Empire Nationals John Mancuso Report

World Champion John Mancuso Battles New Track for Bite Gains Ground In Points Battle With Semi-final Finish LEICESTER, NY - World Champion Top Fuel Harley competitor John Mancuso put on a spectacular show this weekend. It became evident that...

World Champion John Mancuso Battles New Track for Bite Gains Ground In Points Battle With Semi-final Finish

LEICESTER, NY - World Champion Top Fuel Harley competitor John Mancuso put on a spectacular show this weekend. It became evident that the cagey veteran had gotten back into his championship groove. He ran the big numbers when he had to and when the smoke cleared, he had reached the semi-finals of the CARQUEST Empire Nationals in Leicester, NY. He dropped a tough decision to Jay Turner, the eventual winner.

The Top Fuel Harleys were making their debut at the rennovated New York International Raceway Park. Although the start of qualifying on Friday concerned everyone, Mancuso didn't seem to notice. The defending Screamin' Eagle Top Fuel Harley World Champion made the most of his first session and blistered the New York International Raceway Park racing surface with a 6.702/197.62. He ended the first day of qualifying in the second position.

Mancuso then came back and fired a tremendous shot during the first session on Saturday. He was relentless in his pursuit of a top qualifying lap and succeeded in securing the lead after the second session with a 6.662/202.85. He failed to improve during the final session, with a 6.78/203.19, but the damage had been done against the scooter contingent. He remained in the top spot and was paired against John Russell in the first round.

When the lights came down on the first round of eliminations, Mancuso left the line on his smoking rear tire. But the awesome power Mancuso can coax from his machine was enough for a 6.912/198 mph pass, defeating the struggling Russell.

However, when Mancuso met Jay Turner in the semis, the tire smoke overcame the stability of the bike and Mancuso, in spite of his best efforts, decided to abort the run.

Mancuso plans to run a 19-race schedule for 1999 and likewise plans to defend championships earned under both the IHRA/Screamin' Eagle Banner and ADBA sanction. He continues his 1999 IHRA/Screamin' Eagle title defense at the IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals in Stanton, MI., July 31 - August 2. Each contestant will be afforded three qualifying runs during the course of the event and the quickest eight bikes will compete in final eliminations on Sunday. This event will be televised on ESPN2 with the dates TBA in an upcoming issue of IHRA Drag Review magazine.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Drag