Bill Rieichert Norwalk summary

REICHERT PICKS UP TOP ALCOHOL WIN IN NORWALK (Owosso, MI) Bill Reichert and his Rislone Engine Treatment top alcohol dragster found themselves in victory lane once again this past weekend, as they cruised to a final-round win over Michael...

REICHERT PICKS UP TOP ALCOHOL WIN IN NORWALK

(Owosso, MI) Bill Reichert and his Rislone Engine Treatment top alcohol dragster found themselves in victory lane once again this past weekend, as they cruised to a final-round win over Michael Manners at the Third annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, OH.

Reichert, the three-time and defending NHRA Top Alcohol champion, qualified second with his Rislone Engine Treatment machine, a feat that would set the tone for the rest of the weekend. "Nobody seemed to be having much luck at first in qualifying," said Reichert. "Everyone was dealing with the bad air, but eventually we got dialed in and laid down some good times. I can definitely live with qualifying second!"

Round 1 action commenced on Saturday afternoon in Norwalk, with Reichert blasting out of the gates first and advancing past Darren Nicholson with a 5.375 sec. elapsed time at 268.60mph, nearly as quick as his qualifying effort. Eliminations continued on Sunday, with Reichert leading off the second round of competition against competitor Ken Perry. Reichert would not have lane choice against Perry, but it would not matter as Reichert's ET of 5.420 @ 266.64mph would be enough to topple Perry's 5.507 @ 258.27mph.

Reichert would make his fastest pass of the weekend thus far during the semi finals, and he would need it to advance past Todd Odom's dragster. "Once we got to the semi finals, I knew we were really going to have to step it up to stay in the hunt," explained Reichert. "Everyone was picking up steam heading into the semis, so we tuned the car a bit more aggressively." That tune-up would pay off, as Reichert's Rislone Engine Treatment dragster would power its way to a win in the semi-finals with a time of 5.318 @268.81mph.

That strong effort in the semi-finals would land Reichert exactly where he wanted to be: in the final round of eliminations. His foe in the finals would be Michael Manners, competing in his first national event finals. Reichert and his team would opt for consistency in their tune-up on the car, and it would pay off big time. Manners' car suffered an engine timing issue and went up in tire smoke immediately, but none of that would matter to Reichert as he ran his quickest time of the weekend, a 5.315 second pass at a blistering 268.54mph. Reichert had just captured NHRA national event win #18 of his career.

"I've raced Michael [Manners] in the semi-finals in Gainesville before, and he always runs really well," explained Reichert. "I wanted to have an aggressive tune on the car to make sure we weren't giving anything up, but at the same time we had to settle down a bit and remind ourselves that consistency is what got us to the finals." So how did Reichert's team adjust for the changing track conditions as eliminations progressed? "I knew the track would get better as the day wore on. As fewer and fewer cars were left in competition, the NHRA track crew would end up with more and more time to work their magic perfecting the track. So our logic was 'use a consistent tune-up, and the car will pick up time as the track gets better.' So we added a bit more clutch for the finals, cut a good light, and made sure not to beat ourselves."

With the Norwalk event in the books, Reichert and his Rislone team currently sit just one point out of first place in the national standings, and if you ask Reichert, that's not a bad spot to be. "I'm quite pleased with where we are at this point in the season. We are actually doing better this year than we were at this time last year, so I can't complain too much."

Reichert and his team will now enjoy a three-week break from the points chase. "Our next event is still a few weeks away, a divisional race in Columbus, OH," said Reichert. "We'll take some time off to freshen up the car and our motor, in addition to filming a segment for Spike TV's 'Powerblock' series. It should be a nice chance to catch our breath and get ready for the home stretch of the season. But make no mistake about it, we intend to keep our competitive edge plenty sharp."

-credit: barsleaks.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bill Reichert , Michael Mann