Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
Worsham's season ends in a puff of smoke
The unique qualifying set-up in
During Q3, Worsham faced a warm track and bleak prospects, coming into the lap from the distant 24th position, near the bottom of the list at this race attended by a huge gathering of 26 Funny Cars. With a big challenge ahead of him, and not wanting to push his chances to the fourth and final qualifying session, Worsham calmly ripped off a big 4.821-second lap, moving, at the time, to the No. 8 spot. When qualifying was over, Worsham had slipped back a few slots, into the 12th position, but he was racing and his qualifying streak was intact.
Sunday dawned as another postcard image of
At the flash of amber, Worsham and Force exactly matched each other in terms of reaction time, each leaving with a .096 reading. In terms of E.T., it was only close to near half-track, where Worsham's car went into tractionless tire smoke, while Force continued on to a 4.843 to take the win light and end Worsham's season.
"The car just picked that run to have more power than it should, but there was nothing mechanically wrong with it, it just blew the tires off for basically mysterious reasons," Worsham said. "We looked back at the log book and found two other runs where it did the same thing, just picking up more power than we expected to have, as if it could just decide to do that, and I really don't understand it.
"So, there you have it. One second you're strapped in the car waiting for the lights to flash, and two seconds later your day, your race, and your season is over, done, finished. This sport is pretty cruel like that. It's just over. There's no chance to spend the next hour picking up the ground you lost. You're done. And now we'll decompress for a few hours and then get right to work. We are absolutely intent upon being completely ready to come out of the box ripping next year. By tomorrow morning, we'll be tied for first place."
The finality of this sport is exactly how Worsham described it, and in this case the magician pulled the 2007 rug right out from under his feet in the blink of an eye, with a puff of smoke.
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