Chris Rado and WORLD Racing take 1st place at Battle of the Imports and in the "Battle of the Energy Drinks"
ATCO, N.J., 6/1/08 — Chris Rado and the WORLD Racing team had high hopes when returning to their home track of Atco Raceway. The team decided to up the ante by installing a new clutch for the first time this season in the PRO FWD NOS Energy Drink WORLD Racing Scion tC. For the entire last season, the tC had been running a pro-stock style clutch. But as the engine program progressed and the tC became more powerful, the original pro-stock components that were designed to handle 1,600 horsepower just weren't cutting it.
Chris and the WORLD Racing team were ready for qualifying on Saturday - until the rain decided it wanted to join in on the fun at ATCO Raceway. In other words, Saturday's events were rained out. So the team could do nothing more but prepare to qualify Sunday instead, and then head straight into the elimination rounds.
Sunday came and the team was prepared for the first qualifying run - which also would be the first run down the track with the brand new clutch. "A clutch like this one with adjustable stands, adjustable fingers, and adjustable counter-weight on the fingers usually takes between thirty and forty adjustments before even making a run," says Chris. "All these settings are crucial for the car to work and make a run down the track. If the clutch is too loose, none of the horsepower actually gets to the tires. If the clutch is too tight, it locks the clutch up right away and the car shakes the tires."
It's a fine balance which sometimes takes a race team weeks, if not months, of racing to adjust depending on the configuration. Luckily for the WORLD Racing team, they have Dave Zentara and Frank Piccone on hand who have so much experience, that they were able to conjure up a setup that worked on point immediately.
During the first round of qualifying, Chris staged the NOS Energy Drink WORLD Racing Scion tC against Gary Gardella in the Chevy Cobalt. When the lights dropped, the tC ripped right out of the starting line, but the clutch started to slip in second gear. As a surprise to him, Chris still ran a 7.56 at 191 MPH.
"The engine basically laughed at the clutch," says Chris. "Once again we underestimated how amazing the motor of the tC really is."
This ET put Chris in the number one qualifying spot. In fact, Chris and the WORLD Racing Scion tC had the highest qualifying run at ATCO all day, including out of all the RWD cars.
Going into Round Two of qualifying, Chris completed his normal massive burnout only to hear a small crunching noise - which was the clutch braking. Luckily however, "Mad Scientist" Gary Kubo, along with Ty Cooley and Eric Plebani, ripped the transmission out of the car and completely repaired it in less than an hour and 15 minutes - now that's impressive. The car was ready to rock for the first round of eliminations.
Chris had a bypass against Ed Bergenholtz in Round One of eliminations, which left the team set to go up against Gary Gardella in the finals. It was a true battle of the Energy Drinks - NOS vs. Redbull. The last time WORLD Racing had defeated Gary was a year and a half ago at the season opener at Moroso Motorsports Park. Chris was extremely eager to repeat that victory here in Atco on this Sunday.
Chris and Gardella lined up after their burnouts, the lights came down, and the NOS Energy Drink WORLD Racing Scion tC was gone! Chris's reaction time was a 0.045 compared to Gardella's 0.162 - a huge margin in drag racing.
As both drivers passed the quarter-mile point, Chris's time read 7.504 to Gardella's 7.555. In fact, all of Chris's track incriminate ET's beat out Gardella's. In the "Battle of the Energy Drinks", the NOS Energy Drink WORLD Racing Scion tC took home it's first drag racing win of the 2008 season.
"What a great weekend," Chris says. "There was friends, fans, family, and for all intensive purposes, Atco, New Jersey is my home track, so it felt great. I can't wait for Colorado! These guys better watch out because the WORLD Racing car, team, and driver are all on fire!"