Scott Palmer Racing
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.”
LAS VEGAS – After fighting and scratching their way into the playoff field, Scott Palmer and his dedicated crew were dreaming of big things for their CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster. But the first four of six playoff races have yielded just one elimination-round win, leaving the team searching for a way to bust their mini-slump at this weekend’s 18th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals.
“We need a change of luck,” Palmer said. “As the leader of this group, I know how hard my guys have worked this season, first to get us into the 10-car playoff field and then to put us in position to have a bunch of success down the stretch. For whatever reason, we have just fallen into this slump and we need to get past it.
“Lots of ideas have been tossed around, and the guys are volunteering to do all kinds of things to bust this slump, but we really know it just takes persistence and more hard work. We’ve been running pretty well, we just keep getting tough match-ups on Sunday and we’re losing races by fractions of a second.”
To change their fortunes, Palmer, teammate Dom Lagana (who drives a part-time schedule himself) and crew chief Jason McCulloch have been pouring over their own data as well as the information they receive from the two-car CAPCO race team, which is in position to clinch the 2018 title this weekend with primary driver Steve Torrence.
CHARLOTTE – Dom Lagana used his last event of his part-time season to set a career-best top-speed mark in his Magic Dry Absorbent Top Fuel dragster. After running his best pass of the year in Round 1, Lagana topped out at 329.58 mph in a close quarterfinal loss to reigning world champion Brittany Force.
“I’m so proud of all of the guys,” Lagana said. “Everyone worked so hard this season. It’s a shame it’s the last race for us but we have something good to lick our chops about for next year.
“The Magic Dry car is great. Everything is in one piece. We had a good time and we are real excited for next year. I really can’t say enough about the crew guys. They have done great. We’ve got something to build on, data to look at, and the car is gonna be even more awesome in 2019.”
Across the pit, Lagana’s teammate Scott Palmer was eliminated early by Doug Kalitta, prompting the fan favorite to consider some extreme measures to improve his luck before the next national event.
CHARLOTTE – Tommy Thompson Racing teammates Dom Lagana and Scott Palmer successfully raced their way into the Top Fuel elimination field of this weekend’s 11th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals and are ready to challenge for the trophy when Sunday’s eliminations kick off at zMax Dragway.
Lagana did a slightly better job in qualifying his Magic Dry Absorbent dragster in the No. 8 position with a best pass of 3.762 at 324.59 mph. Palmer was just a few spots back in the 12th slot with a 3.788 at 326.56 mph in his CatSpot Organic Cat Litter rail.
“We’ve got the best car we’ve had all year going into race day,” said Lagana, who is competing for the seventh time this year. “We’ll just take it round by round and see how good the track is and what it will take. It’s a noon start but I think it’s still going to be fairly cool tomorrow. It should be just as good as it was in Q4, if not better.
CHARLOTTE – Dom Lagana was born into a drag racing family and he feels most at home when he’s at the drag strip. That holds true whether he’s driving his family-owned Magic Dry 100% Organic Multi-Purpose Absorbent dragster or turning the wrenches of Billy Torrence’s CAPCO rail. As long as there’s nitro in the air and grease under his nails, Lagana has a smile on his face.
“I know how lucky I am to do what I do,” Lagana said. “No matter if it’s Billy’s car or mine, I’m still working hard trying to get the most out of every run.
“It’s worked out really well because we don’t race a full-time schedule with our family car and Billy doesn’t race a full-time schedule with the second CAPCO car so I make our schedules line up. Either way, I’m having fun and I know I’m where I belong.”
Billy Torrence is the father of Top Fuel points leader Steve Torrence and CAPCO is the Torrence family’s oilfield business. Due to business obligations, Billy only competes at a select number of national events with Lagana serving as a vital member of his crew. When Billy has to miss a race, Lagana pulls his family car out and races himself.
CHARLOTTE – Earning a spot in NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship was a dream Top Fuel pilot Scott Palmer recently realized for the second year in a row thanks in large part to the support of team sponsor Tommy Thompson and his CatSpot Organic Cat Litter brand. His next big goal is winning a national event, something Palmer would dearly love to get done in the final three races of the 2018 season.
Palmer’s next chance will come this weekend at zMax Dragway in the Charlotte suburb of Concord, N.C., with the 11th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals.
“We have shown several times this year we are capable of running with anyone out here,” said Palmer, who came within a round of his first victory earlier this season with a runner-up finish in Phoenix. “With the tuning alliance we have with the CAPCO team (of points leader Steve Torrence and his father Billy), the support of Tommy Thompson, and a crew chief like Jason McCulloch, we have everything we need to win.
ENNIS, TX – For the first portion of his opening-round race against reigning Top Fuel champ Brittany Force, Scott Palmer was thinking he might just be able to upset his higher-qualified rival. But his CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster slowed ever so slightly in the middle of the track and although the difference was barely perceptible, it was enough for Force to charge by and take the win.
“We actually tried to make the car run a 3.77 and if we had run close to that we would have won that round but it just kinda drove through the clutch a little bit,” Palmer said. “We tried to speed it up early but it didn’t respond. We’ve been like 3.82, 3.83 — I mean the car is really consistent — but it just didn’t respond the way we wanted it to that round. We’ll be more aggressive next week.”
Palmer started well, leaving .022 seconds ahead of Force and felt comfortable until somewhere around the second timing cone, but that’s when his fortunes changed and Force was able to slip by and take the finish line stripe first, running a 3.762 at 330.07 mph to Palmer’s 3.839 at 323.97 mph.