Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals
Electrical problem knocks Rivas from competition in quarterfinals
By qualifying second on Saturday, Rivas picked up enough Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle points to climb into the eighth and final starting position for the special event that pays the winner $25,000. It takes place Saturday, Aug. 30, during qualifying for the U.S. Nationals at
But Rivas’ bid for his second 2008 race victory was stymied by an electrical malfunction that prevents the motor from starting in his quarter-final match against Eddie Krawiec. The malady showed up during qualifying and didn’t go away.
“It was severely disappointing,” said Rivas, of
Rivas was the provisional qualifying leader after Friday’s two runs, but his 6.964-second effort Saturday wound up two-thousands shy of the No. 1 spot.
He defeated first-round foe Angie McBride with an elapsed time of 6.968 seconds at 191.78 mph to her 7.023 at 186.48 mph. That set up his match against Krawiec.
“From the positive standpoint, we were able to make the top eight in then Ringers Gloves (standings) and that is one of my primary goals,” he said. “I got my Wally (nickname for the winning national event trophy) this year and I’ve been praying for that for a long time. I needed to get into that Ringers battle and I’ve got that right now.
“I felt like once we got in the Ringers top eight we could probably hold onto it. I feel good about that. It’s not just for me; it’s for the whole team. That’s the big positive that I take out of this weekend.” He has 1680 points, 40 ahead of Hector Arana with races remaining at
George Smith, crew chief and G2 co-owner with George Bryce, also was disappointed the team didn’t have the opportunity to go deeper into eliminations.
“The Drag Specialties bike has the potential to be the quickest bike out here,” he said, “and now we’re thwarted again by a unique electrical sensor problem which won’t let the bike start. If we could’ve bump-started it, we could’ve raced. That’s the sad part.
“What’s the good news?” he asked. “The good news is we moved into the top eight in Ringers standings. Now we are going to collect some of the suspect parts and take them back to the shop and get to the bottom of the problem. It’s very frustrating. It’s especially frustrating for our chief mechanic, Ken Johnson, whose birthday was Sunday.
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