Darlington Points Battles Shaping Up

Strong Performances Expected To Take Presidence At Darlington For Completion Of 27th Annual IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals! DARLINGTON, SC-- With two races already completed on the IHRA/Snap-On Tools Championship Drag Racing tour, the return to...

Strong Performances Expected To Take Presidence At Darlington For Completion Of 27th Annual IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals!

DARLINGTON, SC-- With two races already completed on the IHRA/Snap-On Tools Championship Drag Racing tour, the return to the rescheduled Prolong Winter Nationals will provide an excellent battleground for what is shaping up to be several dominating points runs. In four of the six professional eliminators, there has been a two-time finalist. Of the four, two are undefeated thus far.

An impressive Bruce Litton is enjoying one of his finest seasons to date. The Indianapolis, In.,-based, trailer manufacturer has reached the finals at Bradenton and Rockingham, winning his first national event at the latter location. His opponent at the first final was Jim Bailey, who was a DNQ at the recently completed Holley Spring Nationals. Ironically, it was Bailey that qualified number one at Darlington.

Another two-time finalist in 1999 is the defending IHRA Pro Alcohol Funny Car World Champion Von Smith. He qualified on the pole for the Darlington event and roared into competition at the Amalie Oil Nationals in Bradenton, Fl., posting a runner-up with an uncharacteristic red-light opposite Monty Todd. He avenged his loss by sweeping the program at the next event in Rockingham.

Two professional drivers have exhibited serious championship prowess by maintaining an undefeated status. The unstoppable drivers are Floyd Cheek (Pro Stock) and Larry Snyder (Super Eliminator). The Pro Stock division has been a two driver battle between past World Champions Cheek and Jon Yoak. Both drivers are qualified for the Winter Nationals.

The Pro Modified equivalent for open bodied machines, better known as Super Eliminator has been a one man show. Snyder has qualified on the pole at every event and has won every round of competition thus far. He became the quickest Super Eliminator driver with a 6.087/221.23.

Pro Modified has been a nip and tuck battle with parity rising to the top of the class. During the initial rescheduled event in March, Al Billes stormed to a 6.268/222.47 to set a new Pro Modified record. However, conditions at the next two events favored the nitrous entries and as a result Tommy Mauney and Shannon Jenkins won those events. Billes was a DNQ at the second event in Rockingham. The points battle is expected to take a unique twist as Mauney was a DNQ for the event in Darlington.

The Screamin' Eagle Top Fuel Harley presented by Crane is expected to create healthy competition as record holder Jay Turner, points leader Doug Vancil and the World's Quickest Top Fuel Harley of John Mancuso square off at Darlington. The aforementioned drivers are the only ones who have been in the 6.5-second zone.

Final eliminations are scheduled for Saturday. Each qualifier will be afforded a time trial run beginning at 8 AM. Final eliminations are scheduled to begin at 2 PM. The track is located six miles west of Darlington on Hwy 151. Coverage of the event can be obtained on the World Wide Web at the IHRA web site (WWW.IHRA.COM).

All Sunday tickets purchased back in March will be honored and more will be on sale at the Darlington Dragway box office.

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Series Drag
Drivers Bruce Litton , Doug Vancil , Shannon Jenkins , Al Billes , Von Smith