March 5, 1999 - Wally Stroupe Remembers Better Days At The Prolong Winter Nationals DARLINGTON, SC-- It was only a year ago that Wally Stroupe was lying on the asphalt at Desoto Memorial Speedway in Bradenton, Fl., the victim of second and...
March 5, 1999 - Wally Stroupe Remembers Better Days At The Prolong Winter Nationals
DARLINGTON, SC-- It was only a year ago that Wally Stroupe was lying on the asphalt at Desoto Memorial Speedway in Bradenton, Fl., the victim of second and third degree burns during a qualifying mishap. The veteran, Trim Parts-sponsored driver was airlifted from the scene of the worst accident in his career and transported to the Tampa Burn Center, where he underwent skin grafts to repair a severly burned hand. He would eventually return to racing at the Prolong/Ohio Lottery World Nationals in August and qualify in his first outing since the mishap.
Stroupe admits that there was a time in the days following the incident that he wondered if he could ever strap into another racing vehicle. He admits that he never considered quitting at any time during his rehabilitation. The Pro Modified pioneer adds, "It was one of the toughest things that I had to endure in my life. I was only able to make it back because of the support of my family, friends and fans. Trim Parts also provided tons of motivation and never left my side. When I returned for the first time and saw all of my friends, I knew that we had won the battle."
The Kings Mountain, N.C., may have lost the war, but he sure picked up some battles along the way. In his third event after making a comeback, he roared to a runner-up finish to Scotty Cannon at the President's Cup Nationals. He established himself as a bona fide contender just months later with a victory at the independently-sanctioned, Citrus Nationals hosted by Moroso Motorsports Park in West Palm Beach, Fl.
Stroupe also has a history at the Winter Nationals that fall into the positive category. He topped Cannon at the 1991 event in the final round to score his first national event title within the Pro Modified division.
Stroupe plans to open his championship conquest at the IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals in Darlington, S.C., March 12-14. Stroupe along with each Pro Modified contestant will be afforded four qualifying runs during the course of the event and the quickest sixteen entries will compete in final eliminations on Sunday. This event will be televised on ESPN2 with the dates TBA in an upcoming issue of the IHRA's Drag Review magazine