Nitro Spring Training & Lucas Oil Winternationals
February 2nd-4th & 8th-11th, 2018
Phoenix, AZ & Pomona, CA
For the first weekend in February, Team Litton Racing reunited with Chuck and Del Worsham at Wildhorse Pass Raceway Park in Phoenix Arizona. The Team sped into the 2018 NHRA preseason with the Worsham powered Top Fuel dragster for test runs on Saturday. Driver Bill Litton, Crew Chiefs Chuck and Del Worsham, and crew members Corey, James, Mike, Todd and Glenn were determined to make a statement.
This was Litton’s first time getting strapped into a Top Fuel dragster in over a year. On the first run on Saturday afternoon, he went out, hit the throttle, and had a decent launch but lifted early. Per Litton, “The launch of a Top Fuel dragster feels similar to tire shake in an injected nitro dragster, so my muscle memory told me to lift. I will definitely pin the throttle to the firewall on the next run!”
Driver Litton went back to the starting line for test run #2 and resulted in an excellent time of 3.97 @ 263 mph. Del commented, “We made several improvements to the Top Fuel dragster since the first run, and Bill drove the car like a champ. Everything looked nice. The blower belt broke on the run, but either way it was Bill’s personal best. The car looked like it was right on pace with what we were trying to run with it.” The crew replaced the blower belt and made some additional changes to the car prior to launch #3.
Going into the 3rd and final test run of the day, Driver Litton broke his personal best time and speed with a run of 3.92 @ over 308 mph! Litton remarked on the run, “Wow! That was awesome acceleration! It felt like a time warp!”
Del felt the weekend was a success stating, “I think Bill did a great job driving all three runs. He really drove the car like a veteran. Staging was very precise, burnouts were great, we just need to work on our parachutes coming out earlier.”
The back-to-back race weekends continued, as Driver Litton and Team headed to Pomona for the Winternationals NHRA season kick-off. Litton teamed up with Randy Meyer Racing for a weekend behind the wheel of Randy Meyer Racing’s injected nitro dragster.
Litton was backed by Crew Chief Randy Meyer, Co-Crew Chief Megan Meyer, and crew members Dan, Adrian, JJ, Chris and Glenn. Q1 started Thursday the 8th with gremlins in the fuel system of the Nitro Beast causing the motor to die while Litton was backing up from the burnout. There was no “smoking gun” to clearly identify the culprit so the crew replaced several parts hoping to solve the problem.
Driver Litton pulled up to the starting line for Q2 just before 5 p.m. on Friday evening. On the second qualifying attempt, the fuel system gremlin returned but Litton pulled the Nitro pump to full rich and Adrian was ready and added some fuel into the injectors keeping the car running during the backup. Shortly after the launch, the dragster shook the tires and Litton clicked it off. Per Litton, “We don’t like to be in this spot trying to qualify for the race in the final qualifying round, but if anyone can do it, Randy and the crew can!”
With Q3 on Saturday came the Team’s final shot at qualifying. Weather conditions were ideal with cool air and track temperatures at 63 and 71 degrees, respectively. Driver Litton had the right lane. The dragster started to shake right at the hit, and since it was the last qualifying attempt Litton “pedaled” it. He got it to settle down and was able to make his quickest pass of the weekend, but tire shake and subsequent “peddling” slowed the car enough that Litton only made the show if he was needed as first alternate.
In this position, the crew completely services the car and the driver remains in the zone just in case one of the qualified cars can’t make the call for final eliminations. This didn’t happen, so the Team packed up to regroup for the next race. Even though they didn’t have the outcome they were hoping for, they learned some things from the experience and can use the data they gathered to improve. Driver Litton and the Team look forward to an exciting 2018 race season!
This year, be on the lookout as Team Litton brings some new exciting news to the table with their involvement in the Nitro Outlaw Drag Racing Association! Litton will be back in the Worsham Top Fuel dragster at the inaugural Nitro Outlaw event at Wildhorse Pass Raceway in Phoenix on March 17th. For insider updates and exclusive videos and photos, make sure to follow our Litton Racing page on Twitter and Facebook and like us on Instagram @teamlittonracing