KonRodz Concord Post-Race Reflection

“Sassy” Cassie Simonton and Spiro Kontos’ Kon Rodz Racing Top Alcohol Funny Car team proved that they have what it takes to win races during the 4-Wide Nationals last weekend….

Simonton clicked off consecutive career-best passes driving the Randy Anderson-tuned Kon Rodz machine (which is based from Maple ON) in qualifying. The record runs were a positive turnaround from the team’s results in Gainesville. 

“We tested really well before the Gatornationals, and then tried a few new ideas that ultimately didn’t work. Then we went back to what we started with in testing and it went out and ran career-best numbers,” said Simonton.

Cassie Simonton

Qualifying started out with the career-best for both Simonton and Kon Rodz Racing, a 5.54 at 261 mph. The team fromCanadacame back and threw down a 5.53, resetting their career-best numbers. Cassie entered eliminations in the #3 spot, set to race John Headley. Headley was unable to make the run, so Simonton had a bye run. Sounds like an easy way into the next round, right? 

“We were going for a run in the 5.4 range in the third qualifying session, but the rear end broke going into third gear. The crew thrashed to get that changed before first round and we were short on time, so we didn’t start the car before the run. We went up to the water box to start the car and it wouldn’t fire. Tried it again and again; nothing,” Cassie said.

Per the NHRA rulebook, a car on a bye run must start, stage and take the tree under its own power. A rare issue within the fuel pump prevented Cassie from doing so, resulting in a first round loss.

“Randy knew right away that it was within the fuel pump. We might have caught it if we started the car before the round, but it was too much of a rush to get to the staging lanes. Lesson learned; next time we’ll be sure to start the car and check over everything,” claimed Simonton.

The great passes also give Spiro Kontos and Kon Rodz the title of the quickest Top Alcohol Funny Car hailing fromCanada, beating the record of 5.566, set by Roger Bateman in 2009. The past weekend’s performance gives Cassie even more confidence heading into the North Central region season opener in Indy next weekend.

“The confidence is very high going into Indy. We have a fast car and I know Randy knows how to tune the car. We probably won’t run as fast as we did inCharlotte just because the conditions will be different, but it’ll still be cool weather, good conditions. I have all the confidence in my team to be able to lay down fast numbers and make up for what happened in Charlotte,” says Simonton.

Posted by: Nate Van Wagnen – Photos by:  Bruce Biegler