BRAINERD, Minn. (August 11) â€“ Many families across the Midwest take a break from their busy schedules every year and head to Brainerd for their summer vacation. Top Fuel driver Don Lampus, on the other hand, comes to town with a to-do list as...
BRAINERD, Minn. (August 11) – Many families across the Midwest take a break from their busy schedules every year and head to Brainerd for their summer vacation. Top Fuel driver Don Lampus, on the other hand, comes to town with a to-do list as long as his 315-mph, nitro-powered ExpressAutoParts.com Top Fuel Dragster.
Lampus and the rest of the world’s fastest drivers will invade Brainerd International Raceway Aug. 17-20 for the 19th annual running of the Colonel’s Truck Accessories Nationals. Currently, the reigning IHRA Top Fuel champion is anchoring the Winston Top 10, a group he’s been a part of after 11 of 14 races contested so far this season.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do in Brainerd and I’m ready to get started,” said Lampus. “There’s a big group of us fighting it out to stay in the top 10. I’m proud of the fact that we’ve been hanging in there and have maintained our top 10 ranking since mid-April. But now I think we’ve reached a point where we can make a big move up the rankings.”
The bottom half of the Winston Top 10 shows Lampus in 10th place with 568 points. He is just three points behind Doug Herbert (571) and 20 behind No. 8 points earner Bob Vandergriff (588). Dave Grubnic trails Lampus by 30 points with 538 and is in 11th place. Drivers earn championship points during qualifying, which can vary from one to eight points, and on race day, with 20 points awarded for each elimination-round win.
“We need to out-race Vandergriff, Herbert, and Grubnic in Brainerd,” Lampus said. “Which hasn’t exactly been easy to do this year. Everyone competing out here is so tough and believe me, every single championship point is very hard to earn.
“The first thing we need to do is get a handle on the track right out of the trailer on Friday. Although I have never been there before I know Brainerd can be very quick so we hope to crank out some 4.6-second laps. It would be very helpful if we could run that quick on Friday so that we have a chance to fine-tune this ExpressAutoParts.com car on Saturday and get a headstart on the elimination rounds.
“A solid 4.6-second lap should also put us in the top half of the field, which is another goal of ours. Then we need to go at least one round farther then Vandergriff, Herbert, and Grubnic on Race Day. That way we’ll assure ourselves of moving up in the points. We’ve been taking small, measured steps this year and it’s paying off. I have a lot of confidence in my crew and this car that we can make Brainerd a race to remember but we’re going to have to work hard to achieve our goals.”
Same-day television coverage of the 19th annual Colonel’s Truck Accessories National’s elimination rounds will air from 4:30-6 p.m. (ET and PT), Sunday, Aug. 20, on TNN.