Las Vegas: Shields one round short

LAS VEGAS - Federal Mogul Dragster driver and car owner Duane Shields came away with a runner-up finish during this weekend's Division 7 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series event at "The Strip" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The weekend was the...

LAS VEGAS - Federal Mogul Dragster driver and car owner Duane Shields came away with a runner-up finish during this weekend's Division 7 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series event at "The Strip" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The weekend was the first race for his new two-car Short Line Express race team.

Shields, who runs the Short Line Express Market chain in the Las Vegas area, qualified No. 4 with an elapsed time of 5.591 at 254.28 miles per hour. Teammate Dale Carlson, driver of the second car, qualified eighth with a 5.703 at 243.33 mph.

In round one both Short Line Express cars came away with victories as Shields took out Steve Federlin with a great 5.545 at 257.38 mph that stood as low e.t. of the round. Carlson upset No. 1 qualifier Rick Henkelman with a 5.755 at 239.36 mph. As fate would have it, both of the Short Line Express cars squared off against each other in the semifinals. Shields took the victory, streaking to a 5.554 at 245.54 mph, as Carlson had problems and coasted to a 6.44 at 162 mph. In the final, Shields encountered problems of his own after having to put the motor out of Carlson's car in his dragster. Mike Strasburg went on to win the event with a 5.602 at 254.38 mph over Shields' off-the-throttle 5.862 at 233.12 mph.

Shields said, "We are happy with the outcome of the weekend even though we didn't win. It was a pretty hectic weekend. We had a bolt in the geardrive shear off after the first round, and couldn't get the crank hub off to fix it. Since we had a backup motor ready to go, we put that in for the semifinals. Something got loose in the magneto on that run, and let the timing advance during the run, and it absolutely destroyed that motor. So we went back to our first round motor, managed to get the hub off and fix it, but the hub just wouldn't go back on. Finally, to make the final, we took the motor out of Dale's car, added some weight and went to the lanes with it so we could make the call."

"Mike [Strasburg] had a great .415 light [reaction time - .400 is perfect], but I never saw him until around three quarter track. He pulled around me pretty hard there, and I knew we were at a disadvantage with the motor change, so I just lifted when he went by me."

With the success the team enjoyed in it's first outing, Shields feels confident they will make more of an impact at the season finale in Pomona at the AAA Auto Club Finals.

"We had the No. 1 car running real well, and we figured out what was wrong with Dale's car all weekend," commented Shields. "We found that the intake manifold was warped on his car, and was pushing the O-ring out underneath the blower every run at about 800 feet, thus the low mph. We have a couple of weeks until Pomona to go over both the cars real thoroughly, and get them ready. I am excited, with the way the team worked together, at this, the first race, I think we are going to do real well in Pomona."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Strasburg , Duane Shields