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2008 Burners are a glowin....

The 2008 season for the Invader team started of with the Night of Fire at Abilene Dragway, in Abilene, Texas. It was held on the 12th of April, and we were matched up with Mike Hojnacki and his Interceptor jet police car.

The weather was nice and cool, and made great racing weather for the newly refreshed 1/8 mile strip.

The first round found both of us trying to find our rhythm for the fire show, and with Mike cutting a great light found the Invader trying to catch the police car. With it being only a 1/8 mile, this was a big challenge, but the Invader was able to squeak by at the finish line, running a super 3.80 at 213 mph pass.

As the second round quickly approached, the weather was getting even better! With a super fire show, where the Invader and Interceptor traded blasts back and forth. The weather change gave the Invader an increase in power, which made it more difficult to stage. Trying not to red light, the Invader had to throttle back, and was slower off the line.

The Interceptor had another great launch, and even with the add power, the Invader was not able to go past Mike. At the lights, neither driver knew who won, until looking at the timing slips.

What a show!

The next event for the team was this past weekends Monster Truck Nationals at Firebird International Raceway. It was an all weekend extravaganza, with the Monster Trucks, Whiplash Truck races, IHBA Top Fuel Hydro boats, and of course the jet dragsters.

We had the four quickest jet dragsters on the west coast trying to out do each other. Bob Goettel’s G Metal jet dragster, Tony Franco’s Terminal Velocity jet dragster, Al Arriaga’s Blu-By-U jet dragster, and The Invader jet dragster were all there.

Saturday’s event had the jets making one pass that night before the Monster Trucks would make their appearance on the track.

After all the vehicles performed in the parade, we were brought back around for the first round. The Invader was paired against Bob Goettel’s dragster for the first pass of the night. As the Invader put on a huge fire show, Goettel’s dragster was brought to life. After his abbreviated fire show, both cars were brought into the staging beams, trying to stage in a slippery surface. As both cars came into the beams, Bob was unable to hold it and launched before the tree even activated. The Invader launched a split second later chasing after Bob scorching down the track.
Not the way the Invader wanted to win, but a win none the less.

Doc Brophy, driving Al Arriaga’s Blu-By-U, squared off against Tony Franco’s Terminal Velocity jet dragster next. With a remarkable fire show, they also had trouble with the staging of the cars and finally were able to launch. Doc was out to a quick lead but a glitch with the afterburner system allowed Tony to streak past for the win.

Ed Jones and his Jelly Belly stage coach wheel stander followed the jet cars, with an awesome cinnamon scented fire show and wheel standing ¼ mile pass!

The Monster Trucks then came out and proceeded to perform their mayhem for the crowd’s enjoyment. Big Foot, Bounty Hunter, The Outlaw and others were there to destroy cars, dance, and jump all over the track.

Sunday brought out Arizona’s wonderful warm temperatures and little breeze. So at the hottest point of the day, the jets rolled out for their first pass of the day.

First up were the Invader and Doc Brophy. It all started out great for the pair, with a super back and forth fire show and burn pops! Again with the heat and marginal surface prep, the cars had difficulty staging, but they both held on till the green. The Invader launched hard and pulled the entire way running a 5.70 at 287 in the 97* heat, not to shabby! But Doc was again plagued by a glitch that did not light the burner and smoked down the track.

Terminal Velocity and Goettel face each other next, and again the track proved to be a problem as the cars staged, sliding and slipping into the beams. As the cars finally came close, Bob’s car auto lighted and was again off before the tree, with Tony chasing after him for the win.

After all the cars were prepared for the final round, it was Tony with 2 wins verses the Invader with 2 wins for the final. The pair blasted out the heat and flame to motivate the crowd, and finally started to roll into the beams. Trying to be careful, even at a reduce power setting, the Invader started to slide. Unable to stop her, she finally stopped almost 4 feet PAST the beams, at almost idle! With Tony handed a win, the Invader sat there waiting for Tony to launch and at least have two cars go down the track together. Tony launched, and then the Invader launched giving fast pursuit to the Terminal Velocity and almost catching her at the traps.

Tony’s was the weekend victory running 3 – 0. Good Job!

The final jets down the track were Goettel and Doc. Doc finally had the glitch fixed and thundered down the track, but Bob’s troubles were not finished. His burner was acting up and failed to light right away, then a small wheel stand at the finish proceeded to flat spot the front tires, bringing to and end the worst outing Bob has had with a 0 – 3 record for the weekend.

Next up for the Invader, Memorial Day in Albuquerque! See you there….

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