The Chicken Choker Chronicles: Orlando
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
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
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