Reichert dominates in U.S. Nationals win CLERMONT, Ind. - NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Bill Reichert saved one of the best performances of his career for his biggest win during this past weekend's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway...
Reichert dominates in U.S. Nationals win
CLERMONT, Ind. - NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Bill Reichert saved one of the best performances of his career for his biggest win during this past weekend's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, the most prestigious event in all of drag racing. Coming from the No. 2 qualifying position, Reichert and his Rislone/Bar's Leaks backed team saved their best for eliminations, running low elapsed time of every round, including a 5.180 second blast in round two that was the quickest and fastest pass by an A/Fuel dragster since the rules limited the combination to 97% this year.
The weekend marked his debut with new sponsor Rislone Engine Treatment, which was acquired by his longtime sponsor Bar's Leaks in May. Reichert, from Owosso, Mich., qualified his injected-nitro dragster second in the field with a 5.265 second elapsed time at 276.07 mph. In round one, he defeated Jeff Bohr with a 5.286 at 273.44 mph, then took out Dave Heitzman in the second round with a 5.180 at 278.35 mph. Reichert stayed the picture of consistency in the semifinals with a 5.257 at 275.39 mph to put away Garrett Bateman.
That set up a final round matchup with former World Champion car owner Randy Meyer. Reichert took the jump off the line and never looked back, running a 5.244 at 271.13 mph to Meyer's 5.273 at 267.37 mph.
"We've been waiting a long time to win this one," said Reichert. "It's great to win Indy, especially since it's our first race with Rislone on the car. I won the first race I put Bar's Leaks on the car, so it's only fitting to debut Rislone the same way. Usually when I win, I call [Bar's Leaks President] Bob Mermuys on his cell phone, but today he was here to celebrate this win with us. In 2001 I lost in the final here, so this definitely makes up for it."
The race wasn't without it's share of drama behind the scenes.
"We burned some valves on that 5.18 pass," commented Reichert. "We didn't think we had time to change the head for the semifinals, but as it worked out, they had so many delays, we could have done it. We ran the semifinals with the same head anyway, and luckily everything worked fine. We went ahead and changed the head for the final."
The win moves Reichert back into first place nationally, 30 points ahead of his closest challenger Sean O'Bannon.
"That gives us seven wins for the year," stated Reichert. "It's just been a great year for the team. We've come close to winning the championship several times, and hopefully we can make this the year we finally do it."
The next event for the Rislone A/Fuel team will be in two weeks for the Toyo Tires Nationals in Reading, Pa.