The 2018 Funny Car Nationals
July 14, 2018
It is mid-July and that means it’s time for our trip out to western PA to Keystone Raceway Park for the 11th running of the Good Vibrations Motorsports Funny Car Nationals. This is one of our favorite races each season and at one of our favorite places to race. As usual the forecast was for dozens of funny cars and not a rain drop in sight.
We arrived on Friday and set up the pit area and RV for the weekend. We rolled the car out and prepped the pit for a fire up on Saturday and watched some of the funny cars testing before enjoying some adult beverages and a relaxing night with family and friends.
Saturday morning rolled around and the sky was blue and sun was hot. We got the call to roll down to the bottom end of the track for the on-track photo shoot. We lined up and the photographers did their thing capturing the awe of 2 dozen + funny cars lined up on the track like back in the 70’s. We waited til the other cars returned to the pits and we did our own little photo shoot capturing the Quarter Pounder with the body on and off the chassis along with a long overdue crew portrait.
We hung out greeting fans and friends during the afternoon and before we knew it…it was getting close to run time. We packed the chutes, fueled the car and prepped for the warm up. Fire it up! The engine’s thunder catches the fans attention moving from one team to the next during the warm ups. We encountered a leak at the fuel distribution block on the birdcatcher and tuner Brian Gawlik quickly tightened the fitting. All is well and we await the call to the lanes by Denny Salzwimmer the maestro of our little “orchestra”.
First round. We’re called to the lanes around 5:30 pm and we will be paired up as we approached the starting line. We are up against the Chasin’ My Childhood Duster driven by Mike Kurz. We let them know that we were going for the burnout award and to expect a long one. As planned it was a long, smoky burnout which put us in the running for the Best Burnout Award (until Chris Massarella took it with a wild, long and fast burnout). We took the win with a 7.73 at 167 mph. Mike encountered problems and coasted to a stop safely.
We serviced the car getting ready for round 2. This round we are matched with James Maher’s Junior Vibes Tempo. James and his dad Jim came all the way from California with their Tempo for the second FCN in a row. Again the goal is to win the burnout contest for round 2. We light the hides and burn down to almost half track. Turns out this one was enough to win the award. James took the win with a 7.10 at 190 mph to our 7.72 at 171 mph.
Chris Massarella took the win in the final for the East Coast team running a 7.01 et beating veteran Bill Walls hard-charging 6.87. Afterwards we were all treated to one of the finest fireworks displays you’ll see. We wrapped up a successful and fun Funny Car Nationals at Keystone Raceway Park and can’t wait til next year’s event. See you there!