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IHRA Top Fuel points standings tighten as series move to New York INDIANAPOLIS (July 7, 1998) -- Reigning IHRA Top Fuel World Champion Paul Romine and his CARQUEST team are in a familiar position as they enter this weekend’s 10th annual ...

IHRA Top Fuel points standings tighten as series move to New York

INDIANAPOLIS (July 7, 1998) -- Reigning IHRA Top Fuel World Champion Paul Romine and his CARQUEST team are in a familiar position as they enter this weekend’s 10th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Empire Nationals near Rochester, NY. It is nearing the halfway point of the IHRA Snap-on Drag Racing season and Romine is faced with closing the gap between himself and the IHRA Top Fuel points leader. Last season it was Shirley Muldowney and this season he trails points leader Tommy Johnson Jr. by less than two round of competition.

Last weekend at the IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova (Ill.) Dragway Park, Romine earned a runner-up finish, losing to 4-time IHRA Top Fuel World Champion Doug Herbert in the final.

“We almost accomplished our goal of winning at Cordova last weekend, but overall we were happy with the runner-up finish,” Romine said. “Tommy went out a round before us so we were able to make up some points there, plus we out qualified him so that was also some extra points. The problem now is Doug is coming up from behind so we have to watch him while also trying to catch Tommy -- it’s turning into a real exciting points race for the fans.”

This weekend the IHRA tour returns to New York International Raceway after a one year absence for the CARQUEST Auto Parts Empire Nationals. It is a track Romine has never competed at and he is not sure what to expect.

“According to Clayton, who has been there before, the track surface has been a little unforgiving in the past, but IHRA and the track owner have ground and sealed the surface,” Romine said. “I’m not sure what to expect. With the summer heat and a track surface that is not one of the newest on the circuit, anything can happen so we’ll really have to be on our game this weekend in order to continue a move toward the top of the point standings.”

Romine and his CARQUEST team begin qualifying for the CARQUEST Auto Part Empire Nationals Friday, July, 10th at 4 p.m. (EDT). Qualifying resumes Saturday, July 11th with the final two qualification attempts at 12 noon and 7 p.m. with final eliminations set, Sunday, July 12th for 12 noon.

Television coverage will be tape-delayed and aired on ESPN2, Friday, July 24th at 1 a.m. (EDT). The coverage will be re-played, Friday, July 24th at 9 p.m.

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Series Drag
Drivers Paul Romine , Doug Herbert , Shirley Muldowney , Tommy Johnson Jr.