CatSpot pro Scott Palmer out early in Vegas; Magic Dry’s Conway reaches quarterfinals
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.
Next up was national championship contender Severance, who entered the weekend ranked second in the world. Although Conway posted a respectable 5.377 at 263.15 mph in the race, he didn’t have enough for Severance’s 5.231 at 275.51 mph.
All that’s left is the final race of the season, the 54th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals, which takes place Nov. 8-11 in Pomona, Calif.