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TEAM CARQUEST TUNED UP FOR IHRA'S VIRGINIA DEBUT PETERSBURG, VA (April 11, 2001) -- When the IHRA national event tour travels to the state of Virginia for the first time, April 20-22, for the AC-Delco Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park, the...


PETERSBURG, VA (April 11, 2001) -- When the IHRA national event tour travels to the state of Virginia for the first time, April 20-22, for the AC-Delco Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park, the CARQUEST Race Teams of 3-time and defending Top Fuel champion Paul Romine and Pro Modified freshman Scott Ray will be ready to tackle the challenges of the second IHRA event of the season.

Paul Romine. Photo: Team CARQUEST

At the season opening IHRA Spring Nationals in Rockingham, North Carolina, Paul Romine began defense of his third Top Fuel championship with a win. Meanwhile the Ray Bros. racing team used the first event as a test session for the brand new CARQUEST Pro Modified Corvette. With the IHRA tour now heading to Virginia, both teams feel they have a handle on their tune-ups.

The CARQUEST Auto Parts Top Fuel team entered the IHRA season opener just looking for a solid baseline, but the team came away with a win and their best run of the season in the final, a 4.758 / 309.77 winning run against Bruce Litton.

"We went to Rockingham with a brand-new tune-up and a brand-new box of pistons," said Romine, who is driving for four-time IHRA Top Fuel champion Doug Herbert this season. " I knew that Mike (McLaughlin, tuner) would get it together eventually. We were lucky to make it to the finals, then we finally found our combination and the car ran great."

Romine's Top Fuel(night shot). Photo: Team CARQUEST

While Romine won, the CARQUEST Pro Modified team failed to qualify, but Scott Ray was satisfied with the team's first outing with the CARQUEST Pro Mod Corvette.

After literally rolling from the paint shop into the trailer for the trip to the first IHRA race at Rockingham, North Carolina, the team was pleased with the results. Qualifying runs on Friday were used to try and set an engine and clutch baseline for the brand new '63 Corvette race car. On Saturday Scott made an early shut-off 6.80 run at 193 mph, in preparation for the final session on Saturday night when the car was setup for a serious attempt. The car left very hard, carrying the front wheels for over 300 ft, but as the car settled down, it drifted out of the groove and Scott aborted the run. Records showed the run was one of the quickest of the night session to the 330' mark, and would have resulted in a very good first pass.

Ray's Pro Modified. Photo:Team CARQUEST

"We are very happy with the first outing for the car," said Scott Ray, who has competed the past few season in IHRA's former Pro Outlaw class. "Pro Modified right now is the most competitive class in drag racing, we had 47 top cars at Rockingham and even last year's world champion failed to qualify. At Richmond, we will be able to use the baselines we have established and build on that."

While the IHRA will be making its national event debut at the Virginia Motorsports Park, Romine and Ray are no strangers to the track. Romine has competed at the track since 1996. He drove his nostalgia Top Fuel dragster to the Super Stock Reunion win in 1996, then competing with the CARQUEST Top Fuel dragster since 1997 in NHRA events held at the track. At the 1997 NHRA event, Romine earned a semi-final finish. Ray's experience at the track is limited to earlier this season when he competed in the Spring Open when the team tested their new Corvette in anticipation to the IHRA season.

Scott Ray. Photo by Team CARQUEST

At the IHRA AC-Delco Nationals, in addition to 320 mph Top Fuel Dragsters, IHRA will crown champions in four additional professional classes, including supercharged vs. nitrous Mopar Performance Pro Modifieds, 210 mph Screamin' Eagle Nitro Harley-Davidsons, Funny Car and the world's fastest Sunoco "Mountain Motor" Pro Stocks. Champions will also be crowned in eight sportsman classes.

Virginia Motorsports Park also hosts IHRA's spectacular Saturday "Night Of Fire", featuring pro qualifying under the lights, the debut of Bob Hall's 'Astro Van' Wheel Stander, Jimmy "Jet" Neilsen's stretch jet limo, Bob Motz' legendary, ground-pounding Jet Kenworth Truck and a giant fireworks display.

IHRA and Virginia Motorsports Park offer fan-friendly ticket pricing in order to provide affordable, family entertainment. Adult General Admission tickets are $25 on Friday and $35 Saturday and Sunday. Children 6-12 are only $5 and all tickets include a FREE parking and pit pass as IHRA "opens their locker room to the public" for pictures and autographs.

AC-Delco / Chevrolet will host a free "Meet the Stars" autograph session following qualifying Friday night at the Chevrolet tent. Meet and touch the stars of the IHRA Summit Drag Series and get to know them personally.

Virginia Motorsports Park is located on US Highway 1 in Dinwiddie, VA. Take Interstate 85 South to Exit 63A and follow the signs. For ticket information, call (804) 862-3174 or visit

CARQUEST Corporation began 27 years ago with 100 auto parts stores. Today there are nearly 4,000 CARQUEST Auto Parts stores across North America. CARQUEST supplies the professional automotive service repair industry as well as do-it-yourselfers with replacement parts, tools and equipment. For more information, please visit

CARQUEST, in all CAPS, is a registered trademark.


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About this article
Series Drag
Drivers Paul Romine , Doug Herbert , Bob Motz , Bruce Litton , Scott Ray