FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Anthony Vestal IHRA Director of Communications More information: (423) 764-1164 August 28, 1997 Romine looking for better Bristol results this time out BRISTOL, Tenn. -- One wild ride. That's how Paul ...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Anthony Vestal IHRA Director of Communications More information: (423) 764-1164
August 28, 1997
Romine looking for better Bristol results this time out
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- One wild ride. That's how Paul Romine sums up his last visit to Bristol Dragway. Romine's Aerolite dragster began to lift vertically during a second round matchup with Bruce Litton during the Prolong Super Lubricants Spring Nationals in June. In the blink of an eye, his 5,000-horsepower dragster was pointing toward the sky. It immediately flipped over, and slid across the finish line. Romine wasn't injured in the crash, but he says it's one drag race he'll never forget. But that's how he wants to keep it -- only a memory. He'll try to keep all four wheels on the ground as the IHRA Snap-on Tools Championship Drag Racing Series makes a return visit to Thunder Valley, Sept. 5-7 for the inaugural Autumn Chase Nationals presented by Marcus Cable. The race is the eighth of nine national events on the IHRA Snap-on Tools drag racing series schedule. Romine says as he pulls to the starting line for the first time during the Autumn Chase Nationals, he'll be focused on one thing. Going from point A to B, as quick as he can. He says he'll have no thoughts of duplicating his Spring Nationals flip-flop. "That won't make a bit of difference, that's in the past," Romine said recently. "I've been down the track many times since then. Everybody on this team is well over that. Our main objective now is winning the Snap-on Tools World Championship." As Romine returns to Bristol, several aspects of his race program have changed for the better. There's a new car, a couple of new sponsors and he has regained the Snap-on Tools championship points lead. "Everything has changed since then," Romine said. "No doubt Bristol set us back and we had to get back up to speed. We had to sort out the new car at Cordova, but at Michigan it was running 4.80s and we gained some momentum there. We brought on CARQUEST and Prolong Super Lubricants as sponsors and qualified well at Norwalk. We're really looking forward to Bristol. That track owes us one -- big time." The 50-year-old Indianapolis racer will try to hold off the World Championship advances of four-time title winner Doug Herbert and the legendary Shirley Muldowney. Herbert trails Romine by 320 points, while Muldowney is 680 back. Romine, who was the points leader prior to his last Bristol visit, says he's not about to sit comfortably on his small cushion. "Doug said recently that it seemed like everybody forgot about him," Romine said. "Well, I can tell you that none of the drivers forgot about Doug. We all knew he was out there. But all of us -- me, Doug and Shirley -- have had our little glitches this season. But that makes for a good battle for this championship. It's turning into one heck of a race and I'm sure it'll go right down to the wire." Romine says a consistent effort from his crew, led by chief turner Clayton Harris, has been the main ingredient in his 1997 IHRA season. He says maintaining that level will be a top priority at Bristol, where the competition will be at an all-time high. "The competition at this race is going to be tough," he said. "Everybody knows about Doug's success at Bristol, and Rahn Tobler will have Shirley's car running fast. Doug is bringing out a second car. Everybody is serious about winning this championship." Defending professional winners of this event include Herbert (Top Fuel); Scott Weis (Alcohol Funny Car); Shannon Jenkins (Pro Modified) and David Jenkins (Pro Stock). Special exhibition shows scheduled include two jet dragsters and the awesome jet Kenworth truck of Bob Motz. Racing in nine sportsman categories will complete the event. Bristol Dragway is located off Highway 11 E between Bristol and Johnson City.
*Schedule: Gates open daily at 8 a.m. Qualifying begins Friday at 8:30 a.m., with the first pro sessions at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Qualifying resumes Saturday at 9 a.m., and culminates with the 8 p.m. Double Kwik Markets Night of Fire -- the final professional qualifying session. Final eliminations begin Sunday at 12 noon.
*Tickets: Tickets are available for the inaugural Autumn Chase Nationals presented by Marcus Cable. General admission prices are Friday $12; Saturday $30; and Sunday $30. A two-day pass is available for $50. Children 12-under are free. All ticket prices include free pit pass.
*On TV: The inaugural Autumn Chase Nationals presented by Marcus Cable will be televised on a tape-delay basis by ESPN2. Check your local listings for show times.