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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Triumph and Tragedy in Shreveport

By Summit FastNews

GILLIAM, La. - Bruce Litton moved a step closer to winning the IHRA Summit Top Fuel Championship by defeating Paul Romine at the Mopar Parts World Finals at Red River Raceway.

With one race remaining, the rescheduled CARQUEST Autumn Nationals at Rockingham Dragway, November 4-5, Litton leads Romine by six points, 954 to 948. Clay Millican is third with 922 and remains in contention for the title.

Romine left the line and immediately got sideways, coasting to a 14.577/82.61 run. Litton ran a perfectly straight 4.746/308.85 lap for the win.

"I had a lot of inspiration this weekend," said an elated Litton. "I count on the Lord to help me drive and he was with me all weekend.

"It was a trying weekend, losing Wayne (Bailey). I know it's a sport but a man's life is gone. Our thoughts are with his family. We needed to stay in the hunt for the championship and we did."

The event was marred by the death of Top Fuel veteran, Wayne Bailey, who died early Saturday from injuries sustained during Friday qualifying. The 47 year-old Leonard, MI driver's car appeared to break between the driver compartment and engine, sending Bailey in the concrete barrier. Bailey was airlifted to the Louisiana State University Health Science Trauma Center, where he was later pronounced dead from severe trauma.

"Wayne had been a long-time IHRA racer and was a national event champion," stated IHRA President Bill Bader. "Wayne represented the "little guy racer" and ran an independent, family race team. He personified the spirit of IHRA and will be missed by all."

Mitch Stott won his first IHRA Pro Modified race, defeating Fred Hahn's Summit Corvette, 6.334/223.84 to 6.412/218.65. Hahn retook the point lead from Quain Stott, whose round one loss to brother Mitch severely hurt his championship hopes.

"Quain took it in stride," replied Stott. "Quain needed to win but he had to earn it. I could not, would not give it way.

"I love the sport. It's my career and I need to take care of my family. My family believes in fair play; you've got to earn it. I went into the race knowing I was going to win; we put "Fred to bed" added Stott.

Hahn leads Quain Stott by 57 points, (920 to 863) going into the final race of the Summit Drag Racing Series.

Steve Stordeur took over the Screamin' Eagle Nitro Harley points lead from Jay Turner, defeating Bill Furr in the final, 6.541/214/93 to 7.653/127.38 to lead Turner by 34 points.

"The championship is still going to go down to the wire," commented Stordeur. "I try to run my own race; Turner will run his. Let the chips fall where they may."

Scott Weney captured his second IHRA Funny Car championship in the first round of eliminations before being eliminated by Jim Lape in the semis. Lape went on to face Adam Szeler in the final. Szeler racing his first IHRA Funny Car final defeated "Gentleman Jim" on a hole shot, 5.987/233.96 to 5.963/236.38.

"This is absolutely a dream come true; I've waited all my life for this to happen," said the 51 year old Szeler. "Our team is disbanding after the season and I finally got my 'Ironman' trophy."

Following Chevrolet's season-long domination of Sunoco Pro Stock, Ford has come on strong with wins at Epping, NH and Budds Creek, Md. The final at Shreveport was all-Ford, pitting points leader Jon Yoak's Probe against Tommy Lee's Mustang. Lee set the all-time Pro Stock elapsed time record (6.586) during qualifying for this event.

Yoak took the win, 6.644/210.44 to Lee's 6.667/206.64 "This is my championship to win or lose," explained Yoak. "We're still going to take it one race at a time. Of course, we only have one race left. Our team is coming together at the right time."

Yoak leads Ron Miller by 69 points in the Pro Stock championship going into Rockingham.

Mick Snyder of Demotte, Indiana took his second Pro Outlaw victory of the season, defeating Michael Barclay, who was unable to complete the run. Snyder, a freshman at Purdue University, defeated points leader Laurie Cannister in the semi's, keeping his slim championship hopes alive. Cannister leads Snyder by 57 points.

"Despite the Rockingham rainout, it's exciting championships in Top Fuel, Pro Modified, Nitro Harley, Pro Stock and Pro Outlaw, five of our six pro classes, will be determined at the season final," stated IHRA President Bill Bader. "It's only fitting that we complete the most successful season in IHRA history with our most exciting championship battles ever."

 

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