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Top Fuel: Russell a Favorite After Beating Dixon Darrell Russell did something last Sunday no other NHRA POWERade Top Fuel driver had been able to do all season -- beat Larry Dixon in a flat-out race. Russell ran 4.63 seconds in the Joe ...

Top Fuel: Russell a Favorite After Beating Dixon

Darrell Russell did something last Sunday no other NHRA POWERade Top Fuel driver had been able to do all season -- beat Larry Dixon in a flat-out race. Russell ran 4.63 seconds in the Joe Amato-owned, Valvoline-backed Bilstein Engine Flush dragster to defeat Larry Dixon, who went 4.67 seconds. Dixon is the Top Fuel point leader and has been the dominant power in the series this year. The win, the first of the season and third of Russell's career, moved the 2001 NHRA Rookie of the Year up to sixth in points. This comes after a difficult start to the season. In Las Vegas, he started working with new crew chief Wayne Dupuy and an essentially all-new crew.

"I had an 0-7 (career) mark against Dixon and he had lane choice," Russell said of his winning pass. "But Wayne came up with the perfect tune-up and we just flat-out beat them. That hasn't happened to them all year. I think we got some people's attention, at least for a day."

Continuing one of the most successful partnerships in modern motor racing, Valvoline returns in 2002 for the 19th season as a sponsor of Joe Amato's Top Fuel team. From 1984 through his retirement after the 2000 campaign, Valvoline's technical, product and financial support helped Amato to five Top Fuel championships and 52 victories, both NHRA records. Darrell Russell added to the record in 2001, with two wins, and NHRA Rookie of the Year honors in Amato's dragster. Bilstein Engine Flush is Amato Racing's new primary sponsor.

Pro Stock: Krisher Won 1st Race at Route 66

Ron Krisher earned his first career NHRA Pro Stock victory at Route 66 Raceway in June 2000. He drove his Eagle One Pontiac Firebird to the final-round win over Troy Coughlin. Krisher opened this season with four consecutive Pro Stock poles, won at Las Vegas, and made the final round at Bristol in his Eagle One Chevrolet Cavalier.

Krisher has now qualified for an impressive 56 consecutive Pro Stock events, going back to the year 2000 season-opener at Pomona. Pro Stock may well be the most competitive racing series in the world, with between 34-37 cars typically trying for the 16 qualifying positions. Krisher was one of only four drivers to qualify for all 24 NHRA events in 2001.

Krisher owns his own drag racing engine development company, KRJ, located in Newark, Ohio. His company supplies engines to Pro Stock competitors Tom Hammonds and V. Gaines. Before entering Pro Stock, Krisher raced sports cars on road courses and sprint cars on dirt, and he's a self-made entrepreneur.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: Hines Has 2 Wins at Route 66

Three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Matt Hines is a two-time bike winner at Route 66 Raceway. He rode his Eagle One Suzuki to victory in both 1998 and 1999. Last year he had the fastest run at the track at 191.19 mph.

Hines on the thrill of riding the Eagle One Suzuki: "It's just an incredible ride. It's an incredible rush. It's like holding on to a missile when you leave the line. When I drive a car on the street, I put my seat belt on everytime I get in. I just don't feel like I'm secure in the vehicle unless I have a seat belt on. But when I'm flying down the track, I just feel at one with the motorcycle."

-v/eo-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Troy Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Joe Amato , Ron Krisher , Tom Hammonds