The Chicken Choker Chronicles: Atlanta
Monaghan's First Race! Three Career
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.