All month long, our racing guru David Scoggan is blogging LIVE from Lucas Oil Raceway! Check back here regularly for a dose of Dave’s wit and whimsy.
The two-day pre-USN test has been quite a happening in recent years. All the top nitro teams would shoot their best shots in an attempt to prep for the Big Go and garner as much pre-event publicity as possible.
For reasons unknown, this year’s opening day of testing was a comparative ghost town; instead of double-digit Top Fuel and Funny Car teams in attendance, there were a paltry three nitro cars on hand and nary a one in the top ten in points. Wayne Newby posted the day’s best pass with a 3.877/303.64 from the Australian TF team of the Rapisarda family. Justin Ashley continued his learning process in preparation for his Charlotte TF debut with a 3.998/300.20 lap in his Davis Motorsports dragster. Cruz Pedregon never made it past the 300′ mark under power and managed just a 6.06 best in his Snap-On Dodge Charger Funny Car.
Pro Stock Motorcycle had three strong competitors making passes, with the Vance and Hines duo of Andrew Hines (6.878/195.45) and Eddie Krawiec (6.900/195.62) topping the chart on their Harleys, but Ryan Oehler kept them honest with a 6.925/196.19 on his Buell.
Four stout supercharged Pro Mod cars made multiple laps on Wednesday. Brandon Snider led the pack with his AAP 2015 Corvette at 5.801/245.49, followed by Todd Tutterow’s AAP Camaro at 5.811/245.85. Mississippi farmer Jason Scruggs ran a solid 5.827/248.11 in his brand-new 2019 Camaro that replaces his trusty 1969-model Camaro. Mike Castellana’s best in his AAP Camaro was 5.869/246.89 MPH.
Mark Pawuk made four consistent passes with his DSR Drag Pak Challenger in preparation for the 32-car-field Factory Stock Showdown, all between 8.031 and 8.050, with a best speed of 171.10. Two competitors in the exhibition “Fastest Street Car Shootout” also made laps; Dave Schroeder mustered a 6.721/202.77 from his “faux-Gran Sport” 1966 Corvette, while Tom Bailey struggled with his “Sick Seconds” turbocharged 1969 Camaro and posted an 8.153/121.65 best.
Thursday’s resumption of testing has been delayed by overnight and morning rain, but there are teams here waiting for a dry track. Terry McMillen and his Amalie Oil Top Fuel car arrived yesterday, plus the Top Fuel Harley of Kevin Boyer. Numerous other teams are just down the road in Brownsburg and they have plenty of time to drive on over, but it seems that the rigors of a 24-race schedule and the cost of making a pass with a nitro car have convinced most organizations that the pre-Indy test at LOR just isn’t worth the effort anymore.