After competing in the NHRA Divisional, Sheldon Gecker, of Surprise, Arizona, had one more stop to make before returning home. Sheldon rolled in to Salt Lake City on June 26 having already won one race in the Top Dragster class during the 2011 season, with anticipation of experiencing another successful outing. Just as the driver had hoped for, at the end of the weekend, he had managed to win yet again in the Top Dragster class at the IHRA event.
NHRA/IHRA Racer Sheldon Gecker and son
Sheldon Gecker grabs Top Dragster at 2011 IHRA Nitro Jam
According to Sheldon, 25 cars showed up at the event, and the competition was stiff. "For the most part, the competition was more than I expected, considering they don't usually run that category at that track," shared Gecker. "In that area of the country, there aren't a lot of racers competing in the Top Dragster class, but people showed up from different areas of the country. It was a different group of people than we normally see for the most part at the NHRA events. There were some pretty fast cars, cars that ran around 200 miles per hour at altitude. I was impressed," he continued.
When asked the importance of his recent win, Sheldon said, "It was important. With fuel prices around $4.00 per gallon, it's expensive to go down the road, so we're not competing in as many races as we would like.
"It's a good feeling getting caught up and starting to win some rounds. We were feeling pretty good going into this race, and were runner up just last week in Fallon, Nevada." explained Gecker.
Referring to the key to success during his most recent win, Sheldon suggested that regardless of venue, success depended a great deal upon having rapport with your vehicle, and knowing how it will perform under various track and weather conditions.
Sheldon stated that experiencing success throughout the remainder of the season depended partially upon actual time behind the wheel, and keeping your vehicle in one piece. "If you sit out too long, you tend to get a little stale," explained Sheldon. "If you start changing combinations and changing engines, the learning curve becomes too steep in a short season."
Sheldon said that his race car has been performing well throughout the season. According to the driver, of the five races they have competed in, Gecker and his crew have earned a spot in three finals. That said, the driver is aware that properly maintaining the internal components of their engine is of utmost importance. Speaking of K&N products, the driver said, "we use them on the air cleaner and the oil filters. We've been using K&N products for about 15 years, and have had very good luck with them. I think in any scenario, they're hard to beat," he continued. "Their filters are all-around good filters, and we've never had any problems with them. We use them on our support vehicles also."
Sheldon Gecker and his crew are presently in the process of preparing for upcoming divisional and national events to be held in Sonoma, California. According to the driver, the NHRA divisional race is scheduled for July 22-24, and the NHRA national event will take place one week later, beginning on July 29, and continuing through the 31st.
Sheldon Gecker stressed the importance of his team, and was quick to show gratitude toward his sponsors and fans. "Most of the products we run, we've used for the past fifteen or twenty years, because they're the most reliable products out there, and we can depend on them," shared Sheldon. In closing he said, "I'd like to thank our sponsors and fans for all of the support that we have received throughout the years."
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