POMONA, Calif. - Federal Mogul Dragster driver and team owner Duane Shields had a disappointing loss in his second round race with Darren Nicholson during this past weekend's AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway. A relatively cheap ...
POMONA, Calif. - Federal Mogul Dragster driver and team owner Duane Shields had a disappointing loss in his second round race with Darren Nicholson during this past weekend's AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway. A relatively cheap valvetrain component broke during his burnout that caused him to make his run on only seven cylinders. Shields slowed to an elapsed time of 5.550 at 254.53 mph that was just behind Nicholson's 5.542 at 256.54 mph.
The Las Vegas, native qualified his Short Line Express sponsored entry No. 3 in the quickest field in history with a then career best 5.380 at 261.17 mph, then improved on that time with a 5.375 at 262.18 mph, making him the second quickest Blown Alcohol Dragster in history, second only to four time World Champion Rick Santos.
"We had an adjusting screw on the rocker arm that broke," said Shields. "It only ran on seven cylinders, that's why it slowed down to a 5.55."
Dale Carlson, driver of the team's No. 2 car, rounded out history's quickest field with a 5.542 at 254.71 mph that put him in the 16th qualifying position. In round one he faced No. 1 qualifier David Baca's injected nitro dragster. Baca went on to run one of the class' quickest runs at a 5.329 at 261.27 mph that overshadowed Carlson's off-the-throttle 5.636 at 223.69 mph.
"We thought we had a fairly solid tune-up on his car," commented Shields. "The car just went away on him. We had to change motors right before the round, and it had an oil leak. He got off the throttle at around 5 seconds into the run when he saw he wasn't going to catch Baca. It probably would have run another 5.53 or so."
Along with his racing activities, Shields debuted a new candy-colored paint scheme to honor NHRA's 50th Anniversary season this past weekend. The car was named "Best Appearing Car" for this race.
The next stop for Team Short Line Express will be February 15-18, the Checker's-Schuck's-Kraegen Nationals at Firebird Raceway, just outside of Phoenix. There, Shields will be looking to regain his 5.30 form, and pick up his first win of the year.
"We're pretty optimistic about Phoenix," stated Shields. "We're really just going to try to stay on the same program if we can. We hope to win the event this time. We had the performance to win the event this weekend, so we'll just try to be as competitive as possible."