</pre> NORWALK, OHIO -- What began as a race weekend filled with hope, ended in round one at the hit of the throttle Saturday for Dwayne Rice as tire shake led to a first round loss to Wally Stroupe at the Mopar Parts World Nationals...
</pre> NORWALK, OHIO -- What began as a race weekend filled with hope, ended in round one at the hit of the throttle Saturday for Dwayne Rice as tire shake led to a first round loss to Wally Stroupe at the Mopar Parts World Nationals presented by Ethanol Performs! at Norwalk Raceway Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
With his home state fans behind him, Rice, of Grove City, Ohio, hammered out a 6.723/207.62 with his '99 Pontiac Firebird to claim the sixth spot in Sunoco Pro Stock qualifying. In round one he faced Wally Stroupe, who qualified eleventh with a 6.765/206.73. With aspirations of improving on his 8th place in the IHRA Summit Drag Racing point standings, Rice staged the white Rice Racing machine and dropped the throttle. Instantly, the Rice machine suffered severe tire shake and Stroupe took the win, 6.824/204.85 to 11.005/121.28.
"We really wanted to do well today here at Norwalk," a dejected Rice said. "We can realistically still finish in the top five and that would be a great accomplishment for us, but we have to get past the first round and go some rounds to accomplish that goal."
There are four IHRA Summit Drag Racing events left in the 2000 season and Rice will continue his drive toward a top five finish in points at the PARTS PRO North American Nationals, Sept. 10-12 at New England Dragway in Epping, NH.