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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Our Incredible Weekend at the Winston Showdown!

By Bruce Mullins

Bruce Mullins and the War Horse warm up for Bristol at Capitol Raceway, 6-24-00. Photo by Tim Pratt

The only word I have to describe our weekend at the WINSTON SHOWDOWN is: INCREDIBLE! We arrived at Bristol Motor Speedway Thursday evening and the atmosphere was INCREDIBLE. After we parked the truck and trailer, we went to dinner then came back to the track and saw an INCREDIBLE fireworks show to kick off the entire weekend. Friday morning dawned and additional trailers and trucks were still filing in. Unfortunately, not many Federal Mogul Funny Cars came in. A total of four was all that showed up. 

With a new set of Goodyear tires mounted and a soft tune up, the War Horse trotted to a decent 6.34 @ 221 mph. Pretty close to what I had planned. That put our team third after the first session. Now it was time to step on it. A couple of adjustments and the Mustang blasted off to a 6.14 @ 228.96. Incredible, because the corrected altitude was over 4300 feet above sea level. (For those who don't understand, higher corrected altitudes make it harder to make power because of the thinner air.) 

That run moved us past friend and nemesis Mike Preslar into the number two spot. The only problem was that the number one spot was held by Frank Manzo! Need I say more? Eliminations started about noon on Sunday and we had to face Mike for first round. I gained a slight starting line advantage and ran a 6.13 @ 229.69 mph to win the round and move into my first NHRA National event final round. Who would I face? None other than the world champ himself, Frank Manzo. 

As I climbed out of the car -- out of breath from excitement from winning the first round -- I encountered a new hurdle: a television crew led by Jason Bafree from ESPN! Hopefully, I did a decent interview. (You all can see it on ESPN2 on July 22 at 2:30 p.m.) Then while we were servicing the car for the final, Jason and the TV crew stopped by the pit area for another segment. 

Now it was time to tow up for our final round. Since I was at a slight E.T. disadvantage, I took a gamble on the starting line but came up with a red light. Unfortunately, a perfect light still would not have won it for me because my 6.16 was no match for the champ's 5.86. I still felt I was on top of the world! I had achieved a position many people only dream about, and unfortunately, only few experience. Doing as well as we did was especially gratifying because ENGINE WORKS sponsored us for the race. I hope we did a good job for them. 

I also can't say enough about the way we were treated by everyone from NHRA to all the competitors at the track. Just INCREDIBLE! And to everyone who has supported us over the years to make this dream real THANKS! And to those I didn't mention in the interviews, I apologize. You have to forgive me; I'm new at the TV part. I'll try to mention everyone in the next interview because hopefully there will be many more interviews to come. THANKS AGAIN from everybody at Bruce Mullins Racing!

Bruce Mullins
mullinsracing@hotmail.com
http://www.brucemullins.com

 

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