It was another exciting weekend for the Top Alcohol Funny Car Drag Racing Team from Sully, IA at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series North Central Division Burndown at Sundown at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, IL. Team Co-Line/Goalsetter were looking for their second event win in a row and a repeat of their win three years ago at Route 66.
Dale "Rail" Brand and team didn't start the weekend off quite the way they had hoped. During their first round of qualifying on Friday, June 6, an engine explosion slowed their qualifying time to a 5.787 second pass at 236.67 mph. After some body repair work and engine rebuilding, the team was back in action on Saturday. Brand improved his qualifying spot to #2 with a 5.672 pass at 255.77 mph. A slow drizzle began later that evening, cancelling the third qualifying pass and setting the field for race day with Brand qualified second out of 12 cars in an eight-car field.
With sunny blue skies and cooler temps, eliminations began on Sunday with Brand facing Kirk Williams. Williams had a lucky 0.004 reaction time, but Brand chased him down for the first round win with a 5.631 second pass at 257.43 mph to Williams 5.724 losing effort at 250.83 mph.
In round two, Brand had lane choice and went right down the groove recording a victorious 5.617 second pass at 256.65 mph to Andy Bohl's 5.781 at 255.53 mph.
In the finals, it was two Iowans qualified number one and number two looking for a Division 3 victory and the Wally trophy. Brand was first off the line and put down his quickest pass of the weekend, a 5.565 at 257.68 mph to Chris Foster's losing 5.589 effort at 257.28 mph. Brand adds another divisional win to his 2014 stats, his second of the year, and fourth in his career in NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car racing.
"After the engine explosion, our team stayed focused, made the necessary engine and body repairs, and made a great pass for the second qualifying position. Eric progressively tuned the car to a quicker performance each round on race day, to an impressive 5.56 in the finals. The entire team performed all responsibilities with precision, allowing us to get past three rounds for the event win!" shared a very excited Brand.
Team members for the weekend included Dale, Tana, and Eric Brand, Marty Van Wyk, and deWayne and Tina Lemons. Making their first race of the year were honorary team members Carter and Abigail Brand. And don't forget the team's local friends, Dale Schnell and John Freeborn who showed up just in time to help with the body repair work that was needed.
The Co-Line/Goalsetter team is idle for one weekend before they go into a three-weekend swing travelling to Tulsa, OK, Joliet, IL, and Norwalk, OH. The season is starting to get exciting!
Grandpa Rail won granddaughter Abby her second trophy, the first coming three years ago on her actual birthday. It was a race of a different kind back then, Crew Chief and dad Eric raced to DSM for her birth while the rest the team raced to a victory at Joliet.