Bateman had a career year in 2008, finishing fourth in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series points standings and winning the Division 5 title. Car owner Jackson's first win came at the inaugural Las Vegas event with Rod Alexander behind the wheel, and Von Smith was runner-up at this event last season driving for Jackson.
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR — 10th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, April 2-5, Las Vegas Bartone back on top following win Tony Bartone, near lane, concluded what he called a storybook weekend when he defeated Roger Bateman in the final round, 5.64 to a tire-spinning 11.10. by Brad Littlefield A ll three of Tony Bartone’s national event appearances this season have generated great interest, though not Bartone ended Jay Payne’s always for the right reasons. His winning streak at this event at 10 triumphant comeback in Pomona was consecutive round-wins by followed by a shocking DNQ in defeating him in the semifinals, Houston, but one week later in Las 5.60 to 5.66. Vegas, Bartone stepped back over the status line that separates zero and hero by capturing his second win of the Bartone took care of Jason season amid a flawless weekend. Rupert in the first round on Bartone ensured that he left his Saturday with a 5.62. He began troubles in Houston by unloading a 5.58 Sunday’s eliminations with a at 255 mph off the trailer. He qualified No. 1, set low Bartone’s performance was indicative of what 5.63 to defeat two-time national event winner Dennis e.t., and ran no slower than a 5.64 en route to his Rick Jackson’s Centre Pointe Collision Centers team Taylor. He had a tough task in taking on defending 27th Top Alcohol Funny Car title. is capable of. Unlike his Pomona win, in which he event champ Jay Payne in the semifinals, but he was “The only thing we didn’t have was top speed of didn’t run at his performance level until the able to overcome a small starting-line disadvantage the meet. That’s [crew chief] Steve Boggs’ problem — semifinals, the 1996 TAFC champ had the car to to win, 5.60 to 5.66. he’s got to get us more miles per hour,” Bartone beat right from the start of the race. In the final, Bartone, who was 26-22 in previous joked. “We had a storybook racing weekend. We ran “We had issues with the car since we started finals, faced opponent Roger Bateman, who had yet good and didn’t hurt any parts. Everything went racing at the beginning of the year that we had to to win in four final-round appearances. Bateman ran right from the first lap of qualifying until the final keep sorting through,” Bartone explained. the quickest e.t. in each of the first two rounds of round of eliminations. If we weren’t the quickest car “Obviously, I think we got the car baseline again this eliminations, making him the only driver at the down the track, we were probably no worse than weekend. We had a great tune-up. We didn’t have event to go quicker than Bartone in a given round or second quickest.” any electronic troubles like we had in the past.” qualifying session. Bateman cut a great .024 light, but that was the last bit of good news for the veteran driver. He spun the tires at the hit of the throttle and watched Bartone streak to victory with a 5.64. “It was getting a little hotter in the day, and we adjusted accordingly,” said Bartone. “Maybe Roger didn’t. We have the tuning master, Steve Boggs.” The team of Bartone, Jackson, Boggs, Lew Larsen, Chris Perl, and Mike Pavia will continue to search for performance gains as they pursue the season title. “[Frank] Manzo’s got the quickest car in the country,” said Bartone. “We’re trying to make this car as fast as his, if not faster, and that’s what everybody should be trying to do. We’re trying some
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