Phoenix Paul Romine Season Debut

PHOENIX, AZ (February 20, 2000) -- A number of different elements will greet the CARQUEST Auto Parts Top Fuel Team with driver Paul Romine this weekend as they make their 2000 season debut, Feb. 22-24 at the NHRA Checker, Schuck's, Kragen...

PHOENIX, AZ (February 20, 2000) -- A number of different elements will greet the CARQUEST Auto Parts Top Fuel Team with driver Paul Romine this weekend as they make their 2000 season debut, Feb. 22-24 at the NHRA Checker, Schuck's, Kragen Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Firebird Int'l Raceway near Phoenix, Arizona. Headlining the changes will be a new NHRA mandated fuel limitation.

Three weeks ago the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series kicked off it season in Pomona, CA. The CARQUEST Auto Parts team did not attend, but instead chose to test a new engine combination that features the new NHRA regulated 90% maximum usage of nitromethane.

"We made a number of passes at Firebird (Raceway) and like many of the teams, at first struggled getting a handle on the reduced horsepower because of the 90% nitro limitation," commented Romine.

After a number of passes the CARQUEST Team returned to their Indianapolis base and regrouped. Two weeks ago the team returned to the Arizona desert, testing at Speedworld Motorplex in Northwest Phoenix.

"We made great strides at Speedworld after our initial test at Firebird," Romine said. "Clayton (Harris, crew chief) and the guys have really started to get a handle on the new engine combination and I think we are going to be ready for this weekend."

The CARQUEST team introduced a unique Mike Spitzer chassis at the close of last season and it propelled Romine to a decisive performance increase. Despite the amplified performance, partially attributed to the Spitzer car, this weekend the CARQUEST team will utilize a former Shelly Anderson car built by Murf McKinney.

"We have not shelved the Spitzer car, far from it," Romine said. "In December we took the car to the Langley Air Force Base Wind Tunnel in Virginia and learned quite a bit. We have implemented some changes into the Spitzer chassis design. But with the new rule changes, we did not want two variables to contend with opening the season. So we went back to a basic McKinney chassis to dial in our new combination, then later in the season we will test the Spitzer car with our new engine program."

The CARQUEST team will not only have a new look with a new car and new engine combination, but there will also be some new faces in the CARQUEST camp. The team has added two new crewmembers in JR Clark, formerly of Shelly Anderson's Top Fuel team and Larry Lush, who last season worked for Darrell Gwynn's Top Fuel team.

"I couldn't be happier to have both JR and Larry working full time with the CARQUEST team." Romine said. "JR is one of the best clutch guys in the business and to get Larry from the Mopar team, his experience and winning attitude is impeccable."

Also new to the CARQUEST team are two new associate sponsors and the return of a third one. Joining the CARQUEST Auto Parts sponsorship of the two-time IHRA Top Fuel Championship Team will be Prolong Super Lubricants, CARQUEST Filters, and Duragloss Car Care Products.

"I could not be happier to be supported in 2000 by Prolong Super Lubricants, CARQUEST Premium Filters, and Duragloss Car Care Products," Romine said. "Prolong has been used by my team since our return to racing in 1996 and the addition of CARQUEST Filters and Duragloss to the CARQUEST team gives us the necessary support to regain the IHRA Top Fuel championship and also challenge for our first NHRA national event win."

All three of the associate sponsor's products are available at CARQUEST Auto Parts Stores. Prolong Super Lubricants makes premium car care lubricants for automotive industrial and consumer applications. The Duragloss Car Care Product Line contains twenty-eight products for complete car care and are targeted towards those of you who have pride in their automobile. CARQUEST Premium Filters last longer and trap more dirt than other leading brands. CARQUEST Premium Filters offer the first line of defense to protect your engines where you are on the racetrack, or on the freeway. CARQUEST Premium Filters fit the smallest import car to the heaviest earth moving equipment. New vehicle and equipment warranties remain in effect when CARQUEST Premium Filters are used properly.

CARQUEST Corporation began 26 years ago with 100 auto parts stores. Today, there are almost 4,000 CARQUEST Auto Parts stores across North America. CARQUEST supplies the professional automotive service repair industry as well as do-it-yourselfers with replacement parts, tools and equipment. CARQUEST is committed to providing auto parts and services of the highest quality and greatest value to help people repair their cars. CARQUEST is a proud sponsor of the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Alaska.

CARQUEST, in all CAPS, is a registered trademark.

NHRA CSK NATIONALS TV SCHEDULE: NHRA Heat on ESPN2 will preview the event, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. (ET). Speedvision will televise 90 minutes of eliminations on Feb. 27 beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Fox Sports Net will televise a replay of eliminations on Feb. 27 beginning at midnight ET.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Paul Romine , Darrell Gwynn , Shelly Anderson