Budds Creek: Bruce Litton - Series spotlight

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Litton Right on Track Defending Top Fuel World Champion heads to Budds Creek riding a wave of momentum (Indianapolis, Ind.; June 5, 2008) -- The first two races of the 2008 season did not go as Bruce Litton would have liked. The Motor ...

Litton Right on Track

Defending Top Fuel World Champion heads to Budds Creek riding a wave of momentum

(Indianapolis, Ind.; June 5, 2008) -- The first two races of the 2008 season did not go as Bruce Litton would have liked. The Motor City Nationals in Milan, however, put Litton and his Indianapolis-based Top Fuel team right on track.

Litton defeated #1 qualifier Scott Palmer in the final round at Milan Dragway to claim his 13th career Ironman and move to within one round (19 points) of Spencer Massey atop the 2008 IHRA Top Fuel points standings.

"We're right where we want to be," Litton said. "We're in striking distance of the lead with plenty of racing left on the schedule. (Crew Chief) Richard (Hartmann) seems to have a handle on the car, our performance has been strong and consistent and we look forward to getting out there in Maryland. We're getting into the heart of the season and it's time to work hard."

Massey, the NHRA fuel-altered hot-shot driving for Mitch King on the IHRA schedule, topped Litton in the first round at the quarter-mile season opener in San Antonio. He defeated Litton again in Rockingham, this time in the final round with the Ironman on the line. Litton is not concerned with just one racer, however.

"At this point we can't worry about Spencer, we just have to run our race and worry about what's going on in our lane," Litton said. "We have to worry about all seven other drivers who qualify for the field. Come Sunday anyone who qualifies for this deal can win."

Litton has not enjoyed a strong recent history at Maryland International Raceway. In the last six seasons he has advanced to just one final round at MIR, losing to Clay Millican in the final round during the 2003 season. During that time he has also lost in the first round twice (2002 and 2005), lost in the semifinals twice (2004 and 2007) and did not compete during the 2007 season while recovering from injuries sustained in his crash in New England.

"We haven't had the best luck at MIR, but I love the race track and love the facility," Litton said. "Royce Miller and his family do a tremendous job of getting that place in great shape for the President's Cup Nationals. The track is less than 100-feet above sea level so the air is always unbelievable...we make really big power there. It would not surprise me to see some records fall this year."

Millican holds both ends of the track record at MIR with an ET of 4.568 and a speed of 328.14. That speed also stands as the current IHRA world record. Millican also holds the ET world record at 4.484 set at Rockingham Dragway at the 2005 World Finals.

"With the level of competition and the strength of the cars coming to race with IHRA this year it would not surprise me at all to see records fall," Litton said. "We're used to coming to MIR in September, where the cool air sometimes made the conditions too good. I'm looking forward to watching everyone take shots at the track in the early June heat."

Litton and crew will have a short turnaround. After the President's Cup Nationals the team will have two weeks to get the rig and equipment 2,400 miles to Edmonton for the Rocky Mountain Nationals July 3-5. Litton wants to thank Forest and Charlotte Lucas from Lucas Oil for their continued support of his racing operation. Litton also thanks United Trailer Sales and IHRA Nitro Jam series sponsor Knoll Gas.

"These companies and people are so important to our sport," Litton said. "They are the ones who allow us to pursue out passion and I could never thank them enough...especially Forest and Charlotte Lucas... for everything they've done for me over the years."

-credit: ihra

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