Churchville, New York's Dan Fletcher found himself with a shot to double up at an NHRA National event, for the eighth time is his career, during the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, taking both his Stock and Super Stock class cars all the way to the finals of the rain plagued event.
Dan Fletcher wins Stock Eliminator in NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Dan Fletcher gets his 73rd NHRA National Event win.
Fletcher, who has had success at the facility in years past, notes that his very first time to the Tennessee track was back during the IHRA days. "That was actually the very first track I traveled away to with my father when I was sixteen," he said. "You know it was my first away type race and it was the IHRA bracket finals."
Qualifying, for both of Fletcher's classes, was completed on Friday and the first three rounds of eliminations were held on Saturday where he put away his competitors, even if there was a little luck involved. "I was very fortunate," he pointed out of his second round in Super Stock. "I red-lighted but my opponent was red ahead of me. So after that, it was all found money, that's the way I looked at it."
"I should not have been red second round," he continued. "When I'm early, I know it. I wasn't early and when I got the ticket and it said ten [.010]. And then I said, well there's a minus in front of that. I was just flabbergasted. Then I ran the left lane the next couple of rounds, where I went with my normal setup, where I felt everything should be [reaction time] and everything was fine. So I get put into the right lane again in the semi's. I thought I would see the light better because by this time it's dusk. I was fortunate again as I was fifty-seven on the tree to my opponent's teen but I was going under. I managed to drop it dead-on the dial and he went under by one and a half."
K&N 1969 Chevrolet Camaro driven by Dan Fletcher
Thanks to his top end driving skills, Fletcher moved on in his K&N SS/AS Camaro to meet up with Mike Saye for the Super Stock final. Although the two had competed many times before, this would be their first meeting in a final round.
Before business could be taken care of in the Super Stock final, Fletcher had things to take care of in Stock where he had also made his way through the rounds.
"Honestly, I only put this motor in the car about a year ago," he said of his K&N E/SA 1969 Camaro. "I'd been have a carburetor issue that only occurs during very low barometer conditions. You know that at Bristol it's a low barometer and pretty slow. My car started screwing up on me and it would go out about thirty feet [makes car noises] and then down the track it would go. Sunday during the long rain delay, I went through the whole carburetor. I had leaned it down to go there but put it back to my normal set up, which I didn't like to do [in the middle of a race] but I felt like I had to. Well, and it still screwed up."
"I don't really know what to say about my Stock rounds," he continued. "I feel like I drove pretty well. I know I was late one time in the semi's and running against a pickup truck. [Randall Campbell, 1986 Chevy C-10, R/SA] He's a fourteen second thing and I'm forty on the tree, which is unacceptable after coming off of two .003 lights. But I just slid on down there and managed to take .007 of the stripe."
"That guy was driving great in that truck," he added. "The light in the semi's was his worst light of the weekend and he was just driving really well."
With the round win, Fletcher moved on to the final in Stock to meet up with Joe Santangelo. Fletcher's dial would have him leave first posting a nice .013 light and before he could make it past the tree, Santangelo handed him the Stock Eliminator win by going .013 red.
Fletcher only had a moment to enjoy his spectacular 73rd NHRA National Event win before returning to the staging lanes and hopping in his Super Stock Camaro for the last final to close out the event.
"I was back in the left lane and just put everything back where I felt it should be," he said of his Super Stock final. "I put it in just a little deep and tried to correct for it and I was .004 red. It was kinda of maddening, but what are you gonna do."
Prior to his huge success during the Thunder Valley Nationals, Fletcher's week started by representing K&N at a different kind of event. "I was in Nashville the week before at the CMA Fest that is a week-long affair. I was there displaying one of the cars on behalf of K&N there in downtown Nashville area. Those types of things I don't get to do every often, but it was definitely fun."
"It just goes to show you how I am truly blessed to be able to work with and represent a company like K&N," he continued. "To be able to go to an event like Bristol and take two cars deep into eliminations for a company that has the faith in me that they do is really pretty special,"
"Being a part of the K&N family, well I couldn't be more proud," he smiled.
There will be no rest for the champion racer as he heads to the next event on the 2011 NHRA tour in Norwalk, Ohio for the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals, June 23-26. Fletcher will once again wheel his K&N Super Stock Camaro and change it up a little with his second entry coming being a dragster in the 8.90 Index Super Comp class.
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.