Hello everyone. Since I’m writing this in the morning and morning is breakfast time, I’m going to start by giving a shout out to the DSR kitchen staff of Malcolm Clark and Riley Horrall. Malcolm and Riley do all the food prep and cook all the food four our hospitality guests and teams. They do an awesome job and last Sunday morning at Las Vegas, they cooked some of the best bacon ever. It was perfectly crispy and who doesn’t enjoy a piece of yummy, crispy bacon to start their day?
If you would like to learn a little more about Malcolm, here is a link to an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper that ran this week: http://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/nhra-team-s-mobile-kitchen-keeps-everyone-well-fed.
Vegas is always a fun event for our teams and a big reason is that we are fortunate to call the New York-New York Hotel & Casino our home twice a year. NYNY is a great property with terrific restaurants and the facility takes great care of our DSR teams and many NHRA fans. Each year at the spring Vegas race, NYNY hosts the NHRA Fan Fest on the Brooklyn Bridge outside that runs parallel with the Las Vegas strip. It’s a great setting and the fan turnout is amazing. The fans start gathering a good 90 minutes before the two-hour autograph sessions starts at 5 p.m. Alan Reinhart does a great job as the emcee and the fans keep the autograph line full for the entire two hours. If a trip to Vegas in your future, do like we do and check out www.nynyvegas.com.
Don and I got to Vegas on Thursday in time for the autograph session. Mom stayed home for the weekend to tend to Teddy. He’s still dealing with some medical issues and the vets are struggling to find out what’s ailing him. He’s been a trooper the past few weeks and we’re optimistic for a cure real soon.
The spring Vegas race delivered perfect temperatures, but windy conditions for the teams. It was so windy on race day Sunday that NHRA officials had to postpone Pro Stock eliminations until later in the day due to the strong wind gusts. Thankfully they were able to get the Pro Stock event completed and a big congrats to Erica Enders and the Elite Motorsports team for an amazing weekend winning both the K&N Shootout and the race on Sunday.
Qualifying for our seven DSR teams was pretty successful. Maybe the best qualifying outing of the four races this season. Antron Brown and the Matco Tools team continued their hot streak as AB earned his 35th career pole and first of the season at 3.768-seconds on Saturday’s final lap. It was the first DSR pole of the season and the entire Matco crew was rewarded with the new green No. 1 qualifier hats. It’s something that Coca-Cola started this season and it’s a nice perk for the drivers and crew members. All three of our dragsters qualified in the top five and it’s good to see all the tune-ups moving in the right direction. We’re patient and we know it’s a long season, not a sprint.
Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane team were the quickest car of the first three sessions earning Matt nine bonus points. TJ powered the Make-A-Wish Dodge to a great 4.023-second lap in Q4 to qualify third, our highest starting position in the Funny Car class. We know that John Collins is very talented and that MAW team is jelling nicely.
On Sunday Raceday/Funday, Ron Capps and the NAPA Auto Parts team had our strongest showing advancing to the semifinals. All three of our diggers started from the same side of the ladder. It was a stacked ladder with the three DSR cars and the two Al-Anabi cars. Antron notched low ET of the event in E1 at 3.758-seconds. It was a track record ET. AB met up with the U.S. Army team in the semis and when Antron dropped a hole, the Army team marched into their first final since Joliet last June. In a great final round, Tony scored his 73rd career Top Fuel win, edging Doug Kalitta in a fantastic drag race. After some early season struggles, the Army team is coming together nicely as they eye NHRA title No. 8.
On Saturday at Vegas, I had a fan approach and compliment me on the blog. He asked for more frequent blog updates. I thanked him for reading and his feedback, but cautioned that they tend to keep me busy with school, homework, traveling to and from the races, and working with TJ, Terry Chandler and the Make-A-Wish team. If you guys have any blog suggestions or requests, please tweet them to me @MeganFessSchu.
I paid a visit to the DSR shop in Indy yesterday. We had an exciting planning meeting with the folks from Riley Children’s Foundation. We have a forthcoming announcement with @RileyKids coming, so stay tuned. That’s about all I can say right now.
After the visit, I traveled to Chicago to meet up with some friends and head back to the sunshine for a few days of vacation. It will be fun to have time with my friends for a few days before I head home and gear up for the Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals next weekend. Our DSR teams have done well at the Four-Wides and we hope to keep that up next weekend in Concord.
That’s about it for now. Oh, and before I go, it’s still the a.m. hours, so I think I’ll grab a piece of bacon to hold me over until lunchtime. I just hope it’s as good as Malcolm’s.
All the best …