Plueger / Austin / Bateman Racing section
The 2010 season was very busy and quite successful as Bucky went out on his own taking over the Joe Pisano tribute car from Cruz Pedregon. He teamed up with Mark Hentges as the driver and the team started to turn heads starting at Mission Raceway.
Bucky got his first 5 second laps as a Nitro Tuner with a best of 5.9 and then went on to Boise where they were the #1 qualifier and had low et of the event. From there they ran at Pacific Raceway at ripped off a great 5.69 the quickest pass ever in the North West. Then at Bakersfield the team qualified #1 with a 5.85 and went all the way to the final round.
The Plueger Austin team qualify at the top at the Reunion, But go out early. Bateman wins the NFCA series championship for 2009.
1 611 Garrett Bateman, Tacoma WA, '72 Mustang 5.848 234.37 234.37
Bucky qualified # 3 in the 8 car field with a 5.88/233 mph, and Garrett was #1 with a 5.84/234.
Garrett faced the #8 qualifier Josh Crawford in the opening round, and this one was over early, or should have been, as Bateman had a solid .980 60 foot and was well out in front at 330, then the car got real loose, Garrett could not keep it in his lane, and he crossed the centre line, handing the win to Crawford. Luckily for Bateman there was enough points in the bank and he was crowned the 2009 series champion. Congrat's to the team for their hard work, and securing the Heritage series championship.
Bucky took on Tim Boychuk in round one and the car launched hard but the wheels came u and then unloaded the rear tires as they bllazed for 100 feet, Bucky clicked it off early and, could only watch was Boychuk in the Leong tuned Trans Am streaked away for the win.
August 3, 2009
Bucky wins the Inaugural Nitro Nationals at his home track.
The second big win of the year for Austin as he is the only driver to run in the five's throughout qualifying and elimination's. After leading qualifying, he ripped through the tough field with wins over Mike Savage,John Powers and the legendary Dale Pulde in the final round. The win moves Bucky to within three points (unofficial) of teammate Garrett Bateman in the NFCA point series.
Nostalgia Nitro Funny Cars
Final qualifying Saturday (unofficial)
Both Bucky and Garrett have runs that showed huge ET's. They were suspect though, as both Austin and Plueger stated they were in the 5.90's
1. Bucky Austin 5.62 (No M.P.H.) not valid
Round one qualifying from Spokane
July 30, 2009
The first blemish in an undefeated season for the Plueger/Austin/Bateman team.
Dateline Mission Raceway............................... Garrett does go to the final, but loses to another rookie in the class, Edmonton's Tim Boychuk. A close final with Boychuk going 5.83 to Garrettt's 5.88. In the biggest upset of the day, Boychuk got a holeshot win over the "Hitter" with a 5.90 to a 5.86 for Ausitn. The margin of victory was less than .004 .
Full results with photos next weekend.
July 5, 2009
The winning ways continue for the Plueger/Austin two car Funny Car team. After dominating wins at the March Meet, Spokane and Sacramento, the teams returned to Sacramento for the Nitro Night of Fire event. Garrett Bateman gets his third win of the year running in the 6.0's and "5's" through eliminations. Bucky qualified #3 but was upset on a holeshot in round one.
Report and photos from Mark King:
1. Garrett Bateman 5.855 @ 240.69
2. Leah Pruett-LeDuc 5.935 @ 249.42
3. Bucky Austin 6.031 @ 232.06
#4 Mark Sanders 6.124 @ 236.14
#5 Mendy Fry 6.145 @ 233.82
#6 Dennis LaCharite i6.149 @ 228.46.
#7 Josh Crawford 6.279 @ 232.78
#8 Chris Bennett "Pure Heaven" 6.436 @ 224.49
In the upset of the opening round, #6 Qualifier Dennis LaCharite in the "Back In Black" Pontiac GTO defeated #3 Qualifier Bucky Austin in the "Northwest Hitter" Plymouth Arrow on a hole shot with a 6.273 @ 233.27 to the trailing and quicker Austin's 6.262 @ 233.11.
#1 Qualifier Garrett Bateman in the "Plueger & Gyger" Ford Mustang defeated Chris Bennett in the "Pure Heaven" Chevrolet Camaro with a 6.077 @ 230.36 to Bennett's 6.497 @ 224.32.
In the final pairing of the round #2 Qualifier Leah Pruett-LeDuc in the "Heart Breaker" Ford Mustang defeated #7 Qualifier Josh Crawford in his Ford Mustang with a 6.073 @ 250.37 when Crawford red lit ending his day early.
Garrett Bateman in the "Plueger & Gyger" Ford Mustang defeated Mendy Fry in "McCain's Bomb Squad" Plymouth Duster with a 5.941 @ 232.34 to Fry's trailing 6.200 @ 239.67.
Bateman .161 5.963 @ 237.97 def. Pruett .079 6.063 @ 246.62.
This was the second Heritage series event and the Plueger /Austin /
Bateman team have won both. They have a busy schedule coming up with
Mission and Spokane in the next three weeks and then Boise's Nightfire
Nationals the second week of August.
May 20, 2009
Well the team is 3-0 so far this year and it does not like there wil be any let up
(Rich Carlson photos from Spokane)
Spokane's season opener saw Bucky be the top dog in qualifying with a track record 5.92/236mph in qualifying.
1. 617 Bucky Austin Fife, WA 79 Arrow 5.926 234.57 * Track Record ET2. 611 Garrett Bateman Tacoma, WA 73 Mustang 5.943 230.963. 6006 Mark Sanders Maple Valley, WA 70 Nova 6.294 227.734. 7130 Todd Lesenko Cave Creek, AZ 73 Camaro 6.636 186.105. 600 Tom Stevenson Stony Plain, AB 71 Mustang 9.634 87.35
In eliminations Garrett was the one standing at the top as he took out Bucky in the final with a quicker track record 5.88
Win: Garrett Bateman, Tacoma, Wash., 5.889* sec. 230.44 mph * Track ET Record
R/U: Bucky Austin, Fife, Wash., 6.030 sec., 230.17 mph
(Mark King Photos)
...........after a dominating March Meet where Bucky absolutely dominated the field, the next two events 'Funny Car Fever" at Sacramento and the season opener at Spokane Raceway, Garrett Bateman took over the winning reigns and was equally as dominant at Sacramento as Bucky was at Bakersfield, having a tenth on the field, and defeating Chris Krabill in the final with a 5.81 a track record. Bucky could not get a handle on the tricky Sacramento surface as he overpowered it on every run. He only had one lap in the good lane (the right and overpowered the track). Garrett on the other hand ran quick enough to get in the top half of the field and had lane choice for round one. That made all the difference as he got the right lane, and as they say, it was all over.
Here is final qualifying
Fuel Funny Car
Bucky went red in round one but Bateman went low for the round and continued his winning ways for the rest of the day going low every round and getting his first ever win.
What a weekend!!!
Courtesy of Bill Groak
Fife, Wash. may be home for Austin, but he now owns Bakersfield. He's on the roll of lifetime here, winning four times in the two years at the legendary Auto Club Famoso, including two March Meets and two California Hot Rod Reunions. And he's set a new record in each race, including Sunday's with the lowest elapsed time (ET) in Nostalgia Funny history (5.72).
"We've accomplished a lot here in Bakersfield," Austin said after the race, "but it takes a good car, a great crew and a little luck. Everything has to go right.My hat's off to Steve (Plueger) and the whole team."
Funny Car eliminations summary
Lee Paul Jennings Jr, Hilmar CA, '69 Camaro, Left lane, (0.033) 5.992
221.34 def. Ed Dougan, Brea CA, '74 Camaro, (0.112) 5.933
Mark Sanders, Maple Valley WA, '70 Nova, Right lane, (0.243) 5.887
243.70 def. Terry Capp, Edmonton AB, '77 Firebird, (0.547) 5.858
Bucky Austin, Fife WA, '79 Arrow, Left lane, (0.174) 5.754 246.23 def. Dennis Taylor, Anahiem CA, '72 Charger, (0.200) 7.565 115.41
Garrett Bateman, Tacoma WA, '72 Mustang, Left lane, (0.150) 5.820
237.02 def. Chris Krabill, Orange CA, '78 Arrow, (0.124) 5.870
G Bateman, Left lane, (0.161) 5.862 240.96 def. M Sanders, (0.140) 6.047 238.22
B Austin, Left lane, (0.157) 5.789 242.06 def. L Jennings Jr, (0.078) 5.876 244.56
B Austin, Left lane, (0.162) 5.723 246.77 def. G Bateman, (0.155) 5.853 245.36
Low ET: Bucky Austin 5.723 seconds
1 617 Bucky Austin, Fife WA, '79 Arrow 5.778
------------ Not Qualified ------------
9 8 Mike Halstead, Fontana CA, '69 Daytona 6.014 240.06 240.06
The big racing news is Bucky has a new team mate in Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car racing. Garrett Bateman will drive the Plueger/Gyger Mustang this season. The oorigianl plan was for Garrett to drive the new A/Fuel dragster but the time to assemble the new car was was prohibitive, and when the Plueger's Mustang became available the decision was made to run as a two car team. Garrett got licensed at Vegas during pre season testing, and the team tested the end of February prior to the 51st March Meet.
January and February 2009 archives
January and February 2009 archives