Bradenton John Mancuso Report

Mancuso Ends Up DNQ Casualty At IHRA Amalie Oil Nationals After Debuting New Bike BRADENTON, FL.--- Defending IHRA/Screamin' Eagle World Champion John Mancuso found himself a victim of his own statement. With the decision to add ...

Mancuso Ends Up DNQ Casualty At IHRA Amalie Oil Nationals After Debuting New Bike

BRADENTON, FL.--- Defending IHRA/Screamin' Eagle World Champion John Mancuso found himself a victim of his own statement. With the decision to add more members to the Top Fuel Harley Riders Association, Mancuso admitted that there would be no margin for error in trying qualify for an eight bike field at IHRA national events. This was before the season began. The Houston, Tx.,-based, Harley-Davidson dealer got bit by his own snake. It marked the first time since joining the IHRA fold in 1998 that the veteran rider failed to qualify for final eliminations.

"We are a victim of our own success in compiling a killer program," explained Mancuso. "We had some problems here this weekend and we were forced to go to an unproven bike and try to extract perfect runs. It just didn't work in our favor this weekend. This is tough to stomach, but it can be viewed in two different ways. One that we had a bad weekend or that we have created the caliber of show that the IHRA deserves."

Mancuso enjoyed quite a ride as his nitro-burning, Top Fuel Harley skated around and ventured close to the left-lane guardrail during his first qualifying attempt. The Houston, Tx.,-based Harley dealer and defending world champion missed the initial cut by shutting off with a 7.766/128.97, good enough for the third alternate position.

The initial qualifying attempt broke his 1998 championship-securing bike and he was forced to go into battle on Saturday with the new and unproven scoot, which had been only ran to the eighth-mile under power in prior testing. He smoked and rattled his way on the maiden national event voyage to a 7.48/190.49. He struck the tires during the final session and failed to crack the 6.909 bump spot.

Mancuso plans to run a 19-race schedule for 1999 and likewise plans to defend championships earned under both the IHRA/Screamin' Eagle Banner and ADBA sanction. He continues his 1999 IHRA/Screamin' Eagle title defense at the IHRA Holley Spring Nationals Nationals in Rockingham, N.C., April 9-11. Each contestant will be afforded three qualifying runs during the course of the event and the quickest eight bikes will compete in final eliminations on Sunday. This event will be televised on ESPN2 with the dates TBA in an upcoming issue of the IHRA's Drag Review magazine.

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