Bakersfield, California – Alex Rogeo and her Team Easy Elegance MoparMax.com Maulin’ Magnum went to the NHRA Division 7 ET Finals not knowing that she was in the Summit Super Showdown race on Sunday for the top finishers in each class at each track. Alex was an alternate for the SSS race and didn’t find out until the Thursday before the race that she was in it due to a Las Vegas team mate’s inability to make the trip to Auto Club Famoso Raceway for the finals.
Alex went rounds consistently all weekend in her Magnuson supercharged 2007 Dodge Magnum SRT8. “We got the car into the zone starting last weekend. The car ran as we were predicting it would, at times running within .001 of what my crew chief calculated it would. With that kind of predictability I was eager to get to the line each round, I really felt like we could go all the way.”
In Saturday’s Division 7 Championship race, Alex cut through the first two rounds of competition. “I wasn’t nervous, I just felt so confident in the car that I was calm and just wanted to cut a good light and get to racing. We worked so hard on this car when it wasn’t right this past summer that it felt so good to have it back to where we had a good handle on what it was doing.”
In the third round Alex’s Maulin’ Magnum experienced its first mechanical failure in over 500 rounds of racing. “I felt like I nailed the light but just as the car launched I felt the [accelerator] pedal just sort of flop to the floor and the car nosed over and just coasted to the 60 foot mark. The pedal just broke.” After working late into Saturday night, and assisted by the high spirited Las Vegas team, the team repaired the complex drive-by-wire pedal.
“It’s hard to experience a failure like that at such a critical race,” said Alex’s crew chief Richard Kratz. “There are a lot of parts and failures that you can lose sleep over worrying about, but this definitely wasn’t one of them. It was a shame, we really had the car right where we wanted it and Alex could have gone more rounds, and then, who knows,” Richard said with a shrug.
At Sunday’s Summit Super Showdown race, the stakes were more than money and a trophy, the winner gets to go to the Finals in Pomona and see if they can win the national title. Alex did well in the first round and advanced into the next round of 24 cars. The NHRA’s Division 7 has an estimated 1,000 points racers in the Sportsman class.
“After winning the first round, in the second round of the race we had a good round,” said Alex. “I ran .012 off my dial and my opponent was .019 off. However, they cut a better light then I did and their total package won. That’s drag racing, you can’t win them all. But I’m proud of what we accomplished this year in NHRA competition. If you think about it, if there are 1,000 racers in the division fighting for points all season and only the top 48 in the Sportsman class were in the first round of this race, then I can be very proud that we got to this point, to the top 24 as it were.”
Alex represented the Las Vegas Motor Speedway team where she competed all year in the Tony Rowe Enterprises bracket races for NHRA points. Alex was happy that she went rounds and earned points for the team, which was able to sweep the Track Team Championship on Saturday and the Track Managers trophy on Sunday. The Vegas team also took the Team Spirit award.
Alex wrapped up her NHRA year, “We couldn’t have gotten to the championship and Summit Super Showdown race without the support of our partner sponsors, and we are really proud to have gotten close to the championship with their names on our car.” Alex went on to thank Magnuson Superchargers, MoparMax.com, Easy Elegance car care products, Mickey Thompson, RPM Rollbars, the Driveshaft Shop, OS Giken, Unitrax Drivetrains, Continental Torque Converters, Westminster Performance Transmissions, LAT Oil, Whiteline Suspension, Diablosports and MechanixWear.
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