3. Their third run was for all the beans. "We quit experimenting and reverted to a tune from a previous outing that we knew would work," said Stanton. This was the right call, as they instantly became the number one qualifier with an 8.08 at 173.30 mph run. The Stanton/Holdrege team carried the tune from their third qualifier all the way to their first Extreme Street victory.
Better known in the doorslammer community as "Sponge" Bob Curran, he's no stranger to single-digit passes. How does his team manage a tune? In his play-by-play book, it's all about managing the engine timing and doing your best to be consistent round after round. Sponge Bob's team did notice a bit of oil in the engine bay due to blow-by, however that wouldn't keep them from competing. Bob's overall goal was to get into the top half of the field. Bob and crew ended up qualifying in the number five spot with an 8.34 at 167 mph blast.
||'96 Corvette Grand Sport
||Custom ladder bar setup, Strange double-adjustable shocks on all four corners.
||9-inch with Strange Engineering components
||8.11 at 173 mph
Luckily for the Sponge Bob team, they were experiencing similar conditions as they had seen the weekend prior. "Remember, this was the first round of qualifying, we just let her rip," said Bob. "I ended up hazing the tires and got out of it." During the second round of qualifying, they tightened up the front shocks and backed the timing off to try and tame the car down, which ultimately placed Bob in the number five position with an 8.34 at 167 mph run. "Right down Broadway," he said.
2. During the first round of eliminations, the team reviewed data from ealier rounds to determine what to do next. "It's a crap-shoot for me if I have an opponent that can lay down a solid run," said Bob, "Do I make a change or leave it alone?" For the Sponge Bob team, they left well enough alone. At the tree, their opponent redlit and with no changes to the chassis, Bob was on a ride and made it to the next round.
3. For the next round, Bob had a tough one on his hands. As he said, "You are racing the number one qualifier (Jamie Stanton) and I had outrun his time in round one already." Bad news came in the form of the waiting game. Consistent oil-downs on the track pushed most of the field off from racing for hours. In Bob's case, it was 8 hours before they could make their third pass-it was 44 degrees and dropping. For Bob, "You better believe that Jamie's big-block is going to take full advantage of the colder air." Even so, the Sponge Bob team left the tune alone again for this pass. Around 700 feet out, Bob's opponent was hooked, gone, and pulling slightly. You couldn't have asked for a better race. We're talking side by side action to the finish line, but his small-block ended up giving up the ghost on the big end. It wasn't the way Bob and his team wanted to end the year, but he vowed to be back next season with a new small-block combination.