Madison: Billy Harper event summary

Harper pleased with team's performance at Gateway MADISON, Ill. (July 2, 2002) - Despite just missing the final round of the Sixth Annual Sears Craftsman National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Nationals at Gateway (Ill.) International Raceway,...

Harper pleased with team's performance at Gateway

MADISON, Ill. (July 2, 2002) - Despite just missing the final round of the Sixth Annual Sears Craftsman National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Nationals at Gateway (Ill.) International Raceway, Billy Harper, driver and owner of the 2002 Dodge Viper pro modified dragster, is pleased with his team's performance. "There were 22 pro modified cars this weekend and after all the rounds of qualifying, we were the tenth fastest. I think that's pretty good considering it was our first race of 2002."

Perhaps the sponsor for Billy Harper Motorsports, Holcim (US) Inc., helped with the Kentucky-based team's solid showing. Holcim (US) Inc. is a leading manufacturer and supplier of cement and mineral components. One could guess that the company's basis in hard substances added extra power to the team.

The team made their first qualifying pass on Friday afternoon with a new motor under the hood of the Holcim (US) Inc. Dodge Viper. This was the first pass on the new power cell, which proved to have too much clutch in round one. The Billy Harper Motorsports team headed into round two knowing they needed to figure out the horsepower issue on the Dodge Viper, and fast. Unfortunately, a broken driveshaft following the second pass diverted the team's attention towards fixing the injured machine.

In round three, too much power under the hood caused the Viper to shake and prohibited Billy Harper from setting an optimal time. Finally, in the fourth round, Harper was able to get the car where he wanted - unfortunately just short of making the final round. Harper posted run down the 1/4 dragstrip at 6.437 seconds putting him in tenth position out of 22 cars and the third fastest nitrous car in the field. Unfortunately, the qualifying pass was just 3/1000 of a second off the bump time of 6.434 seconds.

The team makes its second appearance of the 2002 season in the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) event to be held at US 131 Dragway in Martin, Michigan. The event is scheduled to begin on Friday, July 26 with final rounds of competition occurring on Sunday, July 28. Team manager Bubba Kolb is fired up for the event in Michigan and feels they might be on their way to victory lane. "We are going to win in Michigan," stated Kolb. "The team is doing such a good job and now that we have the motor figured out, I don't think there is much stopping us."

-bhm-

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Series NHRA