Coming off of a win at the World Series of Drag Racing at Cordova Raceway in Cordova, Illinois, John Hale pulled into Famoso Raceway in the San Joaquin Valley of McFarland, California with confidence on his side. Along with winning their most recent race, Hale and his team set the E.T. and MPH records, earning them the Drag Racing Online 2011 Nostalgia Funny Car Championship.
NHRA driver John Hale experienced a stellar season, and won the Drag Racing Online 2011 Nostalgia Funny Car Championship.
Referring to the Online Nostalgia Funny Car Championship, Hale explained, "I chased Paul Romine all year long; we wound up facing each other numerous times. He was my favorite opponent, and to finally outrun him in Cordova on our way to the finals was important." Recalling a mechanical malfunction, he continued, "We went into the race, found our problem, wound up being low qualifier, set both records, won the race and eventually won the championship. To do all of that coming into the race more than sixty points behind, and come out on top means a lot."
"We had a lot of confidence going into Famoso, because we had a mag problem at Cordova and wound up running a 5.67," explained Hale. "We knew that with a better track and better air, we could improve. We were happy that we found our ignition problem and were ready to go to Bakersfield."
Entering the 20th California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso, situated seventh in the NHRA Heritage Series Points in his Mike Burkhart 1969 Camaro, Hale qualified thirteenth in the quickest Nostalgia Funny Car field in history. During the first round of the event, John lined up against fellow driver Jon Capps and his Texas Jungle Jim car. When the race was deemed over, Hale had run a 5.91 and earned his first victory of the event.
Even though they beat Capps, Hale and his team were aware that something was amiss. Regardless of steps taken to tune their engine up, it simply wouldn't respond as expected. That in mind, Hale and his crew chose to change engines prior to the beginning of the round two race. "We knew something was wrong with our car," explained the driver. "It just wouldn't respond with the number we knew it should run. We had to do something to step it up. The engine change was the key to our success," he explained. "I have to credit our tuner, Gary Kennedy, for suspecting a camshaft problem, and making the call to change engines. We went from a .91 to a .73, and we knew we had our race car back."
John Hale and his team were recently victorious at the 20th California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso, and in turn ended the season second in the NHRA Heritage Series Points.
Facing Mike Halstead and the McCain Nitro Angel car in the second round, it quickly became evident that their decision had proven wise, as Hale beat Halstead's 6.02 time with a 5.73. Earning his second victory of the event, John Hale prepared for the semi-finals.
This time, lining up against the Dale Pulde's War Eagle car manned by James Day, Hale improved his time by .03 seconds which was more than enough to move him up into the final round. Everything was fitting together like a puzzle; Hale's car had increased in speed during each and every run, and all of the teams leading John in the Points race had fallen by the wayside. Hale couldn't have been in a better position.
Facing the March meet champion, Kris Krabill and his Gary Turner's Pedaler car, John Hale won the final race and logged the fastest National Funny Car E.T. in NHRA history with a 5.58, at 255.96 miles per hour. The victory projected John Hale from seventh to second place in the NHRA Heritage Series points- a vast improvement from last season's ninth place finish.
Reviewing the entire 2011 season, Hale said, "We're satisfied, as our goal was to win one race. We ended up winning three races, and a championship, as well as runner-up in the Heritage Series."
Aware of the importance of maintaining their engines, John Hale said, "We use K&N air and oil filters on all of our equipment. We've been selling and using K&N products for fifteen years, and they are second to none. We have zero bearing problems, and I think the K&N HP oil filter has a lot to do with our motors staying happy."
During the upcoming season Hale and his crew will approach their races as they have in the past. "I just want to continue to be a better driver," explained John Hale. "First off, I want to thank the folks at K&N for their support, and secondly, for all of the fans that buy K&N products."
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