In early July, Chad Axford, and Team Mellow Insanity racing, rolled into Sonoma California, eager to compete with fellow NHRA drivers at the Summit ET bracket series points race. This was not the driver's first experience at the Infineon Raceway. In fact, according to Axford, they race at this particular venue approximately ten times annually.
Team Mellow Insanity's Chad Axford at Infineon Raceway
Chad Axford wins at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California
Although he had yet to log a win in 2011, competing in the super pro and super comp classifications, Chad Axford had already experienced 15 races prior to the event. That said, although the driver had seen far less success than he had hoped for throughout the first portion of the season, Axford's confidence level was actually positive, as he was anticipating a win in the near future. Evidently his positive attitude and persistence paid off. At the end of the weekend, the driver and his team walked away victorious in the Super Pro Class. "My confidence level was good," recalled Axford. "It had been a rough year for me, but we were still swinging. I knew I was due for a win."
As did all of his competitors, Axford entered the race with a strategy. When asked the key to winning this particular event, the driver answered, "Good help and a great car. I'm nothing without my crew," he continued. "The car ran great all weekend. We went a bunch of rounds on Monday, making the semi finals in Super Comp and winning the Super Pro." When asked where he was ranked thus far in the season, he explained, "We are only chasing local points this year. We are top ten in all 3 points series we are entered in."
In round one of the Super Pro, Axford lined up against Tony Silvia and got the day started off on a positive note with a win. Taking the next two rounds, the driver was then paired with Dennis Paz in round four and got the bye to the final round. With fire in his eyes, Chad Axford lined up beside Eathon Lanfri to race for the win, and when all had been said and done, Axford was the victor.
During the Semi Finals of the Super Comp class, Chad Axford lined across from Jack Freckman and lost. Of course the driver would have preferred walking away victorious in this classification as well, and rightfully so. On the other hand, even though Axford finished third, the event was still a moral booster, as he managed to outdrive multiple time world champion, Tom Bayer, during the first round. "Tom Bayer is someone most people don't want to see in the other lane, but I embrace the challenge," explained Axford. "I want to accomplish what Tom has, and anytime you can win rounds against people like that, it's a plus."
Chad Axford is obviously aware of what it takes to win, and would be quick to agree that maintaining his car is a very important step toward experiencing success. That said, the driver uses and depends a great deal upon K&N products. "We use K&N oil and air filters in all of our vehicles," he explained. "Hands down, they're the best investment any vehicle owner can make. K&N makes such a high quality and necessary product."
Along with proper maintenance, Axford also considers his crew as a crucial component of his success. "They do everything," he shared. "All I have to do is get in and drive. My dad, Wayne; my mom, Linda; best friend, Roger; and my girlfriend, Shelby, keep everything rolling, so I can keep chasing the dream. I would like to thank my parents for all the time, money and support they put in my racing," he continued. "My buddy Roger, who is the Jr. Dragster Program Director at Sacramento Raceway, has watched me grow up in racing and is now an essential member of our team."
Since his win, Chad Axford has raced at the Fram Autolite Nationals at the Infineon Raceway where he went five rounds, and the driver is looking forward to returning to this track again on August 13-14. Axford is also anticipating a trip to las Vegas where he will be racing in the ET finals toward the end of September. When asked the key to continuing success through the remainder of 2011 the driver's answer was simply put, "Keep focused and relax."
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