Saturday's buzz at The Shakedown Nationals at Englishtown, N.J., was less about outstanding performances than a mysterious and massive computer / electronics failure that halted action at the height of excitement.
A sudden computer system meltdown that debilitated the timing and scoring operations for about five hours Saturday threw a serious glitch into an otherwise outstanding day of competition at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Before the total electronic failure, the scoreboards were not flashing any numbers or speeds but the timing system was alive on the computers.
Tim Lynch added to his Shakedown legend, setting the first 4.0-second pass in the Outlaw 10.5 class. In the first Top Sportsman session in the history of this event, ADRL regular Chuck Mohn's 4.153-second elapsed time in his Camaro as quickest, while William Ahlas had fastest speed at 172.41mph in his '63 Corvette. Roper Sterling staked an early claim to the top qualifying spot in the Heavy Street category. Thomas Haase took over the 8.50 Index lead Saturday morning.
The Pro Modified class ran several pairs before the system shut down entirely, but a grand gesture of co-operation from "neighbor" track Atco Raceway brought a successful end to the costly dilemma.
As officials scrambled to assess then fix the computer problem, they identified a part to the motherboard that needed replacement. Raceway Park co-owner Alex Napp took advantage of the small-plane airport next door to the racetrack and flew to Atco, near Philadelphia, where Atco Raceway operator Joe Sway gave him the part he needed.
Racing is set to resume just before 6 p.m. Competition Plus will provide details at day's end.
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