It didn’t rain much, or often Saturday at Auto Club Famoso Raceway.
Three times track crews got the surface in shape to run cars at the 60th Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet only to have a rainshower bring things to a halt.
Three Funny Cars made passes around 1:30 p.m. but rain started falling and put enough moisture on the track to delay action for three hours.
Funny Cars hit the track again around 4:30 but two delays for oil downs slowed proceedings and rain started to fall again around 5:15.
With dark skies, a wet track and cold temperatures, track officials finally gave in to Mother Nature on Saturday and called the day a complete washout.
All fields were set off of qualifying on Thursday and Friday and action starts Sunday at 8 a.m. in the Hot Rod class. A 16-car Funny Car Field will kick off nitro action at 11 a.m.
Funny Car drivers had two qualifying runs (all times on Saturday were disallowed as the full field did not have the opportunity to make a pass).
But Top Fuel drivers had just one qualifying chance as two more were scheduled on Saturday to set the eight-car field.
Knowing weather could well play a big role on Saturday, an ailing Adam Sorokin did everything he could to get his Top Fuel Dragster into the top-eight on Friday, getting in and out of the throttle five times.
His 7.515-second elapsed time was darn near two seconds slower than he had tested two weeks earlier, but it turned out to be just good enough to grab the final qualifying spot.
“I started coming down with a kidney stone on Wednesday and was thinking great, right before the March Meet, I’m just going to have to deal with it,” he said.
He was in pain as he climbed into his dragster for the qualifying run but knew he could deal with it long enough to get the job done.
“All of a sudden, when I’m staging the car my pain goes completely away from the kidney stone and I don’t feel anything.” he said. “It’s perfect.”
His car, however, did not like the cool track temperature.
“Before the run I talked to (car owner) Bob McLennan and since it was so cold asked if it smoked the tires if I could try to make a run out of since it might be our only chance to qualify,” Sorokin said.
McLennan gave his blessing and Sorokin put on a quite a show.
“I hit the throttle, goes up in smoke, pedal it once, came down again and went up in some again. Wait a little longer and get on it and it smokes the tires again. This time I get off if it and go down real smooth and slow trying to get this thing to capture itself and it finally hooks up about half track and stay to take off and it pulls pretty good and we go through the lights at 215.
“Five pedals (in and out of the throttle) is probably the most I’ve ever done in a run. Usually it blows something up, or tosses a (supercharger) belt or something like that happens. Credit to the car. It stayed together, just the early traction problem.”
All that effort produced a run one-tenth of a second better than that of Dusty Green, who at No. 9, did not qualify.
Sorokin, who won the 2010 March Meet, will now face last year’s champion Mendy Fry, who qualified No. 1, in Sunday’s first round.
And as for the kidney stone, Sorokin said he woke up feeling much better on Saturday and was hoping for the same on Sunday.
Bobby Cottrell, who qualified No. 1 in Funny Car with a 5.65-second run on Friday, pretty much summed up Saturday for everyone .
“I’m not going to lie, it sucks,” he said of the track getting dry enough to run, the cars getting in line and then rain falling again. “The worst thing is getting your adrenaline up and ready to go and then they have to call it off and you feel like you just want to take a nap.”