MEMPHIS, post-race: Grammy-nominated country musician Lee Roy Parnell joined the Jim Dunn Racing team in Memphis on Sunday. Parnell played his Gibson Goldtop guitar in a stirring rendition of the national anthem, just moments for the beginning of the first round of eliminations.
Extreme heat and a very tricky racing surface contributed to ending Bartone's three-race streak of winning rounds in competition. Tony Bartone went out in the first round at the 18th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park in Tennessee.
The Got CMKX? /Lucas Oil /SOOoo Good International Funny Car was in the right lane when Bartone rolled into the starting line staging beams. The Got CMKX?/Lucas Oil Monte Carlo launched hard but smoked the tires several hundred feet down the track and Bartone's weekend was done. The first round of Funny Car was dominated by the cars with lane choice. All eight advanced into the second round using the left lane.
"It's extremely disappointing to go out so early," said Bartone following the first round. "Jim Dunn and the crew on Got CMKX?/Lucas Oil Funny Car have been providing me with a consistent race car that has been able to run with anyone, but unfortunately today wasn't our day."