GRAND BEND, Ont.-All those weekends spent collecting data at the races for his IHRA Top Fuel championship drive has shown signs of paying dividends for Bruce Litton. Litton qualified well and won some rounds at these events despite running under...
GRAND BEND, Ont.-All those weekends spent collecting data at the races for his IHRA Top Fuel championship drive has shown signs of paying dividends for Bruce Litton.
Litton qualified well and won some rounds at these events despite running under a handicap with his IHRA blower setup. He appears to have accomplished what he wanted.
Litton immediately put some of that information to good use during the second annual Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals semifinal elimination round yesterday when he blew away Paul Romine's world elapsed-time record.
While Romine was battling for traction, Litton left the defending top-fuel champion in his wake as his Wix Filters-Lucas Oil-Spectra I dragster went down the Grand Bend Motorplex like a rocket ship on rails with an elapsed-time pass of 4.656 seconds at 315.23 mph.
The 4.679 pass at 306.64 mph in the previous round when he beat Jim Head was sufficient to back up that time within the required one percent and to wipe out the 4.676 set by Romine last November in Rockingham, NC. Litton also exceeded the current speed record on that run.
The prospects for his first event victory of 2001 looked good until it went up in (tire) smoke against Jim Bailey in the final. Litton lost traction after a couple hundred feet. He pedaled, smoked the tires again and had to give it up. Litton wound up with a pass of 9.026/88.11 to the 4.914/286.16 for Bailey.
When qualifying opened on Friday, Litton had hoped to avenge a dismal effort from last year's visit to Canada. The enclosed trailer deal from Indianapolis found a good starting point as he landed in the second spot after the first attempt with a 4.822/299.70.
Litton slipped to fourth after Saturday's first session aborted run, but he wasn't finished. He came out for the final trial run with the intention of giving it his best shot and delivered with a 4.795/3203.54, regaining the second position on the qualifying ladder.
The trip to Canada has given Litton a needed boost after the mid-January fire destroyed his racing operation and will put him in good spirits when the IHRA stops in Cordova, Ill., for the 22nd annual Amalie Oil Summer Nationals from June 14-16.