The Co-Line and Goalsetter sponsored alcohol funny car team travelled south to compete in the 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, TX, a suburb of Houston. Dale Brand drove the Co-Line/Goalsetter 2006 Monte Carlo to a #5 qualifying spot in a 16-car field with a 5.608 at 260.41 mph.
In the first round, Brand faced Kris Hool of Casper, WY. Brand was first off the starting line with a .042 reaction time and held on for the win by 0.0202 seconds, approximately eight feet. Brand recorded a 5.611 second pass at 260.36 mph to Hool’s losing 5.628 at 259.91 mph. In round two, Brand was up against Steve Harker of Gainesville, GA. Harker qualified just ahead of Brand in the #4 spot. Brand once again had the starting line advantage and crossed the finish line first with a 5.601 second pass at 260.81 mph, his quickest pass of the weekend.
In the semi-finals, Brand faced #1 qualifier Annie Whiteley of Grand Junction, CO. This was the first match-up between the two and Brand had the starting line advantage but Whiteley chased him down just past half-track. It was a very close drag race, but Brand’s 5.601 second effort to Whiteley’s 5.595 second pass just wasn’t enough. The margin of victory was approximately five feet.
Whiteley faced Shane Westerfield of Anaheim, CA in the final. Both had trouble with tire shake, but Westerfield claimed the victory and won the event with a 6.311 pass at 254.23 mph.
“This was Team Co-Line’s first trip to Houston. The elevation is only 200’ above sea level with hot and very humid air conditions. These atmospheric conditions combined with a race surface that changed significantly throughout the weekend brought new challenges for tuning the race car,” said Brand. “Our semi-final appearance was a very close race and could have easily gone either way. I am very proud of Team Co-Line/Goalsestter to be so competitive on a national level.”
Team members for the event included Dale, Tana, and Eric Brand, Marty Van Wyk, and deWayne Lemons. Coverage of the Houston event will be televised on ESPN2 on Sunday, May 4 at 11:30 a.m. The Co-Line/Goalsetter car will be idle for three weeks before they head to Topeka, KS to compete in the 26th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals.