Coming up short worked out perfectly for Nostalgia Top Fuel racer Pete Wittenberg.
The veteran Nostalgia Top Fuel driver from Anaheim, Ca., estimates he coasted the last 320 feet of Auto Club Famoso’s quarter-mile and managed to emerge from Friday’s lone session with the provisional No. 1 qualifier, with a 5.731 elapsed time, at only 234.94 miles per hour.
The team’s secret? It’s all in the new paint scheme.
“Painted the car red, so it’s a little bit faster this time,” Wittenberg said with a smile. “We’ll see how it does for the rest of the weekend. The car ran well yesterday. Had the automatic shutoff device shut it off and I think I figured that out, so we’ll see if it goes a little bit quicker this time.”
The team’s proprietary device is designed to save the team from breaking parts and eventually losing runs from putting oil on the track.
“It will shut the car off if I have too much pressure and it worked,” Wittenberg said. “So I think I had it a little bit too sensitive, but I’m starting to figure out where it wants to be. So better to do that on a qualifier or on a test run.
“My intention is to save parts. I’m kind of a low buck racer, so if I can save the expense of an explosion, at least once, it pays for itself. And that’ll help me kind of make the next run or next race, even.”
Wittenberg doesn’t hesitate to say, there’s more on Saturday from where that came from on Friday.
“It was probably going to run a high 60, so I’m going to see if I can make that happen in Q-2,” Wittenberg said. “If it doesn’t shut itself off, I’m going to leave everything else alone and adjust for the air and just see what it does.”