it. The dreaded left lane is where we ended up against Bateman. Against us in the semis, he ran another stellar, straight-as-Sissy Spacek 5.80-something. Meanwhile, the Bomb Squad smoked the tires 200 feet into the run, the race car got out of the groove, and rather than get back on the throttle and possibly ruin the race car after bouncing over the speed bump, I shut ‘er off.

Please be advised that nothing in this report is meant to negate the accomplishments of Garrett Bateman and the Plueger & Gyger Funny Car. They were beyond good this weekend.

Next weekend: McCain’s Bomb Squad makes an appearance in DragFest at Famoso Raceway, north of Bakersfield. Be there or be there.

(McCain’s Bomb Squad photo c/o

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