Litton picking up the pieces

INDIANAPOLIS - Just imagine for a moment that you've completed one of your finest seasons to date and you're more than prepared to improve the following year. Your cars and equipment have been checked, double-checked and in some cases ...

INDIANAPOLIS - Just imagine for a moment that you've completed one of your finest seasons to date and you're more than prepared to improve the following year. Your cars and equipment have been checked, double-checked and in some cases triple-checked. You are ready to go testing and embark on a championship and then a telephone call comes in the middle of the night telling you that the majority of everything you own in the racing world is in ashes. How would you react?

The scenario we just described is not a work of fiction, it's an absolute true story and the Wix Filters-sponsored Top Fuel driver Bruce Litton can tell you exactly what it feels like to be the victim.


Photo: Brue Litton Racing

"I don't know that any particular one word can describe what I felt that night," explained Litton, whose shop is located directly across the street from Indianapolis Raceway Park. "One word in particular that stands out among others is 'devastated', and another would be 'shock.' But as for me and my crew and with some divine intervention, I can think of another word that comes to mind, 'undeterred."

Not even a call in the wee hours of January 13th can hold Litton and his determined crew from giving it their best shot. It's not going to be an easy road to travel for the veteran enclosed trailer dealership owner, but who said life was easy?

"We lost our primary and back-up car, which were both new cars," Litton said. "We had a third car that was not in the building at the time, which has now been moved up to primary status. I have always known that my team has had heart and I've always told people that, but their actions are speaking louder than words during this tragedy. We started the day after the fire trying to get back onto track and it looks as if we're going to need every minute just to be ready."

Litton had initially planned to participate in the West Coast NHRA events and then make an IHRA debut at the season-opening Holley Spring Nationals in Rockingham, NC. Now it looks as if his first event will be the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. He hasn't ruled out an appearance at the CompetitionPlus.com Spring Open in Dinwiddie, Va., a special test session hosted by Virginia Motorsports Park.

The outpouring of support that Litton has received from his sponsors and his community has been unbelievable. Shortly after the blaze, officials from Wix Filters pledged their support of the team and promptly announced that they were 100% behind Litton.

His associate sponsors United Expressline, Inc., Lucas Oil, Spectra-One, Renegade, Stoops Freightliner, Ross Pistons and the Wix Dragster Driving Experience have all committed their support as well.

Litton's rig and trailer were among the many racing related items that burned to the ground. Butch Johnson of United Expressline, Inc., located in Bristol, Ind., has stepped up to produce a replacement rig that Litton needs to get to the track.

Litton still considers himself lucky, despite the fire devastating his racing efforts.

"This stuff can be replaced, the main thing is that nobody got hurt," explained Litton. "We received a lot of cards and support from the racing community. Some of my racing buddies have stepped forward with assistance. You find out just how loving the racing community is when something like this happens. I will tell you this. We were not prepared for what happened. But, who would be?"

-Bobby Bennett

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Litton