Topeka; Shields has rough outing

TOPEKA, Kan. - Federal Mogul Dragster driver Duane Shields had a less than memorable weekend that ended on a sour note when he destroyed a motor and transmission in his first round loss to Troy Buff during the Advance Auto Parts Nationals at ...

TOPEKA, Kan. - Federal Mogul Dragster driver Duane Shields had a less than memorable weekend that ended on a sour note when he destroyed a motor and transmission in his first round loss to Troy Buff during the Advance Auto Parts Nationals at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan.

The 37 year old Las Vegas resident qualified his Short Line Express entry tenth with an off pace 5.714 elapsed time at 245.05 miles per hour. In his first round race with Buff, Shields' problems started early, and compounded from there. Buff went on to win with a 5.640 at 245.94 mph to Shields' plagued 5.844 at 221.49 mph.

Shields said, "We had been having problems breaking valve springs at the last few races, and we couldn't figure out what the problem was in qualifying, so we decided to start from scratch and changed the motor for eliminations."

"Somehow, before the run, a metal shaving got into the fuel lines and clogged the No. 6 cylinder fuel nozzle. That caused a lean situation in that cylinder during the burnout that pushed the head gasket out to the inside of the block. It pushed the head gasket all the way out during the run, which caused a big flash fire that burned the air lines going to the transmission. When the transmission lost air pressure, it went back into low gear and kicked the rods out, and hurt the transmission. It was a pretty ugly run."

After the slaughter of parts in Topeka, Shields has opted not to go on to Memphis, Tenn., as planned, but to go back home and regroup for the upcoming Division 7 race at his home track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"We're just going to skip Memphis after all the parts we hurt this weekend," said Shields. "We're going to go back home and get ready for the Las Vegas race where we will debut a second car to be driven by Dale Carlson. We are real excited about that, and with the data from two cars, we feel it will give us an upper hand."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Duane Shields , Troy Buff