Las Vegas II: Don Lampus preview

Memories abound as Lampus hits Las Vegas LAS VEGAS (Oct. 23) -- The return of Top Fuel racer Don Lampus continues this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the inaugural ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals. Lampus, the reigning...

Memories abound as Lampus hits Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 23) -- The return of Top Fuel racer Don Lampus continues this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the inaugural ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals. Lampus, the reigning Winston Rookie of the Year and 1999 IHRA Top Fuel champion, took to the track for the first time this season at last weekend's race in Dallas where he turned in a top-half qualifying effort and a quarterfinal finish on Sunday.

The 37-year-old pro from Texas, who's been sidelined for most of the season as he continues to search for a primary sponsor, is no stranger to racing out west. He spent several years on the SCORE International racing tour, winning the circuit's Class 1-2 1600 Off-Road Dune Buggy world title in 1996, the same season he earned the Toyota Milestone Award for completing all 2,600 miles of the SCORE International series. His family also owns a vacation house in nearby Boulder City, Nev., making Las Vegas a regular home away from home.

This weekend will see Lampus, his co-crew chiefs Wayne Dupuy and Chris Cunningham, and the rest of the Lampus Racing crew attempt to secure a position in the elimination field with just two qualifying attempts down the quarter-mile strip. Due to a prior commitment with a friend's wedding, Lampus will miss Friday's two qualifying sessions, leaving him just two opportunities on Saturday to make the show.

"The thinking is that we'll have to be a little conservative to make sure we get in," Lampus said. "But Wayne and Chris really aren't the conservative type. To be honest, I'm not really worried about it because Wayne will still be tuning Johnny Gray's Nitro Fish Funny Car so he'll have a real good grip on what the track will hold by the time I get there. I have complete confidence in my team and what we're capable of doing.

"I'm very excited about racing in Las Vegas again. First, the facility is the best in the country. Secondly, I feel very comfortable racing in that area. The drag strip might be a little smoother then the course over in Primm (Nev.) or say a trip from Ensenada to La Paz, Mexico, which we've done a few times in the past when we were racing our dune buggy in the Baja 1000, but I think I'll manage. Bottom line is this, we have a fast race car and we're ready to go."

ESPN2 has scheduled several hours of coverage of the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals. Highlights of the qualifying rounds will air from 10:30-11:30 p.m. (PST) Saturday with a more comprehensive repeat showing from 1-3 a.m. (PST) early Sunday morning. Elimination coverage will be divided into two shows on Sunday with the opening round airing from 11 a.m.-noon (PST) and the final three rounds on from 4-7 p.m. (PST). A repeat of the eliminations will air from 12:30-3 a.m. (PST) Tuesday.

-LR-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Johnny Gray , Don Lampus