JOLIET, Ill. (June 2) — Top Fuel driver Scott Palmer drove his CatSpot Organic Cat Litter dragster to a steady 3.839-second pass at 326.24 mph to secure a mid-pack starting spot at the 21st annual JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals.
As he predicted, the Top Fuel race day grid is packed with great cars, with positions 3-13 separated by less than a tenth of a second.
“We added Jason (McCulloch, championship-winning tuner) to the team this weekend and because he’s new to our operation we are taking measured steps together,” Palmer said. “We’ve got to see some runs with Jason’s ideas mixed in there. It’ll take a little time but we knew that.
“Basically, there was one really good qualifying session here (on Friday night) and we couldn’t be as aggressive as we wanted because we haven’t been getting the 60-foot times we need to run the bigger numbers. They’re prepping the track differently lately and its thrown everyone a little bit of a curve ball.
“We were actually trying to run a 3.79-3.82 and it ran a 3.83 so we didn’t miss it by much. Once we get the 60-foot figured out, we’ll run mid-3.70s all day.”
With Friday’s cooler temperatures giving way to plenty of heat Saturday, Palmer and crew quickly shifted from a qualifying mindset to searching for a good race day set-up. Their run of record, like most of the others, came late Friday evening. Interestingly, the current forecast calls for cooler temperatures for Sunday’s elimination action.
“Today, we got up there and it was hot so we tried to repeat the 3.83, which we did,” he said. “It ran exactly like it was supposed to in Q3. In the last session, we tried some things to improve the 60-foot numbers and ran it out there to the eighth mile before we put a cylinder out and the guys shut me off. The good news is with the 60-foot and 330-foot numbers we ran right there, we would have put a 3.76 on the scoreboard, so that’s what we wanted to know. We got our short numbers back where they should be.
“The cooler weather will help everyone, so we’ll need to be ready to run. We’ve been a little too cautious in the clutch system but we put it back where it’s supposed to be and that proved out this afternoon. You don’t ever want to change everything at one time, because if it doesn’t fix what you’re working on you’ve got to start all over again.”
As the No. 12 qualifier, Palmer will open racing against fifth-ranked T.J. Zizzo, a local favorite who is racing for the first time this year. Zizzo posted a best pass of 3.771 at 326.48 mph.
Qualifying highlights will air from 11-midnight, Saturday, on FOX Sports 1 with more expanded qualifying coverage from 9:30-11:30 a.m., Sunday. Eliminations will be broadcast from 4:30-7:30 p.m., Sunday.
About CatSpot Organic Cat Litter
CatSpot Organic Cat Litter is a chemical-free, all-natural, environmentally-friendly cat litter made entirely from coconut that completely absorbs ammonia to eliminate the smell found in conventional clay-based litters. It’s extremely lightweight, hypoallergenic and 100-percent dust-free with no clumping agents. CatSpot Organic Cat Litter also is biodegradable. Used litter can be repurposed in yards, flower beds or compost heaps. CatSpot Organic Cat Litter is proudly Made in the USA.