RICHMOND, VA (April 22, 2000) -- The CARQUEST Auto Parts Top Fuel Dragster team enters the Moto1.net NHRA Nationals presented by Chevrolet, April 27-30, with one objective, consistency. In the first four races of the CARQUEST Top Fuel team's...
RICHMOND, VA (April 22, 2000) -- The CARQUEST Auto Parts Top Fuel Dragster team enters the Moto1.net NHRA Nationals presented by Chevrolet, April 27-30, with one objective, consistency. In the first four races of the CARQUEST Top Fuel team's 2000 season, consistent, smoke-free runs have been the objective in each pass down the quarter-mile. While the team has yet to record a 4.6-second elapsed time, round victories have been ahead of last season's first four NHRA and IHRA National Events.
"The 90% rule hasn't really effected us performance wise as we are still running at our 4.7-second performance level," said Paul Romine, driver of the CARQUEST Auto Parts Dragster. "We know 4.6-second performance is needed to go rounds in NHRA, and even now in IHRA, but to get there, we have to do it smoke free and Clayton (Harris, crew chief) and the guys are doing that."
The CARQUEST team opened the season at the NHRA Nationals in Phoenix where they failed to qualify due to clutch gremlins. The 2-time IHRA championship team regrouped and went onto the IHRA season opening Prolong Super Lubricants Winter Nationals in Darlington, SC where they consistently ran in the low 4.8 and 4.7-second range on their way to the event victory. The team lost in round one at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, FL, then three weeks ago they earned a semi-final finish at the IHRA Spring Nationals in Rockingham, NC.
"We are not far away from going rounds in NHRA, believe me," Romine said. "Our qualifying times haven't been in the top half of the qualifying order, but we have seen that the fastest cars aren't always the last ones standing on Sunday. The winners are the ones who get down the track every time and that's our 2000 goal. Go A to B each time, and let the competition beat us and not beat ourselves."
The CARQUEST Auto Parts team will strive for consistency at the Virginia Motorsports Park where in the past, just getting to the finish line has been key in winning. At the 1997 NHRA event, Romine beat Joe Amato in a round one tire-smoking battle, before losing to Mike Dunn in round two, 5.018/241.09. to 5.382/247.45. In 1998, Romine holeshot Eddie Hill in round one, 4.718 to 4.717, beat a broken Shelly Anderson in round two, then lost to Cory McClenathan in the semi-finals. Last season the CARQUEST team smoked the tires in the opening round of eliminations.
The Moto1.net NHRA Nationals presented by Chevrolet will be held April 27-30 at the quarter-mile drag racing facility located just south of the Virginia capital city of Richmond. The $1.7 million race, the sixth of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series for 2000, will be televised by The Nashville Network (TNN), April 30 at 4:30 p.m. (ET/PT).