Budds Creek: Harper race notes

PADUCAH, Ky. (October 1, 2001) - Billy Harper did not have the race he was hoping for at this past weekend's International Hot Rod Association's (IHRA) 10th Annual CARQUEST President's Cup Nationals held at Maryland International Raceway in Budd's...

PADUCAH, Ky. (October 1, 2001) - Billy Harper did not have the race he was hoping for at this past weekend's International Hot Rod Association's (IHRA) 10th Annual CARQUEST President's Cup Nationals held at Maryland International Raceway in Budd's Creek, Md. In fact, the team got nipped in the "Budd" as the Pro Modified Dodge Viper suffered mechanical problems over the entire weekend.

During Friday's first round of qualifying, Billy Harper was paired against the '63 Chevrolet Corvette of Mark Hemling. Both Harper and Hemling suffered in their first round qualifying pass with neither running down the quarter-mile dragstrip at full speed. Harper's car suffered a blown engine forcing the team to post a disappointing 20.534-second run.

After working on the engine of the Dodge Viper, the team declined making the second round of qualifying held late Friday evening due to track conditions and frigid temperatures forcing them to wait until Saturday to make their next pass. Harper went to the line on Saturday hoping the team's hard work paid off and the engine would allow the Viper to charge down the strip straight and fast. Unfortunately, Harper was forced to shut the power off on his Pro Modified machine halfway down the strip as the car lost control nearly hitting the right lane wall.

With Saturday's fourth and final round of qualifying looming, the team worked quickly to make adjustments to the Viper. Unfortunately, the Pro Modified's tires shook the car forcing Harper to back the Viper off and coast down the asphalt. Out of 32 cars entered into the event, Harper sat 27th at the final qualifying rundown forcing the team to head home to Paducah (Ky.) early.

"It just wasn't our weekend," stated owner and driver Billy Harper. "We suffered from problems with the engine that plagued us for the entire event. We need to take what we learned from this past weekend and focus on our next race in Shreveport. I am really excited to have Papa John's join us as a sponsor for the event, and I have confidence we can put the car in the finals."

The Billy Harper Motorsports Dodge Viper will make their next appearance at Red River Raceway in Shreveport, La. the weekend of October 12 - 14.

The team mascot, the Venomous Green Viper, will have a new look for the Shreveport event. The snake will be pictured on the car and transporter enjoying a piece of Papa John's Pizza, as the team will be sponsored by the company for the Louisiana event. For more information on IHRA events and the venomous Dodge Viper of BHM, log onto www.billyharpermotorsports.com.

-BHM-

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