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IHRA: Wally Stroupe Finalizes Testy Season at Shreveport

26 October 1998

SHREVEPORT, LA.-- Never let it be said that Wally Stroupe is a quitter. The veteran Pro Modified driver returned from a fiery crash that could have easily ended a career to finish the IHRA season. Though he lost in the first round of the IHRA World Finals, success in prior events still keeps him smiling and looking forward to 1999.

"The thought of quitting never entered my mind," explained Stroupe. "I could have done just that and had a good excuse for doing so, but it is not in my nature. I love IHRA Pro Modified and I love drag racing. Its gonna take a lot more than the fire at Bradenton to keep me away from it."

Sometimes the last ditch qualifying effort is the best way to get into the field, but Stroupe prefers the traditional routes. His first two attempts in the Trim Parts sponsored 1963 Corvette produced aborted attempts and no elapsed time. During the World Finals Nite Of Fire session, he covered the quarter-mile in 6.46 seconds at over 216 mph.

That pass seeded him in the 6th spot and unofficially paired him against Gary Shearer in the first round. But, when Shearer failed to return for the make-up of the rain-delayed event, it paired him opposite Mitchell Stott. There was an oil down in the match before him and Stroupe opted to change lanes to the newly freshened one. His change was for naught as he got sideways and aborted the run. Stott advanced to the second round with a 6.53/215.03.