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Duane Shields'
Shortline Express
A/Fuel Dragster
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2011 Schedule

February 10-12
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
NHRA Divisional
Phoenix, AZ


February 24-27
NHRA Winternationals
Pomona, CA

March 4-6
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
NHRA Divisional
Cecil, GA


March 10-13
NHRA Gatornationals
Gainesville, FL


April 14-17
4 WideNationals
Charlotte, NC

April 29-May 1
O'Reilly Spring Nationals
Houston, TX

May 20-22
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
NHRA Divisional
Atlanta, GA

May 27-29
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
NHRA Divisional
Reading, PA


June 2-5
NHRA Supernationals
Englishtown, NJ

July 7-10
Route 66 Nationals
Chicago, IL

August 18-21
Lucas Oil Nationals
Brainerd, MN

August 31 - September 5
Mac Tools
NHRA US Nationals
Indianapolis, IN

September 9-11
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
NHRA Divisional
Englishtown, NJ

Sept. 29 - October 7-10
Keystone Nationals
Reading, PA

October 14-16
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
NHRA Divisional
Reynolds, GA

October 27-30
Las Vegas Nationals
Las Vegas, NV

November 4-6
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series
Short Line
NHRA Divisional
Las Vegas, NV

November 10-13
NHRA Auto Club Finals
Pomona, CA

Schedule subject to change *


Shortline Express Stores Giving Away Free Tickets to This Week's Las Vegas NHRA Event

Shortline Express stores in the Las Vegas area are giving away free tickets to this weekend's Lucas Oil NHRA Divisional Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event will be featuring Top Alcohol Dragsters and Funny cars. The tickets are free for the asking and are good for Saturday's qualifying. Fans that have ticket stubs from last weekend's NHRA Las Vegas Nationals can use their ticket stub to get in to the event for Sunday's eliminations. Photo courtesy of Competition Plus


Shields Yet to Find Luck at Home Track

Last weekend's Las Vegas Nationals was a chance for Las Vegas' own Duane Shields to score a big win in his hometown known for high stakes and good luck. Traditionally, Shields has not had the best of luck at his home track while doing remarkably well at other venues around the country.

Sadly for Shields, luck wasn't on the side of the Shortline Express team this past weekend either. "It's disappointing as the conditions were good but we had our slowest qualifying position all year, and it happened at our home track. We have a bug some place as we are off on the fuel curve" Shields said. Shields "slow" qualifying time was a 5.55 at 247 MPH, good for 14th in the 16 car Top Alcohol Dragster field.

Shields raced Mark Taliaferro in round one. Taliaferro got out of the gate first with a 0.058 to Shields' 0.076. At the finish line it was Taliaferro getting the win light with a 5.47 at 263 MPH to Shields' 5.54 at 242 MPH. "We dropped three cylinders and you can't win the race if you are only running on five cylinders" Shields observed.

The good news for Shields and his Shortline crew is that they have another shot at the Las Vegas track when the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series rolls into town, November 5-7. "We are working on the problem and hopefully we will have it fixed for this weekend's race" Shields said.

Race fans in the Las Vegas area can experience Saturday's qualifying for free by stopping at any Shortline Express store where they can receive free admission tickets.


Loss at Silver Dollar Raceway Takes Shields out of National Title Contention

Reynolds GA - Duane Shields driving the Shortline Express A/Fuel Dragster competed at the final NHRA Lucas Oil Southeast Divisional event of the year held at Silver Dollar Raceway in Reynolds, GA. Shields was hoping to finish the NHRA Divisional series on a high note after clinching the Division 2 title prior to the Reynolds event. In qualifying, Shields nailed down the number three position with a respectable 5.33 at 269 MPH.

In round one, Shields faced a familiar opponent, Dan Fiorelli who Shields had raced several times this season. Fiorelli got out of the gate first with a 0.126 to Shields' 0.155. Fiorelli compounded his lead as Shields' dragster was laboring off the starting line and was not gaining much momentum down the track. Fiorelli began to have some trouble of his own and began losing cylinders which opened the door for Shields. But, Fiorelli was still able to maintain his lead even though Shields narrowed the gap considerably. At the stripe it was Fiorelli taking the upset win with a 6.13 @ 210 MPH to Shields' close 6.17 at 242 MPH. "We win as a team and lose as a team. We made a critical error while preparing for the run and that cost us the race" Shields explained.

The loss took Shields out of the National Championship hunt but as painful as the loss was, Shields was gracious towards his opponent. "Because Don (Fiorelli) beat me, he was able to finish second in the Division so I'm happy for him. Don really put out a lot of effort this year and it was nice to see him do well" Shields said.

The Shortline Express team thanks Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs for their support this season.

Shields Goes out in the Quarter Finals

Reading PA - It was one of those bitter sweet weekend for the Shortline Express team as they had a good weekend but not the kind that delivers the gold at the end of the race. Duane Shields qualified in the top half of the field with a 5.33 to end up in the number five spot which would set up a first round pairing with local racer Rich McPhillips of Audubon, PA.

At the light, it was McPhillips out first with a 0.066 to Shields' 0.082. But, It was all over at that time as McPhillips shook the tires and Shields was off to the races in one of the best runs for the round as Shields ran a sizzling 5.28 at 272 MPH. The conditions were great in the early morning hours which allowed for a good run. "We knew the conditions would be great in the first round so we stayed conservative on the tune up" Shields said.

In the second round Shields took on John Finke in what turned out to be one of the best races of the day. Shields was out of the gate first with an 0.081 but Finke was close behind with an 0.085. Finke was able to get ahead of Shields by a nose and by the time the cars made it to the finish line it was Finke taking the stripe with a 5.36 at 263 MPH to Shields' close 5.38 at 268 MPH. "I'm tired of these close losses but John won the round fair and square and it was a very good race. The conditions changed since the first round and we didn't compensate for the warmer weather. We stayed conservative and didn't give it all we could have, we needed to give it a little more Mojo" Shields observed.

Shields isn't taking the loss too hard as he's already looking forward to returning to Georgia for the next NHRA Divisional event this coming weekend in Reynolds. The Shortline Express team thanks their sponsors NGK Spark Plugs and Hussey Copper.

Shields Qualifies on Top in Charlotte

Charlotte NC - Duane Shields qualified on top at the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina. Shields stopped the clocks with a 5.34 at 267 MPH for the top seed. The popular Nevada based racer needed his qualifying success to lead him all the way to the final round to regain some momentum towards the World Champio nship. But sadly for Shields, he came up a little short in North Carolina and lost in the second round.

In the first round, Shields took on Don Fiorelli for the second straight week. Fiorelli jumped the gun and left before the tree was activated which gave the win to Shields who recorded a 5.41 at 266 MPH. "We had the car set up soft on that run as we didn't want to take any chances" Shields said.

In the second round, Shields faced John Finke. At the green Finke left first with a 0.098 to Shields 0.102. Shields then smoked the tires and Finke was long gone scoring a 5.77. Shields contributed the loss to trying a few new things that just didn't work. "I have the tendency to try new ideas and I have to stop doing that" Shields said. He then went on to explain that he will be going back to his old set up after a break next week. "This loss hurt our shot at the Championship but we still have a chance. Now, our destiny also depends on how others do. Regardless, we're just going to have fun at the remaining races and try to score another win or two."

Shields and the Shortline Express team thanks their sponsors NGK Spark Plugs and Hussey Copper.


Tire Smoke Stops Shields in Finals

Atlanta GA - Duane Shields and the Shortline Express Team made yet another final round appearance this season but were stopped for the second race in a row by Marty Thacker who traveled from the Midwest to compete at the Southeast Division race. "He beat me again!" Shields exclaimed and then explained that Thacker likes the long tow to Atlanta as he usually has good luck there.

Shields took the express route to the final round by first qualifying in the top position with a stout 5.33 at 264 MPH. This lead to a first round match up with Palm Bay Florida's Don Fiorelli. Fiorelli, rolled thought the lights in staging which gave the win to Shields. "I took my time leaving the starting line as I didn't want to jeopardize the win after knowing what had just happened to Fiorelli" said Shields. Still, Shields ran a 5.44 at 266 MPH.

In the second round, Shields raced unopposed and decided to try a more aggressive tune up. "We went more aggressive and it only ran a 5.43 so we put Saturday's tune up back in it for the final round" Shields remarked.

In the final round it was a re-match from the US Nationals as Shields took on the newly crowned Indy Champ. At the hit it was Thacker out of the gate first with an 0.040 to Shields 0.060 but the race ended right there as Shields blew the tires off the line. "I have no idea where that came from as we haven't blew the tires off since Dallas. Thacker was on his way down the track so I let up and idled the car down to the finish line. Sure, we were disappointed as we were thrown a curve ball and had no indication this would even happen but that's all part of racing" Shields said.

Shortline Express team thanks their sponsors NGK Spark Plugs and Hussey Copper for all of their great support this year.

Shields Loses a Close One at Indy

Indianapolis, Sept. 5, 2010 - The NHRA US Nationals is drag racing's crown jewel. And every racer that enters the Labor Day classic brings their "A game" as well as plenty of parts in the trailer. One of NHRA's best teams in the Top Alcohol Dragster division is arguably the Shortline Express team of Duane Shields.

Shields brought his "A game" to Indy but knew this wasn't just another drag race. "We came into Indy on top of our game but so did everyone else. There are no easy opponents filling out the rest of the field. It's competitive from top to bottom" Shields said. Just to drive home his point, twentyfour cars competed for just sixteen spots with a competitive 5.42 being the bump spot. Shields qualified in the top half of the field with a 5.31 at 265 MPH which was good for the seventh qualifying position.

In the first round Shields faced Marty Thacker of Robinson, Ill. Thacker, qualified his blown alcohol dragster in the tenth position with a respectable 5.34 at 268 MPH. With Thacker racing a blown alcohol entry vs. Shields' naturally aspirated nitro burning car, it was sure to be an exciting match up as many of the fans favor one type of car over the other up in the grandstands.

As both cars launched off the starting line, it was Thacker out of the gate first with a 0.029 to Shields' 0.042 but that would be the only difference in the race. Both cars were side by side until Shields' lost a cylinder at 5.01 seconds into the run and the engine lost some of its momentum. Meanwhile, Thacker crossed the finished line first by a whisker as both drivers had identical 5.377 elapsed times and both posted the same 265 MPH speeds! "I knew it would be a very close race going in and it was. He was right there. I hate losing close races, but it's Indy and Marty's a good racer and deserved to go on and win the event" said Shields.

While Shields' lost the battle, he still enjoys the Indy experience. "We have a lot of friends and fans in Indianapolis and most of them stopped by. I also got the chance to sign a lot of pictures and had fun doing it so it was still a pretty good weekend. Shields thanks Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs for their continued support this season.

Shields Makes it to the Finals in Brainerd

Brainerd MN - After taking a planned break away from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Duane Shields was back in the driver's seat and wasted little time making it to a final round. Shields scored a runner up finish at the NHRA Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd and was glad to be back after sitting out much of June and July. "It felt good to take a break but I'm glad to be back" Shields said.

Shields, driving his familiar blue and orange Shortline Express A/Fuel Dragster qualified fifth with a 5.40 at 265 MPH. "We came into this race utilizing a different fuel pump and it might have hurt us a little bit as the car has been dropping cylinders. But, we were still very competitive and will be going into Indy" Shields pointed out.

In the first round, Shields met up with Darren Nicholson who qualified eighth with a 5.51. At the light, it was Ni cholson out first with an 0.046 to Shields' 0.097. It was a close side-by-side race all the way to the finish line with Shields taking the stripe with a 5.35 at 265 MPH to Nicholson's 5.43 at 256 MPH. Only twelve feet separated the two cars.

In the second round, Shields took on part-time Top Fuel pilot Scott Palmer now behind the wheel of an A/Fuel Dragster. "Palmer has been impressive all weekend and took out the Champ in the first round so I knew I needed to be on my game to get by him" Shields explained. This time, Shields took care of both ends of the race track as he had an 0.074 reaction time to Palmer's 0.086 and blasted down the track with the best ET of the round, a blistering 5.29 at 265 MPH to Palmer's 5.36 at 252 MPH.

Shields received a well deserved bye-run in the semi finals but still charged to a 5.38 at 262 MPH. "We tried some different things in the semis but went back to the clutch set up we had that produced the 5.29 in the second round" Shields said.

Shields' final round opponent turned out be California's Chris Demke. Demke was running on par with Shields so it promised to be a close race. At the hit, Shields left first with 0.041 reaction time to Demke's 0.071. Demke then passed Shields before Shields regained the lead and maintained it until dropping some cylinders at 1000 feet. It was then that Demke took over the lead and held on for the win. Then, just past the finish line Shields' engine expired and kicked out some rods.

Even though Shields lost the race and an engine in the process he looked at the whole event optimistically. I can't complain, it was a close back and forth race that could have been a 42 point swing for us. But, we're in good shape as we still have a lot of races left in the season. As for the engine, It's worth noting that this was the first engine we have lost in over three years" Shields observed. The Shortline Express team would like to once again thank NGK and Hussey Copper for their support this season.


Shields Qualifies on Top in Chicago

Chicago - Duane Shields once again qualified on top for the second race in a row. This week he was the top seed at the 13th Annual United Association Route 66 Nationals presented by Miller Welders held in Joliet Ill. Shields, who was under the weather with the flu all week, took the top position with a 5.33 blast down the Route 66 track at 268 MPH.

At the same event Shields represented Division 2 in the JEGS Allstars race. Shields got by John Finke from Division 1 in the first round with a 5.39 to Finke's 5.78. In round two Shields lost to Shawn Cowie, representing Division 6 in a close race. Cowie ran a 5.42 to Shields' 5.40 in a hole shot.

On Sunday, eliminations were contested for the Route 66 Nationals title. In round one, Shields took on Brian Mans. At the light, Mans left first with an 0.017 reaction time to Shields 0.110. At the finish line it was Shields with the win as he stopped the clocks with a 5.41 at 269 MPH to Mans' 5.61 at 246 MPH.

By the second round, Shields was feeling worse but tried to do the best he could under the circumstances. After all, he was in the middle of a marquee match up with the defending Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Bill Reichert, one of his closest challengers. When Shields staged the car, it moved forward causing him to deep stage. He then had just hit the brake lever, preventing him from red lighting as the tree came down. At the green, Reichert got out ahead of Shields with a 0.106 reaction time to Shields' 0.324. Reichert was able to hold his lead and win the round with a 5.30 to Shields' 5.36 at 269 MPH.

Shields later regretted not giving the fans a closer race. "Reichert and I probably ran about the same actual ET based on the deep staging process, so I wish people would have been able to see a good side by side race, but we'll rebound. We are running very strong and will go into our summer break with our attitude strong, and enjoy the time off" Shields said.

Shields and the Shortline Express team thanks their sponsors NGK Spark Plugs and Hussey Copper.

Shields Goes Out Early at Maple Grove

Reading, PA May 28, 2010 - Fresh from winning the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals last weekend in Topeka, Duane Shields and the Shortline Express team traveled to Maple Grove Raceway to try and extend their winning streak to five wins for the season in the Top Alcohol Dragster class. It appeared from the start of qualifying that Shields was in a good position to do just that by posting the fastest qualifying time right out of the box with a 5.33 at 271 MPH.

Shields qualifying position set up a first round pairing with the number eight qualifier, Dan Mercier. Mercier got in the show with a 5.59 at 253 MPH so Shields was the likely favorite to win the round. But drag racing has a tendency to surprise racers and fans with some unpredictable moments, and that's exactly what happened as both drivers went red! Unfortunately for Shields, his car lurched forward just after staging and broke the beam causing him to red light. Mercier, who also red lit was last do so, and won the race under "the first or worst" rule.

Shields blamed himself for fouling out. "I think we might be looking for a new driver" Shields said jokingly. "My foot moved just a little bit and the throttle is a little bit sensitive and before I knew it the lights came down and I saw the red light. It was a perfect opportunity that slipped away as we would have faced Bill Reichert in the second round. We win as a team and lose as a team and this time it was the driver but we have the Jegs All Star race in Chicago this weekend so we'll quickly get over this and move on" Shields said. The Shortline Express team thanks their sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs for their continued support.


Shields Wins in Topeka

Topeka, Kansas May 23, 2010 - Over the years, the Heartland Park Topeka has never been a track that Duane Shields was ever able to conquer outside of maybe a round win. Now, all of that has changed as Shields and the Shortline Express team lead by crew chief Dana Hopewell got their first ever win in Topeka at the 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX.

Shields looked good throughout the weekend in what turned out to be a ne ck and neck horse race with Mark Niver as each driver took turns outrunning each other in every session. In the final qualifying order it was Niver who scored the top seed with a 5.27 but Shields was very close behind with a 5.28. "We went back and forth with Mark as to which one of us was going to run the best. We really wanted to be the number one qualifier so we could get the bye-run in the second round but Mark got it. Still, we felt comfortable after qualifying and were confident we would do well in eliminations" Shields said.

At the beginning of eliminations the conditions were questionable as there was a crosswind and the heat was at its peek. Shields and his crew were cautious going into their first round meeting as they weren't sure what to expect. Their first round opponent was Malcolm Wahle, who had qualified 13th. "Wahle is a good competitor and we didn't take him lightly but we decided to back down the tune up just to be safe" Shields said. At the light, Shields was out of the gate first with an 0.043 reaction time to Wahle's 0.070. Shields never gave up the lead and crossed the stripe first with a 5.51 at 261 MPH to Wahle's 5.75 at 241 MPH.

In round two, Shields took on number 7 qualifier, Michael Manners. "Tom Conway tunes Manners' car and he has won in Topeka before so we knew they can step up" said Shields. Manners got off the line first with a 0.031 to Shields' 0.045 reaction time. Shields overcame Manner's slight starting line advantage and took the stripe with low ET of the round. Shields' stopped the clocks with a 5.33 at 268 MPH to Manners' 5.44 at 265 MPH. "Manners ran respectable, we were darn close as it was a good race" Shields said.

There was a quick turn around from the second round to the semifinals but the team managed to service the car in time and was back in the staging lanes to meet their semifinal round opponent Courtney Force. "We couldn't discount Courtney as she ran great in the heat of the day. As a result, we decided to get a little more aggressive with the tune up and push the car harder" Shields observed. The team's decision proved to be a good one as Shields would reach the final with another unbeatable package. Shields had an 0.048 reaction to Courtney's 0.071, and then charged to a 5.38 at 264 MPH to take the win. Courtney's day ended with a 5.55 at 256 MPH.

The final round developed into a showdown that had been brewing all weekend between the two top qualifiers, Shields and Niver. At the start it was Shields with his best reaction time during eliminations, a 0.019 to Niver's 0.076. Shields kept his lead with a 5.40 at 266 MPH to take the victory over Niver's close 5.42 at 260 MPH. Shields' good reaction time was key in winning the race. "I knew that I would need a good light to beat Niver. It was exciting and we couldn't ask for a better win than this one since we have never had very good luck in Topeka" Shields said after winning his forth race in seven starts.

Shields dedicated the win to Laurie Nason, who has been fighting cancer. Shields also thanks his sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs for their support.

Shields Top Qualifier in Dallas

Ennis TX, April 24-25 - Duane Shields and the Shortline Express team resumed their Texas "Two-Step" Tour by entering the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 4 event at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.

Shields' Shortline Express qualified on top in the all A/Fuel Dragster field with a 5.36 at 268 MPH and appeared to be in the driver's seat for yet another victory. As the number one qualifier Shields drew James Thompson, who qualified on the bubble with a 5.85 at 265 MPH.

At the start, Shields was out of the gate first with an 0.076 to Thompson's 0.097. Sadly for Shields, he went up in smoke at the crack of the throttle. Meanwhile, Thompson, made a decent 5.74 at 286 MPH to get the win light. Shields recorded a 6.51 at 265 MPH.

The Shortline Express team would like to thank Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs for their continued support.

Points Leader Upset in Houston

Houston - The NHRA Lucas Oil points leader in the Top Alcohol Dragster class, Duane Shields was upset in the first round of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals held at Houston Raceway Park. Shields qualified 4th with a 5.30 at 271 MPH, and was a favorite to win the event based on his recent win at Gainesville. "We always do well in Houston and the car ran a 5.30 right out of the box so I felt very confident going into eliminations" Shields said.

Because of a rain delay qualifying was limited to just two passes and there was a short turn around time. "Since we had a quick turn around time we didn't have time to change the tune up, but it still ran a 5.35 and we were happy with that. The tune up we planned to try in the third qualifying session turned out to be what we used in the first round and it was a little bit too aggressive" Shields said.

In the first round, Shields behind the wheel of the Shortline Express took on Chase Copeland driving for Gene Snow. Out of the gate Copeland had a near perfect 0.008 light and would need everything he had to beat Shields. Shields in the other lane had his best reaction time of the year, an 0.033 light but Copeland's quicker reaction time paid off as he was able to upset Shields on a holeshot. Copeland got to the stripe first with a 5.35 at 263 MPH to Shields' quicker 5.33 at 274 MPH.

"We didn't take them lightly but I was still disheartened that we didn't win but it happens. Their car reacts quickly. Copeland did his job and stepped it up against us and I applaud him for that. That's racing which is how it's suppose to be. We're still running good and we'll be in Dallas in two weeks and we'll try to get a win there" said Shields commenting on Copeland's great performance.

Shields will be in Vegas next weekend but he won't be racing the A/fuel car as his daughter, Whitney Shields will be debuting a brand new Super Comp dragster at the event. The car hasn't ever been down the track so the Nationals will be the car's maiden voyage.

As always, the Shortline team would like to thank their sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs.

Shields Wins Second Straight Gatornationals Title!

Gainesville Florida - It's not a big secret that Duane Shields and the Shortline Express A/Fuel Dragst er team has been red hot and have only lost one round of racing so far in this young season. But that was on the divisional side of the equation. Now, the team got put to the test as they competed at their first national event of the year in Gainesville, March 12-14. And the end result was just what they were looking for as they successfully defended their NHRA Gatornationals title in the Top Alcohol Dragster category.

Shields and his crew is excited about pulling off the big repeat win. "We're very excited to get the win as every round seemed like a final round. Each team that we faced was very capable of winning the event" Shields said after securing the victory.

Shields qualified #2 with a great 5.25 at 274 MPH which meant he would face the number 15 qualifier Michael Manners, who is capable of running some big numbers. Shields was out of the gate first with an 0.063 to Manner's 0.070 but the first round turned out to be anticlimactic as Manners lost traction and had to lift early. Meanwhile, Shields was on another consistent run stopping the clocks with a 5.34 at 266 MPH.

Moving on to the second round, Shields took on Monroe Guest. At the light, Guest got off the line first with a good 0.024 reaction time to Shields' 0.064. Shields managed to get out in front of Guest, but had to pedal it once as he experienced bad tire shake. The tire shake didn't effect the outcome of the race for Shields as he crossed the stripe first with a 5.30 at 273 MPH. Guest was right behind recording a 5.41 at 266 MPH to end his day.

Back in the pits, the Shortline Express crew did an inspection of the chassis and noticed a crack close to where the wheelie bar bolts in. While the team serviced the car, fellow competitor Randy Meyer whom Shields raced in the finals at Atlanta welded up the chassis. Shields best described the moments leading up to the semifinal round as "controlled" even though there was a lot of work to get done between rounds.

In the semifinals, Shields opponent was none other than Marty Thacker. Thacker is one of the best blown alcohol racers in the sport but this time around he was having difficultly holding the car at the starting line as it was creeping farther into the beam after staging. As a result, Tacker red lit. Shields put together another consistent run beginning with an 0.044 light and finished it off with an elapsed time of 5.37 at 271 MPH. "All of the cars in the semifinals were evenly matched, and any of them could have won. We're trying to work with the car as the weather warms up. I was a little disappointed that the car slowed down in the semi finals" Shields mentioned.

In the final round, Shields took on Darren Nicholson whom Shields already met in the finals once this season. At the hit, Nicholson left the line first with a 0.014 reaction time to Shields' 0.066. But just 60 feet out Shields flew by as Nicholson lost power after shredding a blower belt. Shields then claimed his second Gatornationals win in a row with a convincing 5.36 at 267 MPH. "We've won three out of four races. That's the way I like it" Shields said after the event.

The Shortline Express team will take the next three weeks off until the next race on the schedule, the O'Reilly Spring Nationals, April 9-11 in Baytown, Texas near Houston. "I'm looking forward to racing in Baytown as we always do well there" Shields said. The Shortline team would like to thank their sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs.

Shields Wins Second Division 2 Title of Season

Atlanta - With just a month into the season, three Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series events have already been completed in the Southeast Division. Atlanta Dragway was the third stop in the series and a chance for Duane Shields to take a commanding lead in the Top Alcohol Dragster class driving his Shortline Express A/Fuel Dragster.

Shields established himself early as the favorite to win by qualifying on the pole with a great 5.29 at 272 MPH blast. As the top qualifier, Shields received a bye run in the first round since there was just five cars in the field. Even without an opponent, Shields made a spectacular pass to start off eliminations by recording an incredible 5.21 at 274 MPH to advance into the second round. "The track was really good and we decided to go with an aggressive tune-up since we had the bye" Shields said.

In the second round, Shields faced Dan Mercier. At the light it was Mercier out of the gate first with a 0.079 to Shields' 0.114. Mercier began to experience tire shake and had to pedal. Meanwhile, Shields was on a another clean run and crossed the stripe first with a 5.36 at 269 MPH to Mercier's 5.60 at 255 MPH to advance to the final round. "The conditions were not as ideal as they were in the first round but we still ran a 5.36" Shields observed.

In the finals it would be a showdown between Shields and veteran driver Randy Meyer. "Randy is a tough customer and we knew we would have to run well. We put a new set of tires on so we wanted to be careful with the tune-up" said Shields.

This race would be a close one as both drivers left the starting line at nearly the same time with Meyer getting a slight advantage with an 0.036 reaction time to Shields' close 0.039. At the finish line it was Shields by less than a car length to win the race with a 5.35 at 270 MPH to Meyer's close 5.41 at 262 MPH. "We were hoping it would run a .28 or a .29 but we're glad to have won. We wanted to run the car as aggressive as we could and still get the results we wanted. And we officially clinched a spot in the JEGS Allstar race" Shields continued.

Next week, The Shortline Express team will try to duplicate their Atlanta success and defend their title when they compete at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville Florida. Shields would like to thank his sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs for assisting the team in 2010

Shields Exits Early at Gainesville

Gainesville - After a sweet win to open up the season last weekend in Bradenton Florida, Duane Shields and the Shortline Express A/Fuel Dragster team had plenty of confidence they could win again for a second straight week. This weekend at the Lucas Oil divisional race in Gainesville, the car ran consistently well on every run which put Shields close to the top of the pack with a 5.39 to land him in the number two qualifying position.

In the first round, Shields would take on number seven qualifier Mark Taliaferro. At the light, Taliaferro left first with a 0.036 reaction time to Shields' 0.059. As luck would have it for Shields, his engine ran on just seven cylinders after breaking a rocker stand. Meanwhile, Taliaferro would run low ET of the round with a 5.31 at 274 MPH to Shields' 5.48 at 263 MPH. Taliaferro scored a rare first round upset which put Shields on the trailer.

Shields was content that the car's consistency had improved even if he didn't win the race. "I can't complain the car ran more consistent than last week. We were running on seven cylinders in the first round, but for the most part the car ran good all weekend. We'll be back here in a couple of weeks and hopefully we'll do much better" Shields said.

The future race Shields was referring to is the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals held March 11-14 at the Gainesville Raceway. Shields would like to thank his sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs for their support again in 2010.

Shields Begins Season with Win in Florida

Bradenton - Duane Shields likely surprised some loyal fans and even a few competitors by not competing at the 50th Anniversary NHRA Winternationals. Shields was still in the driver seat though, just not in California. Instead, the Nevada based racer was in Bradenton Florida for the first Divisional event of the year. "We certainly wanted to be a part of the Winternationals but racing in Florida almost assured us a spot in the Jegs All Star race (to be held later this season in Chicago) and we have a divisional race scheduled in Gainesville next weekend. This way we don't have two races in a row on opposite sides of the country" Shields said.

The down side to racing in Florida was the cold track conditions that lasted most of the weekend which made tuning decisions very difficult. During the first round of qualifying Shields shook the tires but still ran a 5.76 at 236 MPH to claim the fourth qualifying position. With the cold track conditions, the final qualifying round was postponed until Sunday. On the second and final qualifying pass Shields did not improve and had to shut off early in the run.

In eliminations, Shields had a first round match up with Dan Mercier. Shields responded well to the challenge by making one of his fastest runs ever. Shields got down Broadway with a 5.22 at 273 MPH to Mercier's 5.48 at 246 MPH. "The first round pass really helped our confidence and served notice that we got a handle on the track" Shields said.

During the second round, Shields would face John Finke. Shields was out of the gate first with a great 0.051 reaction time to Finke's late 0.262 light. Shields' 5.43 was enough to cover Finke's close 5.47. "I shook the tires 150 feet out and had to pedal it. I was very fortunate to have a good light against Finke in order to win" said Shields.

In the final round, Shields took on west coast competitor, Darren Nicholson. At the light it was Shields once again with the advantage as he got off the line first with a 0.106 to Nicholson's 0.131. Both cars were side by side all the way down the quarter. However, Shields better reaction time paid off as he crossed the stripe first with a big victory to start off the 2010 season. Shields ran a 5.384 at 272 MPH to Nicholson's ever so close 5.391 at 262 MPH. "Nicholson ran quicker than us in the semis. We tried to tone down the tune-up a little bit in middle. It was a difficult race for us but it still had a winning result" said the celebratory driver.

In the end, Shield's decision to race in Florida paid off as he earned the same amount of points as if he would have won in Pomona. He also sewed up the Jeg's All Star program and secured the lead in the Division 2 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. "Last year we were a little slow getting out of the gate on the divisional side so this year we're already ahead of the game. We're very happy to begin the season with a win" Shields said.

Shields and Shortline Express Team Wins Division 2 and Finishes Third in Nationally

Reynolds, GA- Duane Shields and the Shortline Express team clinched the Division 2 Top Alcohol Dragster Championship with a big win at Silver Dollar Raceway on October 18.

Shields Ends Season with Quarter Final Finish at Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona
Pomona - The Auto Club NHRA Finals are now in the books which ends the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle and Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series season. Now that Champions are crowned the points will be reset to zero as teams get a fresh start in 2010. The end of the season also marks the final battle of the year for Duane Shields and the Shortline Express team.

It was truly a great season for Shields as he entered Pomona in third place nationally but could no longer earn points as he had already claimed the maximum amount of races for the year. The good news for Shields was that only Shawn Cowie could pass Shields in the point standings and he would have to win the event to do so.

Shields' weekend started a little rough as the team discovered that they had a bad fuel pump during the first round of qualifying. Once the pump was replaced the car ran consistently well all weekend as the team qualified fifth in the tough sixteen car field with a 5.30 at 271 MPH. This would set up a first round showdown with Division Seven racer Chris Demke. "We couldn't take Demke lightly as he ran in the 5.20's at the Winternationals" Shields explained.

At the light Demke got out of the gate first with a 0.017 reaction time to Shields' 0.059 and was able to maintain the lead until the Shortline Express horsepower kicked in and Shields flew by him. At the finish line it was Shields by a car length. Shields had a winning time of 5.21 at 268 MPH to Demke's 5.32 at 268 MPH. Shields' 5.21 was his third best ET and his best ever first round ET. "Chris had a great light as it was the third best reaction time of the round and it was just his luck to have been paired up with us when the car was running so well" Shields said.

In the second round Shields faced the man who he has been chasing down for the Top Alcohol Dragster Championship, Bill Reichert. Shields got out in front of Reichert at the starting line with an 0.055 to Reichert's 0.062. Even with the disadvantage at the starting line, Reichert had the momentum to get past Shields and take the stripe with a 5.28 at 267 MPH to Shields' close 5.31 at 273 MPH. "We had to race the champ and we over powered the track just a little bit and I had to pedal it. Still the car ran a 5.31 which was good so I wasn't to terribly disappointed, but I would like to have advanced to the next round. Bill and I always run good when we have to face each other" said Shields.

When asked what the team planned to do over the winter, Shields said they would likely not make any changes in the off season. "We have a great team and had a very good year, unless they (NHRA) make a major rule change we should stay competitive next season. So, we'll likely come back with the same combination we are running right now" Shields said.

Shields would like to thank all of his team members, fans and sponsors including NGK Spark Plugs and Hussey Copper for all of their support this season and wishes everyone a happy holiday season.

Shields' Shot at Championship End in Vegas

Las Vegas - Duane Shields' chances of winning the NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Dragster Championship came down to the Shortline Express Gambler Showdown presented by Torco at The Strip at Las Vegas, which is a race his company Shortline Express Markets sponsors. For competitors of the Top Alcohol Dragster class it was a challenge just to qualify as over 20 cars were trying to get into an eight car field. Just to watch Top Alcohol Dragster qualifying would be worth the price of admission.

Shields got into the field in the eighth and final position with a 5.41 at 263 MPH. "We were feeling pretty good as the conditions were like last week's national event so we felt we would do well and we were fortunate to get in with so many cars trying to qualify. But we had a couple of malfunctions that popped up and we were only aware of one of them at the end of qualifying" Shields said. The malfunction they discovered was an ignition problem which the team found and fixed before round one.

Going into the first round Shields faced number one qualifier Hillary Will. At the hit Shields got a sizable lead off the starting line with an 0.064 reaction time to Will's 0.141. But by 1000 feet Will was able to get past Shields as he began experiencing problems. Will recorded a 5.46 at 259 MPH for the win as Shields slowed to a 5.67 at 231 MPH on just three cylinders. The problem turned out to be a fuel regulator that wasn't working.

The loss put an end to Shields hope to come from behind and win the Championship. "After we lost we went down and congratulated Bill Reichert who won the Championship. We knew going into this race it was a long shot and knew what we were up against so we weren't too surprised. We had a great year and had very few malfunctions that cost us a race like what happened today" Shields said.

Now that the pressure is off the team plans to head for Pomona and have some fun at the NHRA Auto Club Finals.

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