COMMERCE, Ga. (May 4) -- On-and-off rain showers made qualifying for the 39th annual Arby's NHRA Southern Nationals a little more taxing than normal, but Scott Palmer and his Magic Dry Organic Absorbent dragster crew still managed to earn the No. 10 starting spot in the talent-laden Top Fuel class.
“We are happy with the performance of the car,” Palmer said. “It did exactly what it was supposed to do. We smoked ’em first round and that put us a little behind but we went down the track in Q2 and Q3 exactly the way we wanted to.”
Palmer's best 1,000-foot pass of the last two days was a 3.827 at 314.24 mph, which placed him 10th in the 16-car elimination field. For his efforts, he'll open race day opposite No. 7 qualifier Richie Crampton, who posted a top run of 3.814 at 312.64 mph.
“Even though we are not in the greatest qualifying spot, there is no easy draw out here,” Palmer said. “Lane choice is important, everybody says, if you have it. If you don’t have it, everybody says it’s not important.
“We actually ran our two best passes in the right lane, which is supposedly the worst lane, so if we can go down the right lane tomorrow with the sun on the track, we think we will be ok.”
Entering this weekend's race, Palmer was filled with confidence after scoring a fifth-place finish at the tour's last stop in Charlotte. At that event, he beat category heavyweights Brittany Force and Antron Brown, both past world champions.
“We were third quick of Q3 and that’s pretty good if you are the third quickest out of all these cars,” Palmer said. “These are some badasses out here. So, we know we can go down the track in race conditions and that’s what we are here for.”
Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. with FOX Sports 1 carrying the action from 6-9 p.m. Times listed are local.