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Foster Continues to Hone Skills at Charlotte Four-Wide

National Dragster photo

Racing in just his second four-wide national event and his fifth NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series race as a Pro Stock professional rookie of the year top contender Brandon Foster made a strong showing at zMAX Dragway. Two weeks ago, Foster raced to the final quad at the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals but today he was unable to duplicate that feat. After two days of qualifying that saw the rookie driver experience a wide array of issues, including an onboard computer error that cost him a qualifying run, Foster rolled into the first round with confidence and a solid Aqua Prop Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stock race car.

Foster was matched up against veteran driver Aaron Stanfield, Jerry Tucker, and KB Titan Racing teammate Eric Latino. As the No. 14 qualifier running against the No. 3, No. 6 and No. 11 qualifiers Foster did not have any say in lane choice so the Aqua Prop Camaro was lined up in lane four. All four Pro Stock Camaros rolled into pre-stage and then staged as the Christmas Tree flashed all the competitors took off dashing towards the finish line. As the rookie of the group Foster unfortunately had one of the worst reaction times of his young career. The slower than usual jump off the time combined with tire shake immediately snatched the chance for victory away from the Oklahoma-based entrepreneur.
“I’ve come a long way, no doubt,” said Foster. “I was in lane four, but I don’t mind the outside lanes. Honestly, I have only raced four-wide at two races and the center lanes kind of screw me up, but it’s still not that big of a deal. I felt good going into first round and I just missed the tree a little and then we had some tire shake. I am pleased with how I did in my first two four-wide nationals.”
The silver lining for Foster this weekend was the continued opportunity to make passes in one of the most competitive classes in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series. Every national event has featured significantly more drivers than qualifying spots and Foster has driven his way into five of the tightest fields in recent memory. For the rookie driver who has established himself as the one of the front-runners for rookie of the year every run is the chance to get better.
“Just getting runs makes a huge difference,” said Foster. “A lot of the time the improvement comes from getting in the car and making runs. I think when you get four qualifiers before the race that makes a huge difference. We’ll get two runs on Friday and two runs on Saturday in Chicago. The repetition of the laps helps. Every time I make a run, I feel like I get a little better. My reaction times are getting better, my burnouts are good, and staging seems to be fine. I am still working on getting better shifting down track. “
Leaving Charlotte Foster will hold onto his position in the Pro Stock Top Ten and leave with a Pro Stock car that is on the performance upswing. The Aqua Pro Camaro will get four more qualifying opportunities at the Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals, May 17-19, and Foster plans to make the most of every run to improve his qualifying position and chance to win rookie of the year.
“It’s been a lot of fun this weekend even with a few of the struggles we had,” said Foster. “I have never raced in Chicago and I am looking forward to it. I am glad to get back to two wide racing and going more rounds.”

This story was originally published on April 28, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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