ROMINE IN SEARCH OF BETTER PERFORMANCE AT NHRA GATORNATIONALS GAINSVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 1999) -- A year ago Paul Romine brought a new Murf McKinney built CARQUEST dragster to the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals with the expectations it would...
ROMINE IN SEARCH OF BETTER PERFORMANCE AT NHRA GATORNATIONALS
GAINSVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 1999) -- A year ago Paul Romine brought a new Murf McKinney built CARQUEST dragster to the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals with the expectations it would help catapult him to the next level of performance. Unfortunately Saturday afternoon during qualifying, the Indianapolis native wheelstood the car and on impact the front wheels broke, sending the new car into the left retaining wall, damaging it to the point it had to be front and back halved.
This season the CARQUEST team returns to Gainesville with the intent of revenging last season's accident and also striving for the secret ingredient that allows for 4.5 and 4.6 elapsed times.
"NHRA is a tough ballgame, no question, and we need to get into the 4.6s consistently, then work our way down," Romine said. "There are 20 or so cars out there that can at anytime run those types of numbers which makes qualifying very exciting and important. Just the simplest mistake can led to a DNQ very quickly."
So far in 1999, the CARQUEST team has been playing catch up with the competition in developing the new 5-disc clutch. At the last stop on the NHRA Winston Drag Racing tour, the CSK Nationals in Phoenix, AZ, Romine secured the final spot in the field with a 4.738/290.44. He lost in round one to Joe Amato, 4.766/294.82 to 4.558/321.04. Last weekend in Darlington, SC, the 2-Time IHRA Top Fuel Champion competed in the opening event of that sanctioning body's season, but rain forced the postponement of the event until May 8th.
"Clayton (Harris) and myself had hoped we could use the data learned at Phoenix and built upon it at Darlington, but it just didn't happen," Romine said. "The conditions (at Darlington) were tricky during qualifying and we only received two good shots at the track, which we failed to execute upon. With that in mind, we basically enter Gainesville a few runs behind and we' ll have to use our four qualifying runs to get to the point where we need to be with our performance."
Pro qualifying sessions for the Mac Tools Gatornationals are scheduled Friday, March 19 for 10:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. (EST) and Saturday, March 20 at 11:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Final professional eliminations begin Sunday, March 21 at 11 a.m.
ESPN2 will televise two hours of highlights and final round coverage from the Mac Tools Gatornationals March 21at 6 p.m. ESPN2 will show a repeat of final round coverage March 30 at 2 p.m. (ET). ESPN2 will televise one hour of qualifying highlights March 19 at 5 p.m. (ET) with a repeat broadcast March 21 at 8 a.m.
Coverage of the event can be obtained on the World Wide Web at NHRA Online (WWW.NHRAONLINE.COM). For more information about Paul Romine and CARQUEST Racing, please visit the CARQUEST Racing homepage (WWW.CARQUEST.COM/MOTORSPORTS.HTM)