CORDOVA, Ill. -- Bruce Litton defeated Paul Romine to take the Top Fuel title at the 21st Amalie Oil Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park.
Before a record crowd, Fred Hahn, Steve Stordeur, Von Smith, Ron Miller and Mick Snyder earned pro category wins at Cordova, the fourth race in the Summit Drag Racing Series.
In a side by side pass, Litton posted a run of 4.752 seconds at 305.98 miles per hour in his WIX Dragster to defeat a determined Romine who ran a losing 4,747 at 309.20 miles per hour. The WIX team had an up and down weekend, encountering engine problems all weekend and losing 10 net points and $500 in oil down penalties.
"I never knew I was going to win this race, until the cameras came over to me and the lady handed me the trophy," said a happy, but emotional Litton. "I knew I was going to lose a lot of points at this race so I knew I had to win a lot of rounds."
Despite finishing second to Litton, Romine remained the Summit Top Fuel points leader, 425 to 397, due to the "black flag" penalties he incurred.
Number one Top qualifier Shirley Muldowney rolled the beams in the first round of eliminations, losing to Jim Bailey. "I had a bad weekend and simply made a mistake," said Muldowney, who despite the problems made the fastest pass in IHRA history during the second round of qualifying, at 319.22 miles per hour.
Fred Hahn scored his second Mopar Performance Parts Pro Modified victory in two weeks, defeating Billy Harper's nitrous-powered Dodge Viper in a photo finish 6.320/205.60 to 6.361/206.66. The Jim Oddy prepared 53' Corvette, sponsored by Summit Performance continued to set the pace in the highly competitive class, fueling the blown versus nitrous controversy. The nitrous contingent favors reductions to the blower overdrive on the blown cars to make them more competitive. Hahn disagrees.
"If you want parity, that would be eight blown cars and eight nitrous cars making the field," Hahn said. "No one complained last year when I qualified first at five straight events and then smoked my tires in went out in round one at all five races."
In Nitro Harley, it was an all Team Mancuso final as Johnny Mancuso and Steve Stordeur faced off. Mauncuso experienced problems at half track and shut the bike off giving Stordeur the easy win. Mancuso left the weekend with the new speed record at 216.00. Jay Tuner holds onto the points lead with 414. Mancuso remains second with 339 points and Stordeur moved into third with 336 points.
1999 Funny Car Champion Von Smith continued his winning ways, taking his second win of the season in his Nitrofish Pontiac Firebird. Smith defeated local driver Dale Brand 5.924/238.93 to 5.989/234.21 and took the points lead over Scott Weney, 372 to 343.
"We didn't mean to deep stage," Smith said. "It was an accident, but we still made good on the tree. The conditions here were a lot like they were in Bristol when we raced there. Racing under this format allowed us to run in conditions that were real favorable for our combination."
In a Ford versus Chevy Sunoco Pro Stock final, Ron Miller followed up his Canadian Nationals win in his Moser Engineering Chevrolet Monte Carlo, defeating Jon Yoak in his Ford Probe. Miller maintains the points lead over Yoak, 314 to 306,crediting a new engine program for his improved performance in 2000.
"We had an up and down weekend," said the 51 year old Lebanon, Ohio driver. "We blew a clutch in the semi's and I was surprised to win. We weren't great, but we were good enough to win.
"I knew we had to leave early on Jon and staged shallow. I can see better at night and that helped me. In fact, I wish all of the IHRA races were at night. I'd like to thank Greg Moser and the entire team for my success this year."
Second generation driver Mick Snyder won his first IHRA Pro Outlaw race, defeating Mike Becker 6.104/223.28 to 6.183/222.69. The 18 year old Snyder, who skipped his high school graduation to race in Canada earlier this month is the son of 1999 champion Larry Snyder.
"It was great to win with my grandparents here," Snyder said. "Mr. Spitzer (Dragster Designer Mike Spitzer) was real happy too, but he left soon after the win to be home for Father's Day. He thought the celebration should be a family thing anyway."
The next race on the million dollar Summit Drag Racing Series is the CARQUEST
Empire Nationals at New York International Raceway, Leiscester, NY, July 14-16.