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IHRA Pro Season Opens at Bradenton

19 March 1998

NORWALK, OH -- The Prolong Super Lubricants IHRA Winter Nationals will launch the 1998 IHRA/Snap-on Drag Racing series at DeSoto Memorial Dragway in Bradenton, Florida on March 27-29. This event opens the International Hot Rod Association's nationwide 10 race battle for $425,000 in IHRA/Snap-On Points awards to competitors in five Professional divisions and nine Sportsman divisions of drag racing.

A special addition to the Tampa Bay-area event will feature the debut of two new divisions of competition. The Pro ranks will showcase the inaugural race in a special 6 race series for Top Fuel Harley Davidson motorcycles in the Harley Davidson Screamin' Eagles series. In the Sportsman ranks the first-ever running of the new-for-'98 Super Eliminator category will be the focus of attention.

One of the fiercest battles expected to take place at the event will be in the 6,000 horsepower Top Fuel Dragsters. Defending Snap-on Champion Paul Romine of Indianapolis (IN) will face a serious challenge from a large field of the 300 MPH missiles. Leading the challengers will be 4-time IHRA/Snap-on Champ, Doug Herbert of Cherryville, NC.

The wildly popular Pro Mod class is expected to be another area of special interest with an anticipated field of nearly 50 entries fighting for 16 qualifying spots. Controversy reigns supreme in this class that gives racers a choice between superchargers and nitrous oxide injection to create tremendous horsepower. Defending Snap-on Pro Mod Champion Shannon Jenkins of Tuscaloosa (AL) is expected to lead the nitrous powered contingent. In the opposing camp will be 5-time Snap-on Pro Mod Champ Scotty Cannon of Lyman (SC) who has been developing a new '53 Studebaker with a supercharged powerplant in a winter-long series of tests in Australia.

Qualifying for all classes will take place on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28. A special "Night of Fire" will highlight final qualifying on Saturday night. Final eliminations begin at 12:00 noon on Sunday, March 29.

DeSoto Memorial Dragway is located on S.R. 64 mid-way between Tampa and Sarasota, Florida. Information on the race is available from the IHRA at 419.663.6666 or from DeSoto Memorial Dragway at 941.748.1320.