Rookie Cole Custer shot to the top of the speed charts in the final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice Saturday morning at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Custer is just 16 years old and is a development driver for Haas Automation, a division of Stewart-Haas Racing.
Turning a best lap of 136.786 mph, Custer was the fastest of the 28 drivers that took to the Madison, Illinois track, which hosts the race later tonight starting at 8:30 pm ET.
Chase Pistone was second-fastest (136.562), followed by Darrell Wallace Jr. (136.542), Erik Jones (136.281), Gray Gaulding (136.046), Joey Coulter (135.874), Matt Crafton (135.820), Johnny Sauter (135.747), Ron Hornaday Jr. (135.277) and John Hunter Nemechek (135.204).
Struggling for speed were the two slowest drivers in practice, Jennifer Jo Cobb (124.464 mph) and NCWTS rookie Charles Lewandoski (123.254).
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The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.
Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.
Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.
Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.
Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.
While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.
Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.
“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”
“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.
Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.
“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”
Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.
But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.
“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.