CLERMONT, Ind. (September 5, 2001) - In what is considered the "Super Bowl" of drag racing, Billy Harper made a statement in his venomous Billy Harper Motorsports' (BHM) Dodge Pro Modified Viper in this past weekend's MAC Tools U.S. Nationals held...
CLERMONT, Ind. (September 5, 2001) - In what is considered the "Super Bowl" of drag racing, Billy Harper made a statement in his venomous Billy Harper Motorsports' (BHM) Dodge Pro Modified Viper in this past weekend's MAC Tools U.S. Nationals held at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind. Harper, piloting his 2000 reptile-inspired vehicle, beat out his competition to land a coveted spot in the eight-car final elimination field.
Harper's weekend started off rocky as the Viper slid during the first round of qualifications on Friday afternoon due to oil left on the track that was dropped by a previous competitor. The rear quarter panel of Harper's Viper nearly grazed the concrete wall, slowing the entry down considerably and forcing the team to regroup for Saturday's qualifications. The second time out proved to be more fruitful as Harper bolted down the quarter-mile strip, completing his pass in 6.316 seconds. After Saturday's round, Harper sat fifth out of 24 competitors.
Sunday left just one more chance for Harper to make a statement and to put his Dodge Viper machine into one of the eight final spots. Harper blasted a 6.283-second run topping out his speed at 223.62 miles per hour. The run was enough to put him in the fourth spot heading into Monday's feature finals.
Harper won the first round of eliminations, beating out Ed Hoover with a 6.362-second pass to put him in the final four competitors. The BHM team headed back to the pits confident for the victory and ready to prepare the car for second round competitor Danny Rowe. The team reached the pits only to find that the Viper had slung a rod through its oil pan. Sixty minutes did not give the crew enough time to repair the damage to the engine. When the call was made for Harper to report to the line, the 2000 BHM Dodge Viper wasn't present.
"It was a shame that we couldn't make it further in the eliminations," stated owner and driver Billy Harper. "We had an awesome car, but just suffered a little bit of bad luck. I can't complain. I can go home knowing that the team was among the four fastest in the NHRA U.S. Nationals. Overall, it was a great weekend."
Harper and the team will make their next appearance at the International Hot Rod Association's competition to be held in Budd's Creek, Md. the weekend of September 28. The team will take the momentum they gained from this past weekend in an attempt to put the Viper into the top spot.