ROCKINGHAM, NC. - If one single event can erase a frustrating season, then consider Dwayne Rice starting the 2001 IHRA Sunoco Pro Stock season with a clean slate. Rice, 30, of Grove City, Ohio, enjoyed one of his finest events of his five year Pro...
ROCKINGHAM, NC. - If one single event can erase a frustrating season, then consider Dwayne Rice starting the 2001 IHRA Sunoco Pro Stock season with a clean slate. Rice, 30, of Grove City, Ohio, enjoyed one of his finest events of his five year Pro Stock career by reaching the semi-finals of the IHRA Holley Spring Nationals presented by Advance Auto Parts in Rockingham, NC.
Rice stands pleased with the results of his inaugural outing of this year.
Dwayne Rice. Photo: IHRA
If actions speak louder than words then Rice was screaming in the early going as he ascended to the pole position in the first session. He may not have one of the swoopy new GM machines, but that didn't stop his refurbished Pontiac Firebird from jumping to the forefront after the first session. He was the tops Friday afternoon with a 6.711/205.76. He failed to hold the top spot, but stepped up strong in the evening with a 6.635/207.25. He concluded the first day of qualifying as the second quickest.
The second day failed to improve his position in the program. He fell short in his first attempt by cranking out a 6.694/205.98 in Saturday and the final attempt proved to be no better.
The first round paired him against rookie Pro Stock driver Elijah Morton, whom he holeshot and beat with a 6.677. In the quarter-finals, Rice drilled former Pro Modified racer Brian Gahm and legged out a 6.689/206.16 to score the victory.
In the semi-finals, Rice was paired opposite of the low qualifier Tom Lee. It was no secret that the former Modified standout was entering the event against the front-running Ford with a tremendous performance disadvantage by virtue of aerodynamics. Rice did what he had to do as a driver by nailing Lee on the tree with a .033 holeshot, but was unable to fend him off. To compound matters, Rice got crossed up at the eighth-mile mark and was forced to abort the run.
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