Chris Van Baalen gets first TNT Super Series win and earns spot in Race of ChampionsJuly 4, 2012 · 0 Comments
LANCASTER, NEW YORK (July 3, 2012) “I wanted to get an entry into that September race and now I got one!” said Wellandport Ontario’s Chris Van Baalen after winning his first event in the Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series. Dunn Tire Raceway Park hosted the popular sportsman drag racing series last Friday with 31 cars coming through the gates.
Scott Jahren Paint presented the mid-season event at a track where winning doesn’t come easy and in a season where the average TNTSS car count is exceeding 28 cars.
In the first qualifying session, Chris sat atop the field with a 7.018 but was pushed back to sixth in the second session – even though he ran a better 7.011.
Round one had him up against recent Skyview Pro Am winner Jerry Stoutenberg where he took a .007 margin of victory running 7.004 to Jerry’s 7.005. Then he missed the tree in round two but the car saved him from Jeff Kerl by running dead on 7.007 and a close .011 MOV.
Gary Stowell took the stripe in round three by .012 but went too fast doing it with a 6.985 trying to catch Chris’ .512 light and 7.008 package.
In the semi’s, Chris bettered Roy Brockway on the tree by .006 and took the win light in a double breakout 6.996 to 6.986. That set Chris up to face Welland Ontario’s Roy Lister in the final for the highly coveted TNTSS win which included $700 and a bunch of contingency.
When Roy missed the tree (.533 to .578), his dead on 9 run wasn’t enough as Chris coasted through with a 7.021, taking the event win and earning himself a spot in the 2012 Performance Improvements TNTSS Race of Champions.
“I have to thank my parents, Pete and Sherri Van Baalen. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be out here,” said Chris. “My dad helps out a ton.”
Support for Chris’ racing effort includes help from Matt & Sherry Devries at Matt’s Auto Service in Bismarck. “I’ve wanted to get in that ROC so bad and finally we’re there. I have to thank Joe Boniferro (TNTSS title sponsor) and Scott Jahren (event sponsor) for making this series and the awesome payouts possible,” added Chris.
“My lights weren’t great all night long but the car pulled me through. Funny thing was I forgot my weather station and log book at home. We had to call my brother to figure out where to start with the throttle stop setting.”
Chris’ 1986 Monte Carlo SS is no stranger to hot rod competition. His dad Pete drove the car for years in both bracket and hot rod trim but sold it around 2003. Chris raced a Mustang for a few years but when he got wind the Monte Carlo was looking for a new home in 2010 – 8 years later – he didn’t hesitate to get it back in the family. Powered by a 509 cid Chevrolet running on pump gas, the very black Monte Carlo was extremely consistent all night long, running dead on the index three times in eliminations.
This is the second final round for Chris in 2012, moving him to within four points of the lead. “And if you think qualifying points don’t mean much,” said Ted Barnes TNTSS Director, “here’s a case where they could mean the difference between a championship and a number two spot!”