The 2014 racing season came to an end for Team Co-Line/Goalsetter in Reading, PA, Oct. 3-5. The weekend included a completion of the Charlotte, NC, race that was postponed from the previous month. In the second round of the Charlotte race, Rail Brand had a bye run due to Jay Payne not making the postponed trip to PA. In the semi-finals, Rail faced Steve Harker, who at that time was number two in the points chase. Rail had the better reaction time, but had to lift. Harker ran a 5.545 at 263.10 mph for the win. Harker would go on to win the NC race to come within one point of Rail in the points chase.
In the Reading race, Rail qualified fourth out of 19 cars with a 5.590 quarter-mile elapsed time pass at 261.47 mph. In round one, Rail faced Tony Bogolo. Rail was first off the line with a 0.026 reaction time and clocked a 5.530 second pass at 261.78 to Bogolo’s losing 5.928 at 240.77.
On Sunday, in round two, Rail was up against Clint Thompson. This was the first time the two had faced each other in eliminations. Rail was first off the line again, and that made all the difference. Rail clocked a slower 5.533 at 262.69 mph to Thompson’s losing 5.526 for the hole-shot win.
On to the semi-final round, the Co-Line/Goalsetter funny car team faced Harker again. Brand and Harker had faced each other twice before, each winning once. Brand had the starting line advantage but went into severe tire shake, crossed the centerline, and could only watch Harker take the win light and the national points title away from Team Co-Line. Harker would go on to win the Reading event, and as the points look to finish out the 2014 year, Harker will win the championship by 42 points. Brand and crew did win the Central Region of NHRA by 106 points.
The crew for the busy weekend included Rail, Eric, Tana, and Cory Brand, deWayne Lemons, and Marty Van Wyk.
“A big thank you to everyone at Co-Line for all their support this season,” said Eric Brand, crew chief. “I don’t know how any race team could do what we did this year without a supportive tool and die department as well as many other people in the organization. Our team also has the best driver out there. No matter what the tune-up was, I could always count on Rail leaving on the guy in the next lane. A big thank you to Tana, my mom, for cooking for us, doing laundry, and keeping us all in line at all the events. Also thanks to deWayne and Marty for giving up their weekends to race with us.”
Plans are unknown for the 2015 race season at this time, but with a possible business expansion on the horizon, it is doubtful the team will hit as many events next year as they did this year.