Shreveport: Bruce Litton Top Fuel summary

Litton finishes season by winning World Finals again SHREVEPORT, La.-Bruce Litton completed a trying season on an upbeat note by repeating as the Top Fuel winner at the rescheduled 4th annual Mopar Parts World Finals' PPG Night of Fire. The ...

Litton finishes season by winning World Finals again

SHREVEPORT, La.-Bruce Litton completed a trying season on an upbeat note by repeating as the Top Fuel winner at the rescheduled 4th annual Mopar Parts World Finals' PPG Night of Fire. The victory clinched third place in the IHRA season points for the third straight season.

Another third in points and only a single win was not what Litton had envisioned after last season. The enclosed trailer from Indianapolis had expected to shake the bad fortunes and surpass the four victories piled up during 2000. His dreams and racing operation were turned into a pile of ashes during a mid-January fire, forcing him and his crew to scramble to assemble a new dragster.

The single win also was frustrating with all the NHRA races used for testing. He was able to generate some sparkling runs such as reaching the finals in Rockingham and Canada and also shocked the NHRA competition in Brainerd with a semifinal finish despite running under the handicap of the IHRA combination.

This weekend, however, belonged to Litton, starting with the No. 1 qualifying position after two days of trials and culminating the victory over Jim Head in yesterday's final.

An engine explosion in Head's car made it easy for the driver of the Littonmobile. While the mishap knocked a hole in Head's helmet, the driver survived, but the car didn't. It was too badly damaged to make the pass. Litton had a single for the win, tried to run a big number but lost traction almost immediately. He covered the Red River Raceway quarter-mile in 11.133 seconds at 81.99 mph, more than enough to end a 10-race IHRA winless streak.

Litton streaked away from Roger Dean to the finish line in the first-head-to-head challenge, 4.787/300.80 to 5.047/286.32. Litton got a small boost from Dean, whose car fireballed the engine around1,000 feet.

The Wix Filters-Renegade-United Express-Stoops Freightliner-sponsored dragster was purring on all cylinders in the semifinal against Paul Romine. The Tennessee native beat Romine off the starting line, .476 seconds to .490, and never looked back in making a clean run down the middle of the groove. He turned in a more accustomed time of 4.827/305.42 to a smoke filled 10.674/94.53 for Romine.

In the start of trials on Friday, Litton got off to a poor start as he smoked the tires and coasted to a 11.654, 89.38. He headed into Saturday's heats unqualified but quickly made up for it. In the second session, Litton posted a 4.802/306/60 to immediately earn a berth. He saved his best for last during the Night of Fire with his own sparks, turning in the No. 1 qualifying pass with a 4.713/309/20.

Litton can savor this victory for about four months before starting the IHRA tour grind starts again.

In the meantime, to keep in touch with Litton's progress visit his website at www.brucelitton.com. The latest happenings on Litton and the other IHRA stars can be found on the Internet's largest drag-racing e-zine at www.competitionplus.com.

-BLR/cp-

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Series Drag
Drivers Paul Romine , Jim Head , Bruce Litton