NHRA Route 66 Nationals
Vandergriff exits early
Chicago, Sunday: The long road for Bob Vandergriff, Jr. and his bid to win a round of NHRA POWERade Top Fuel competition hit a snag this weekend during the NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, Ill., located outside of Chicago, Ill. A broken blower belt signaled the end to a weekend plagued with rain and shortened qualifying sessions.
All is well for Vandergriff, as he's just pleased to be a part of the game - first round loss or no first round loss.
"My competitive nature aggravates me when it comes to a first round loss," explained Vandergriff. "However, the realist in me always reminds me that I'm happy to just be out here as part of the show. This is something that only an elite few people get to do and I'm very fortunate to be part of that fraternity."
Vandergriff entered eliminations seeded 14th with a 4.660, 312.06 best.
In the first round of eliminations, Vandergriff belted Brandon Bernstein on the starting line with nearly a tenth of a second holeshot from a .03 reaction time. He had built up a sizeable lead until the blower belt spun off of the engine and shut the motor down.
Vandergriff fails to improve Saturday
Chicago, Saturday: A combination of rain and a failure to improve on Friday's performance dropped Top Fuel racer Bob Vandergriff in the pecking order for Sunday's final eliminations. That hasn't served as a deterrent in the least for the Alpharetta, Ga.-based driver behind the wheel of the Haldex Group-sponsored dragster.
Vandergriff's run during his only qualifying attempt on Saturday netted a 4.730, 296.89. Headed into the day, the former multi-time NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series finalist entered as the ninth ranked runner with a 4.660, 312.06 package.
In the first round, Vandergriff will meet up with Brandon Bernstein.
"Obviously, we are disappointed that we only had two opportunities to run, but that's something that no one has any control of," he said. "To win in NHRA POWERade competition, you have to take what you have and make the best of it. We'll be ready for the first round and we'll be ready to win."
Vandergriff solid in the field after one session
Chicago, Friday: Just one qualifying attempt proved one thing for Alpharetta, Ga-based Top Fuel driver Bob Vandergriff, Jr. - he has a consistently quick hot rod. Vandergriff has made four out of the five runs since his official return last week in Commerce, Ga., in the mid-4.60 range. During first day qualifying for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, Ill., the Haldex Group-sponsored driver stepped up to the plate and deliver yet another consistent performance.
Vandergriff ranks ninth with a 4.660, 312.06 following first day qualifying for the latest stop on the 23-race NHRA POWERade Drag Racing tour.
"We have achieved our top objective and that was to have a consistent car," explained Vandergriff. "I feel that is the most important piece to having a successful Top Fuel program. I'm disappointed that we only got one shot today, but I'm content with what we achieved today."
The second Top Fuel qualifying session was cancelled due to rain.
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