Carquest Team Needs Norwalk Victory To Keep Championship Hopes Alive NORWALK, OHIO (August 15, 2001) -- In the past, Paul Romine and his CARQUEST Auto Parts Top Fuel team have either loved or hated Norwalk Raceway Park following the IHRA Mopar...
Carquest Team Needs Norwalk Victory To Keep Championship Hopes Alive
NORWALK, OHIO (August 15, 2001) -- In the past, Paul Romine and his CARQUEST Auto Parts Top Fuel team have either loved or hated Norwalk Raceway Park following the IHRA Mopar World Nationals, IHRA's largest event of the season.
In 1997, Romine won the event and set the current track elapsed time record at 4.709-seconds. The following year he was runner-up to his current team owner Doug Herbert. Last season, he lost in round one and lost the championship points lead that wasn't regained until the last event of the year. This season the CARQUEST team travels to Norwalk, August 24 - 26, in hopes of making up ground on current points leader Clay Millican.
"We can't let Clay run away with this thing," said Romine, a 3-time IHRA champion and winner of the World Nationals in 1997. "If he's going to win, he's going to have to earn it. They don't crown the champion until Shreveport and we've got four races until then."
Romine has earned one championship going away and two others coming down to the wire. His 1997 championship was solidified at Norwalk while in 1998 and 2000, each championship title was won at the final event. So far this season, Romine has IHRA event wins at Rockingham and Richmond, but mechanical gremlins have cost him points and round wins, resulting in his current second place position. He trails Millican by 86 points, which is equivalent to four rounds of competition and six qualifying positions. Romine is 24 points ahead of the third place spot held by Bruce Litton.
"Nothing is impossible," said Romine concerning his championship hopes. "Making up four rounds in four events can be done with performance on our end and a little help. If we can get some assistance from the other teams by them stepping up and taking Clay and Bruce out early, we can be there in the end. We just need the bottom half of the field to be more competitive than it has been during the first half of the season to make this a real championship race to the finish."
In addition to 320 mph Top Fuel Dragsters, the Mopar World Nationals features supercharged vs. nitrous Mopar Pro Modifieds, 210 mph Screamin' Eagle Nitro Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Funny Cars and the world's fastest "Mountain Motor" Pro Stocks. Champions will also be crowned in eight Sportsman classes.
Top Fuel qualifying kicks off Friday night, August 24 at 7 p.m. ET. It continues Saturday, August 25 with one session at 2 p.m., then the final qualifying session under the lights beginning at 6:50 p.m. with the traditional Night of Fire. Final eliminations are set for Sunday, August 26 at 11:30 a.m.
Top Fuel competition from the Mopar World Nationals will air on TNN, Saturday, September 22 at 2 p.m. ET.
For more information about Paul Romine, please visit, www.CARQUEST.com/paulromine.htm.
CARQUEST Corporation began in 1974 with 100 auto parts stores. Today there are nearly 4,000 CARQUEST Auto Parts stores across North America. CARQUEST supplies the professional automotive service repair industry as well as do-it-yourselfers with replacement parts, tools and equipment. For more information, please visit www.CARQUEST.com.