“Hurry up and wait” was the name of the game for Team Co-Line/Goalsetter at the 33rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, MN last weekend August 15-17. Dale Brand and crew qualified third with a 5.662 second pass at 256.50 mph.
Brand is leading the nationwide points chase, but both the #2 and #3 cars were in attendance at Brainerd, looking to close the gap.
In the first round on Saturday night after a short rain delay, Brand took out Lance Van Hauen of Reinbeck, IA. Team Co-Line/Goalsetter clocked a 5.660 pass at 255.34 mph, his quickest of the weekend, to Van Hauen’s losing 7.991 at 174.64 mph.
On Sunday, after several rain delays and a complete weather change from Saturday’s qualifying and round one win, Brand faced Shane Westerfield of Anaheim, CA. Westerfield was sitting third in the points chase. Westerfield was first off the line but experienced tire shake and clicked it off early. Brand also shook the tires, but was able to drive out of it and recorded a 5.730 pass at 258.02 mph to Westerfield’s losing 14.912. “This was a big round win for us,” said a very excited Brand. “Time will tell but this round may be the round that decides the points at the end of the year.”
Brand had a bye run in the semi-finals due to a low car count, only nine cars in a 16-car field. Fortunately for Brand it was a bye as the team broke the output shaft of the transmission seven-tenths of a second into the run and coasted thru the finish line. “It was bad luck that it happened, but good fortune that it happened when it did and not in the final round,” shared Brand.
The Co-Line/Goalsetter crew got the car put back together and Brand was strapped in and helmet on sitting in the lanes, only three pair back from running the final round when the NHRA track officials called the race due to the rain delays and the track not having any lights. Brand will face Scott McVey of Winnipeg, MB, Canada and will run the final round at the Earlville, IA race on Sept. 5-6.
Crew members for the weekend included Dale, Tana, and Eric Brand, Marty Van Wyk, and deWayne Lemons. Team Co-Line/Goalsetter will be competing this weekend, Aug 22-24 in Topeka, Kansas.