JOLIET, Ill.-The prospects of having another solid performance looked good for Bruce Litton, going into yesterday's elimination rounds for the inaugural NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. The fall-like temperature was to his liking, being on...
JOLIET, Ill.-The prospects of having another solid performance looked good for Bruce Litton, going into yesterday's elimination rounds for the inaugural NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
The fall-like temperature was to his liking, being on the cool side at 59 degrees. In addition, Litton had experienced an outstanding two days of Top Fuel qualifying runs, despite choosing to run under the handicap of the IHRA's limited bowler overdrive of 25 percent while the NHRA drive have no such regulation.
That was until the 44-year-old enclosed trailer dealer faced off against Doug Kalitta in the first round yesterday.
Litton commanded a slight lead off the starting line, .506 seconds to .510, but then the weekend fell apart when he blistered those Goodyears around 200 feet. His day was done as the Littonmobile trailed Kalitta across the finish line with an elapsed time of 8.431 seconds at 98.90 mph to Kalitta's 4.546/319.60.
Litton came out of the box smoking with Friday's first qualifying effort. The Wix Filters-Renegade-United Express-Stoops Freightliner-sponsored dragster went straight as an arrow down the Route 66 Raceway in 4.732 and 308.43 to set the standard, finishing the session as the fifth quickest. Better efforts were on the horizon. On this day's second try, Litton picked it up with a 4.718/307.93, completing the round eighth quickest.
After skipping Saturday's first pass, Litton had what would be his best pass in NHRA competition, and to spice up the run, it was the battle of Indianapolis since prime IHRA rival Paul Romine was in the other lane.
Both drivers had .861 60-foot times, but it was all Litton after that. Litton pulled away from Romine as he motored down this quarter-mile drag strip, about 30 miles outside of Chicago, in an NHRA career best 4.651 seconds at 308.92 mph. The run put him 13th quickest in the final qualifying order, one rung higher than Romine.
Litton will not have two weeks to prepare for the season's final IHRA tour stop at the fourth annual Mopar Parts World Finals from Oct. 12-14 in Shreveport, La.