Las Vegas: Duane Shields wrap up

Burst panel ends Shields day in Round 2 LAS VEGAS - It seemed as if Federal Mogul Dragster racer Duane Shields had everything going his way this weekend, and then with a bang, literally, his weekend was over at this weekend's SummitRacing.com ...

Burst panel ends Shields day in Round 2

LAS VEGAS - It seemed as if Federal Mogul Dragster racer Duane Shields had everything going his way this weekend, and then with a bang, literally, his weekend was over at this weekend's SummitRacing.com Nationals at "The Strip" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Shields was preparing for his second round matchup with Paul Jones, and just when he hit the throttle to perform his burnout, an engine burst panel exploded, killing his engine, and giving Jones a single.

Shields, a Las Vegas resident, was having the race of his life. In addition to qualifying No. 1 with a then track record elapsed time of 5.418 seconds at 253 mph, he had defeated eventual winner Brandon Bernstein, in the second round of qualifying, which served as the final of a rained out Tucson, Ariz., Division 7 race from February. Then in Sunday's first round, he reset the track record with a strong 5.409 at 256.80 mph in defeating Darryl Hitchman. To add insult to injury, after he blew the burst panel (a pressure relief device to prevent blower explosions) his opponent Jones smoked the tires right off the line.

"We believe a valve hung open," said Shields. "When I hit the throttle, the manifold burst panel blew out, and that was the end of our weekend, and Paul Jones got the win."

"We just think it was an isolated incident," continued Shields. "There was no signal from the round before that there was any valve train problems."

Leaving the event with one event win in hand, the Short Line Express Markets team's next event will be race two in the Division 6 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series in Mission, B.C., Canada. With top level racers such as Rick Santos, Mark Hentges, and Brian Hough expected to be in attendance, Division 6 looks as if it may be one of the toughest to compete in this year.

"I think Division 6 is going to be a blood bath," stated Shields. "We will have probably the most competitive fields in the nation. It will make for some pretty exciting racing, and be pretty fun."

-Team Shields-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Brandon Bernstein , Paul Jones , Duane Shields