Scott Palmer Racing
POMONA, CA – After posting a career-best pass of 3.726 seconds at 326.95 mph during qualifying for Sunday’s 54th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals, Scott Palmer was dreaming big heading into race day. Unfortunately, his first-round opponent was eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, who ran his best pass of the meet and the quickest and fastest pass of race day to squash Palmer’s hopes.
“Running like we did yesterday does two things,” Palmer said. “It forces whoever you are racing to try extra hard because they know you have a super-fast car, so they either pull off a pass like Tony just did, or it goes the other way and they smoke the tires like (No. 1 qualifier) Leah Pritchett did because they’re trying too hard. Tony could have just as easily done that but credit to him, they kept it together.”
After similar launches, Palmer and Schumacher stayed side-by-side for a moment before the Army car began inching away from Palmer’s CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster. At the top end, Schumacher took the win with a 3.694 at 332.34 mph to Palmer’s 3.736 at 327.27 mph.
POMONA, CA – Scott Palmer knows NHRA’s three-month off-season goes by quick as teams prepare for next year. He also knows that break can feel substantially better if his CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster team finishes its current campaign on a high note, which is why he’s thrilled about running a career-best pass of 3.726 at 326.95 to close out qualifying for the 54th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals.
“We were finally in the right position at the right time and we got it done,” Palmer said. “We made a good run the first qualifying session yesterday, a good second run last night, and then went a touch too far earlier today in our third run. We learned enough with the data from those three runs to try to run a low 3.7 tonight and we got it done. It’s a great note to end with and now we have something to race with tomorrow.”
Part of Palmer’s big run was undoubtedly a delay caused by a stoppage in the action whilst the NHRA crowned new Pro Stock champion Tanner Gray, who clinched his title a few pairings before Palmer ran.
POMONA, CA – The victory Top Fuel pilot Scott Palmer has been chasing all year finally came last weekend at the season finale of the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series event in Phoenix. Now he’s hoping his team’s success on the water translates to the concrete and asphalt racetrack of Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, site of this weekend’s 54th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals.
Palmer and his main sponsor and friend Tommy Thompson co-own a Top Fuel Hydro boat named Liquid Voodoo, which like Palmer’s dragster, promotes CatSpot Organic Cat Litter. With good friend Kebin Kinsley in the cockpit, Liquid Voodoo blew away the competition at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park on numerous occasions.
“Our boat set the speed record four times clocking more than 265 mph,” Palmer said. “And that was pretty impressive because the competition is really tough in that series. The two guys running for the championship both ran in the teens (between 3.13-3.19 seconds) and one of them set the E.T. record so it was an historic weekend.
POMONA, CA – Shane Conway knows his way to the winner’s circle at Auto Club Raceway, having visited there in 2010 when he tuned Mike Manners to the Top Alcohol Dragster title of the annual Auto Club NHRA Finals. This time through, he hopes to return to that hallowed ground, this time in the seat of his Magic Dry 100% Organic Multi-Purpose Absorbent dragster.
“Last time I went to the winner’s circle in a tow vehicle,” Conway said. “This time I’d like to go in this Magic Dry dragster. That was a fun win because it was Mike’s first one and it came at the last race of the year. Maybe we can repeat that day and I can get my first win in this class.”
This will mark the ninth race of the season for Conway, who hails from the Houston area. Although he’s not in the hunt for the world title — he’s currently ranked 21st — he has proven to be a spoiler of sorts, knocking off championship hopefuls when he can.
LAS VEGAS – A dropped cylinder early in his Round 1 race against eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher cost CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel driver Scott Palmer a golden opportunity to knock off the classes most prolific racer Sunday morning at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Using the lane-choice advantage he earned by out-running Schumacher during professional qualifying for the 18th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals, Palmer beat his adversary off the starting line and led until just before half-track when his laboring engine allowed Schumacher to catch and pass him to take the win by .02 seconds with a 3.818 at 315.86 mph to Palmer’s 3.850 at 304.94 mph.
In Top Alcohol Dragster action, Tommy Thompson Racing pilot Shane Conway managed to upset the higher-ranked car of Derik Milanesio in his Magic Dry 100% Organic Multi-Purpose Absorbent Dragster before falling the Joey Severance in the quarterfinals.
Against Milanesio, who had qualified sixth, Conway used a .007 second reaction time advantage to get an early-jump on what turned out to be a wire-to-wire victory, running a 5.350 at 265.80 mph to Milanesio’s 5.357 at 263.26 mph.
LAS VEGAS – Scott Palmer remains optimistic that his CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster can ring up some round wins and maybe even contend for a trophy in the last two NHRA drag races of the year. He’ll get his first shot Sunday after successfully qualifying in the top half of the field for the 18th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Palmer used a best pass of 3.768 seconds at 326.48 mph in the third of four qualifying sessions to lock up the No. 8 position on the race day grid.
“We had a great run there in Q3, a 3.76 at 326 mph, which put us up in the top half of the field,” Palmer said. “Today we’ve been going for it. After the .76 in Q3 we tried to step it up in the last round but we smoked the tires. The good news is it did that not because something went wrong but because we were trying something to see if it would work for tomorrow.
“It feels really good to run like we did today because the first run on Friday we smoked the tires. We actually set the car up using (teammate) Dom (Lagana’s) information from the last race but the track is hotter here than it was at Charlotte. We were trying to run a 3.76 there but we were too aggressive. The second run, we had to make sure we got in the show so we slowed it down and we ran a real safe 3.81. At least that allowed us to go for it today.”
LAS VEGAS – The last time Shane Conway raced his Magic Dry 100% Organic Multi-Purpose Absorbent Top Alcohol Dragster he managed to pull off a huge upset over a top national championship contender. He’s now hoping to ruin some more plans this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the 18th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals.
“We didn’t change anything on the car since the Dallas race so other than some routine maintenance we performed, everything is the same,” Conway said. “We were very pleased with the way we ran in Dallas and feel like we’re in good shape heading into Las Vegas. Everything has been double checked and is ready to go.
“Vegas is always a fun race this time of year. Plus, I’ve personally experienced some pretty good success at The Strip so our confidence is pretty good. I won a regional race there and Mike Manners went to the final round when I was his tuner. We feel like we have a good idea of what to expect out there.”