COMMERCE, Ga. (May 5) -- Ever since Scott Palmer went searching for a little mojo about a month ago, his Magic Dry Organic Absorbent Top Fuel dragster team has been on an encouraging upward trend, which continued this weekend at the 39th annual Arby's NHRA Southern Nationals.
"We're gaining a little mojo back each weekend," Palmer said. "Ever since I realized we'd lost our mojo in Las Vegas, we've been on the search for it and I think it's working because we’ve won rounds at the last three races in a row. We've working hard to gain this momentum and need to keep it going."
Palmer went one-up, one-down at Atlanta Dragway, first beating Richie Crampton in a tire-smoking affair in Round 1, running a 3.971 at 265.85 mph to Crampton's 4.431 at 180.60 mph. He then lined up opposite reigning series champion and teammate Steve Torrence, but smoked the tires very early and drifted to an 8.919 at 86.97 mph, with Torrence posting a beatable 4.043 at 263.41 mph, that was also hampered by tire spin.
"We got some good luck in the first round," said Palmer, who left .030 seconds ahead of his opponent. "Both of us spun the tires down track but luckily I had posted a decent reaction time against Richie, who is really tough all the time, and we got to the finish line first.
"Second round we had Steve. Because we work so closely with them, we are relatively sure they are going to run a low 3.80 against us. There was no doubt in my mind that’s what they would run. We were trying to run a 3.84 or 3.85 and keep them honest. We hadn’t run faster than a 3.82 and that wasn’t in the heat so we wanted to run what we had run in the heat and try to beat him. I’m shocked it smoked the tires so early."
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series takes a weekend off before heading to Virginia Motorsports Park on May 17-19 for the second annual Virginia NHRA Nationals.
"We really didn’t hurt anything here," Palmer said. "We will figure the tune-up out a little better and I think we will be good for Richmond. No excuses for today. I said at the first of the year that we are going up there to win, not hoping for somebody to mess up. If we would have raced a little more conservatively we would have won that round because he spun his tires down track. I pedaled it but there’s no recovering when it smokes that early."