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Sonoma Speed Equals Topeka Momentum For Scrappers Racing Crew Chief, Rob Flynn, Focused On Countdown

Mike Salinas and the Scrappers Racing team set the top speed of the weekend at Sonoma Raceway during the first round of eliminations on Sunday morning. The Valley Services Top Fuel dragster posted a speed of 335.65 mph at 3.717 seconds to capture the Top Fuel category’s top speed. Salinas had Antron Brown in the other lane and unfortunately the top speed was not enough to see the win light as he lost to Brown on a holeshot.

But the Scrappers Racing team and specifically crew chief Rob Flynn, sees the number one qualifier earned in Seattle and that round one speed in Sonoma as positive momentum for the team and their performance as the Countdown approaches.

“When I look back, Seattle was good for us and we ran well and of course qualified low there,” said Rob Flynn. “When we made the first qualifying run at Sonoma, the car was running really good, but unfortunately we smoked the tires down track. But we thought we had the right setup to be ready for the night run and really thought we were going to be good, but our setup wasn’t where it needed to be. And then in the third qualifying round, we were back in the right lane and then in the final run, the car was running good.”

“As crew chiefs, we follow a path,” continued Flynn. “Last year, obviously we did really well. This year, we are making more power, which is obvious after the first round, but it’s been obvious for a long time. We just haven’t had the right setup. So going into first round at Sonoma, I just said, what we’re doing is we’re chasing this totally wrong because every time we do anything, it’s been spinning the tires. So for that first round in Sonoma, we just took a whole different path. We tuned it back up like we know it should be to run 335 and let the clutch slip and we knew it would run. And it did.”

At Heartland Motorsports Park last year, Salinas set the top ET of the event for Top Fuel with a time of 3.754 seconds. Salinas would make it to the semi-finals before losing. With the focus on the Countdown, Salinas and the Scrappers Racing team currently sit eighth in the point standings with three events prior to the resetting of the points. Flynn and his team are focused on the challenges at Topeka, but also getting positioned to begin the Countdown and the team’s quest for a championship.

“We’ve got nine races left and three prior to the Countdown,” said Flynn. “We have a test session after Brainerd and then get ready for the U.S. Nationals. After that, everything happens in a hurry. We’ve got six races in eight weekends so it’s pretty much crunch time. For the next six races anyway, then you see where everyone stands at that point. Last season, we were strong early and winning races prior to the Countdown, but this year we were trying not to peak too early in the year, but of course we didn’t want to struggle either. We’re going into this stretch with all our new parts and we know we’re a team capable of going rounds, winning races and contending in the Countdown.”

The NHRA Nationals at Heartland Motorsport Park will kick off with the first round of qualifying on Friday evening at 8:00 PM CT.

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