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Gilbertson's NHRA debut at Houston a huge success
HOUSTON -- Bob Gilbertson had one of the biggest weekends of his drag racing career at the NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston this past weekend.

Not only did Gilbertson debut a new marketing partner, Tradicion Azul Tequila, but at his first race of the season, Gilbertson managed to qualify when other top cars like Robert Hight, Scott Kalitta and Melanie Troxel failed to make the field.

Gilbertson was one of the most consistent cars all weekend and he ran three consecutive 4.9 second runs and qualified in the 11th spot where he was paired up with Ashley Force in the first round of eliminations.

Although Gilbertson had a .023 advantage off of the starting due to a better reaction time, his 4.97 second elapsed time at 311.27 mph was barely eclipsed by Force's 4.92 at 316.30, a margin of victory of just a few feet.

All in all Gilbertson was very pleased with the results of his first outing in 2008.

"I had a big smile on my face on the plane ride back from Houston," Gilbertson said. ""There's something about Houston, I don't know what it is, but we always do well there. I won this race in 2000 and to show up at our first race of the year without having tested much and to achieve our goal of qualifying was a great start to our season. I've got to give all the credit to Nicky (Boninfante, crew chief) and all the guys on the team. They worked together flawlessly, didn't make any mistakes and their long hours of work payed off."

"Plus the response to our new sponsor and our new graphics was phenomenal," Gilbertson added. "Jay Pennington of Tradicion Azul Tequila attended the first drag race he's ever been to and he was blown away by the whole experience. The fans all loved the car to put the icing on the cake we won the prestigious Best Appearing Crew award so the whole weekend was a great kick-off to the season."

Gilbertson and the Tradicion Azul Tequila nitro Funny Car team's next race will be this weekend's IHRA Texas Nationals in San Antonio April 4-6.

For more information go to: www.bobgilbertson.com and http://www.tradicionazul.com/