Bill Reichert Gainesville summary

Reichert starts title defense with runner-up in Gainesville GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Defending NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion Bill Reichert started his 2007 title defense with a runner-up finish during this past weekend's ACDelco ...

Reichert starts title defense with runner-up in Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Defending NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion Bill Reichert started his 2007 title defense with a runner-up finish during this past weekend's ACDelco Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. In the final, Reichert lost a close decision in his Rislone Engine Treatment sponsored dragster to Randy Meyer in what would be the quickest side-by-side pass in Top Alcohol Dragster history.

Reichert, from Owosso, Mich., qualified No. 2 in the 16 car field with a 5.232 second elapsed time at 275.06 mph. In round one, he defeated recent divisional winner Bill Evans with a 5.289 at 270.59 mph, then took out fellow Division 3 racer Marty Thacker in round two with a 5.218 at 275.22 mph. Reichert's semifinal opponent would be rookie Lindsay Wood, who is filling the shoes of Ashley Force in the Darien & Meadows ride this season. Reichert stayed consistent, running a 5.224 at 277.77 mph to set up the final with the No. 1 qualifier Meyer.

In the final, Meyer took a slight starting line advantage and was able to hold on by a narrow margin with a 5.222 at 257.73 mph to Reichert's 5.205 at 274.50 mph.

"It was a good start for the year," said Reichert. "We just came up a little bit short in the final. It was still a neat race to be a part of because I believe that was the quickest side by side pass in the history of the class. We just wish we were on the other end of it."

"We won the championship last year by going rounds," Reichert continued. "I redlighted here the last two years, so to start the season off with a final is a good step for us."

The next event for the Rislone/Bar's Leaks team will be in two weeks for the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park. Reichert is the defending event champion.

"We started a good run of wins last year in Houston," explained Reichert. "Hopefully we can keep the momentum going we started in Gainesville and make another strong showing for Rislone and Bar's Leaks."

-credit: bars

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ashley Force , Marty Thacker , Bill Reichert , Randy Meyer , Lindsay Wood