FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2014, AA/FD HQ—In consecutive NHRA Heritage Series events, AA/Fuel Dragster driver Tony Bartone has unleashed blistering back-to-back attacks on his drag-strip adversaries, taking Top Fuel Eliminator Saturday at the 12th Annual Holley Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green, KY.
This season Tony and Michael Bartone, who hail from New York, have toted their operation to Bakersfield and then Bowling Green, and, under the tutelage of tuner Steve Boggs, have yet to lose a round of racing. In Kentucky, they set the bar on Friday, qualifying in the #1 position while laying down a stout quarter-mile elapsed time of 5.83 seconds.
In eliminations, the Bartone Bros. entry only got stronger, posting three consecutive 5.7-second clockings. After soloing in the first round with a 5.75, in the semi-finals Bartone dispatched defending Bowling Green winner and 2013 Heritage Series Points Titlist, Jim Murphy, 5.76 to 5.87. For the event win, Bartone outran scrappy crowd favorite Jim Young.
Against Young, who runner-upped with a 6.04 in Ernest and Stephen McClain’s big-block Chevy-powered “Tri-State Racing” machine, Bartone not only won the event, he also set Top Speed of the Meet with a stellar 254.81-mph blast.
Bartone’s speed was just a nano-tick faster than that of Dave Hirata’s, who had posted a 254.71-mph top-end charge while qualifying second in Dale Suhr’s “Orange Crate” railjob out of Iowa.
In fact, Indiana-based front-engine Top Fuel freshmen Hirata posed the most serious challenge to Bartone’s win streak, having turned Low ET of the Meet in the first round of eliminations with a sizzling time of 5.74 seconds. However, Hirata’s threat was snuffed when a reverser malfunctioned in the second round of eliminations, enabling Hirata’s competition, Young, to advance to the final round unopposed.
The next Top Fuel points race in the NHRA Heritage Series is the Pepsi Nightfire Nationals, August 7-10 in Boise, Idaho.