Norwalk: Jeff Ledford preview

Former Champ Ledford looking to stay hot in Norwalk NORWALK, Ohio - Former IHRA Top Dragster World Champion Jeff Ledford and his Rislone Engine Treatment backed team will be looking to stay hot during this weekend's IHRA Skull Gear World...

Former Champ Ledford looking to stay hot in Norwalk

NORWALK, Ohio - Former IHRA Top Dragster World Champion Jeff Ledford and his Rislone Engine Treatment backed team will be looking to stay hot during this weekend's IHRA Skull Gear World Nationals presented by AC Delco at Norwalk Raceway Park. Ledford, who is currently sixth in Mallory Top Dragster standings will also debut his second Rislone backed dragster in Accel Quick Rod.

Ledford's pursuit of this year's IHRA Mallory Top Dragster title brings him back full circle from his 1992 Top Dragster Championship. After getting his start behind the wheel at age 14, Ledford has remained very involved in the sport. In addition to racing on the track, Ledford and his family have owned and operated Mid-Michigan Motorplex in Stanton, Mich., since 1994. Along with his '92 Championship, his accomplishments include winning the overall points championship at the '89 Moroso Five Day Bracket Championships, three event wins at the Moroso Five Day event, and finishing No. 4 nationally in Top Dragster in '93. His most recent success was winning the Friday event of the BTE World Super Pro Challenge at Mid-Michigan Motorplex, a $10,000 pay day.

After purchasing the track from his parents in 2002, Ledford resold the track to his parents to once again run the IHRA tour. With a strong standing in points and some momentum on his side, Ledford hopes to do well at Norwalk.

"We're doing well in points and if we can go some rounds, we have a shot at the Championship," said Ledford. "Norwalk is the biggest event on the tour, so it would be nice to win here. This will be the first race I will be running both cars. We had planned to bring the Quick Rod car out earlier in the year, but it had some engine problems, and we just wasn't able to get it back together until now."

Ledford also enjoys the challenges of competing in different sportsman categories.

"It's quite a bit different going from bracket racing to class racing in the IHRA," Ledford explained. "At a big money bracket race like last weekend, you're running a race each day. At an IHRA race you're running day to day. You're making runs on different days, so it presents it's own challenge. With the caliber of racers on both levels, success in either is very gratifying. Winning a big race like last weekend takes luck and skill. We're still very happy about that one."

As if running two cars at both bracket and IHRA events wasn't enough, Ledford is preparing the next generation of the Ledford legacy with his son Lane's Rislone backed Jr. Dragster.

"We stay pretty busy, but we really enjoy it as a family," stated Ledford. "My wife Denise, son Lane and daughter Libby all enjoy being at the track."

When the IHRA eMax Racing Series concludes at Rockingham Dragway in October, Ledford's season will be far from over. The family will head south for the 'Winter Series' of bracket racing that includes big money 5-day events in Valdosta, Ga., Bradenton, Fla., and West Palm Beach, Fla.

"We really enjoy running the big money races down south," said Ledford. "We've done well in the past down there, so hopefully we can go down there, win some money and get some good exposure for Rislone, Bar's Leaks, Pro System Carbs and BTE Transmissions."

Qualifying begins Thursday for sportsman competitors, with final eliminations concluding the event on Sunday.

-credit: www.Rislone.com

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