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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

The Chicken Choker Chronicles: Atlanta 2002

Monaghan's First Race! Three Career Best Runs!
Semi Finals Finish!

By Len Cottrell

After burning a piston on the first qualifying pass due to a clogged fuel nozzle, the NHRA officials informed us that we were only going to receive one more qualifying pass due to heavy rains in the Atlanta area. We then had to make a conservative pass to ensure that we qualified in the 16-car field.

Fran made a 5.59 pass at 252 mph, which was a career best for him. That run put us in the #11 spot. Sunday morning we were told to bring the car to the starting line. We received our first "Wally award" statue for best appearing car at Atlanta.

For the first round, we dealt revenge to the A/Fuel Ben Marshall entry from Ohio. Ben had beaten us in the first round at the GatorNationals. Fran eliminated him with a 5.49 to his 5.50 ET. For good measure, Fran's 460 Reaction Time closed the door on him.

For the final eight, we drew Keith Stark, last year's Indy winner. Fran eliminated him with Low ET of the round at a 5.48 at 254 mph over his 5.58 at 261 mph.

For the final four, we drew Mike Gunderson. We beat ourselves on the starting line by smoking and shaking the tires before the car moved one car length.

Gunderson went on to win when Cliff Bozzelli had a red light in the final!

The entire team was pleased with the results this weekend and with all of Fran's reaction times between .460 and .491, we are eagerly awaiting the Matco Nationals in Englishtown in two weeks to continue our march!

See best appearing car photo HERE.

Len Cottrell


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