It should come as no surprise that, multi-time NHRA World Champion, Mike Ferderer just seems to have his own recipe for winning and he continued to cook up a whole mess of it during the 2010 racing season.
NHRA National Super Gas Racer Mike Ferderer
Mike Ferderer at SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas
The Buckley, Washington resident didn't start the season quite the way he had hoped. But by the time he rolled into the 11th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in April, the winning commenced. Ferderer's NHRA National Event Super Gas victory would be one of his personal highlights of the season.
In addition to his national event win in 2010, it was on the divisional scene where Ferderer and his K&N Pontiac truly shined in Super Gas as he went on to four NHRA Divisional finals, racking up three victories, with the final one coming once again right back in Vegas.
NHRA World Champion Mike Ferderer
"Vegas is a hard track for me to win at for some reason," confessed Ferderer. "I mean I've had some success there, I'll give you that. But most of the time, it's first or second round and I'm gone. Vegas is a four-star race track and I've always wanted to win that one and I finally did."
Ferderer's K&N Pontiac and its engine combination are very versatile, in which on any given day, he could choose to enter it into any of three different NHRA classes, from his familiar Super Gas to Super Comp and even Top Sportsman.
It was while running in the latter of the three classes, Top Sportsman, where another one of Ferderer's 2010 highlights took place.
Top Sportsman is fairly new class on the NHRA scene with 2010 being the first year where both it and Top Dragster were contested on a limited basis at NHRA National Events. Ferderer made a decision to enter the fast door slammer bracket class when it was offered at the NHRA National event at Infineon Raceway in July.
Unlike most of the sportsman competitors, who to be eligible to enter Top Sportsman would have had to had a certain amount of grade points earned from divisional events while competing in the class; Ferderer is a past NHRA World Champion. This allows him the privilege of entering any sportsman class, at any event. Much to the apparent dismay of some other competitors, who made it known to Ferderer they weren't pleased with his choice to enter the event in Top Sportsman, he did so anyway. Some had even gone as far as to hint to him that they hoped his car was legal, or they just may have to protest.
Being the true professional he is Ferderer took it all in stride. He not only competed in the event at the NHRA Nationals in Sonoma, California, he dominated it and won the Top Sportsman Championship in his very first attempt at the class.
Even though Ferderer's Super Gas Division victory at Las Vegas in early November didn't count toward his point total, due to the calculation rules, he easily took the 2010 NHRA Division 6 Championship in the class. With this latest championship, the winningest driver in NHRA Super Gas history added notch number sixteen to overall division win belt, which also includes championships in Super Comp and Comp Eliminator.
In NHRA Sportsman classes, overall national points are determined by using a combination of both the driver's national and divisional totals. Ferderer and his K&N clad Grand Am didn't do too shabby in the Super Gas national standings either.
"The biggest points race win for me was in November, when I raced Val Torres, Sr, who is a very nice guy, good family and everything," noted Ferderer. "If I beat him, I would finish second in the world, which of course comes with a five-thousand dollar bonus and if I lose, well he gets the bonus."
"We both get down there and run a 10.045 on a 10.05," Ferderer says of the final round at the Vegas divisional. "And I had him on the starting line. So I stayed number two (NHRA Super Gas National Standings) for the third year in a row. You know, I think that's some kind of record, too."
Ferderer contributes much of his astronomical success to both his relationships and the parts he uses on his championship car, including a full line of products from K&N Engineering.
"Steve Williams and I work so closely together. He's like a brother to me," he first pointed out about his fellow racer and the K&N VP. "The products I use on my car work, I mean I use the "World's Best" and that's K&N."
With the dust just beginning to settle after another outstanding season, Ferderer contemplates the seasons to come.
"I don't know when I'm going to quit racing. It may be next week or it may be ten years from now," he confessed. "I'm very proud, and really shocked, that I'm the winningest Super Gas driver in NHRA history. Which I didn't know until they [NHRA] told me back in April when I won Vegas, that I was actually two wins ahead of the next guy behind me. I didn't know I had ever taken over the lead, let alone be ahead."
"That title is pretty important to me, so as long as I'm competitive in Super Gas, I may just continue to do what I did this season," he continued. "If there is a Top Sportsman race somewhere on the national event tour and I already have my schedule figured out to chase the championship in Super Gas, I may dabble in Top Sportsman again, just to go fast and have some fun."
"I know there is a chance that someone will eventually pass my NHRA Super Gas National event win record, but I would really like for it to be well after I quit racing," he added.
Should history continue to repeat itself and Ferderer continues to compete in the ultra-competitive class, as his plans for future seasons indicate, there is a very solid chance that another racer surpassing his Super Gas National Win record may not happen for a many years to come.
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