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One Card Short of a Royal Flush

Las Vegas Motor Speedway Shortline Express Gambler Showdown
November 6 – 8, 2015
Las Vegas, NV

2015 NHRA LODRS at Las VegasTeam Litton Racing had a few days off after the Las Vegas Nationals to reorganize and get ready to hit “The Strip” again for the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Shortline Express Gambler Showdown Division Race. Driver Litton, Crew Chief Randy Meyer, and team would strive to be the last team standing.

Friday’s Q1 brought favorable, cool conditions at the track. With these conditions the team planned on tuning the car up to run pretty hard, but the tires shook. Litton “pedaled” (off and on the throttle very quickly) clocking in at 5.45 @ 267.37 mph in the quarter mile.

2015 NHRA LODRS at Las VegasSaturday morning and Q2 offered warmer weather conditions which translated into a better run for the team. Driver Litton ran a 5.31 @ 268.97 mph taking them to the number one qualifying spot and a guaranteed spot in the elimination rounds, a first for Team Litton. Chief Meyer commented, “They only qualify eight cars, so just qualifying is a tough feat.”

Saturday afternoon’s Q3 bumped Team Litton down to the number two spot after the car spun its tires. Team Litton would begin to prepare for its first round of eliminations on Sunday.

2015 NHRA LODRS at Las VegasE1’s faceoff proved challenging for both drivers given the track conditions. Both cars had traction control issues and both cars were spinning pretty badly. These kinds of races can highlight a driver’s experience and control in these kinds of situations. Chief Meyer explained, “Bill did a better job of getting on and off the throttle which is pretty hard on the motor and equipment; but he ended up doing a better job and won the heat so we are on to the next round.”

Team Litton would have lane choice for Sunday’s semi-finals. Driver Litton ran a 5.36 @ 267.96 mph, which was the second quickest thus far in eliminations. The team temporarily celebrated but knew they needed to begin to prepare for the final run.

Since both final cars ran a 5.36 and Team Litton had the slower speed, the opponent won lane choice for the final round. Chief Meyer elaborated, “We are going to have to calm the car down because the left lane isn’t looking as good as it was earlier.” Although the car performed in spite of the lane conditions, it wasn’t enough as Driver Litton missed the staging process causing a lower nitro pressure and lower than optimal clutch heat. Team Litton would lose in a tight race; 5.32 to Litton’s 5.43.

2015 NHRA LODRS at Las VegasDriver Litton elaborated on the weekend, “Other drivers told me that losing in the final round was more difficult to process than losing in the early rounds and I underestimated that. Randy, Mary, Dan and Dalton had the car prepped to win the final round and I missed the staging process. Very disappointing. Hopefully, I never let that happen again. As Randy says, if it were easy everybody would be doing it. We’ll shake it off and be back on the bull at Pomona!”

A positive note on the weekend, Team Litton’s runner up finish helped Randy Meyer clinch the 2015 Central Region Top Alcohol Dragster championship. Congratulations to Randy Meyer and team on this great accomplishment!