Bill Reichert Joliet summary

Reichert returns to the winner's circle in Chicago JOLIET, Ill. - Defending NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion Bill Reichert returned to the winner's circle for his second national event win of the season during this past weekend's Torco...

Reichert returns to the winner's circle in Chicago

JOLIET, Ill. - Defending NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion Bill Reichert returned to the winner's circle for his second national event win of the season during this past weekend's Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway just outside of Chicago. The win gave Reichert's Rislone Engine Treatment/Bar's Leaks sponsored team a strong finish to the weekend after an engine failure lead to a first round loss in the Jegs Sportsman All-Stars event, which was also ran over the course of the weekend.

Reichert, who runs his family business, Reichert Racing Engines in Owosso, Mich., qualified his Injected Nitro Dragster No. 2 in the field with a 5.233 second elapsed time at 274.55 mph. In round one, Reichert won a pedaling contest against Robin Samsel, as both drivers went up in smoke at the hit of the throttle. Reichert regained traction quicker to win with a 6.418 at 266.16 mph. In round two, he received a single when his opponent Steve Federlin lost an engine in the burnout. Reichert thundered to a 5.290 at 269.35 mph. His semifinal opponent would be the defending event champion Todd Datweiler, which he took out with a 5.238 at 274.33 mph.

That set up a final round with rookie Australian national Kate Harker, who had qualified No. 1 in former World Champ Tom Conway's A/Fueler. The final was all Reichert, as his Rislone Engine Treatment A/Fuel Dragster streaked to a 5.203 at 273.16 mph which easily defeated Harker, who went up in smoke at the hit of the throttle. Reichert's final round elapsed time stood as low e.t. of the meet, while his semifinal round speed set top speed of the event.

"We definitely got a few breaks today," said Reichert. "We really dodged the bullet when we smoked the tires in the first round. Usually when you smoke the tires, you're done. I just happened to get on the throttle quicker than Robin did. I got out of the throttle, got back on it, and it smoked the tires again. With the gearing these A/Fuelers have, when you smoke the tires like that, the tires are going around 300 mph at 7000 rpm, so it's hard to get them hooked back up again. I finally feathered back into it and got it hooked back up."

"We hurt the engine in the semifinals and the crew really did a great job of getting the car turned around for the final," Reichert continued. "It really surprised us how good it ran in the final. We weren't expecting that kind of number in the air we were running in. We're just glad we were able to pick up another win and make a good showing for Rislone and Bar's Leaks."

Reichert entered the weekend with high hopes of doubling up with wins at both the Jegs Sportsman All-Stars event and the national event. The Jeg's Sportsman All-Star event pits the top racers from each of NHRA's seven geographical divisions against each other to battle for the All-Star crown. After qualifying No. 1 for the event, Reichert lost in the first round when an engine let go after half track, giving John Finke the win.

"We're not really sure why it let go, but it cost us the round," stated Reichert. "Luckily we didn't have those problems any more during the weekend and we were able to get the win."

Reichert and his Rislone Engine Treatment team will return to Route 66 Raceway next weekend for the Division 3 event to be held there. He will enter the event currently fifth in national standings.

-credit: ret

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bill Reichert , Todd Datweiler