Maybe it's because the facility is close to his home or maybe it's because he's just that good, but for the second time during the 2011 season, Brian Browell of Lafayette, Indiana drove his D/D V6-powered McKinney dragster to the Competition Eliminator final at Lucas Oil Raceway. His first final coming during the U.S. Nationals over Labor Day weekend and his latest during his most recent event and the NHRA Fall Classic National Open.
Brian Browell's Competition Eliminator D/D V6-powered McKinney dragster
Unlike the hot weather for the U.S. Nationals, most drivers were glad to put their fire suits on during the Fall Classic as it was not only cooler but also fairly windy, with the latter affecting the cars down track. "Driving in the right lane definitely got a little creative with the wind coming from the west side of the track," he explained. "It really made it interesting but other than that, it wasn't too bad. The track was as good as it was going to get. Saturday it was in the low sixties, but Sunday it made it into the low seventies."
Since the event was an "Open" and not a points meet of any kind, drivers in Comp Eliminator did not have to worry about taking any kind of permanent index hit, or CIC. They did, however, still need to watch their time slips on a per-round basis as to not go too far under their index, since that part of the class rules still remained in effect.
"I was number three in qualifying with fifty-five under," he said. "You know, could we have gone a little better, probably. Conditions weren't really all that great."
For Browell's first round pairing, he would meet up with Jeffery Townsend. "He had trouble with his altered, so that allowed me to just shut off early and move on to round two with Mike Farrell," he noted. "I ended up taking a little index hit to win over Mike."
Browell had a pretty nice starting line advantage over Farrell and his A/EA '32 Bantam, when he posted a .025 reaction time to Farrell's .084. Both drivers gave it their all at the finish line, each taking a CIC hit, but it would be Browell who would take the win light and on to the semi-finals.
"You know I just took a little too much win-stripe, but I took the win," confessed Browell.
In the semis, Browell didn't have to worry about the hefty .09 CIC that he was carrying, as his competitor Mark Kirkman was unable to make the call. It would be a different story in the final and Browell knew he needed every ounce of starting line advantage he could muster as his opponent had managed to stay clean [no CIC] throughout eliminations.
It would be a round where Browell might have wished he would have been the quicker car of the pair, and therefore left the line last as both drivers turned on the redlight. "He had the advantage because of the index," he said of his final round match-up with Robert Bailey.
Even though Bailey was technically "more-red" than Browell [-.057 to -.044,] the handicap start went to Browell and therefore he went red first. "It appears by looking at the timeslip, that the wheels popped up out of the beams," he explained. "It started the clock early because everything on the slip is off by ten. Normally when you see a timeslip like that, that is more than likely what happened on the launch."
While his most recent achievement wouldn't add any points to his score, due to the nature of the event, it's still a great feeling to make it to a final at any type of NHRA event in the highly competitive Comp Eliminator Class. Browell currently sits in the number five spot in the NHRA Div. 3 standings with one event left to claim and he hopes to make a trip out west and improve his tally.
"With any luck we are hoping to head out to the Las Vegas points meet and then the World Finals national meet in Pomona," he said. "I've been bumped down to nineteenth in the national points and if we can get lucky enough to the last two races, we can finish in the top ten."
Browell has been a constant top ten NHRA National finisher for numerous years and the same goes for how long he has chosen K&N products to protect his very high dollar 265 CI V6 Chevy motor. Using K&N is just a given for the multi-business owner. "I only use the best when it comes to my engines," he said. "That's why you'll find nothing but K&N oil and air filters on them. They work and with K&N quality is never an issue from one filter to the next, no matter which part number it is. That's everything they develop and manufacturer right down to the carbon fiber scoop on my dragster."
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