ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 14) â€“ The NHRA Championship Drag Racing circuit begins its first-ever three-in-a-row stretch of races this Thursday when the 31st annual Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions begins at historic...
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 14) – The NHRA Championship Drag Racing circuit begins its first-ever three-in-a-row stretch of races this Thursday when the 31st annual Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions begins at historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. But rather than being intimidated by the grueling schedule, which moves from the New York area to Dallas and Chicago, Rookie of the Year candidate Don Lampus can’t wait to get started.
“I might not being saying this in three weeks, but I think this stretch will be a blast,” said Lampus, the driver of the ExpressAutoParts.com Top Fuel Dragster. “I love to race and nothing makes you a better driver than making laps in competition. We’ll be making a lot of them in the next few weeks, which has me excited about moving our program forward.
“I’m so confident in our team and what we’re capable of accomplishing. We’ve raced seven events so far and every time out I’ve either learned something extremely valuable as a driver or we’ve reset our career best numbers. To me, that says progress, which is what a rookie season is all about.”
Lampus might be a newcomer on the NHRA circuit but he certainly has a championship racing pedigree. Last season, in his first full year behind the wheel of a 320-mph Top Fuel Dragster, he ran away with the International Hot Rod Association championship, winning four of the circuit’s 11 events including three races in a row. Prior to that, Lampus was earning titles on the SCORE off-road series, finishing 1996 as the No. 1 driver in his class.
“We’ve had some fun in the past but the challenge ahead of us is in the NHRA,” Lampus said. “I’m proud of the start we’ve had in the ExpressAutoParts.com dragster. We’ve qualified for every event, won a couple of elimination races, and positioned our car in the top 10 of the Winston points standings. We’ve built a nice foundation for success.
“The next step for us will come after these three races when we’ll switch over to a brand-new car. It’s over 100 pounds lighter, which will translate to a big-time improvement on the track. Still, we want to send this championship-winning car off on a strong note so we’ll be battling to run as many 4.6-second laps as possible. Maybe this old car has a little magic left in it. New York is home to ExpressAutoParts.com so I’m ready to show all of our friends there how much fun it is to win a drag race.”
Television coverage of this race begins with qualifying highlights from 7-9 p.m. (ET), Saturday, on ESPN2. Same-day coverage of Sunday’s elimination rounds will be broadcast from 9:30-11:30 p.m. (ET) with a rebroadcast at 3-4 a.m. (ET) on ESPN2.