Mancuso Reaches Finals Of IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals, Unofficially Assumes Points Lead STANTON, MI-- Johnny Mancuso made no excuses for his performance in the final round of the IHRA CARQUEST Empire Nationals in Stanton, Mi., as ...
Mancuso Reaches Finals Of IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals, Unofficially Assumes Points Lead
STANTON, MI-- Johnny Mancuso made no excuses for his performance in the final round of the IHRA CARQUEST Empire Nationals in Stanton, Mi., as he dropped a tough final round encounter opposite the trusty veteran Jim McClure. The Houston, Tx.,-based, Harley-Davidson dealer was all smiles as he unofficially took over the Screamin' Eagle Top Fuel Harley presented by Crane points standings. Exactly what would he be making excuses over?
"I was late on the tree," explained Mancuso. "Jim was due to win one of these things. I definitely picked the wrong day to tango with him because he'd taken his Geritol. I never stood a chance." The sometimes comedic Mancuso, who sprayed New York winner Jay Turner with champagne in the winner's circle, was not joking when it came to qualifying. He showed true grit in Stanton's first qualifying session. Like the other competitors, he smoked the tires and rode a wheel stand, posting a 7.649/144.16 and finishing up in seventh position.
Mancuso stepped up in a big way on Saturday as he produced an impressive 6.891/200.40. This run propelled him into the second spot following the second session. However, he failed to improve during the final session with an aborted 7.54 elapsed time, dropped one spot in the qualifying order to third, and had to face points rival Doug Vancil in the first round of eliminations.
Round1 eliminations, produced continued problems for Vancil, causing him to spin the tires and then loosing a cylinder. Here was Mancuso's ticket for advancement with his 6.962/201.64, earning him lane choice against rival Ray Price.
A battle among the Harley dealers sparked the fans interest in the semis. Price, the defending event champion from Raleigh, NC, was the next to fall to Mancuso's determined assault as he crossed the center-line and took out several cones. Mancuso confidently sped to a 6.93/195.10 for the win and on to the final round
It was the grand finale that proved to be an upset for Mancuso, who gave way to first-time IHRA winner Jim McClure. McClure posted a 6.841/200.87 and Mancuso, a 6.818/194.14. It was another holeshot marginal victory of 0.027 seconds for McClure. This unexpected outcome puts Mancuso in a possible photo finish for the points lead and places McClure in the top five.
Mancuso plans to run a 19-race schedule for 1999 and likewise plans to defend championships earned under both the IHRA/Screamin' Eagle Banner and ADBA sanction. He continues his 1999 IHRA/Screamin' Eagle title defense at the IHRA MOPAR PARTS World Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, August 26-29th. Each contestant will be afforded three qualifying runs during the course of the event and the quickest 8 bikes will compete in the final eliminations on Sunday. This event will be televised on ESPN2 with the dates TBA in an upcoming issue of Drag Review magazine.