Epping: Paul Romine preview

EPPING, NH (Sept. 5, 2001) -- Paul Romine doesn't care about the points anymore. He just wants to have the baddest hot rod in IHRA competition and is looking to reclaim that title this weekend at the 6th Annual Amalie Oil North American Nationals...

EPPING, NH (Sept. 5, 2001) -- Paul Romine doesn't care about the points anymore. He just wants to have the baddest hot rod in IHRA competition and is looking to reclaim that title this weekend at the 6th Annual Amalie Oil North American Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, NH.

"I have to admit it, Millican has the baddest hot rod in IHRA right now, no question," said Romine, the defending IHRA Top Fuel champion and a 3-time champion. "(Mike) Kloeber and that team are running the numbers and will probably win the championship, but our team isn't done, either."

Since 1997, Paul Romine and the CARQUEST Auto Parts Top Fueler have laid claim to having the most consistent and most of the time, the quickest and fastest team in IHRA competition. They didn't win three championship with luck. While the 2001 season hasn't been disappointing for Romine with two wins and consistent performance, Millican's team has taken IHRA Top Fuel performance to another level.

"We need to run 4.60s to win, the .70s don't cut it anymore," said Romine, who's career bests are 4.660 (Rockingham '98) and 320.43 (Rockingham '00). "Our team has a tune-up that shows promise, last weekend we ran a .68 at 320.28 at Indy and there's still more in it, which we hope this weekend to unleash."

Romine knows it's never too early to think about next year and now is the time to get the setup for the 2002 IHRA championship hunt.

In the past, the New England Dragway racing surface has produced record elapsed times and speeds. The current track records are 4.683-second and 316.97 miles-per-hour, both set by Millican in 2000. Romine, winner of the 1999 North American Nationals, lost in round one of last season's event and doesn't expect that at the 2001 edition.

"We're not going to lay down and just wait until next year," Romine said. "We want to win the next three events and send a message beginning this weekend at Epping that we still have the baddest hot rod at the race track."

-prm

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Series Drag
Drivers Paul Romine