TOPEKA, KS (Sept. 29, 1999) -- At the NHRA Colonel's Northstar Nationals last month in Brainerd, MN, 2-time and defending IHRA Champion Paul Romine debut a unique Top Fuel dragster in NHRA competition. Rather than going with the conventional...
TOPEKA, KS (Sept. 29, 1999) -- At the NHRA Colonel's Northstar Nationals last month in Brainerd, MN, 2-time and defending IHRA Champion Paul Romine debut a unique Top Fuel dragster in NHRA competition. Rather than going with the conventional Murf McKinney or Brad Hadman build chassis, Romine used a longtime sportsman chassis builder to construct his new CARQUEST Top Fueler.
Mike Spitzer, the 1999 Car Craft Sportsman Chassis Builder of the Year, along with longtime Romine crew chief Clayton Harris, designed and constructed the car. While the chassis is similar to other cars with slight modifications, the bodywork on Romine's car is very different. It utilizes a new 'tall' body, single front wing, and a high windscreen, along with other aerodynamic tricks. "This is a trick car and it is really working well," Romine said. "When we debuted it, 300 mph runs were rare for us, but now we are consistently running them in NHRA and IHRA competition."
Since debuting the Spitzer-built car, Romine has recorded a career-best speed of 310 mph at an IHRA race in Norwalk, Ohio; he upset 2-time and defending NHRA World Champion Gary Scelzi in round one of the U.S. Nationals with his second best ET ever (4.66); and two weeks ago he won the IHRA North American Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire while setting an IHRA ET world record of 4.71-seconds.
"I think we are just scratching the surface with this car and with Topeka being one of the fastest tracks in the country, we're really looking forward to seeing what else this car has to offer," said Romine, 51, an Indianapolis businessman. "Nothing would please us more than to go out, run our best elapsed times and speeds ever and shake up the NHRA points battle in the process. We do not run the entire NHRA series so our goals are to be the spoiler for the regulars."
WHAT: 11th annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals, the 18th event on the 22-race 1999 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series schedule. WHEN: September 30 - October 3, 1999 WHERE: Heartland Park Topeka, Topeka, Kansas SCHEDULE: Professional Nitro qualifying sessions start with two sessions on Friday, Oct. 1st at 3:00 & 7:00 p.m. (CT), and conclude on Saturday, Oct. 2nd with two rounds at 12 noon and 4:00 p.m. Final eliminations begin Sunday, Oct 3rd at 11 a.m. TV: Speedvision will provide two hours of qualifying highlights on Saturday, October 2nd from 8 - 9 p.m. (ET), with two hours of first round coverage, Sunday, Oct. 3rd from 2 - 4 p.m. In addition, Fox Sports will broadcast two hours of final round coverage Sunday, Oct. 3rd from 5-7 p.m. Check NHRA Online (www.nhraonline.com) or your local listings for accurate listings.
Quick Notes: *Romine has never competed at Heartland Park Topeka *He was the first nostalgia Top Fuel driver to record a 5-second time (April 1996, Indiana) *Romine is a 2-time International Hot Rod Association Champion (1997, 1998) *His best NHRA finish is a runner-up at the 1997 NHRA Winston Invitational. *This season Romine's best NHRA finish was a semifinal berth at the NHRA Pontiac Excitement Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.