FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 TEEN-AGER POWELL SERIOUS ABOUT MORE VICTORIES IN TOP FUEL KENT, Wash. -- The subtle, but significant, mental change occurred to Cristen Powell when she rejoiced in the...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761
TEEN-AGER POWELL SERIOUS ABOUT MORE VICTORIES IN TOP FUEL KENT, Wash. -- The subtle, but significant, mental change occurred to Cristen Powell when she rejoiced in the winner's circle after pulling off an upset victory in Top Fuel at the Mopar Parts Nationals in May at Englishtown, N.J. "When I ran a Top Alcohol Dragster, I could go out there and lose in the first round and it didn't bother me that much because we were having so much fun," said Powell, an 18-year-old rookie. "But in Top Fuel, when I won at Englishtown, it made me realize how much I want to win. "I really thought I was going to win at Denver. When I went out in the second round, I said, 'Wait a minute. What happened?' We're confident. We know we can win." That focused attitude could make Powell a contender for victory at the 10th annual, $1,246,750 Northwest Nationals, Aug. 1-3 at Seattle International Raceway. The race is the 14th event of the 22-event, $30- million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. Powell, from Portland, Ore., has shown remarkable poise and driving skill in her rookie year. She won in just her seventh event in a 6,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster, as 1 1/2 years of racing in a Top Alcohol Dragster accelerated her learning process. She is 12th in the NHRA Winston point standings despite competing in just nine of the first 12 events this season. The Royal Purple Motor Oil Dragster team will continue to race a limited schedule this year in preparation for a full season of racing in 1998. While the victory helped Powell gain respect from her peers, she knows that another victory would quiet any remaining skeptics who doubt her ability and commitment to succeed in Top Fuel. "They can't hide the fact that we did win a race," Powell said. "I think that a lot of people said we got lucky. Sure, there is a lot of luck involved. I think a second win would back it up."
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