Thompson Goes to Carolina Final What a weekend for Clint Thompson and the Cascade Auto Group Racing team. Thompson, of Klamath Falls, Oregon, competing in the Top Alcohol Funny Car class, traveled all the way to the opposite end of the country to compete at the Third annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals held in Charlotte, NC and nearly won the race but the reining World Champion Frank Manzo was just a few hundredths quicker and grabbed the win. Thompson qualified third with a 5.61 at 258 MPH and started his march to the finals by first disposing of Tony Bogolo who went red. Still, Thompson cruised to a 5.59 at 257 MPH to advance to the second round where he would face Brent Henry of Breckenridge CO. At the hit, Henry was out of the gate first with a 0.023 to Thompson’s 0.125. Thompson didn't allow the discrepancy at the starting line to stop him from getting the win as he stopped the clocks with a stellar 5.58 at 258 MPH to Henry’s 5.88 at only 197 MPH. In the Semifinals, the competition just got tougher as both Thompson and opponent John Bojec had identical 0.089 reaction times. But it was Thompson that would take the stripe with a 5.58 at 257 MPH to Bojec’s 5.62 at 255 MPH. Thompson’s win set up a showdown between the two best cars in the class, Frank Manzo and Thompson. At the starting line it was Thompson out first with an 0.049 to Manzo’s close 0.052. Sadly for Thompson, his starting line advantage wasn't enough as Manzo came from behind to score the victory. Manzo crossed the finish line with a 5.57 at 259 MPH to Thompson's valiant 5.58 at 256 MPH. Still, it was one dandy of a final and anyone's race to the end.