Champions to be crowned at Darlington

Sept. 10, 1997 Snap-on Tools World Champions to be crowned at Darlington DARLINGTON, S.C. -- If history repeats itself this season at the second-annual Snap-on Finals at Darlington International Dragway, there will be little difference...

Sept. 10, 1997

Snap-on Tools World Champions to be crowned at Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- If history repeats itself this season at the second-annual Snap-on Finals at Darlington International Dragway, there will be little difference between race winners and Snap-on Tools World Champions. Last year three of four professional category champions also celebrated IHRA Snap-on Tools world championships. It was a pretty emotional scene. It'll be just as dramatic this season, as titles are still up for grabs in each of the pro classes. In Top Fuel, Paul Romine leads the pack in his 4-second, 300 mile per hour CARQUEST Auto Parts-sponsored dragster. Romine, a winner at Darlington's season-opening Winter Nationals, feels he and chief tuner Clayton Harris have the right combination for Darlington's ultra-quick track surface. Romine's recent winning performance at the All Pro Bumper-to-Bumper / Prolong Super Lubricants Autumn Chase Nationals in Bristol, Tenn. has positioned him as the driver to beat. That will be the main plan for defending race winner and Top Fuel champion Doug Herbert, currently second in the point standings behind the wheel of his Snap-on Tools dragster. He'll be looking to earn his 16th IHRA victory and fifth Top Fuel world championship. Shirley Muldowney, also a championship contender, Jim Bailey, Danny Dunn and Rhonda Hartman will complete the Top Fuel field. A tight four-way battle exists in Pro Stock, as points leader Floyd Cheek and challengers Tim Nabors, Richie Stevens and Angelo Alesci will scramble for a race victory and Snap-on Tools World Championship. Three drivers will be racing for the Pro Modified crown. With a win at the Autumn Chase Nationals Shannon Jenkins moved into the points lead, jumping in front of season-long leaders Rickie Smith and Tommy Mauney. Jenkins, who drives a 1941 Willys, won Darlington's Winter Nationals in March. Jimmy Rector, Von Smith, Mark Thomas and Scott Weis are the major contenders in Alcohol Funny Car. Rector, who won his first event of the season two weeks ago at Bristol's Autumn Chase Nationals, holds a 380-point lead over defending world champ Smith. Eight classes of sportsman competitors, featuring a wide variety of race cars, will complete the event. In addition to the 12 regular IHRA divisions, there will also be exhibition runs by two 300 mile per hour jet dragsters and the awesome 36,000-horsepowered jet Kenworth truck of Bob Motz. Darlington International Dragway is located six miles west of Darlington, S.C. on Hwy 151.

GENERAL INFORMATION

*SCHEDULE: First round of sportsman qualifying will be 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 25. There will also be one round of professional qualifying Thursday, starting at 3:30 p.m. Qualifying continues Friday, with one round of sportsman and professional qualifying. The first round of Top Fuel qualifying starts Friday at 5:30 p.m. Qualifying will conclude Saturday for all divisions with the Night of Fire program, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Final eliminations begin Sunday at 12 noon.

*TICKETS: Tickets are available for the Snap-on Finals. All tickets include free pit pass. Ticket prices are Thursday $10; Friday $10; Saturday $30 and Sunday $30. A special two-day pass for Saturday and Sunday is available for $55. For additional ticket information call 800-622-0123 or 423-764-1164.

*ON TV: The Snap-on Finals will be televised tape-delay by ESPN2. Professional race coverage will be shown on Oct. 19 at 4:30 p.m., on Oct. 20 at 3:30 p.m. and again on Oct. 25 at 3:30 a.m. Half-hour sportsman coverage will precede each professional show.

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Series Drag
Drivers Paul Romine , Mark Thomas , Doug Herbert , Shirley Muldowney , Bob Motz , Scott Weis , Angelo Alesci , Shannon Jenkins , Rickie Smith , Von Smith