A couple of weeks ago when we spoke with Burton Racing it was regarding Brad Burton claiming the Stock Wally at the 2012 Winternationals in Pomona, California. This time we talked with Brad's dad, Scott. The father-son team has been competing at NHRA National and Divisional events together since 2005, and so far this season they are spreading the wealth squarely.
Scott Burton's Stock Eliminator at Firebird represented a perfect execution in his dial soft strategy.
"The Arizona Division 7 win was a big win for our team," acknowledged Scott. "Brad and I are off to a great start to the 2012 season. We are hopeful that our early success will carry through the rest of the year."
In Stock Eliminator at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Pacific Division event at Firebird International Raceway, a 0.004 difference in reaction times is all that stood between Scott and Michael Brand II. However, Scott ran 0.001 to his dial, giving him a three-foot squeaker of a win. Scott earned the 2012 LODRS 7-2 Stock Eliminator title with a 10.371 ET at 122.11 mph, piloting his 1971 Formula Firebird.
It appears as though you were dialed in just a bit better. Give us few insights about the race from your perspective and about your dialing wisdom.
"Regarding dial-ins, my son Brad and I do a lot of weekend bracket racing, we race almost every weekend. To be good at this sport you need a lot of repetition, or as we call it - seat time. The more you do anything the better you are going to get at it. Good knowledge of your car and paying close attention to the ever changing weather conditions allows you to get very close on dial-in predictions."
"In the final round and throughout most of the race, I would dial the car .02 slower than I thought it would run knowing that if I ran it out, I would break-out. This technique is known as being soft, holding or sand bagging on your dial-in. The key to being successful in a dialing soft strategy is knowing that you must slow down on the other end of the track, to kill, or scrub a little ET off."
Scott has been competing in Stock Eliminator since 1998, his 1971 Pontiac Formula Firebird continues to get-it-done thanks in part to solid car preparation and using K&N products.
"Having a faster car makes it easier to use a dial soft strategy. If you stand at the finish line at any drag race you will see many racers racing this way. Most drivers will catch their opponent, get inches ahead of them, and then use the throttle or drag the brakes to maintain a tight margin at the finish line. There are many pro's and con's to a dialing soft strategy, and I like to change it up and dial very honest at times, so my opponents don't know exactly how I will race each round. In the final round race against Michael Brand, I caught him early enough in the race to blip the throttle three or four times knowing that I had killed some ET at the other end, and I hoped it was enough to keep from breaking out. At the end of the day, a little luck is important in going 7 rounds and winning a race."
Did you do anything in particular to your car or program during the off season to account for your terrific start to 2012?
"Car preparation is extremely important in being successful in any type of racing. This year my car got a new Pontiac 400 short-block, and new front shocks. Generally, with a NHRA Stock eliminator car you start the season with a fresh overhauled engine, transmission and rear-end. You can run a whole season with nothing more than general maintenance. Oil and K&N filter changes every 50 runs. I like to do as much of my maintenance as I can at home in my garage, and I do very little at the track. Brad and I will go down the ¼-mile around 300 times a year, if we are going rounds and winning races."
What's the rest of the season schedule look like for the Burton Racing team?
"As for the rest of the year, Brad and I plan on running a full NHRA schedule, as well bracket racing at our local home tracks. My next race will be the Division 7 Lucas Oil Points race in Las Vegas. Brad, my wife Diane, and daughter Alyssa will join me the following weekend in Las Vegas for the SummitRacing.com Nationals in Las Vegas (March 30 - April 1). I can't predict how well we will do in the coming months, but I do know we will have a lot of fun with family and friends."
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