Near-perfect outing nets Higgins first national win by ProQuest


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									                               SUPER COMP — 13th annual United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Miller Welders, June 3-6, Chicago

                              Near-perfect outing nets Higgins first national win

                                                                                               Don Higgins claimed his first national event Wally by defeating national points
                                                                                               leader Ray Miller. In the final (above), Higgins, near lane, eased his car to an
                                                                                               8.920 to stop Miller, who got sideways on his run and had to lift.

by Candida Benson                                                                           changing                      In the final, Higgins was set up to run
                                                                                            weather                   another 8.90, but his opponent, current

E      very racer feels pressure to
       perform well on the dragstrip, but
       it would be fair to say that Don
Higgins likely feels just a little more each
time he takes his car out to compete. As
                                                                                            conditions that
                                                                                            had the
                                                                                            potential to
                                                                                            make dialing a
                                                                                            car incredibly
                                                                                                                      national points leader Ray Miller, experienced
                                                                                                                      troubles midway through his run. Higgins
                                                                                                                      responded by tapping the brakes and slowing
                                                                                                                      to an 8.920 to turn on the win light.
                                                                                                                          “About 1,200 feet, I saw [Miller’s] car rock
the developer and owner of the Crew                                                         difficult,                back and forth, so I just pushed on the brake
Chief Pro software used by many                                                             Higgins was               pedal to make sure,” said Higgins. “That’s the
competitors in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag                                                      able to nail the          only reason I was outside the .90. Otherwise, if
Racing Series, Higgins has a lot of eyes                                                    8.90 index in             it had gone all the way down to the wire, I was
on him week in and week out, and with                                                       five of the               just going to tap the brakes. I knew I was going
everyone watching, he certainly wants to                                                    seven rounds.             to be like an 8.900 with a .003 light, so I was
do well not only for himself but to help                                                    In the other              going to be pretty hard to beat, I think.
his company as well.                                                                        rounds, a very                “It was just a great day. I just can’t say
   “When everybody stares at you because you              brisk tailwind that came up at the last minute              enough about how fun it was.”
make the Crew Chief software, they put a little           pushed both Higgins and his opponent to break
more scrutiny on you, so I really want to put on a        out on one occasion, and the other time,                    The key races: “Every one of them were so
good show,” said Higgins, who did just that when          Higgins backed off after seeing his opponent                good because an all-star event like this
he drove to victory in Chicago, his first national        having troubles.                                            everybody’s who’s anybody in this class is here,
event triumph. “Now that my car is right and my              Higgins opened with an 8.903 to defeat                   and it just felt so spectacular to beat all of those
electrical issues are over and all those things           Mark Horton and followed it with an 8.908 on a              people who I’ve always read about,” said Higgins.
that happened to me last year that made me                bye in round two. After clocking an 8.907 to                “But first round is always tough, and Mark Horton
look like an idiot are gone, the Crew Chief               trailer Brian Folk in round three, Higgins edged            is a really good driver. He had me on the Tree,
software will put the car wherever I want it.”            out T.J. Schippling in an 8.897 to 8.890 double-            and I’m not sure what really happened. He just
   For evidence of that, one need look no                 breakout match. An 8.904 was Higgins’ ticket                went behind me right at the end, and that was my
further than Higgins’ performance at the United           past Austin Williams in the quarterfinals, and              one really lucky round because I knew I wasn’t
Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals                       that win earned him the semifinal bye, on
presented by Miller Welders. Despite ever-                which he ran an 8.909.
                                                                                                                        About the winning car

                                                                                                                        D   on Higgins’ Yancer dragster was
                                                                                                                            backhalved earlier this year, making it
                                                                                                                        “basically a ’10 Yancer.” The car is
                                                                                                                        powered by a 584 Schmidt engine and has
                                                                                                                        a Gary Stinnett carburetor, Hughes
                                                                                                                        Performance transmission and converter,
                                                                                                                        and Meziere water pump.
                                                                                                                           Higgins thanked his wife, Michelle;
                                                                                                                        Larry Bernshausen; Dave and Judy Dahlem;
                                                                                                                        Ray Connolly; the Millers; and everybody
Both Miller and Jason Kenny had troubles on their runs in the semifinals and ran far off the index. Miller won the      who helped him during the weekend.
9.16 to 9.68 battle.
72 National DRAGSTER
                                                                                                                      SUPER COMP QUALIFYING
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