Bill Reichert Richmond summary

Reichert clinches Championship in Virginia DINWIDDIE, Va. - NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Bill Reichert and his team can finally take a deep breath. The battle is over. Reichert and his Rislone Engine Treatment/Bar's Leaks team clinched...

Reichert clinches Championship in Virginia

DINWIDDIE, Va. - NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Bill Reichert and his team can finally take a deep breath. The battle is over. Reichert and his Rislone Engine Treatment/Bar's Leaks team clinched their first World Championship with a semifinal finish during this past weekend's Torco Race Fuels Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park outside of Richmond.

Reichert, from Owosso, Mich., qualified his Rislone backed injected-nitro dragster second in the field with a 5.209 second pass at 276.63 mph. In round one, he defeated Dave Hedges with a 5.293 at 273.83 mph.

Standing in Reichert's way of clinching his first World Championship was veteran Mike Kosky. After coming close to winning the 2004 Championship, Reichert would not be denied this time and took the win with a 5.251 at 275.17 mph to clinch the championship.

Hoping to cap the celebration with an event win, Reichert took on Division 3 rival Marty Thacker in the semifinals. Thacker took a starting line advantage that would be enough to hold off Reichert's 5.255 at 276.01 mph with his own 5.270 at 268.28 mph.

"We finally clinched it," said Reichert. "It would have been nice to win, but clinching the Championship was enough. Winning the Championship is just a dream come true for me. We've been chasing it for a long time. It kind of slipped away from us in 2004; we led most of the year only to get passed at the last race."

"Right now I'm just relieved," Reichert continued. "It's like a large weight is off my shoulders. In 2004 I really felt the pressure and let it get to me. After that, I told myself if I ever put myself in position to win another Championship, I wouldn't let the pressure get to me. You just can't help but feel it and it does get to you. Maybe if you're like [Top Alcohol Funny Car competitor Frank] Manzo and won countless championships, it might not effect you, but this is our first. The desire to win the Championship is so great, it's hard not to feel the pressure when you're that close. Now we can go out West and have fun instead of worrying."

Reichert is quick to credit a behind the scenes player in his success this year.

"My son Andy is a big part of this team," stated Reichert. "He stays at home and runs the business when we're racing, so he's not at the track. He's not the 'Crew Chief' of the car, but I talk to him nearly every run. We really work well together. When we both agree on something, it usually works. Of course my wife Gloria, my daughter Ashley, crewmembers Bob Adams, Mike Libengood, Cory Eich, Tom Hammil, Ron Potter and Steve Hammond gave me a great car all year."

"We also couldn't do it without the support of our great sponsors," Reichert added. "Our major sponsors Bar's Leaks and Rislone along with Lane Automotive, Allstar Performance and NGK Sparkplugs enabled us to compete at this level. Then of course Bar's Leaks President Bob Mermuys just goes the extra mile with his personal and emotional support. Things like bringing me "Bars Leaks the Monkey" really help. That monkey was a part of this Championship."

The next stop for the Bar's Leaks team will be season-ending AAA Auto Club Finals in Pomona, Calif., Nov. 9-12. The following Monday Reichert will be crowned the Champion at the Lucas Oil Series Banquet.

"It's nice to be able to go to Pomona without the pressure," said Reichert. "We might be a little more bold with the tune-up with the points out of the way, but you don't want to get out in left field. We're just going to have some fun."

The flagship Rislone product is Rislone Engine Treatment. America's best-selling engine treatment has been enhancing automobile engine performance for more than 75 years. It removes engine-damaging sludge, varnish and deposits from valves and lifters, as well as ring and piston grooves to restore and equalize compression in all cylinders, returning lost engine power. Other Rislone products include Rislone Ring Seal and Rislone 2-Cycle Engine Oil. Find out more at www.Rislone.com

-credit: rr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Marty Thacker , Bill Reichert