Lee Callaway Belle Rose wrap up

Callaway maintains points lead with semifinal finish BELLE ROSE, La. - Despite losing ground, defending NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Lee Callaway maintained his points lead with a semifinal finish at this past weekend's NHRA ...

Callaway maintains points lead with semifinal finish

BELLE ROSE, La. - Despite losing ground, defending NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Lee Callaway maintained his points lead with a semifinal finish at this past weekend's NHRA Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, La., just northwest of New Orleans. Callaway's closest opponent, 2001 Champ Shelly Howard won the event, narrowing Callaway's lead to two points going into the final event.

Callaway, from Baytown, Texas, qualified his Tom Conway tuned Blown Alcohol Dragster fourth with a 5.593 second time at 251.44 mph in the rain-shortened qualifying. In round one, he defeated good friend Darryl Hitchman with a 5.601 at 250.74 mph. In his semifinal matchup with Gene Snow, Callaway suffered an engine explosion just before half track, giving Snow the easy win.

"We found a problem right at the last minute after the first round," said Callaway. "We found a cracked main cap. We didn't have time to change motors at that point, so we put another main cap out of another motor and put in it. We had to shim the cap with washers to get clearance for the main. We knew we were giving that motor a death sentence, but we were hoping it would live long enough to win the round. It's just like I said before the race, sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make a cake. We didn't back it down or nothing. It was on a good run, but it just didn't live long enough."

"All things considered, we still came out with the points lead," continued Callaway. "I've said it all year, that the Championship would probably go down to the last race, and once again, it has. Shelly has a very good team over there, and they really seem to be back in the groove lately. We're going to be loaded for bear when we get to Noble, though."

The Division 4 Championship chase will culminate at the last stop on the schedule, Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Noble, Okla., just outside of Oklahoma City, Oct. 3-5. With a two point lead, Howard must go one round further than Callaway to pass him. Stay tuned to InsideTopAlcohol.com for the latest news in alcohol racing.

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Series NHRA