Bill Reichert Richmond preview

Reichert still looking to clinch in Virginia DINWIDDIE, Va. - Going into this weekend's Torco Race Fuels Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park just outisde of Richmond, the magic round is still the semifinals for NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster...

Reichert still looking to clinch in Virginia

DINWIDDIE, Va. - Going into this weekend's Torco Race Fuels Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park just outisde of Richmond, the magic round is still the semifinals for NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster points leader Bill Reichert. If Reichert can wheel his Rislone Engine Treatment/Bar's Leaks A/Fuel Dragster to a semifinal finish, he will clinch his first National Championship.

Reichert, of Owosso, Mich., came within one round of clinching last weekend when he lost in round two in Reading, Pa. As the points stand going into this weekend, Reichert's closest competitor, Sean O'Bannon, would have to win his final two races to pass Reichert by two points.

"Last weekend I just underestimated the air," said Reichert. "The motor made more horsepower than I thought it would, it shook the tires and I had to pedal. That was just enough to let the other guy win."

This year marks the first year the venue has hosted a NHRA sanctioned national event since 2000. Despite no recent data to look back on for Reichert, he feels confident the recently resurfaced and reground surface should produce good numbers.

"This is where I made my first lap in an A/Fueler back in 2000," said Reichert. "We've raced here a hand full of times back in the '90's. Regardless of what track you're racing on, you just have to back it down on the first lap and send it. You just build off your data from there. The track has all new concrete to the 1/8 mile that they just reground, and it's not very far above sea-level, so it should be fast."

Regardless of whether he clinches the championship or not, Reichert and his Rislone team still hold the keys to their destiny. Virginia may be the last opportunity he has to claim points, but he can still go west to 'block' O'Bannon from winning.

"We're just trying to race like we normally do," said Reichert. "Hopefully we can make the semifinals or better and finish the championship. We're not done if we don't. If we don't make the semifinals here, we'll go to Vegas and Pomona and try to block O'Bannon. If we do clinch the championship, we'll skip Vegas and just go to Pomona to have some fun."

Qualifying begins on Friday for the alcohol cars, with one final qualifying shot Saturday morning. Eliminations begin Saturday afternoon, with final eliminations concluding the event on Sunday.

-credit: rr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bill Reichert