EPPING, N.H.-What started out as a wonderful weekend for Bruce Litton ended in a trail of smoke when the Indianapolis enclosed trailer dealer reached the elimination rounds during the IHRA's sixth annual Amalie Oil North American National at the...
EPPING, N.H.-What started out as a wonderful weekend for Bruce Litton ended in a trail of smoke when the Indianapolis enclosed trailer dealer reached the elimination rounds during the IHRA's sixth annual Amalie Oil North American National at the New England Dodge Dealers' Night of Fire.
Buoyed by a sparkling qualifying effort, Litton was geared up for his first win heading into the opening round head-to-head battle against Louie Allison. Suddenly the optimism was gone as Litton struggled off the starting line, trailed all the way to half-track and then fell further behind when his tires started trailing smoke from lost traction. Litton's day was done as he covered the New England Dragway quarter-mile in an elapsed time of 5.134 seconds at 266.53 mph to Allison's 4.886/291.63.
On Friday, Litton launched qualifying on fire despite a delay caused by Roger Dean in the next lane. Dean left before the Christmas tree was activated, forcing Litton to shut down his engine.
Granted an hour to service his dragster, Litton returned with his Wix Filters-Lucas Oil-Spectra 1-sponsored top-fueler purring on all cylinders and showed it with his 4.684-second and 316.52-mph run, which was a thousandth off Clay Millican's track record of 4.683.
That pass had the Tennessee native nestled atop the qualifying ladder, heading into Saturday. He was faced with another challenge since the warm weather was not to his liking, but that didn't deter him. Despite striking the tires for a 10.153, the Littonmobile was still No. 1. The cool evening run was more comfortable, and he laid down an impressive 4.71 run. Litton ended the trials a solid third and was in a good position to break the winless streak.
Litton will have two weeks to solve the tire smoke problem, which also got him at Norwalk, when the IHRA returns to Rockingham, N.C., for the third annual CARQUEST Autumn Nationals from Sept. 21-23.