Teammate Rickey House keeping pace in Top Fuel Harley
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 23) — With Friday’s action at the 35th annual Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals effectively erased by cold temperatures, Scott Palmer knew he needed a steady Saturday to stay in contention for the trophy at his title sponsor’s main event. After safely qualifying in the top half of the field in the final session, he was able to breathe a little easier.
“To see Magic Dry Organic Absorbent logos everywhere you look is so cool,” Palmer said. “To be up there on the starting line about to make a run and you see (Magic Dry owner) Tommy Thompson give you a thumbs-up, man that’s motivating for me.
“We have a ton of support here, especially all of me and Tommy’s drag boat racing friends and fellow racers, and it just makes you want to show off and let them see how we do it over here on asphalt. It’s just been such a fun weekend already. Now it’s time to turn on some win lights.”
Playing it a shade to the conservative side, Palmer made a safe run of 3.781 seconds at 325.22 mph in the final session to lockdown the No. 8 position on the ladder. He’ll open race day with lane choice against Mike Salinas, who posted a best of 3.862 at 274.55 mph.
“When we got up there (for the last session) and I saw Steve Torrence smoke the tires early, it made me pretty nervous, so we backed it down a little bit,” Palmer said. “We originally were trying to run a 3.72/3.73 but we made some last-minute changes there to have run somewhere between a 3.77 to a 3.80 flat and it did just that.
“The car does what it’s supposed to and that’s great. We really haven’t had a good run all weekend because of the weather and track conditions and you always would like to go all the way to the finish line at least one time to have something to work off so that’s what we did there. It was a smarter move than going for low E.T.
Sharing in the fun and stress of racing in front of your top supporter is Top Fuel Harley rider Rickey House, another part of the Magic Dry race team. Like Palmer, House managed to lockdown a top-half starting spot after qualifying fourth in the eight-bike field with a 6.423 at 220.80 mph. He’ll race Beau Layne, who went 6.436 at 223.73 mph, in Round 1 of eliminations.
“I’m happy because we are in the show,” House said. “We ran the 6.42 earlier today and I tried to get more aggressive with it this last round but I went too far with it early and it tried to spin the tire on me. I wanted to try to at least stay on the board and hope I could do better but it didn’t work. But we are still in the middle of the show, so that’s good.
“Losing the two rounds yesterday, of course that hurt everybody, but then seeing a couple of 6.20-second runs today let us know the track will hold it if you can tune it right. That’s a positive thing. Tomorrow I don’t think is going to be as sunny so the track ought to be a little bit tighter. It could be one of those 50/50 shot deals. We will see. I definitely want to do good for Tommy and all his family and friends.”
About Magic Dry 100% Organic Multi-Purpose Absorbent
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