The Co-Line/Goalsetter sponsored NHRA Alcohol Funny Car competed in the 29th Annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas, TX Sept 19-21. Dale Brand and crew qualified eighth out of 21 cars with a 5.668 second quarter-mile pass at 259.61 mph.
In the first round on Saturday night, Brand faced fellow Iowan Chris Foster of Davenport. With an air temperature of 90 degrees, Brand was first off the line and never looked back clocking a 5.654 second pass at 259.81 mph to Foster’s losing 6.064. Foster had problems late in the run and backed off the throttle.
On Sunday, Brand’s second round match-up placed him against the #1 qualifier John Lombardo, Jr of Brea, CA. Brand had the quicker reaction time and made his fastest pass of the weekend, a 5.635 at 260.26 mph. Lombardo made a move to the left right off the starting line, but couldn’t catch Brand, giving Team Co-Line/Goalsetter the upset win.
In the semi-finals, Brand had lane choice against Terry Ruckman of Grand Junction, CO. Brand nailed the tree with a 0.034 reaction time to Ruckman’s 0.062. But Brand went into early tire shake, overpowering the track at the hit of the throttle. He tried to recover, but made a quick move to the left having to lift and by that time Ruckman was long gone. Ruckman recorded a 5.699 second pass at 253.80 mph to Brand’s losing 10.759 effort. This was the first time Brand and Ruckman faced in other in competition.
“An employee shared a quote with me that she had heard over the weekend: ‘We never fail, we either learn or win.’ Dallas was a learning weekend!” said Brand.
Brand still leads the national point choice by 44 points. Steve Harker, the winner of the Dallas event, closed the gap with his sixth National Event win. Brand and crew are back home to sort things out before they travel to Reading , PA. In Reading, the team will finish the North Carolina event that was postponed a couple weeks ago as well as compete in the 30th Annual NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Crew members Dale, Tana, & Eric Brand, deWayne Lemons, and Marty Van Wyk were glad to be back home for a few days after racing three weekends in a row. TV coverage of the Dallas event is scheduled for Oct. 5 at 10 p.m. CST on ESPN2.