Bruce Litton Scores Fourth Final Round Appearance In 1999, Posts Runner-up at IHRA CARQUEST Empire Nationals LEICESTER, NY.-- Bruce Litton once said that he'd rather be on top of the points standings at the completion of the season than at the...
Bruce Litton Scores Fourth Final Round Appearance In 1999, Posts Runner-up at IHRA CARQUEST Empire Nationals
LEICESTER, NY.-- Bruce Litton once said that he'd rather be on top of the points standings at the completion of the season than at the start. Evidently, he prefers to lead the chase all the way through. The Indianapolis, In.,-based, trailer dealer maintained his points lead by finishing runner-up at the IHRA CARQUEST Empire Nationals in Leicester, NY to Don Lampus.
"We don't mind running Don," explained Litton, in a post-race interview. "He's a good clean racer that wants to win as much as we do. The Top Fuel division here in the IHRA is very competitive and we are thrilled to be leading this point. The battles between Don and I are just beginning. We have already run him four times this season and we're tied at two apiece."
Litton made his championship intentions known during the first qualifying session. While several of the more prominent teams had problems getting their machines in tune to the excellent racing surface at New York International Raceway Park, he had no such problems and stormed to the early lead in qualifying with a 4.807/300.13. This elapsed time stood as a track record. The final session created somewhat of a bit of controversy. When the Top Fuel driver in the other lane had problems and couldn't fire his car. Litton proceeded with his burnout. The other driver got his car fired as Litton had backed up and squeaked across the line with a burnout. IHRA officials instructed the driver to abandon the run as he went on forward to the first turn-off. Litton's car had generated too much heat in the engine and crewchief Richard Hartman made the decision to shut-off. Litton declined another run and as a result of his failure to improve, slipped to the third position. He matched up against Luigi Novelli in the first round of competition.
The points leader quickly disposed of the tire-smoking Novelli with a 5.023/288.83. He then improved during the semi-finals with a 4.993/284.56 that was more than a surprising Bobby Lagana, Jr. could handle.
In the final round, Litton was slow to react and that was enough of an edge for Lampus to post an insurmountable lead. Lampus took the win-light with a 4.794/298.87. The Moser Engineering-sponsored fueler secured the runner-up spot with a 4.934/282.95.
Litton plans to continue his championship conquest at the IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals in Stanton, MI., July 31 - August 2. Litton, along with each Top Fuel contestant, will be afforded two qualifying runs during the course of the event and the quickest eight entries will compete in final eliminations on Sunday. This event will be televised on ESPN2 with the dates TBA in an upcoming issue of Drag Review.