NORWALK, Ohio -- Don Lampus was the big winner before a record crowd at the IHRA Mopar Parts World Nationals presented by Ethanol Performs. Lampus defeated his closest challenger, Bruce Litton, in the first round of eliminations, established a...
NORWALK, Ohio -- Don Lampus was the big winner before a record crowd at the IHRA Mopar Parts World Nationals presented by Ethanol Performs. Lampus defeated his closest challenger, Bruce Litton, in the first round of eliminations, established a new IHRA World elapsed time record at 4.727 seconds in the second round of eliminations, and unofficially extended his Top Fuel Dragster championship points lead over Litton to almost 100 points by winning the event. The win completed a hat trick, with three wins in a row at New York, Michigan, and Norwalk. Other winners in the Professional categories competing at Norwalk Raceway Park included Jay Turner in the Screaming Eagle Nitro Harley division, Ed Hoover in Pro Modified, Mark Thomas in Funny Car, Chris Holbrook in Pro Stock, and Laurie Cannister in Super Eliminator. In addition to his first-round win over Litton, Lampus advanced to the final round when second-round opponent Paul Romine was unable to start his engine and then to the winner's circle when final-round opponent Jim Bailey was unable to repair chassis damage suffered in a second-round accident. Said Lampus, "It's a shame to know that you've already won before the final, but it's a win and we'll take it. We're here for the thrill of competition and sorry we were unable to race the Snap-On team. I'm just glad Jim is okay."
Of the accident, Bailey explained, "There was a huge explosion and something hit me in the head and it dazed me, but I was able to pull the chute. It would have been a great race (between Bailey and Lampus) and the Snap-On team will be back at the next race in New England." Turner qualified second and faced the number-one qualifier, 1998 World Champion Johnny Mancuso, in the final round. Turner posted an elapsed time of 6.562 seconds at 201.43 mph in the final stanza to gain the win over Mancuso's 6.707 at 198.15. In the semifinals, Mancuso posted the quickest and fastest run ever in IHRA Nitro Harley competition, clocked at 6.508 seconds,and 216.93 mph. Hoover's win was his first since 1992, a long drought for the popular Pro Modified driver. He advanced to the finals by defeating the 10th, 2nd, and 3rd qualifiers, then received a bye run to the event win when scheduled opponent Billy Harper was unable to repair engine damage suffered in the semifinals. Dale Brinsfield established a new Pro Modified IHRA World speed record during the event, clocked at 223.39 mph during Saturday's "Night of Fire qualifying session. Thomas overpowered his opposition in all four rounds of eliminations, putting the Ethanol Performs! Dodge Avenger in the winner's circle with four consecutive five-second runs Sunday to earn his first win of the 1999 season. In the final round he faced Tony Bogolo, whose braking parachute inadvertently deployed during the run. Chris Holbrook posted his third win of the year in the Stu Evans Ford Credit Probe and unofficially regained the championship points lead. Holbrook faced Jeremy Blevins in Blevins' first final round appearance, defeating Blevins in a close race, Holbrook running 6.722 seconds at 207.08 mph to Blevins' 6.749 at 205.47.
Holbrook was happy to be back to winning ways, saying, "It's great to be back to number one in the Pro Stock points. We had a rough start with only two qualifying runs due to car owner Stewart Evans' wedding Friday night. The whole team would like to dedicate this win to Stewart and Jenifer." Cannister posted her second win in only four races, putting the Nicorette/NicoDerm CQ Mopar-powered dragster in victory lane by defeating Neal Parker, her 6.208 second, 215.62 mph effort reaching the finish line ahead of Parker's 6.350 at 222.69. Laurie defeated arch-rival and close friend Larry Snyder in the semifinals to reach the final round, saying afterward, "I was so excited to beat Larry in the the semifinals. We really do get along and now he only leads me in (head-to-head) victories two to one. It was great to go on and beat Neal in the final and win for race sponsor Mopar."
The next event on the IHRA Snap-On Tools World Championship Series is the Parts Pro North American Nationals at New England Dragway at Epping, N.H., September 10-12.
Results provided by the FastNews Network, courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment ** http://www.summitracing.com/ **