Bellemeur Impresses in KonRodz Team Debut
A new team driver made his first appearance as a member of the SK Racing/Kon Rodz NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team…..
And Sean Bellemeur quickly adjusted to his new surroundings with a strong quarterfinal finish at last weekend’s O’Reilly Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet.
Second-generation racer Bellemeur, 32, a five-time finalist in NHRA national event competition, technically did not qualify for the tough field when his 5.79 best was 17th quickest. However, the team got a reprieve when Ray Drew was unable to appear for the first round. Given a second chance, the Kon Rodz team did not disappoint and Bellemeur advanced with a much-improved 5.65 to upset world champion Tony Bartone. Only a broken transmission in the second round prevented what otherwise could have been a storybook finish.
“We kind of approached the Chicago race as a test session,” said Bellemeur. “I felt like we were ahead of the game from the get-go just by the way the team all bonded with each other. After that, the focus was on getting use to the way this car drives. Randy [Anderson, crew chief] made the necessary adjustments to compensate for my driving style. The end result was that we made a pretty nice run to beat Tony in the first round. I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car in Norwalk.”
“Overall I feel that Chicago was a great start for the team with Sean driving our car for the first time,” added Kon Rodzpresident Stefan Kontos. “Although we struggled a bit in qualifying, I feel that our run in the first round showed some of the potential we have and gave Sean an opportunity to get comfortable in the car. Randy Anderson is extremely happy with Sean’s driving and our guys are all working well together.”
Bellemeur’s performance also caught the attention of Kon Rodz team founder Spiro Kontos, who was not able to attend the event due to a family obligation in his native Canada. Kontos was following the action closely and was impressed by how quickly the team jelled.
“To be able to have a new driver step into an unfamiliar car and perform like that tells you a lot about Sean’s ability as a driver,” said Kontos. “It also speaks volumes about the rest of our team and their ability to adapt, improvise and overcome adversity. Everyone on the team was pulling the rope in the same direction and that only makes me even more excited for what’s to come.”
There will be no rest for the Kon Rodz crew as they will compete again this weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Raceway Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
Kon Rodz Racing is proud to be associated with the following companies:
Rat Pack Apparel, CRC Industries, Aerodine Composites Group, Bell Helmets USA, MasterCam, Nick Pastura Motorsports, Sparco USA, Goodyear Tire, NGK Spark Plugs, MAHLE/Clevite, Goodson Tools, and Hedman Hedders.
Posted by: SK Racing
Photo by: Bruce Biegler