Persistence paid off for Team Painless of Gordon Central High School in Calhoun, Georgia at the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow event at the Lane Automotive Car Show in Watervliet, Michigan this past weekend. The team, which had failed in its previous two attempts this year, finally qualified for the Dual National Championships with a time of 32:04. Teams must finish under 34 minutes to qualify for the the Dual National Champions, set for later this year at the SEMA and PRI shows.
Team Weathertech from Lakeshore High School in Stevensville, Michigan was the only other team to qualify for the Dual National Championships at the Lane Automotive Car Show with a time of 29:56. The number of championship-qualified teams now stands at 38.
Team Painless overcame its mistakes in previous qualification attempts to finally break through. The team initially competed at the Chattanooga Cruise-In in Tennessee on April 2 but registered a time of 60:16 with penalties. The team gave it a second shot at Summit Racing Motorama in Hampton, Georgia and were on pace to qualify for the Dual Championship, but an incorrect torque sequence of the oil pan cost them a four-minute penalty, leading to a 36:23 finish.
The team rallied after that heartbreaking penalty, and decided to travel 653 miles to the Lane Automotive Car Show.
“It feels great to qualify for the Dual Championship this year,” said Tim Watkins, coach of Team Painless. “The students have been working hard to improve and qualify this year since November.”
The Lane Automotive Car Show also featured several teams already qualified for the Dual National Championships. Team Be-Cool, from Elkhart Area Career Center in Indiana, finished in first place with an improved time of 20:24. Team Taylor of Fremd High School in Illinois finished second with a time of 23:26. The Third place finisher was Team QA1 from Elkhart Area Career Center, with a time of 24:57.
The last Hot Rodders of Tomorrow qualifying event is set for July at the 11th Annual NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing in Joliet, Illinois. Visit HotRoddersofTomorrow.com for more information.