Jim Young Turns It All Around To
Win Spokane Hot Rod Heritage Race
From Spokane County Raceway Media
Spokane, Wash. (June 23, 2012) – For a guy who had his weekend start off so horribly, nostalgia top-fuel driver Jim Young got the kind of finish he probably never expected.
Young, from Salem, Wisc., drove his Crop Duster dragster from an eighth place qualifying spot to a 5.658, 259.66 in the final round to top No. 2 qualifier Tony Bartone’s 5.889, 216.19 Saturday night at Spokane County Raceway. It was second Hot Rod Heritage Series race win in as many tries.
“We were definitely happy to run Tony (Bartone) and me in the finals,” Young said of the veteran competitor who came from even further away than did Young, towing in from Long Island, N.Y.
In an event that was dogged by drenching rain wiping out Friday night’s qualifying, Young himself struggled mightily.
“Thursday didn’t go as planned,” the 32-year-old driver said of a test and tune session. “Then we ended up getting rained out with our qualifying on Friday, so Saturday morning we got one shot to get into the show.”
Even that was a relative disaster as Young smoked the tires early but recovered to clock a 6.97 at 239, leaving him on the bubble on the bottom of the bracket.
“Basically at that point I thought we were done and out of the show, and basically out of the points race at that point,” Young said.
There were, however, other entries that sought a spot in the eight-car field and were troubled too. Among those cars that could challenge Young was Orange County’s Mendy Fry, but she ran a 7.50, “So they were out and we were back in,” Young said.
And the rest was some fun history for Young who won the Hot Rod Heritage’s opener at the March Meet in Bakersfield. The 259.66 mile-per-hour he ran in the title round was a career best.
“So basically Frank (Ousley, the car owner) made some adjustments to the car and put the old combination back and the car immediate back to where it was at the March Meet,” Young said. “Every round the car just got better and better, the track got better and better,” he said.
Young had high praise for the Spokane track maintenance crews who had to contend with not one, but two drenchings in being able to see the rest of the Northwest Thunderfest weekend – a Lucas Oil Division Six points race – finally get into the books late Sunday.
“The guys in Spokane did a really good job of keeping the track prepped; we had no problems with that whatsoever,” Young said.
Surprisingly, Young had little problems with the competition either, including his first-round opponent and top qualifier, Jim Murphy of Santa Rosa, Calif. as they shaved over a second off their qualifying time clocking a 5.808 at 241.87 to top Murphy’s charge of 5.934 at 254.95. Young may have won this round at the line where he enjoyed a .123 to .159-second reaction time.
Young got quicker and faster all night, beating Rick Williamson in the semis 5.738/254.81 to 5.967/228.71.
“We were low elapsed time every round,” Young said. “I always have confidence the car is going to be right every time I go to the starting line.”
In round-one, Bartone ran a 5.833 at 263.15 to oust Sacramento’s Terry Cox who clocked a 6.051, 252.24 pass. He earned his berth in the finals with a tight 5.754 to 5.898 win over La Cresenta, Calif’s. Adam Sorokin.
Next up for the series is the Aug. 9-12 Nightfire at Boise’s Firebird Raceway.
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