Greenberg Wins Delayed Firecracker Nationals at Albuquerque Dragway - August 2, 2014

Full story as reported in ABQ Sports Magazine:

The Western Fuel Altereds came back to Albuquerque Dragway on August 2 to complete the postponed July 4th Firecracker Nationals. When the weather turned bad in July, Lyle Greenberg was turning in a dominating performance. He had qualified #1 with a 6.76 elapsed time at 206 mph and then won round 1 with a 6.79 at 207 mph.

As the racers returned in August, there were concerns that the weather could be a factor. Albuquerque's monsoon season was in full swing and the track saw a deluge of rain the night before the race. As it turned out, the concern was unwarranted as raceday temperatures were in the mid-70s and not a drop of rain was in sight.

The semi-finals paired Greenberg up with Tucson's Mic Williams. Unfortunately, Williams had destroyed an engine and was unable to return. Greenberg broke in a new set of tires with a spectacular 1,000 foot burnout that had the crowd cheering, earning the Torco "Best Showmanship" award. He then drove the Amsoil Altered to a 7.04 ET at 201 mph to earn the right to race the winner of the match-up between Arizona's Mitch Bowen and Californian Eric Gates. Bowen won that pairing on a holeshot, winning with a 7.04 to Gates' losing 7.03.

Semi-final Round Video (Crew View Courtesy of Paul Fields)

Semi-final Round Video (on-board)

That run was not without a bit of drama, as the driveline cover broke off. Master fabricator Rick Schouman was able to make an ingenious in-the-field repair to get the car ready for the final round. Greenberg had lane choice as his 7.0472 was ever so slightly quicker than Bowen's 7.0483. Between rounds, Greenberg pondered why the car had been slower than expected and developed some tuneup changes that he hoped would get the car back in the 6 second zone.

As the car's fired up for the final, announcer Owen McKinley made sure the crowd knew the two cars were very closely matched and were poised to have a great race. As they left the starting line, Bowen's lane had a red light glowing giving the automatic win to Greenberg. Greenberg did not see the red light and was struggling to control his car. It had done a pretty big wheelstand and darted violently towards the wall about 60' off the starting line. He made a quick course correction and ran a 7.65 at 197 mph to take the event win.

Final Round Video (on-board)

Final Round Video (Crew View, courtesy of Paul Fields)

In addition to winning the event, Greenberg also won the AIRAID best reaction time award with a near-perfect 0.002. After the event, Greenberg said "It really feels great to win this race. My sponsors, Amsoil and Cabinet Concepts, both sponsored this event for the track. This is our first event win since we started running this car in 2012 and my crew has worked incredibly hard to make this happen. In recent years I have won quite a few races as a car owner for my daughter Rachel, but it was fun to win one in the driver's seat. This also gives me the distinction of winning races at Albuquerque Dragway in each of the past 5 decades. I have won in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and now in 2014. There can't be too many drivers that can say that!"

Listen to Lyle's interview on the NM Motorsports Report radio show on 101.7 The Team (the local ESPN radio affiliate)

Thanks to the people that work so hard to field our race cars – Butch Blackberg, Rick Schouman, Sean Guthrie, Allan McGee, Billy Mueller, Chris Stinson, Tiffany Stinson, Jennifer Guthrie and Rachel Greenberg. Thanks also to our great sponsors – Amsoil/Paul & Nancy Greenberg, Cabinet Concepts, SunCo Equipment, Stinson Metal Fab, Waterjet Cutting, Synergy Coatings,, Car Crafters and Genesis Motorsports.

Event Photos on Photobucket:

WJRPhotography/Bill Robertson Photos (

Double Barrel Photography/Corey Ringo Photos (Double Barrel