The 32nd edition of the famed NHRA Western Swing will race to its conclusion this weekend at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., just outside of Seattle. The famed racetrack, which also once hosted the NHRA Fallnationals in the late 1970s and 1980, welcomes weary race teams who have competed the previous two weekends, first at high-altitude Bandimere Speedway outside of Denver, Colo., then last weekend back at sea level in Sonoma, Calif.
The scenic stop in Seattle also can prove to be a fast one, with plenty of oxygen-bearing trees to help feed the engines. The track records are 3.686 and 2331.61 mph in Top Fuel, 3.832 and 334.15 mph in Funny Car, and 6.488 at 213.40 mph in Pro Stock.
Pro Stock will certainly be a center of attention this weekend as Greg Anderson, who won in both Denver and Sonoma, attempts to become the first driver to sweep the Swing twice, having previously accomplished the feat in 2004. Seven drivers have accomplished the feat -- most recently Antron Brown in Top Fuel in 2009 -- but no one has done it twice.
The event is the first of three final events leading to the end of the regular season so teams flirting with the top 10 positions in points and a guaranteed spot in the playoffs with be hustling for points. In Top Fuel, Magic Dry-sponsored Scott Palmer needs a big weekend to climb out of 11th place and perhaps pass rookie Austin Prock or Terry McMillen. In Funny Car, former world champ Cruz Pedregon, currently ranked 11th, needs a late-round finish and hope that 10th-place Tim Wilkerson falters. Time is running out for "the Cruzer." In Pro Stock, determined Kenny Delco and newcomer Fernando Cuadra both hope to take advanatage of the absence of 10th place Rodger Brogdon to claw their way into playoff position.
Two Mello Yello qualifying sessions are scheduled for today, at 3 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Pacific time.
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