NORWALK, Ohio -- John Dustin did not have a good weekend at the Summit World Finals.
Well, not to start out at least.
In the days leading up to championship Sunday in the Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions at Memphis International Raceway, Dustin had just about everything you could imagine go wrong. First off, his wife and young daughter couldn't make the trip due to work obligations and the drive itself left him second guessing the trip. Once on the road, the driver out of Rockville, Maryland found himself on the side of the road with motorhome trouble.
"It was a rough weekend, to say the least," Dustin said.
But once the sun rose on Sunday, things began to take a turn for the better. Dustin said he began to feel better around noon and once he got on the track all he could focus on was taking home the biggest win of his life.
Around five hours and four rounds later, Dustin was standing in the winner's circle having just won the IHRA Quick Rod World Championship over a field of the toughest 8.90 racers in the world.
"I knew all the racers here were the best of the best. I have had some friends tell me about my competitors, so I kind of knew what I was up against," Dustin said.
"That was definitely the biggest round of my life. I wanted to make sure it was a good race. I definitely didn't want to do something stupid like red light or drop too hard and go way over. I wanted to make it a solid run," Dustin said. "I saw the win light come on and I was excited, but I didn't get too excited. I had people in the shutdown area congratulating me, but I don't think I took a breath until I got that paper in my hand that said I was a winner. That is when it all sunk in."
In all four round wins Dustin got it done on the tree, recording lights of .005, .012, .006 and .012. In his first two rounds both Henry and Levatino broke out, while in the semifinal Mason missed the top end with an 8.998 on an 8.90 index. Dustin had an 8.954 to move into the finals.
Dustin's win capped an incredible year where he recorded two wins in four finals, getting it done in a car that many felt should have been sent to the scrapyard by now.
Now Dustin will have an opportunity to put a coveted No. 1 on the side of that "older car."
"I really want to thank my mom and dad, my wife Lenore and my little baby Danica. We love racing IHRA and we love Summit Racing," Dustin said. "To be honest we debated about the weekend. It is a long haul for us, but we felt confident in the car as long as the driver got it done. I think it all turned out just fine."
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