Litton running away with Top Fuel title You would think it would be hard to fly under the radar with two wins and four finals already under your belt by the midway point of the season, but that is just what Top Fuel driver Bruce Litton has ...
Litton running away with Top Fuel title
You would think it would be hard to fly under the radar with two wins and four finals already under your belt by the midway point of the season, but that is just what Top Fuel driver Bruce Litton has managed to do.
And Litton, a quiet, easy-going driver from Indianapolis, wouldn't have it any other way.
While a number of drivers on the circuit have been busy stealing headlines, Litton has been busy stealing valuable points and making consistent, smart runs that has paid off with a comfortable 84 point lead over rookie Del Cox with five races remaining on the 2009 Nitro Jam docket.
"It is definitely a team effort from days at the shop, to traveling the miles, to running 300 miles per hour down the track and turning on the win light," Litton admitted. "There are a lot of people that go into making this a successful operation and I can't thank them enough for their part on this Lucas Oil team."
Through five races Litton has made four finals and secured 30 bonus points by being the Last Man Standing six times in nine attempts so far this season. Add in the two wins and you get a remarkable 482 points accrued through five events in 2009.
Litton is also the first Top Fuel driver to eclipse 10 round wins this year, winning four more rounds then his closest competition. Through five races Litton has a 10-3 round win-loss record and has been in command of the points lead following all but one event this season.
Since that race, a first round loss at Dallas where Cox managed to sneak ahead of the veteran by two points, Litton has gone from two points back to 84 points ahead in his quest for his second IHRA Top Fuel championship.
"We race against some tough competition and I feel fortunate to do as well as we have," Litton said. "I've got a great team and great people standing behind this Lucas Oil dragster and every victory is hard-fought and we're just thankful for the chance to be in the fight."
And Litton and his team put an exclamation point on their effort this past weekend at the River Cree Resort and Casino Rocky Mountain Nationals at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Litton claimed top speed of the meet, took home both Last Man Standing honors and went all the way on Sunday to gain his second Ironman of the season.
"This victory belongs to my team. They did a phenomenal job all weekend -- all I had to do was steer," Litton said. "I want to say a special thanks to Richard Hartman and Mike Wolfart for their hard work and expertise in getting this Lucas Oil dragster down the track perfectly every time."
Litton qualified solidly in second with a 4.844 second lap at 302.41 miles per hour and picked off Bobby Lagana Jr, Terry Haddock and Mitch King one by one to take home the win.
Not only did he take home the victory, but Litton qualified in the top two for the third time this season and had the fastest speed of the event for the third straight weekend.
Now it is off to Grand Bend, Ontario for the second straight event outside of the United States. While that puts a lot of extra miles on the equipment, Litton admits that his trips into Canada are always a welcomed portion of the schedule.
"We have an unbelievable following of Lucas Oil's Canadian customers. I have always been proud to have Lucas Oil on the side of my car and I was reminded of that again this weekend," Litton said. "Lucas Oil is well known in Canada and is highly used through the country. It is awesome to be paired with such a great company where people know, value and use their product across the board.
"It is quite a drive from Indianapolis out here to Edmonton and then to Grand Bend next weekend, but United Trailers are built for the long haul and our trailer made the trip without difficulty. We look forward to putting it to the test some more as the season goes along."
While Litton enjoys winning races and going fast, what truly makes Litton who he is is his efforts off the track more so than his accomplishments on the track.
When Litton isn't going 300 miles per hour in a nitro-fueled dragster he is giving back to the community and that is what makes his win this weekend that much sweeter for the humble Indiana native.
"This is the first win I have had running the Karsyn Bell tribute. As many people know young Karsyn lost her battle with cancer earlier this year and we wanted to bring more awareness to the Riley Hospital for Children as they continue to work for the health and cure of other children facing terminal illness," Litton said. "It is great to see people come behind the efforts of this team to promote the good work of Riley with their support and prayers.
"Every victory for this Lucas Oil team is hopefully a small victory for Karsyn and Riley Hospital as well."
And that is what makes Litton, under the radar or not, a fan favorite at Nitro Jam events across the globe.