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Thu, 1 Dec 2005, 11:31 AM

Gilbertson Switches to Dodge and Goes on a Diet for 2006
Courtesy of Berserko Bob

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Bob Gilbertson will switch to a Dodge Stratus body on his Autolite XP Spark Plugs/Prestone Antifreeze Funny Car for the 2006 NHRA POWERade season. Gilbertson, one of the few independent racers on the circuit, has campaigned Pontiac Firebirds, Chevrolet Camaros and Monte Carlos in the past but will make the change to a Mopar body for good reasons.

"Two things influenced this decision. First of all it's obvious that the Stratus body if far superior aerodynamically to anything GM has to offer," Gilbertson said. "Being an single-car team we need every advantage we can get and anything we can do to take this team to the next level is what we have to do. The second reason is a business decision. My company, Truck Equipment Manufacturing Company, builds air tanks for Freightliner which is a division of DaimlerChrysler. I figured that I should support the manufacturer that is my biggest customer and switching to the Stratus was a no-brainer."

"I've got to thank Don Schumacher Racing and Ed McCulloch for making this happen," Gilbertson added. "They're switching to the new Dodge Charger and they let us buy the Stratus bodies they ran this year. They are a lot lighter than anything we've ever had in the past which will help us lose some weight. And, with the help and support of my wife Sally, my doctor, my family and the guys on the crew, I've gone on a diet that I'm going to stick to that will help us lose even more weight. I'm pretty sure that currently I'm the heaviest Funny Car driver on the NHRA tour, maybe Tim Wilkerson could give me a run for my money, but I'm going to do my best to lose some 'poundage'. No more Waffle House for me, salads and Turkey are my new favorite foods and I'm going to be lean, mean racing-machine in 2006."

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