John Mancuso Ready To Reclaim Throne, Darlington First Battle

DARLINGTON, SC - It was less than a month ago that veteran Nitro Harley rider John Mancuso took a nasty spill in the shutdown area of Willowbank Raceway in Brisbane, Australia. The Houston, Tx.-based, former IHRA World Champion was participating...

DARLINGTON, SC - It was less than a month ago that veteran Nitro Harley rider John Mancuso took a nasty spill in the shutdown area of Willowbank Raceway in Brisbane, Australia. The Houston, Tx.-based, former IHRA World Champion was participating in an "invitation only" world meet matching the best Top Fuel Harley Racers against one another. It was two months before that he established himself as the quickest rider to ever straddle one of these two-wheeled beast when he hammered out a 6.47 in late-1999.

Mancuso is not exactly a fan of roller-coaster emotions, but he's learned to handle both ends of the spectrum.

"This is going to be an interesting season," explained Mancuso. "We had a good thing going before the crash and we were on our way to making some serious waves in the crash. Nothing has changed, it's just you hate for these kinds of things to happen because they always put a damper on what you've accomplished to that point."

There could have been no more up and down a season than his 1998 championship season turned out to be. Only six Nitro Harley events were contested, and he won three of them. However, the other three yielded first round losses.

Last season, he failed to qualify twice, but also posted two national event wins. He ended up runner-up for the season championship.

Mancuso didn't fare well at Darlington in 1999, as he drifted out of the groove and tagged the guardrail. He was uninjured and the only damage to the bike was a broken peg.

The team will make their 2000 season-opening national event debut at the IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals next week, March 9 -11 in Darlington, SC. The event will be televised on TNN.

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