Seattle: Darrell Russell Sunday summary

Rain reigns in Seattle, but Russell still gains ground. SEATTLE (July 28) -- A soggy day at Pacific Raceways has caused a big delay in the title plans of Rookie of the Year driver Darrell Russell and the Bilstein Engine Flush System Top Fuel...

Rain reigns in Seattle, but Russell still gains ground.

SEATTLE (July 28) -- A soggy day at Pacific Raceways has caused a big delay in the title plans of Rookie of the Year driver Darrell Russell and the Bilstein Engine Flush System Top Fuel team. Track officials tried several times to dry the track and continue the race, which was stopped after the opening round, but their efforts were in vain as Mother Nature prevailed. Racing will now resume at 10 a.m. Monday morning.

In a harbinger of things to come, a light mist slowed the start of the race alone by two-and-a-half hours. Then Russell and crew went to work, dispatching first-round opponent Don Sosenka by over a second with Russell crossing the finish line in 4.676 seconds at 311.34 mph in front of Sosenka's 5.773 at 169.85 mph.

The pass was good enough to earn Russell lane choice over quarterfinal foe Doug Herbert, who prevailed in his Round 1 match-up with Tony Schumacher with a 4.789-second blast at 309.63 mph, well ahead of Schumacher's resigning 10.994 at 94.73 mph. Russell will face Herbert tomorrow morning with high hopes of leveling their lifetime head-to-head record, which currently favors Herbert 2-to-1.

Ironically, Herbert's elimination of Schumacher helped Russell gain ground on Schumacher in the POWERade championship points standings. Schumacher is in fourth place in the rankings, directly ahead of Russell, and entered this race leading Russell by 79 points. Russell's superior qualifying effort and first-round win already has closed that gap to 54 points with plenty of racing left to be done.

Check local listings for continued television coverage of this event, which could take place on either ESPN or ESPN2.

-jar-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert