Topeka Rick Santos Previe

Federal-Mogul Dragster Rick Santos and the Jack O'Bannon / Oakwood Homes racing team watched their season turn around at Heartland Park Topeka last year. They won the event and took their biggest step towards winning the 1997 National ...

Federal-Mogul Dragster Rick Santos and the Jack O'Bannon / Oakwood Homes racing team watched their season turn around at Heartland Park Topeka last year. They won the event and took their biggest step towards winning the 1997 National Championship.

"We were pretty far down on the list in points," said Santos. "Bobby Taylor was leading the point standings, and we were considered an outside chance to win. We just went to the event planning to do the best we could do, not really thinking about national championship points. After the win, we jokingly said we would probably have to win every race from then on out to be a contender for the championship. At that point, winning the championship was in our thoughts, but we never actually expected it to happen."

Santos has competed at Heartland Park Topeka three times in his career. He is the defending champion of this event, winning it last year. He also competed in 1994 and finished runner-up in 1993 with the S & S Automotive crew.

"It's always exciting to go back to an event you have had success at in the past," said Santos. " I also like coming to Topeka because we get the opportunity to race against some different competition."

Last year at Heartland Park Topeka, Santos qualified second with an elapsed time of 5.589. He defeated Michael Gunderson in the final round, beating him by only a car length. Santo's elapsed time was 5.585 over Gunderson's 5.662.

Santos still leads the Federal-Mogul Dragster National point standings. He has three national wins and five division wins in only 10 starts so far in 1998. Santos won three national events in 1997, but has never won more than three in one season. 1998 NATIONAL EVENTS

Pomona (Calif.) Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster win National Trail (Ohio) Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster win and top qualifier National Trail (Ohio) Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster All-star event, runner up and top qualifier Sears Point (Calif.) Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster, qualified second, second round Seattle (Wash.) International Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster win Indianapolis (Ind.) Raceway Park, Federal-Mogul Dragster, semi-finals

1998 DIVISIONAL EVENTS

Firebird (Idaho) International Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster win Famoso (Calif.) Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster win and top qualifier Mission (B.C.) Raceway Park, Federal-Mogul Dragster win and top qualifier Rocky Mountain (Utah) Raceways, Federal-Mogul Dragster win and top qualifier Sears Point (Calif.) Raceway, Federal-Mogul Dragster win

*1998 Pacific Division Champion

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rick Santos , Michael Gunderson