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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Anthony Vestal IHRA Director of Communications More information: (517) 762-5386 August 3, 1997 Muldowney hopes to get first win of season in home state STANTON, Mich. -- Shirley Muldowney leads the IHRA Top...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Anthony Vestal IHRA Director of Communications More information: (517) 762-5386

August 3, 1997

Muldowney hopes to get first win of season in home state

STANTON, Mich. -- Shirley Muldowney leads the IHRA Top Fuel point standings, has earned both ends of the IHRA Top Fuel world record and gets the chance to race at her home state this weekend in front of family, friends and neighbors. Things couldn't be better, right? Believe it or not, Muldowney is still searching for her first IHRA win of 1997. The legendary 'Queen of Drag Racing' will attempt to fill that void Aug. 8-10 at the Mid-Michigan Motorplex during the 16th annual CARQUEST Northern Nationals presented by Dart Heads. The race is the fifth of eight national events on the IHRA Snap-on Tools Championship Drag Racing Series. Muldowney, of nearby Armada, Mich., would like nothing better than to add to her championship points lead with a homespun victory. "It's hard to believe that we haven't won and we're still leading," said Muldowney, a four-time Top Fuel champion. "I wasn't even aware of how many times we have set records this season until the other night. I guess we've done it enough to stay in front." Muldowney has established new elapsed time and mile per hour world records for IHRA's Top Fuel category on several occasions this season. Her most recent records include the current speed record of 302.08 mph, set in June at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway, and the current ET record of 4.861 seconds, established in July at Cordova (Ill.) Dragway Park. Each driver who sets a new world record receives 100 bonus points in the IHRA Snap-on Tools championship points system. Standing in the way of Muldowney's quest for a win is Paul Romine, winner of the season-opening Winter Nationals, and a semi-finalist in the last two events. Romine, of Indianapolis, trails Muldowney by 100 points. Also in the hunt is four-time and defending IHRA Top Fuel World Champion Doug Herbert, who pilots the Snap-on Tools Dragster. Several other Michigan-based Top Fuel drivers are also threats to win, including Royal Oak's Dave Bieneman, Waterford's Jack Ostrander and Lake Orion's Wayne Bailey. Two other drivers -- Jim Bailey and Rhonda Hartman -- are also looking for their first wins of the season. "It's going to be tough," Muldowney said of the competition. "I'm just going to run as quick and as fast as possible and stay consistent. I think we have a good combination for the track, which is an excellent, safe facility." As for being the hometown favorite, she says it doesn't add any extra pressure to perform. "I really haven't had time to think about it," she said. "It will be nice to be so close to home, because sometimes all the travel does get to us. But I'm pretty comfortable racing in front of a hometown crowd. I think the biggest thing is just bringing this level of competition to Michigan. The fans are going to love it because they're really hungry for racing." Other professional categories to be contested at the CARQUEST Northern Nationals presented by Dart Heads include Pro Modified, Pro Stock and Alcohol Funny Car. Eight sportsman categories will complete the event. In addition to IHRA's 12 regular classes of competition, there will be special exhibition runs by jet dragsters and a wheel-stander both Saturday and Sunday. The Mid-Michigan Motorplex is located three miles east of Stanton on State Route 522, then two miles north on Wyman Road.

GENERAL INFORMATION *Schedule: Spectator gates open daily at 8 a.m. Sportsman qualifying begins Friday at 8:30 a.m., followed by two rounds of professional qualifying at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (There will be only one session of Top Fuel qualifying on Friday, at 4:30 p.m.). Sportsman and pro qualifying resumes Saturday, culminating with the CARQUEST Night of Fire -- the final professional qualifying session, starting at 8 p.m. Final eliminations begin at 12 noon on Sunday. *Tickets: Tickets are available for the CARQUEST Northern Nationals presented by Dart Heads. General admission tickets are $15 Friday; $30 Saturday; and $30 Sunday. A three day combo ticket is available for $60. All tickets include pit pass and free spectator parking. For additional ticket information call the Mid-Michigan Motorplex (517) 762-5043 or the IHRA office at (423) 764-1164.

*On TV: The CARQUEST Northern Nationals presented by Dart Heads will be televised tape-delay by ESPN2. Professional race coverage will be shown on Sept. 7 at 3:30 p.m., and again on Sept. 8 at 2 a.m. Sportsman coverage will be televised on Sept. 7 at 3 p.m., and again on Sept. 8 at 1:30 a.m.

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Series Drag
Drivers Paul Romine , Doug Herbert , Shirley Muldowney