Mancuso Wins Second Title Of 1999 Season In Top Fuel Harley, Tops McClure For IHRA Amalie Oil Summer Nats Title! CORDOVA, ILL-- For someone who was sweating bullets during the final round of qualifying, John ...
Mancuso Wins Second Title Of 1999 Season In Top Fuel Harley, Tops McClure For IHRA Amalie Oil Summer Nats Title!
CORDOVA, ILL-- For someone who was sweating bullets during the final round of qualifying, John Mancuso sure appeared to have no worries on race day. The veteran rider from Houston, Tx., waded through a stout field of nitro-burning, Screamin' Eagle Top Fuel Harley-Davidson presented by Crane to produce his second win of the 1999 season in IHRA competition at the IHRA Amalie Oil Summer Nationals in Cordova, Ill.
His trick? The battle-proven bike from last season was pulled into duty when the new scoot couldn't get the job done. He admits that the win has him on a rollercoaster of emotions.
"I've been from hero to zero to hero so many times that I feel like I am on a rollercoaster," laughs Mancuso. "All I can think of is how we were feast or famine last season. I hope this is a sign of better things to come for us. I owe this win to my crew. We worked together on this bike and gave it just enough stuff that the track would allow us to have."
Qualifying wasn't a positive affair for him. Mancuso didn't make a good enough run to make it into the field during his Friday qualifying attempt. The Houston, Tx.,-based, Harley dealer only produced an 11.698/39 to fall short of the weak 8.49 bump spot. The traction woes continued for Mancuso in the second round as he smoked the tires and had to inevitably abort the run and coast to a 7.709/199.43. He stepped up in the final session with a 6.96/190.80 and that placed him in the eighth spot at the end of qualifying. He met Bill Furr in the first round.
Mancuso sent the fur flying as he and Furr reacted almost identically. However, Furr went up in smoke. Mancuso encountered the same fate, but managed to gain hold of the surface well enough to post a 6.913/201.46 winning lap.
He then matched against Ray Price and relied on a quicker reaction to win a battle of Harley-Davidson dealers. Mancuso used a 6.877/183.37 to stop Price's quicker 6.853/196.59.
The final round matched him with another veteran rider. Mancuso afforded him no slack and strapped a holeshot on him out of the gate. His win-light lit up with a 6.862/205.60 lap as McClure had problems and slowed to a 7.360/149.05.
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 CARQUEST Empire Nationals in Leicester, NY., July 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.