Todd Paton qualified the Bob and Steve McIntire’s “Crusher” nostalgia funny car at the 2014 March Meet, using a 5.84 in the third and final qualifying session which placed the team 13th in the 16-car field at the historic Famoso Raceway.
After skipping the first two sessions on Friday with valve train problems, the team was forced to give it an all-or-nothing shot in Saturday’s lone qualifying session. “The crew and the car performed flawlessly on that run,” driver Todd Paton said afterwards. “We overcame some pretty serious obstacles with the new engine yesterday, and had even considered withdrawing from the event. Fortunately, the team came up with a solution and we decided to throw our best guess at it to see what it would run. We hoped it would be close to the 5.87 we ran in qualifying at the Reunion last year, so we were thrilled with the 5.84 elapsed time.”
It was the first run on a new combination the team had been working on since the California Hot Rod Reunion last fall, which saw the team qualify 16th and then knock off number one qualifier Tim Nemeth in round number one before sending Todd one a well-publicized wild ride in the second round.
This time around the team wasn’t quite as fortunate. Paired with Kris Krabill who was driving Bucky Austin’s Pontiac Firebird, Todd noticed a problem during the burnout which would prevent the team from making a full pass.
“When I stepped on the throttle to do the burnout, raw fuel sprayed on the windshield of the body, so I quickly backed up and pointed it out to the crew. Unfortunately, the leak was caused by a fitting that had become loose and was in a spot that couldn’t be easily reached, so we decided to go ahead and stage the car just in case Kris made a mistake.”
At the green light, both drivers left nearly together (.102 to .108 reaction times), and Kris sped away to a 5.71 which matched his qualifying E.T., while Todd idled the “Crusher” Camaro down the track.
“There was no reason to try to run the car all the way down the track with the fuel leak. It could’ve caused a variety of problems including engine damage or even a fire. I saw Kris had a good run going and decided to lift to save the car for another day. Considering where we were Friday night, I am very pleased with our efforts here today. To make the 16-car field with 35 cars on the grounds says a lot for this team. They’re a great bunch of guys, and I’m glad to be a part of the team.”
The next event for the McIntire’s “Crusher” Camaro will be the Saturday Night Nitro event at Famoso Raceway on June 28, 2014.
Click the link below to ride along with Todd on the team’s 5.84/240 mph qualifying run.