The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was the place to be for race fans. People from all over the world filled the stands to witness the inaugural four-wide event at the Las Vegas track. The speedway had a sell-out crowd for the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
Fans showed up in droves to feel the energy and be a part of the historical event. Four-Wide drag racing has established itself in the Western Region and from the response of the fans and race competitors, you can bet it’s here to stay.
Once again, Team Litton Racing joined forces with Randy Meyer Racing to compete in the Top Alcohol Dragster division. Although race fans were eager to get the first glimpse of the newly constructed track, breaking in a new strip can bring many challenges for the driver and race team.
Driver Bill Litton, Crew Chief Randy Meyer, Assistant Crew Chief Dan Pomponio, and crew members Mary, JJ, Howard, Ted, and Glenn knew they had to bring their A – game. The first round of qualifying took off with a smooth run reaching the finish line in 5.42 seconds @ 270 mph. Driver Litton rolled into the next round of qualifying 5.39 @ 271 mph holding on to the #6 spot. The 3rd and final qualifying run on Saturday showed improvement, finishing at 5.34 @ 272.9 mph still holding on to the #6 qualifying spot.
“After a trick race track, being an all new surface, we have come out in pretty good shape. Bill being the #6 qualifier with 5.34, looking pretty good going into eliminations,” said Chief Meyer. “On Saturday we will be running first round eliminations to see if we can continue onward up the eliminations ladder, and hope for the best.”
After qualifying in a solid position, Driver Bill Litton was optimistic going into first round eliminations. Per Litton, “Randy, Dan, and the team have worked hard to give me a steady race car. We improved a little every round so far and hope to continue that trend right to the final round!” It was a first time match up for Bill and Driver Kim Parker in the first round of eliminations and wow, was this a close one, with only .015th of a second between them!
“Bill’s up, and as the light comes down green, both cars leave pretty good, we are having a bit of ignition issues with Bill’s car, dropping some holes and picking them back up. Didn’t run as strong as we had hoped for, ending up coming up just a little bit short. 5.44 seconds and the other car ran 5.43 seconds,” said Randy Meyer.
Fans were on their feet as the Litton Financial dragster topped out at 271.35 mph. It was a good close drag race, but it wasn’t in the cards for them this time. “It’s disheartening after working so hard and running so good in qualifying to be #6. Unfortunately, the weather has been very challenging with the new track surface and the heat, add the high winds on top of it. It’s kind of how it ended up for the team and Bill, ending up in 9th after today. So, we will get ready to go onto the next race and hopefully better things to come in the future,” per Chief Meyer.
After the adrenaline rush of qualifying in a great position and being knocked out in eliminations by a fraction of a second, Driver Litton was feeling a mix of emotions. “As a driver, you are never focusing on coming in anywhere under first place. With 18 cars entering the race and 17 of them not winning, you have to keep it all in perspective and come out swinging next time. It’s like swinging for a hole in one in golf, and if you get it, that stroke can win the event. One of the reasons that fans like this sport so much is that it is so unpredictable.”