Despite having three victories in a row, the last two races had some adversity for the Co-Line and Goalsetter sponsored NHRA alcohol funny car team. Celebrating Independence Day in Norwalk, OH at the Eighth Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Dale Brand and crew qualified 10th in a 16 car field with a 5.719 second pass. Not their usual top half qualifying spot, but none-the-less, at least qualified. In the third qualifying pass, the Co-Line/Goalsetter car went into such violent tire shake that it set off the on board fire bottles.
On race day, July 5th, Brand faced Doug Gordon of Paso Robles, CA. Gordon’s car fired, but then the crew shut it down giving Brand a solo pass. The run was his smoothest and best of the weekend recording a 5.685 at 258.22 mph. It’s what happened after the finish line, that gave the team some extra coverage on ESPN2. “One of parachutes designed to slow the race car in shut down, hooked under the wheelie bar. This very unusual condition lifted up the back of the car and quickly moved it over about 5' while going 250+ mph!” shared Brand. Brand was able to keep the car off the wall, but definitely got his attention after the finish line.
Back in action on Sunday, July 6, Brand took on Fred Hagen of Des Plaines, IL. Brand was first out of the gate with a 0.027 reaction time to Hagen’s 0.126. Brand recorded a hole-shot victory with a 5.676 second pass in the quarter mile at 258.76 mph to Hagen’s losing 5.687 effort.
In the semi-finals, Brand knew he had to be on his game facing fellow Iowan Chris Foster. Both cars launched into hard tire shake with both drivers having to pedal several times. Brand’s car shook so bad that it broke the back body supports and deployed one of the parachutes during the run. Foster clocked a 6.484 to Brand’s 7.189. Foster would go on to the finals, but lost to Steve Harker of Gainesville, GA.
“Team Co-Line's weekend was action packed and challenge filled at Norwalk Ohio. If you have been thinking that racing is all winning and celebrating.... Every pancake has two sides!” concluded Brand with a smile. Team members for the weekend included Dale, Tana, and Eric Brand, Marty Van Wyk, and deWayne Lemons.
Team Co-Line/Goalsetter is idle for several weeks. Next on their radar is the All American Hot Rod Showdown at Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis, MO on August 8-9. Brand leads the National Points Standings with 509 points, 85 more than Jay Payne who sits second.