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Mon, 15 Oct 2012, 09:42 AM

Lengthy Computer Crash Disrupts Shakedown Qualifying
Courtesy of Michelle Marchese





ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Jose Gonzalez (Pro Modified), Tim Lynch (Outlaw 10.5), Roger Sterling (Heavy Street), Jorge Juarbe (Pro Import), and Joey Gladstone (Pro Street Bike) will lead their fields in eliminations Sunday for the SPEEDTECH Corp. Shakedown Nationals at Englishtown, N.J.

The area's noise curfew forced the remainder of time trials into an early Sunday program that will preface eliminations at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

The 8.50 Index class will open Sunday's action with its final qualifier at 8 a.m. Three other classes -- in order the X275, Limited Street, and Top Sportsman -- will follow to complete qualifying.

Eliminations for the 10th anniversary edition of this outlaw, street-legal drag racing classic will begin after that.

Saturday afternoon's racing came to an abrupt halt for about six hours because of a mysterious and massive computer / electronics failure. Event and racetrack officials worked feverishly to restore power, and they restored power in the tower control room and on the track with a cooperative gesture from "neighbor" track Atco Raceway in South Jersey.

As officials scrambled to assess then fix the computer problem, they identified a part to the motherboard that needed replacement. Raceway Park co-owner Alex Napp took advantage of the small-plane airport next door to Raceway Park and flew to Atco, near Philadelphia, where Atco Raceway operator Joe Sway gave him the part he needed.

Racing resumed just before 6 p.m.

Lynch added to his Shakedown legend, setting the first 4.0-second pass in the Outlaw 10.5 class.

In the first Top Sportsman session in the history of this event, ADRL regular Chuck Mohn's 4.153-second elapsed time in his Camaro as quickest, while William Ahlas had fastest speed at 172.41mph in his '63 Corvette.

Roger Sterling staked an early claim to the top qualifying spot in the Heavy Street category at 4.387 seconds but crashed later in the evening and likely will not b able to compete Sunday. Thomas Haase took over the 8.50 Index lead Saturday morning.

The Pro Modified class ran several pairs before the system shut down entirely. When action resumed, a pair of California drivers -- Mike Maggio and Scott Oksas -- kicked off the remainder of the Pro Modified runs.

But the delays weren't over Saturday. The Christmas Tree experienced a glitch of some kind, and track-prep specialist Eddie Krawiec walked over and literally slapped the electronic starting device to get it to work.

Once the racing started to develop a rhythm, John Stanley's engine blew up and littered the track with debris, causing another lengthy delay. His incident came during an exhibition run against fellow ADRL Pro Extreme rival Chris Russo.

Shakedown owner Dave Hance got at least a measure of positive news Saturday night after his long and frustrating day. He was 25th in the Pro Modified order after the first, long-delayed qualifying session. However, he came back in one of the final runs of the evening to post a 5.866-second, 252-mph clocking that lifted him to the No. 3 starting position.





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