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IHRA: Paul Romine Going for Third Consecutive Win at Darlington Track

29 April 1998

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- A year ago Darlington International Dragway hosted two IHRA Snap-on Drag Racing Series national events, the Winter Nationals and Snap-on Finals. Paul Romine, driver of the CARQUEST Top Fuel dragster won both events. He will be going for his third consecutive Darlington win, May 1-3, at the facilitys newest event, the 2nd annual IHRA Southern Nationals.

We were fortunate last season winning both IHRA national events at Darlington, said Romine, the 1997 IHRA Top Fuel World Champion. Before each event we tested thoroughly and Clayton (Harris, Romines crew chief) developed a combination that worked well with the track, but this is a new season and a lot has changed. Despite having the data from last year to work with, we are going to need to step up in order to win. Our 4.8 combination was enough to win in 97, but in 98 I think were going to need 4.7s in order to take home our third Peetie from Darlington.

In the weeks prior to the IHRA Southern Nationals, the CARQUEST team has competed at three NHRA national events. Romine recorded a career-best 4.66 and earned a runner-up finish at the NHRA Winston Invitational in Rockingham, NC. He lost in round one of the NHRA Fram Nationals in Atlanta, Ga. before advancing to round three last weekend at the NHRA Pennzoil Nationals in Richmond, Va.

The IHRA Southern Nationals is the second stop on the 1998 IHRA Snap-on Drag Racing Series trail. At the season opening Prolong Super Lubricants Winter Nationals held March 27-29 at DeSoto Memorial Dragway in Bradenton, FL, Romine and the CARQUEST team began defense of their Top Fuel title, qualifying on the pole with a 4.869/278.37. Unfortunately tricky track conditions bit the team as they were defeated in the opening round of eliminations by Wayne Bailey.

Weve got our work cut out this season defending the championship and Bradenton proved it will be no cake walk, Romine said. Tommy (Johnson Jr.) has a proven team and although Doug (Herbert) is not suppose to attend this weekends event, hell be right there until the end in the fight for the championship. Add all the regular competitors and a couple new teams and theres no telling what will happen from the Southern Nationals until the last event of the season.

The CARQUEST team begins the first of three qualification attempts for the Southern Nationals Friday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). The second qualifying session will occur Saturday afternoon with the final qualifying pass scheduled for under-the-lights in the ever popular IHRA Night of Fire.

Television coverage of the 2nd annual IHRA Southern Nationals will be tape delayed and seen at a later date on ESPN2. Instant results of the event can be obtained on the World Wide Web by accessing the Fast News Network racing coverage on SUMMITRACING.COM or IHRA.COM. CARQUEST Racing press releases and photos can be obtained on the web at CARQUEST.COM

CARQUEST Corporation began 24 years ago with 100 auto parts stores. Today there are over 3,000 CARQUEST Auto Parts Stores serving all 50 U.S. States and Canada. CARQUEST supplies the professional automotive service repair industry as well as do-it-yourselfers with replacement parts, tools and equipment. CARQUEST is committed to providing auto parts and services of the highest quality and greatest value to its customers. For the location of the CARQUEST Auto Parts Stores nearest you, call 1-800-492-PART or check out CARQUEST on the World Wide Web at CARQUEST.COM. CARQUEST Auto Parts is the primary sponsor of IHRA Top Fuel World Champion Paul Romine and title right sponsor of the IHRA CARQUEST Empire Nationals, July 10-12, in Rochester, NY and IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals, July 31-Aug. 2, in Stanton, MI.