Synoil Racing Report from Pomona

Top Alcohol Funny Car newcomer Greg Hunter experienced the highs and lows of racing in his Synoil Racing debut at the NHRA Circle K Winternationals last weekend….

The Medicine Hat native but now Wyoming-based driver posted a strong qualifying time but a simple mechanical failure ended his race day in the first round. Despite the mixed results, Hunter is still enthusiastic about his new ride.“It was a spectacular weekend. I felt more comfortable in the car on each pass. We came out and made a great pass in the first qualifying session and felt we were on our way to a better finish. We would’ve won first round but the safety box shut the car off at 1000 feet. We were really disappointed about that but overall I’m very excited. The car is making a lot of power. We just need to get a handle on it,” Greg said.

In the first qualifying session, Hunter drove the Geoff Goodwin-owned Synoil Energy Services/ExactAir entry to a 5.622 at 257 MPH, which stood for No. 2 by the end of the session. Unable to improve in the later two sessions, Greg fell to seventh, right in the middle of a group of four drivers who clocked the same exact elapsed time.

“It was pretty cool to run a 5.62 right out of the box,” Greg added. “We were the first car to run and we held on to the No. 1 spot until the second to last pair when Jay Payne went by us.”

Hunter went into eliminations with just two runs of experience racing alongside another alcohol funny car in the other lane. He most recently drove a blown TAD for the past two years, but Greg is new to NHRA TAFC racing.

Greg Hunter made his NHRA national event debut driving Geoff Goodwin's Synoil Racing Chevy at Pomona last weekend

Greg Hunter made his NHRA national event debut driving Geoff Goodwin’s Synoil Racing Chevy at Pomona last weekend

“I was a little nervous on my first side-by-side qualifying run next to Jay Payne, who’s been doing this for a long time. It was nice having my wife, Staci, back me up from the burnouts – that was a familiar aspect. I started to feel more and more comfortable after each run,” Greg claimed.

The Synoil Racing Funny Car flexed its muscles first round, but the aforementioned safety box, which automatically shuts the car off in the case of an emergency, activated accidentally. Hunter’s package of .041 reaction time and 5.689 ET would’ve been enough to win five of the six other round races, but his opponent, eventual race winner Brian Hough, ran just a bit quicker. Hough crossed the finish line .006 seconds ahead of Greg, 5.674.

“We were all disappointed; we thought we had a good chance to win the race. On the bright side, it was an absolute pleasure to be driving the Synoil car. I also had a great time in the pit area, visiting with our sponsors and the team’s previous driver, Jason Rupert. It was a good atmosphere and I had a lot of fun.

“Special thanks to the entire Synoil team for welcoming me and my wife to the team. Everyone on the team gelled really well together, especially after testing in Vegas. We really enjoyed our first race with them and we’re looking forward to a successful season with this great group of people,” said Greg, who joins Synoil Racing after driving the ExactAir TAD for the past two seasons.

Greg Hunter and Geoff Goodwin’s Synoil Racing Top Alcohol Funny Car team have teamed up for the 2014 season. With primary support from Synoil Energy Services and ExactAir Compliance Systems, Hunter will run a full schedule of NHRA Mello Yello Series national events and LODRS regional events. Synoil Racing receives additional support from Northgate Industries Ltd., Ron Hodgson Chevrolet-GMC-Buick, Southgate Buick, Twister Piling Inc., Proform Concrete Services Inc., Prowling Contracting, Pumps & Pressure Inc., Waylon Transport, Hampton’s Oilfield Service, Landale Signs, MD Truck Repair, and Castrol.

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Posted by:  Nate Van Wagnen
Photo by:  Bruce Biegler