Reading: Krisher program on the upswing

MOHNTON, Pa. - Ron Krisher has moved from Pro Stock obscurity to being one of the favorites at each NHRA national event about as quickly as he covers the quarter-mile drag strip in his Eagle One Chevy Cavalier. Prior to the 2000 season, Krisher...

MOHNTON, Pa. - Ron Krisher has moved from Pro Stock obscurity to being one of the favorites at each NHRA national event about as quickly as he covers the quarter-mile drag strip in his Eagle One Chevy Cavalier. Prior to the 2000 season, Krisher had finished no higher than 17th in the Winston standings in the ultra-competitive 200-mph category. Then last year everything changed.

By the third race of the year Krisher was in third place in the standings behind eventual Winston champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. He won his first national event in Chicago, followed that with a runner-up finish in Columbus, Ohio, then won for the second time in three events in St. Louis. He was one of five Pro Stock competitors to qualify for every event and was the No. 1 qualifier at five events over the course of the season. Despite five first round losses in the final seven events of the season, Krisher still managed to finish a career-best fourth in the points race.

This season Krisher has experienced his share of highs and lows, from a split with his crew chief (Mike Edwards), to a win in Atlanta, then three straight first round losses in Chicago, Columbus and St. Louis, where he had so much success last year. A recent runner-up finish in Brainerd, Minn., has helped boost the momentum of the Warren, Ohio, resident who has his sights set on another top five finish in the standings.

The 53-year-old Krisher will try and continue to rise in the standings when he competes in the 17th annual NHRA Keystone Nationals, Sept. 13-16, at Maple Grove Raceway. The $1.9 million race is the 19th of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Taking advantage of a test session prior to the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Krisher believes that the data gathered will give them a head-start on the competition in the final stretch of the NHRA's 50th Anniversary season.

"We have good power, good people and a good program all the way around," said Krisher. "All we need to succeed is a little bit of luck on race day." This season Krisher has lost eight times in the first round, one more than all of last year. Four of the eight were due to him activating the red light on the 'Christmas Tree', signaling a foul for leaving the starting line too early. The other losses came against opponents who made outstanding runs to earn the win. In the final round in Minnesota, Bruce Allen made his best run of the day when he covered the distance in 6.962 seconds to Krisher's 6.985. "Bruce beat us to the 60-foot mark, but we had him the rest of the race track but we just couldn't catch him," said Krisher. "He would have been dead meat if we could have just beat him to the first marker. If there was anybody that I would have felt good about losing that race to, it was Bruce."

Although Krisher's Chevy is known to produce power and high speeds, lining up against a less heralded opponent can be difficult. The majority of competitors try to use a holeshot at the start of the race to gain an advantage to the finish line.

"When you're fast, people take guesses at the tree," said Krisher. "They know they're handicapped and they decide to gamble because if they don't they're over with. That makes it hard to compete. But it's exciting and I really enjoy it.

"There are a lot of people with good power, a lot of good crew chiefs out here, which really makes the racing exciting because no one dominates this category any longer."

-nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Ron Krisher , Bruce Allen , Mike Edwards