The Fast Lane: Surveying the damage at Charlotte

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foxsports admin

Seems like the shorter our race day, the shorter the blog. We had a quick exit from the NHRA Carolinas Nationals in Charlotte last weekend. After qualifying in the fourth position, we missed a little on the set-up and just flat got outrun. If you do this long enough, you'd better learn how to take a loss — but as a team owner it sure hurts the pocket when you blow a motor in the process. We are still evaluating what happened. We know that the engine damage started early in the run based on oil pressure, and the end result was a rod getting split in half compounding the damage internally as other rods then broke and exited the engine block. Ouch!!! Block repair, cylinder head repairs, crank, etc. — it really adds up. The good news is we're still in the points lead going into the second event of our four week stretch in Dallas. The bad news is it's only by one point. At least there's more good news than bad news. For all the hype, media and attention that surrounded the Charlotte event, it just takes a few seconds to lose. But as an avid sports fan, I think about it like a boxing match. With all the months and months of training that go into a bout, it too can be over in seconds. We don't plan on making the same mistake twice. With five races to go and a Championship at stake, we are prepared to be more aggressive. There's not much time to prepare for the event. It never really bothered me that we have back-to-back-to-back-to-back races. For a driver, it helps mentally to stay in somewhat of a zone. After a bad start we are looking for redemption. We dodged bad weather in Charlotte, but that won't be the case in Dallas. It will be considerably warmer. There will be less traction due to the increase in track temperature. I feel we can adjust to the changes. All of this means I have two days at home — which I will put to good use. There's just enough time to unpack, pack, kiss the wife and kids and get on another plane to another race. I'm thinking Dallas will be much better. Tony Pedregon, a two-time NHRA Funny Car champion and 40-time race winner, will be sharing his thoughts and expertise before every NHRA race weekend in 2009. Have any questions or comments for the driver of the Quaker State NHRA Funny Car? E-mail him at tpblog@pedregonracing.com

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