ROOKIE JORDAN VANDERGRIFF IMPRESSES IN TESTING DEBUT
That didn't take long.
On just his third run into testing at the PRO Winter Warm-up, rookie Top Fuel driver Jordan Vandergriff made a quantum leap from the high 3.80s, down into the 3.70s with a personal best run of 3.73 seconds at 325-miles per hour.
Each run is a learning experience for the nephew of team owner Bob Vandergriff Jr., but this pass took the curriculum to a whole 'nother level as some from his Alpharetta, Ga., what his Uncle Bob's hometown folk would say.
"I know what a perfect run feels like so I know that if anything doesn’t feel like that, it’s probably not a good run.," Vandergriff, 24, said.
Judging by the previous success of the Bob Vandergriff Racing team, such a performance shouldn't come as a shock. The kid knew the run was out there, lurking in the shadows of Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
"With my guys and my team and Ron Douglas and Joe Barlam it was clearly what the car is capable of," Vandergriff said. "I mean we did it all year last year and this year we’re going to continue to do it. Now I know what it feels like and I expect to go even faster when the season starts."
Vandergriff has a bright future ahead, so the crew took the time to get their ribbing in before the freshman driver becomes fully experienced.
"After the run, the guys were making fun of me because they came down to the top end and I told them the run felt like hyperspeed and they laughed really hard.," Vandergriff admitted. "I mean, if I created a new word, I created a new word, it feels like hyperspeed is really what it feels like. Everything’s whizzing by really fast, and the finish comes up quick. When you feel those chutes, it really throws you forward in the car."
After the 3.73, Vandergriff's personal best was a "slow" 3.89.
"There's a big difference," Vandergriff added.
On the way back to the pits, Vandergriff understood even though he'd been hyper-speed en route to a personal best, he understood there was plenty of room for improvement.
Lofty goals? No, just better attention to detail.
"Reaction time was slow, that wins and loses races," Vandergriff said. "I’ve got to work on that."