BRAINERD, Minn. - Shortly after the second round at the Colonel's Truck Accessories Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., Bruce Litton, the driver of the Wix Filters Top Fuel dragster from Indianapolis, received a call on his cell phone. The caller...
BRAINERD, Minn. - Shortly after the second round at the Colonel's Truck Accessories Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., Bruce Litton, the driver of the Wix Filters Top Fuel dragster from Indianapolis, received a call on his cell phone. The caller uttered, "What are you trying to do, win an NHRA race?"
Litton gave his trademark smile and uttered, "I'm trying my best."
He certainly lived up to his word as he reached the semi-finals, losing only to rookie driver Darrell Russell. His tremendous day also provided wins over Rhonda Hartman-Smith and Mike Dunn. Not bad for a guy that made a last minute decision to go to the event.
"We thought it might be a good move to head up to Brainerd before going to Norwalk," explained Litton, who has used the NHRA events to test his IHRA combination. "This was a good outing for all of my guys and they certainly work their tails off to give me the best racecar out there. We just always go out and give it our best. It makes it tough to celebrate a good outing when we watch an accident like we did earlier today with Gary Scelzi and John Smith. Our prayers go out to them and their families."
Litton entered eliminations as the tenth qualifier and that matched him with a quicker Hartman-Smith. He was quicker out of the gate and never looked back en route to a 4.785, 308.92. Hartman-Smith went up in smoke about 200-feet off of the starting line.
He entered the quarter-finals as a tremendous underdog, but he learned to deliver a ferocious bite against Dunn in the semis. Once again, Litton was quicker out of the gate. When you add in that advantage, with Dunn's dropped cylinder and smoking tires at mid-track, it equaled a trip to the semis for the enclosed trailer dealer. Litton advanced with a 4.805, 309.70.
In the semis, Litton nailed Russell on the tree by .041. However, he just didn't have enough steam built up for his 4.866 to fend off Russell's 4.745. It must be noted that Litton was running an IHRA limited blower overdrive of 25%, while the NHRA has no such regulation.