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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

The Chicken Choker Chronicles: Orlando 2002

Tricky Track! Big Mph! Red Light!

By Len Cottrell

Last year, Len Cottrell sent us updates on his and Tim Slagle's Chicken Chokers Federal Mogul Dragster team as they chased NHRA Division 1 fame and glory. We are doing it again for 2002, as Len and Tim chase Division 1 TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER points! Len will provide periodic updates as the season goes on. Here's the 2002 kickoff... bp

Orlando, Florida, Division 2 points race - The track was loose for the high-powered alcohol cars. This was evidenced by defending Division 2 TA/FC champion Jay Payne qualifying in the last spot, defending Division 2 TA/D champion Michael Gunderson qualifying in the #8 spot, and former world champion Tony Bartone failing to qualify at all in TA/D.

On the first qualifying shot, our driver Tim Slagle lifted off the throttle completely in low gear, stabbed it again, shifted into second gear, and motored through at a 5.82 at 255 mph! This ended up being good enough for the # 2 qualifying spot and one mph short of the track speed record.

We decided to pass on the next and last qualifying run Saturday night to prepare the car for eliminations on Sunday. We were bumped to the #5 spot and we drew our nemesis from Division 1, Billy Gibson, for the first round on Sunday.

In the first round on Sunday, Tim was staging the car with the RPMs too high. The clutch grabbed and pulled him past the staging light and drew a red light. This disqualified us before our opponent even left the starting line! I really hate it when that happens...

Fortunately, we only have to lick our wounds for four more days, when we race again at Gainesville, Florida, for the 33rd annual NHRA Gatornationals.

Len Cottrell


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