Paul Romine Empire Nationals Preview

LEICESTER, NY - It has been 12 months since two-time and defending IHRA Top Fuel champion Paul Romine and his CARQUEST team have visited the IHRA winner's circle. That win came last season at the CARQUEST Empire Nationals. This weekend, July ...

LEICESTER, NY - It has been 12 months since two-time and defending IHRA Top Fuel champion Paul Romine and his CARQUEST team have visited the IHRA winner's circle. That win came last season at the CARQUEST Empire Nationals. This weekend, July 10-11th, the CARQUEST team begins the second half of the 1999 IHRA Snap-on Drag Racing season looking to again capture the photographers' attention at the base of the New York International Raceway Park tower.

Situated fourth in the points, five rounds of competition behind points leader Bruce Litton, Romine needs a win this weekend to solidify himself in a position for a possible shot at a third consecutive IHRA Top Fuel Championship.

"Last year New York was very good to us," said Romine, who holds the New York International Raceway Park track record at 4.910-seconds. "We won the CARQUEST Empire Nationals and from there we gained momentum that carried us to the championship. We need the same type of momentum boost this weekend." So far this season Romine has advanced to the semifinals at three of the first four IHRA events, but he has yet to reach a final round.

"Clayton (Harris, the crew chief) and the guys have been working very hard to get the CARQUEST car consistent," Romine said. "We have never had the problem of running the numbers, it has just been consistency, and now we are starting to get the car to go down the track everytime."

Since last season's CARQUEST Empire Nationals, New York International Raceway Park's ¼-mile racing surface has been completely repaved and features 500-feet of concrete at the starting line.

"I am looking forward to seeing the new track," Romine said. " I have heard good things about what the Metcalfe's have done and I know the CARQUEST team would like to break in that new asphalt with a victory."

Top Fuel qualifying for the CARQUEST Empire Nationals will be held Saturday, July 10th with sessions scheduled at 12 noon and 7 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled to begin Sunday, July 11th at 12 noon. IHRA continues their commitment to "Family-Friendly" ticket prices at the CARQUEST Empire Nationals.

Tickets for Friday's racing are just $20 and include free pit pass and parking. Saturday and Sunday's action is $30, including free pit pass and parking. Children 6-12 are always admitted for $5 and a three-day "Superpass" is available for $60.

ESPN2 will provide one-hour of tape-delayed coverage of the IHRA CARQUEST Empire Nationals, Thursday, August 5, at 3 p.m. (EDT), followed by a replay, Wednesday, August 11, at 4 a.m.

New York International Raceway Park is located in Leicester, NY, off Rt. 36 on New Road, only an hour from Rochester and Buffalo. For ticket and camping information, call (716) 382-3030.

IHRA TOP FUEL POINT STANDINGS Bruce Litton 340 (1) Don Lampus 282 (1) Jim Bailey 274 (2) PAUL ROMINE 238

Prior to the CARQUEST Empire Nationals, the CARQUEST Top Fuel dragster will be on display, Thursday, July 8th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the CARQUEST store in Rochester, NY. The store is located at 2921 West Herietta Road. For more information, call (716) 424-2550.

Romine will also be Live on the Brother Wease show, Friday, July 9th at 8 a.m. The Brother Wease show can be heard on WCMF-FM. For more information about the show, go to www.brotherwease.com.

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Series Drag
Drivers Paul Romine , Bruce Litton , Don Lampus