Rick Santos Indianapolis Preview

Federal-Mogul dragster Rick Santos has two things on his mind going into the 45th annual U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. First, he hopes to secure his third consecutive national championship. Santos already has nine wins in 1999,...

Federal-Mogul dragster Rick Santos has two things on his mind going into the 45th annual U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. First, he hopes to secure his third consecutive national championship. Santos already has nine wins in 1999, five in divisional competition and four at a national level. One more win would give him a perfect season in the Federal-Mogul dragster class.

The other thing on his mind is becoming the first two-time winner of the prestigious U.S. Nationals in 18 years of alcohol dragster competition. Santos won the superbowl of drag racing in 1993 with his family owned S & S Automotive small block powered dragster. This will be Santos' sixth start at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Besides his 1993 victory, he has competed there in 1986, 1994, 1997 and 1998. Last year, Santos lost to Darren Nicholson in the semi-finals.

"It is an overwhelming feeling to be able to compete at the U.S. Nationals," said Santos. "There is so much history and prestige there. The competition is tough, but our car is running really well this year. This may just be the best opportunity we have had to bring home a win at Indy.

"We are working hard to win our third national championship, so going to Indy may not be the most logical decision we have made, but it is an event I would like to win twice. I remember what it felt like in 1993 when we won with the family team and I want to feel it again. I want the Oakwood Homes team to feel it. It was truly one of my greatest racing moments."

For the third time in his 15-year career, Santos has been nominated for all-star of the year by Car Craft Magazine. Santos won the prestigious honor last year and will attend the banquet at the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, September 4.

After seven national event starts in 1999, Santos leads Michael Gunderson in the National points. Santos has four national event wins in 1999. Those wins came at Pomona, Atlanta, Englishtown and Brainerd. Santos clinched the Division Seven title in July at Woodburn. He is a two-time national and four-time division seven champion.

RICK SANTOS OAKWOOD HOMES FEDERAL-MOGUL DRAGSTER 1999 STATISTICS

NATIONAL:

Pomona (Calif.) Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster top qualifier and win Firebird (Ariz.) International Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster, lost second round Atlanta (Ga.) Dragway, Federal-Mogul Dragster, top qualifier and win Old Bridge Township Raceway Park (N.J.), top qualifier and win Bandimere Speedway (Colo.), lost in semi-finals Seattle (Wash.) International Raceway, runner-up Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway, top qualifier and win

DIVISIONAL:

Speedworld (Ariz.) Motorplex, Federal-Mogul Dragster win Firebird (Idaho) Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster top qualifier and win Famoso (Calif.) Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster win Rocky Mountain (Utah) Raceways, Federal-Mogul Dragster top qualifier, lost semi-finals Sears Point (Calif.) Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster top qualifier and win Woodburn (Ore.) Dragstrip, Federal-Mogul Dragster top qualifier and win

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rick Santos , Michael Gunderson