Qualifying was conducted
in side-by-side format, but only the times counted. Twelve spots were allocated for
the racing brackets. The best twelve qualifying times would go racing at 5:00 p.m.
One of the thirteen trucks would have to sit out the races. The rest of
qualifying was all about jockeying for position and lane choice.
two drivers to test the Talladega track were both veterans. Diehl Wilson in Virginia
Giant and Eric Tack in the new Tonka truck from Team Bigfoot. Eric had been running
the truck with the Firestone body, but the new Tonka version was ready for Talladega.
I couldn't get media access for the show, so I had to shoot pictures from the
grandstands. Even with a 210 mm lens, I couldn't get as close as I would have liked.
We did the best we could under the circumstances. Tonka took a 7.27 second
qualifying time on the first attempt, while Virginia Giant came in at 8.13 seconds.
|Dan Runte had Bigfoot
primed and ready. He covered the course in 6.75 seconds on his first attempt.
Scott Hartsock finished his first qualifying round in Gun Slinger with a 7.54.
Each truck had a maximum of three tries at the qualifying runs.
||It became obvious early
on, that it would take a sub 8 second time to get into the 5:00 race.
Mark Hall in Executioner and David Morris in Equalizer both blew their
first qual attempts. Equalizer jumped the start, and Executioner jumped his lane.
They both took a DQ in the first round of qualifying.
is sporting a fire engine red non-3-D body this year to allow competition in the ProMT
series. Personally, we like the 3Ds, and we sort of missed the slick paint job on
the baby blue body with the cool arms. The red one was O.K. though, and I understand
the purist racing point of view.
Pure Adrenaline was driven
by "hired gun" Gary Porter. This one was fairly close with Samson at 7.11
seconds and Pure Adrenaline at 7.27.
|John Seasock and Sudden
Impact rolled up to the starting line with Doug Cole in Blown Thunder. After the
remote ignition interrupt check, John couldn't get Sudden Impact started again. The
starter problem cost him his first qualifying run as Blown Thunder ran solo. Doug
recorded the worst qualifying run of the first round at 8.21 seconds.
||Next up were Guy Wood
driving Tropical Thunder and the new Iceman truck out of the Hall brothers' shop.
Iceman was driven by newcomer/computer jock Steve Macklyn, who outshined his boss in the
driver's seat through the first few qualifying rounds. This was an extremely close
run with Tropical Thunder edging Iceman recording 7.37 and 7.39 second times respectively.
|The first qual round
ended with Andy Slifco taking Eradicator down the track on a respectable run. Army
never announced the qualifying time, but it was decent. As the first round came to a
close, the pressure was on Executioner, Equalizer, Sudden Impact, and Blown Thunder to
improve their standings in the next two attempts.
QUALIFYING - PART 2