Scott Palmer Racing
ENNIS, TX – To win an NHRA drag race you have to be prepared to beat anyone in the field so it seems fitting that Scott Palmer will open his quest for the Top Fuel title of the 33rd annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals against reigning world champion Brittany Force.
Separated by just three hundredths of a second on the qualifying grid, Palmer likes his chances after a methodical four rounds of qualifying at the Texas Motorplex.
“We got a little behind in Q1 with a clutch issue,” Palmer said. “I couldn’t find neutral so I couldn’t get it into reverse. Because of that we had to be a little more conservative Friday night when most teams made their best passes.
“Today we went a little over-center in the first session and smoked the tires so we backed it down a touch from there for Q4 and just tried to run a low 3.8 to get a good baseline tune-up for tomorrow if it’s hot like this again.”
ENNIS, TX – While others stress out about the challenges of the Countdown to the Championship, Scott Palmer and the popular CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster team prefer to stay focused on the No. 1 command from sponsor Tommy Thompson — “Have fun.”
“Tommy Thompson is so much more than a sponsor,” Palmer said. “He’s a friend, a true friend who always has our best interests at heart. He gives us everything we need to be successful and we certainly wouldn’t have had a chance to contend for championships the last two years without his support.
“But the thing about Tommy is he picked our team because he likes the way we race. We have fun and he loves that. He asks us all the time, ‘Are you having fun?’ He’s that kind of guy. There is no one in motorsports I’d rather work for than Tommy Thompson. I’m the luckiest guy out here.”
ST. LOUIS – It was a frustrating Sunday for Top Fuel driver Scott Palmer when a broken throttle cable on his CatSpot Organic Cat Litter dragster left him stranded on the starting line during a Round 1 match-up with Leah Pritchett. Adding to the agony, Pritchett smoked the tires and drifted to a very beatable 5.568 at 125.37 mph.
“It’s the proverbial 50-cent part,” Palmer said. “It’s actually more than that but same difference. It’s a part you don’t expect to break but it did and we didn’t even get a chance to race. It’s a punch to the stomach.
“We had a very steady racecar all weekend and we definitely would have gone straight down the track if everything had held together. After running three 3.70s and a 3.80-flat in qualifying, we certainly had a handle on both lanes. It’s a pretty unfortunate deal for us.
“I feel bad for the team, the fans, our main sponsor Tommy Thompson, and everyone at CatSpot that came up from Sikeston, Missouri. All we can do is move forward from here and triple check every part and piece to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
ST. LOUIS – It’s great to have a quick car in drag racing but it’s even better if you have a consistent hot rod to keep your opponents honest come race day so they fully expect a close race from start to finish. Such is the case for Scott Palmer this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park where his CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster has been running like a bracket car.
“Having a fast car is great and it’s even better when your car goes down the track every time but really what you want the most is both — a really quick car that goes down the track every time,” Palmer said. “We probably could have pushed it a little harder and posted a better time that would have moved us further up the ladder but we’re still happy to have such a solid tune-up. We’ve got a race car for tomorrow.”
Palmer and crew chief Jason McCulloch cooked up four impressive runs between 3.779 and 3.806 seconds in qualifying, the best of which was a 3.779 at 323.74 mph that earned the Tommy Thompson-sponsored team a spot in the field of the seventh annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals.
ST. LOUIS – Sight-seeing around St. Louis is going to have to wait for Scott Palmer and crew after the championship hopeful’s race day in Reading, Pa., ended with several shredded body panels flying off his CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster. So instead of touring the famous Arch, the team will be parked in Indianapolis awaiting a brand-new set of body pieces.
“We run a MLR chassis so we’re already at their shop in Indy getting a new body fitted,” Palmer said. “Richie Crampton (MLR fabricator and fellow Top Fuel driver) and his guys are working overtime to help us and we can’t thank them enough. That’s the drag racing way; we all help each other out.
“When you lose as many panels as we did you really just have to replace them all because if you try to patch an older body with a new body, you’re going to have problems. This is all custom-made stuff so you can’t really go to the store and get body panels. Either way, we’ll be ready for St. Louis, even if we don’t get much sleep.”
READING, PA – Facing the most prolific Top Fuel racer of all-time, Tony Schumacher, an undaunted Scott Palmer and his CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster team gave their opponent all he could handle in a wild quarterfinal playoff race that was ultimately decided by dislodged body panels that temporarily blocked Palmer’s vision at 300-plus mph.
“That was wild,” Palmer said. “Some of the top body panels started coming off about 100 foot from the finish line. It started with one piece and then it just blew up like a bomb. The whole top — the windshield, the piece in front of the windshield, the piece beside me and a mud-flap all came off.
“The problem was, a body panel came over and was covering my helmet. I couldn’t see. There was no windshield. Also, a big piece of carbon fiber came in there with me and actually covered up the brake and wedged in the steering wheel. I couldn’t turn so I had to literally take my right hand and punch the body panel out of the frame rail so I could see where I was going and get to the brake. It was exciting to say the least.”
READING, PA – Teammates Scott Palmer and Dom Lagana made their best qualifying passes in the final session of the 34th annual Dodge NHRA Nationals. But as luck would have it, their hard work resulted in a race day ladder that pits them against one another in Sunday’s opening round of eliminations at Maple Grove Raceway.
Palmer earned a slight advantage for his CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster after topping out at 3.779 and 321.19 mph, which placed him seventh on the grid. Lagana’s best pass of 3.792 at 304.19 mph in the Magic Dry 100% Organic Multi-Purpose Absorbent dragster earned him the No. 10 slot overall.
“Track conditions were really good this afternoon and we were both able to run our best ETs so we’re pleased with the performance of both team cars,” Palmer said. “It’s not what you want when you end up on opposite sides of the ladder and have to race each other right out of the gate but we’ll look at the positive side of it and say we’re happy that for sure one of us will be advancing to the second round.”
The CatSpot dragster has been extremely consistent with Palmer posting runs of 3.817, 3.822, 3.820 and 3.779 down the historic drag strip in Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country.