New car could lead to better things for Paul Romine INDIANAPOLIS -- In his two NHRA appearances this season, Top Fuel pilot Paul Romine has seen the best and worst of what NHRA Winston Drag Racing has to offer. At the NHRA Mac Tools ...
New car could lead to better things for Paul Romine
INDIANAPOLIS -- In his two NHRA appearances this season, Top Fuel pilot Paul Romine has seen the best and worst of what NHRA Winston Drag Racing has to offer.
At the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals, a wheel stand and the failure of a front wheel on impact resulted in Romine hitting the concrete retaining wall, damaging his new ‘98 McKinney chassis in its debut. While the car was sent back to chassis builder Murf McKinney’s Indiana shop for repairs, Romine returned to the seat of his ‘97 McKinney car and utilized it at the NHRA Winston Invitational. There he qualified 5th for drag racing’s all-star event with a career-best 4.660. He went on to defeat Cory McClenathan and Bob Vandergriff, Jr. on his way to his first NHRA final, losing to Kenny Bernstein in the final stanza.
Although Romine earned a runner-up finish at Rockingham with the car that carried him to the 1997 IHRA Top Fuel World Championship, he has elected to go back to his newly repaired ‘98 car in time for this weekend’s Fram Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
“Our ‘97 car has worked well for us in the past and it came through for us again at Rockingham, but Clayton and myself believe the new car is better,” Romine said. “It’s built for me and the pipe is fresh, that’s important if we are to continue working toward our ultimate goal, an NHRA victory. We were one round away from a win at Rockingham and the new car may have made the difference. We think it will make a difference this weekend at Atlanta.”
Romine is no stranger to the Atlanta Dragway facility. He competed at the track with his Top Fuel dragster and nitro Funny Car in the late 1970s and early 1980s when it held an IHRA national event. Last season at the NHRA Fram Nationals, Romine returned to NHRA competition for the first time in more than a decade and qualified third for the event with a 4.761/287.72. He lost to Larry Dixon in round one.
“Atlanta is a track we should do well at,” Romine said. “It has a tricky track surface which we are accustom to racing on and Clayton knows the track. If things go our way, we should have a successful outing.”
Qualifying for the Fram Nationals begins Friday, April 17th with sessions scheduled at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. (EDT) The final two qualifying sessions are scheduled for Saturday, April 18th at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Final eliminations are set Sunday, April 19th at 11 a.m.
A two hour show highlighting qualifying is scheduled to air on ESPN2 Saturday, April 18th at 10 p.m. A two hour show featuring final elimination highlights will air on ESPN2 Sunday, April 19th at 8 p.m.