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IHRA Y2K Memories


By the end of each season, every racer has created his own highlight reel, even if it exists only in his or her own mind. Drag Racing Online caught up with several pro racers at the IHRA's season-ending CARQUEST Autumn Nationals to ask what moment from the 2000 racing season would last longest in their memory banks. As you might expect, event wins and record-setting passes figured heavily in many drivers' memories, but others recalled more subtle personal or bittersweet moments. In no particular order, here are their responses to the question: What event, thought, or emotion from the 2000 season will you remember for the rest of your life?

Top Fuel driver Bruce Litton:
"The last race we won was Shreveport, Louisiana, and that's also where (fellow T/F pilot) Wayne Bailey was killed. We always want to win, and we're always happy when we do, but Wayne's crash really took the edge off of it. I've always said we're racing for sport, but this was a man's life we lost. I'll never forget how sad that was."

IHRA President Bill Bader:
"For me, it was probably at Shreveport, Saturday afternoon (after the moment of silence held in honor of Bailey). It was the realization of the seriousness of what we do. I saw the entire IHRA come together as a family - our fans, our racers, our officials - everyone. I feel that moment represented my maturing, my arriving at adulthood in IHRA. It was prompted by the finality of that moment."



2000 Funny Car Champion Scott Weney:
"When I blew the body off in the final round against Jimmy (Rector) in New York, that was a first for me. It was actually kind of wild to watch it leave. Once the body left I knew I was okay, but I got busy driving the car and didn't know if I'd won or not. The paramedics kept asking if I was okay, but first I wanted to know if I'd won. Fortunately, I did, so that's a high point for me."

Pro Mod driver Mitch Stott:
"You might think it would be getting our first win at Shreveport, but seriously, the highlight came here (Rockingham) when we became the first nitrous car into the .20s. Done it with a 6.284 at 227 mile an hour (during qualifying). Getting the win was definitely great, but we were fightin' to get in the .20s for at least a year and after coming close a few times, it was just very exciting to finally do it. Of course (Steve) Vick came out 10 minutes later and ran a .26, but we were the first. He won the war, but we won the battle."



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