As new driver Fran Monaghan only has a license to drive a Top Alcohol
Funny Car (TAFC), he needs to make three runs in order to get his Top
Alcohol Dragster (TAD) license. These consist of one 1/2-track pass and
two full passes. As we are planning to compete in the Southern Nationals
in Atlanta in two weeks, we needed to get the license passes out of the
way. We loaded up the trailer, hooked up the new Kenworth truck Fran has
provided, and headed up to my favorite track, Maple Grove, Pennsylvania,
last Friday night. We called ahead and Maple Grove had their regular local
bracket program scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. It should have been an
easy objective to accomplish. Wrong!
We arrived at the track Saturday morn at 8:00 a.m. We got the car
teched in, warmed up, and got in the back of the staging lanes at 10:15
a.m. so that the track could let us know when we could make our runs. We
were then informed that we had just missed our opportunity to make our
first time run (no one from the track had informed us). We sat there until
2:00 p.m. when we were allowed to make our first 1/2 track run. Fran
looked like a natural. He ran the car to the 330-foot mark and lifted to
idle through for pass #1. The track was better than we thought as we had a
.908 60-foot time and a 2.400 330-foot time. These times equate to a mid
or low 5.50 second quarter mile run. We then came right back to the end of
the staging lanes and sat there until 5:00 p.m. when the rains came.
We found some rooms for the night and came back again on Sunday morning
to finish. We promptly got in the back of the staging lanes at 9:00 a.m.
and basically sat there as patiently as we could until 2:00 p.m., when it
started to rain again, and the race was called. We were very disheartened.
There were many opportunities both Saturday and Sunday for the track
management to let us make the remaining two license runs, but they could
not accommodate us.
As we will have three races in four weeks starting with Atlanta, it is
imperative for us to get Fran licensed this coming weekend. We will not be
returning to Maple Grove and will go instead to Cecil County, Maryland, to
complete the runs.