SALINAS ADMITS HIS TEAM ON TO SOMETHING WITH ST. LOUIS NO. 1
The age-old quote dictates that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Luck has nothing to do with Top Fuel racer Mike Salinas' Friday 3.652 elapsed time in Friday's Q-1 session at the NHRA Midwest Nationals.
Tuners Alan Johnson and Brian Husen had the Salinas Scrapper dragster running on mean.
"Alan has been working on a few things and the guys have been working on stuff," Salinas said. "So I think with where they're headed and what they're doing, we've got some great stuff coming our way. It was fast. It was very fast, to say the least. The impressive numbers are the 330 numbers. Those are the impressive numbers that we were really watching.
"Brittany just did close to that. So we know that we're right in the hunt in the numbers of all these cars. There is nobody out here that you take lightly. There's nobody. And it's pretty impressive how the whole class is racing up and they are not messing around. So you better have your A-game when you come and play with these guys."
In securing the No. 1 position, Salinas halted Brittany Force's consecutive No. 1 streak at 8, leaving her tied with Top Fuel legend Gary Beck.
"When you watch what they're doing and what Torrence is doing and the way they are running, everybody is trying to top everybody here, but he found something," Salinas said. [David Grubnic] found something, and I think we're on the same deal. We really do."
Much of Saturday's qualifying was not spent on trying to rotate the earth but instead finding a happy medium for race day.
"We've been working on the car and myself on some of these runs," Salinas said. "The third pass, basically, that was a race day pass. And that's a good start, and we know that we can squeeze it up to a 3.69 and it would be fine.
"I need to get better on my reaction times. And actually, the car is moving a lot on me on the top end so I just got to clean up my act on it. And I'm working on that now, so I think it'll get better. Driving the Pro Mod's been fun and helping me with other things.
"I'm watching the tree and coming up with a system that works for me. Whatever works for everybody else doesn't work for me. I used to cut pretty decent lights before and after this 60 year old deal, it changed. So we'll get it back. We'll get it back, and when you can cut. My ultimate goal is to be like Josh Hart and those guys. Ashley, they're 35 to forties and that's where it's got to be now. You're not going to win this race with an 80 or 90 anymore."
Sunday will be what it's going to be; at least, this is how Salinas sees it.
"Don't care who I run," Salinas said. "Doesn't matter. I got my own stuff on my own lane. I never care. I don't even know who I race. To be honest with you, I won't know and I don't ask. I'll know when I'm in the lanes with them."