Lee Callaway Great Bend preview

Callaway shooting for three in a row in Great Bend GREAT BEND, Kan. - They say the third time is the charm, and in the case of defending NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Lee Callaway, that just might be the case. Callaway is...

Callaway shooting for three in a row in Great Bend

GREAT BEND, Kan. - They say the third time is the charm, and in the case of defending NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Lee Callaway, that just might be the case. Callaway is looking for his third straight win on the divisional level at this weekend's Division 5 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event in Great Bend, Kan., and that third win would nearly clinch a second Division 4 Championship for the 31 year old driver.

Callaway, from Baytown, Texas, comes into the event hot off wins in Baton Rouge, La., and Scribner, Neb. A win would create a situation where 2001 Division 4 Champ Shelly Howard would have to win the final two Division 4 events while keeping Callaway out of the finals to pass him. Veteran racer Gene Snow would also still have an outside shot, as he also would have to win the remaining Division 4 events and runner-up at one out-of-division race. Regardless of the scenarios, Callaway plans to take it one round at a time.

"There's still a lot of things that can happen," said Callaway. "But if we just try to take care of business and win every round we're in, the scenario's kind of take care of themselves. We looked at the schedule, and from what we can see, this should be our kind of race: hot and slick. This Chuck Haase' car hooks so good, it gives us an advantage at these kind of tracks."

"We won last year's Division Championship by winning three races in a row," continued Callaway. "Hopefully we can keep our streak going to do it again. If we can do that and maybe go a few rounds at the nationals, we might even end up in the top ten nationally. The division is our main focus this year, though."

While preparing for the event, the team did run into a bit of unexpected maintenance. Upon inspection after Scribner, it was found the ring and pinion needed to be replaced.

"We found after Scribner that it cracked the pinion," stated Callaway. "That usually is no big deal, but we had over 120 runs on that ring and pinion. I think it says a lot about our associate sponsor Pyle Bros. Performance Differentials in Baytown and their work to be able to get that kind of life out of a ring and pinion. We check it thoroughly after every race, and this was the first time in a couple of years we found a problem. Being able to get that kind of life out of a gearset by having Pyle Bros. set it up really pays for itself because you don't have to change gears as much. Having that kind of reliability in your driveline is a big part of winning championships, too. If a gear gives out during a crucial round, that could be the difference in being a champion or No. 2."

Qualifying will begin on Friday with one session and will continue on Saturday with two sessions. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday. Stay tuned to InsideTopAlcohol.com for the latest news in alcohol racing.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shelly Howard