Frank H. Cicerale
April 1, 2008
Walter Pfister's '87 hatchback could only hustle to a 9.36 best, which placed him 19th on the Drag Radial final qualifying sheet. While he missed the show, Pfister did go out in style--and on the bumper. The Fox-body reached for the stars each time it left the starting line in qualifying, bringing the fans to their feet at the same time.

After last year's Shakedown, when Lynch shocked the world with a 6.66, most figured the envelope had been pushed to the max. For the second time in as many years, though, Lynch showed everyone there is still a vast amount of the envelope left to explore.

"It amazes me how we're able to pick up in performance every year," Lynch says. "The air is always good at this race, so there being a drastic difference in conditions from year to year isn't a factor at all. It's funny how a couple of years ago, we were going 6.90s and hoping to run that at best. Now we're nearly a half a second quicker, and I keep asking myself when it's going to end. A large part of our ability to run quicker can most definitely be attributed to Steve Petty and his tuning abilities."

So with Lynch running that outstanding 6.53, is there more left for next year's event?

"We can definitely go quicker next year," he says. "When we ran the 6.66 in 2006, the eighth-mile times indicated we should have gone a bit quicker. We looked long and hard at the data and the incrementals from the 6.53 run, and we're pretty sure that we can go 6.40s next year. The incremental on the 6.53 run indicates it, so don't be surprised if we do it."

The Heavy Street final showcased a pair of GM products, but Chris Connor and his '88 Mustang did make it to the semifinals before he fouled out. Heavy Street is an interesting class made up of back-halved cars that utilize any combination or power adder. As for Drag Radial, it was an all-Mustang money round as the fast Fox-bodies of Chris Little and Mustang Mike Modeste squared off. Little had been hanging the hoops and traveling the first part of the track on the bumper for most of the day, and the wear and tear of those hard landings took their toll, as his green '90 LX broke after the launch. Modeste gave the fans a show, however, as he lit up the scoreboards with a 7.97-second, 177-mph blast.

For the Mustang contingent, life in the big city was good. Most of them ended up on Broadway. Best of all, the RP staff has added a day to the Shakedown for 2008. The event is slated for October 18-19, and we wouldn't miss it for the world.