Bartone makes it to semifinals
Houston, Sunday: Number 2 qualifier Tony Bartone and the Canidae Pet Foods Funny Car team will have to wait until Las Vegas for a chance to improve on this weekend’s impressive performance after smoking the tires and losing traction at the start of their semifinal heat against Ashley Force Sunday and handing over the race.
“All in all, we are very happy with this weekend’s runs but everyone on the team can’t help feeling a little let down after that one,” said Bartone. “I think we were a bit overheated going into the race against Ashley and that’s what knocked us out. A tip of the hat though to Jim, Jon and the crew. What a great job they did. The fact that they were able get us here in time and ready for Houston after the Gainesville thrashing of the car is a victory in itself,” added Bartone.
Starting number 2 on Sunday was Bartone’s best starting position since Englishtown in 2006. Bartone earned the 2 spot on Friday running a 4.839. During eliminations Sunday, he managed to get past Bob Tasca III in the first round when both he and Tasca had wild rides down the asphalt losing traction and pedaling the cars to the end with Bartone finishing at 6.327 and moving on. In round 2 Bartone lined up against a familiar foe in Tommy Johnson Jr. and jumped off to a great start. The car began to get out of the groove at the very end of the run but he still managed to take the win with a 5.077 and advance into the semifinals.
“Since the opener in Pomona the car seems to be running a little better every race out but there’s still a lot of work left to do to keep improving,” said Bartone.
"It’s a pleasure to be driving for Jim Dunn for the 4th year now and this great team he’s put together. We’re only four races into the season and I know we’re going to keep improving with so much racing still ahead of us,” added Bartone. “I am already looking forward to Las Vegas. It’s a great venue and it’s always fun racing there. We will continue working on the car and you can be sure we will be ready to light it up again in two weeks.
"I also want to thank all of our sponsors who are showing such great support for the team this year. The new colors on this Canidae Pet Foods car look so good and it’s getting rave reviews from the fans as they stop by the pit. I even hear the kid’s referring to it as the ‘doggie’ car. Isn’t that great! It’s nice to have Canidae on board with us along with our other sponsors, WileyX Sunglasses, Moon, Superwinch, Sony, Lucas Oil and Roger Dean Chevrolet. We’ve got a great group behind us.”
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