LAS VEGAS (Oct. 23) — After fighting and scratching their way into the playoff field, Scott Palmer and his dedicated crew were dreaming of big things for their CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster. But the first four of six playoff races have yielded just one elimination-round win, leaving the team searching for a way to bust their mini-slump at this weekend’s 18th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals.
“We need a change of luck,” Palmer said. “As the leader of this group, I know how hard my guys have worked this season, first to get us into the 10-car playoff field and then to put us in position to have a bunch of success down the stretch. For whatever reason, we have just fallen into this slump and we need to get past it.
“Lots of ideas have been tossed around, and the guys are volunteering to do all kinds of things to bust this slump, but we really know it just takes persistence and more hard work. We’ve been running pretty well, we just keep getting tough match-ups on Sunday and we’re losing races by fractions of a second.”
To change their fortunes, Palmer, teammate Dom Lagana (who drives a part-time schedule himself) and crew chief Jason McCulloch have been pouring over their own data as well as the information they receive from the two-car CAPCO race team, which is in position to clinch the 2018 title this weekend with primary driver Steve Torrence.
“Dom tried some new things on the clutch on his Magic Dry Absorbent Top Fuel dragster at the last race in Charlotte and we run the exact same clutch so basically we are using what he learned in Charlotte and are going to apply that to our car this weekend,” Palmer said. “That alone should pick up our performance.
“Between that, the info we share with Steve’s CAPCO team, which has won four straight races, and any change of luck the guys may conjure up, we’ll be good. It’s not like we’ve had bad luck, it’s just we haven’t had any good luck breaks. We’ll keep working hard and we’ll get it.”
Prior to the start of the event, Palmer will attend the NHRA Fan Fest on Fremont Street, which takes place from 5-7:30 p.m., Thursday. Always a fan favorite, Palmer will be signing autographs and posing for pictures with race fans at the event.
“The fans have always been phenomenal and very cool to me and our team,” Palmer said. “I love opportunities like this where we can spend some extra time with them, sort of away from the racetrack, and just hang out.
“It’s also a great time to tell people about CatSpot Organic Cat Litter and how good it is for cat owners and their families. These guys have been so supportive of us and I love spreading the word about CatSpot to our fans.”