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Duane Shields'
Shortline Express
A/Fuel Dragster

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2012 Schedule

Pomona, CA
Auto Club Raceway
O'Reilly Winternationals
Feb 9-12

Gainesville, FL
Gainesville Raceway
Feb 17-19

Gainesville, FL
Gainesville Raceway
March 9-11

Charlotte, NC
4 Wide Nationals
April 13-15

Richmond, VA
Virginia Motorsports Park
LODRS Regional
April 20-21

Houston, TX
Royal Purple Raceway
O'Reilly Spring Nationals
April 27-29

Topeka, KS
Heartland Park Topeka
Summer Nationals
May 18-20

Reading, PA
Maple Grove Raceway
LODRS Regional
May 25-27

Chicago, IL
Route 66 Raceway
O'Reilly Route 66 Nationals
June 28-July 1

Epping, NH
New England Dragway
LODRS Regional
July 20-22

Rising Sun, MD
Cecil County Dragway
LODRS Regional
August 17-19

Indianapolis, IN
Lucas Oil Raceway
Mac Tools US Nationals
August 29-September 3

Charlotte, NC
ZMax Dragway
Auto Parts Nationals
September 14-16

Reading, PA
Maple Grove Raceway
Uni-Select Nationals
September 27-30

Las Vegas, NV***
The Strip at Las Vegas
LODRS Regional
November 2-4

Pomona CA
Auto Club Raceway
AAA Auto Club Finals
November 8-11

10 Nationals / 6 Regionals

LODRS (Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series)

*** Optional Race

2011 Championship Season!

Shortline Express Team Collects Wally

The Shortline Express team from left to right, Chris Zedaker, Duane Shields and Bill Jones collect their third NHRA Southeast Division Championship title.

This year, Top Alcohol Dragster Championships will be contested in three regions across America replacing the traditional seven division format. As a result, this was the final Southeast Division Championship won in the Top Alcohol Dragster category.



At Last!! by Bob Frey

NHRA announcer and TV personality Bob Frey profiles Duane Shields in his latest "From the Tower" column at Click here to read the full story



Watch the Championship Moment on ESPN


Shields Racing Pomona Photo Page

View pictures taken
the day of the Championship. Once inside the photo page simply click on the arrow. To go to the photo page Click Here

Duane Shields Wins the NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster World Championship in Pomona

Pomona CA - After fourteen years of trying, Duane Shields’ bid to win the NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster World Championship was accomplished in dramatic fashion at the NHRA Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals. "After fourteen years of trying it feels pretty awesome but it still hasn't sunk in." the newly crowned Champion said.

The drama in Pomona unfolded as only one competitor, Joey Severance, could pass Duane at the final race of the year to win the championship but he would have to win the race in order to do it. Duane could not claim any more points so all he could do is to draw Severance sometime in eliminations and take him out of competition but the two never met up during eliminations.

Severance struggled in qualifying but made the show and beat John Finke in round one as Finke jumped gun and left early. Duane would now have to wait until the final day of the 2011 season to be crowned the Champion. Also in round one, Duane faced Michael Manners driving the "Shredder" entry from Texas. Duane won the round with a 5.42 at 267 MPH over Manner's 6.19 at 253 MPH. "Going to the wire is great for the cameras, the media and the fans but it's terrible for the racers" Duane remarked.

In round two all eyes were on Severance to see if he would stay alive for another round. Severance would make his best run of the weekend but lost the race to Mark Taliaferro. At that moment the Shortline Express team had won their first World Championship. After a very brief celebration at the starting line it was back to business as Duane then faced Aaron Tatum. Tatum then red lit giving the win to Duane who recorded a 5.43 at 264 MPH to advance to the semifinal round.

Duane would end his Championship season in the semifinals by losing an incredibly close race to Ray Martin as both competitors ran identical 5.46 ET's. Martin managed to secure the win with a better reaction time. "We never really got a handle on the tune up this weekend. Testing in Vegas hurt us but we will get everything sorted out in the off season and come back to Pomona to defend our title and make another run at the Championship" Shields promised.

With Duane out of competition he had some time to reflect on the winning the Championship. "I have realized how hard it is to win the Championship as everything has to go right and we're the last team to win it under the old points system. I am disappointed that my biggest supporters including my dad, Lee Shields, and Laurie Nason are no longer with us to enjoy this moment but they are watching from above".

Shields would like to thanks his sponsors including: Brad Anderson Enterprise, Hussey Copper, Johnny Walker RV, Meadows Construction, Molinari Clutches, Moore Performance, NGK Spark Plugs, PBM /Erson Cams and Race Fuel Energy Drinks. He also wants to thank his crew including: Bill Jones, Dana and Sheryl Hopewell, Ralph Freeman and Chris Zedaker.


Shields Uses Vegas Points Race for Testing

Las Vegas - With no more points to claim and new knowledge to be gained, the Shortline Express team used the final divisional event of the 2011 season as a chance to do some testing at their home track in Las Vegas. “We never get the chance to test throughout the year so we decided to try some different ideas on every pass since we couldn't claim points at this race anyway” Duane explained.

Even in test mode the Shortline Express team qualified for the tough eight car field. Over over fifteen cars tried to qualify and some of the best teams in the class didn't make the show. Duane qualified seventh with a 5.40 at 257 MPH. “It was a real challenge. I’m just glad we qualified because this was not an easy field to get into” he said.

Ironically, in round one Duane faced the only man who can stop him from winning the Championship in Pomona: Joey Severance. If Severance can win the race in Pomona he will pass Duane in the points chase and win the Championship. Both racers are out of divisional events they can claim so this weekend’s festivities are a warm up for the big showdown for the Championship at the Auto Club Finals in less than a week.

At the light, Shields was out of the gate first with an 0.062 to Severance’s close 0.064. Once off the starting line, Shields began to suffer some brutal shake 100 feet out. He peddled it but was unable to recover. He then peddled it a second time but to no avail as Severance’s lead was insurmountable so Duane wisely abandoned the run. “Obviously I would have liked to have won. The air was great and the conditions were favorable to both cars” Shields said.

Duane then revealed his plans for Pomona. “We’ll be ready for Pomona. We are going back to the tune up that got us to where we are now in the points. Our plan is to win the race so we will win the Championship. But we’ll have to see how it all plays out. It’s going to be an exciting week and a lot of fun” Shields said.

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

Shields Holds on to the Points Lead After Las Vegas

Las Vegas - Duane Shields might have lost in the first round but he’s still content with the results of the 11th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals. The Vegas event has narrowed down the Top Alcohol Dragster Championship to just Duane and Joey Severance, all other drivers in contention were mathematically eliminated by the end of the race.

Severance went out in the first round after breaking a rear end. Now, Severance will have to win the race in Pomona in order to win the title. Otherwise, Duane Shields will be crowned the Champion.

Duane qualified eighth with a 5.38 at 261 MPH. “We were happy with the third qualifying pass as the car started coming around” Shields said. His eigth qualifying position put him up against part time Top Fuel driver Scott Palmer who was piloting an A/Fuel Dragster for the weekend.

At the light, Palmer got a slight edge off of the starting line. Duane then suffered some tire shake 100 feet out and had to pedal giving Palmer the lead by two car lengths. The Shortline Express began to catch up to Palmer but ran out of real estate giving Palmer the win by about three feet. Palmer stopped the clock with a 5.47 at 247 MPH to Duane’s close 5.52 at 263 MPH.

While Duane would have rather advanced to the final round, he is out of races he can claim but still leaves Las Vegas with the points lead. “Of course I was disappointed by the early loss but I’m keeping everything in prospective. Right now the focus is on the Championship and we still have the lead so it’s going to come down to the wire at Pomona.” Duane Shields said.

The Shortline Express team would like to thank Hussey Copper and NGK for their support this season.


Duane Shields Goes to Final Round in Pursuit of the Championship at Silver Dollar Raceway

Reynolds GA - As the season winds down, the points towards the NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Dragster Championship title becomes ever so important. Contenders can only claim a limited amount of points towards the Championship at both national and divisional events which means strategy comes into play on which races to run.

Duane Shields was down to just one LODRS divisional event to claim points and chose the race at Silver Dollar Raceway in Reynolds, GA. Duane’s strategy seemed to work as he made it to the final round but lost the race to the reigning Champion Bill Reichert, who had been eliminated from contention two weeks prior in Maple Grove.

Duane qualified second with a 5.38 and faced Dan Page in round one. Page’s 5.35 was close but not enough to get the win over Shields who nipped Page at the finish line with a victorious 5.31 at 273 MPH.

Moving into the semifinals, the Shortline Express team took on Brandon Booher. Unfortunately for Booher, he was unable to fire so Duane got a single and charged to the finish line with a 5.42 but shuttered the tires on the run. “The car shook violently and we lost our data going into the final round because the cables shook loose. We knew we had to massage the car in order to negotiate the track so we took away some of the power. We just didn’t know how much” Shields revealed.

In the finals, it was a classic Duane Shields vs Bill Reichert match up. As the lights came down it was Reichert out first with a .070 to Shields’ .082. At the finish line it was Reichert crossing the stripe first with a 5.35 at 265 MPH to Duane’s 5.43 at 271 MPH. “The car didn’t have enough horsepower to win but it still shuttered the tires a little bit so we were limited to what adjustments we could make and how much power we could take out” Shields said.

All Duane can do now is compete at the last three races and serve as a blocker by taking out the other drivers still mathematically in contention. “The pressure is on them now. I’ll go to the last three races and try to control my own destiny. If the Championship is meant to be, it’s meant to be. If not it was still a great year. Duane would like to thank NGK Spark Plugs and Hussey Copper for their support.


Maple Grove a Pivotal Race for Duane Shields’ Championship Quest

Reading PA - The Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals held at Maplegrove Raceway became a pivotal race for the 2011 NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster Championship as three of the top five teams in points were present. For points leader Duane Shields, a win at Maplegrove would go along way in giving him some breathing room over Bill Reichert, who was sitting in the number two position and Joey Severance, who is currently fourth in the national points standings.

The race was delayed until Monday due to rain which complicated matters for the Shortline Express Team as crew chief Dana Hopewell had to catch a flight back to the west coast due to prior obligations. “I felt confident even with Dana not here on Monday and over all the car ran good and straight all weekend” Duane said.

Duane and the Shortline Express team qualified second with a 5.28 at 273 MPH to set up a first round showdown with Dave DeAngelis. At the hit it was DeAngelis off the line first but that was as much of a lead as he would get as Shields passed him 330 feet out. Shields cruised to the victory with a 5.22 at 278 MPH. DeAngelis posted a 5.65 at 235 MPH. Meanwhile, Reichert and Severance both won their rounds.

In round two, Shields took on Brandon Booher. Duane was able to keep the consistency going and scored another important round win as he screamed to a 5.25 at 269 MPH to take care of Booher, who ran a respectable 5.39 at 261 MPH. Again, Reichert and Severance both advanced to the semifinals along with Shields.

The pressure was mounting in the semifinals, more than it had all year for the Shortline Express team. Shields would take on Mike Kosky and Reichert faced Severance. On paper, Shields had a very good chance to beat Kosky but it wasn’t to be as Shields experienced traction problems and went up in smoke while Kosky flew to the finish line. “We shouldn’t have smoked the tires and I can’t understand why we did. We just opened the door to our competitors who are still in the points chase” Shields said.

On the other side of the ladder, Duane received a gift from Severance as he was able to defeat Reichert. Reichert is now out of races he can claim which eliminated him from winning the Championship.

Shields is out of national event races he can claim, but he still has one division race left. So now Duane’s fate will depend on how well Jim Whiteley and Severance does in national event competition. Shields was disappointed but he knows he still has a shot at the Championship “We still have one more division race we can claim but other than that, all we can do is wait it out and see how Joey Severance and Jim Whiteley does”. Duane thanks all of his supporters including Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs.


Duane Shields Stays Undefeated at Englishtown Divisional Event

Englishtown NJ - One would have to search the record books far and wide to find a driver that is completely undefeated in both national and divisional competition at the same track but Duane Shields has earned that distinction with his latest win in Englishtown, NJ.

This past weekend at the Division 1 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series race, he stayed undefeated as he won the Top Alcohol Dragster class against a tough field of east coast cars. In addition to two national event wins he earned in 2002 and 2011, Shields also won a division race at E-Town in ‘02. Shields was happy to stay undefeated. “What I like about our winning streak is that both the national and divisional events are held at different times of the year so the conditions are different ” he said.

Shields qualified number one with a 5.32 at 276 MPH. In the first round he dispatched Richard Bourke to the trailer with an incredible 5.26 at 276 MPH to Bourke’s 5.45 at 264 MPH. Bourke got the lead off the starting line but Shields’ 5.26 was just too much for Bourke‘s starting line advantage to make up. “Richard Bourke had a good round against me at Indy so I knew we couldn’t take him lightly” Duane said.

In the semi finals, Duane raced Karen Stalba. “Karen beat me in Charlotte so that was weighing on my mind before we raced” he said. Both cars were out of the gate at nearly the same time with Stalba getting the edge with an .081 to Duane’s .082. The Shortline Express continued its parade of incredible performances as it passed Stalba’s car in the first sixty feet and widened the lead as the cars traveled down the race course. Shields recorded a sizzling 5.31 at 271 MPH to top Stalba’s respectable 5.40 at 264 MPH.

The final round would be a big one to see if Duane could stay undefeated as he faced east coast competitor John Finke. “Finke also beat me in Charlotte and I knew he wasn’t going to roll over for me” Duane mentioned. At the light, Shields left first with an 0.057 to Finke’s 0.067. Shields was able to maintain his lead and crossed the stripe first with a 5.32 at 272 MPH to stay undefeated in Englishtown. Finke had a valiant run but came up short with a 5.40 at 266 MPH.

Duane summed the weekend up this way: “It was a great weekend for the Shortline Express team as we ran low ET on every round. And, Not only did we stay undefeated but we got the national points lead back” he said. Duane would like to thank his team and sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs for helping him achieve this incredible milestone.


Shortline Express Team Goes to Third Final Round at the NHRA US Nationals

Indianapolis - Duane Shields and the Shortline Express team went all the way to the final round of the prestigious Mac Tools NHRA US Nationals in the Top Alcohol Dragster class. The team has been to the finals at Indy twice before in 2002 and 2008, so nothing but a win would do this time around. Even though it was a very close race, Bill Reichert would come out on top so the Shortline Express team will have to wait another year to capture the elusive US Nationals title.

Duane qualified fifth with a 5.41 at 266 MPH and drew Brian Mans in the first round. Mans made a competitive run but Shields got a big advantage right out of the gate to grab the win with a 5.42 at 259 MPH to Mans' respectable 5.47 at 256 MPH. “Mans ran very well but we got a sizable lead right off the starting line which helped secure the win” Shields said.

In the second round, Duane took on Richard Bourke. At the light Bourke got off the line first with a .047 to Duane’s .104 but he was able to blast by Bourke courtesy of Dana Hopewell’s new found horsepower. Duane’s scored the win with low ET of the second round, a 5.27 at 275 MPH to Bourke’s close 5.34 at 264 MPH. “We made some changes and they worked. We won the race by just six thousandths” Duane explained.

Moving on to the the semifinals it would be a first time race between Duane Shields and Brandon Booher. As the lights came down it was Booher out of the gate first with a .033 to Duane’s 0.062. Booher stayed out in front of Shields until his engine let go allowing the Shortline Express car to get around him. At the stripe it would be Shields narrowly grabbing the win and going on to his third US Nationals final round. Shields recorded a 5.38 at 272 MPH to Booher’s close 5.42 at 253 MPH.

In the finals, it would be another classic Shields vs. Reichert match up and a repeat of the 2008 US Nationals. At the light it was Reichert off the starting line first with an .039 to Duane‘s .094 to take the lead. At the finish line it was Reichert taking the victory with a 5.32 at 266 MPH to Duane’s close 5.36 at 271 MPH.

While Duane was disappointed with the outcome, he paid a complimented to his opponent. “Reichert did a good job driving today. We were looking for a 5.27 but didn’t get it. The car ran good all weekend but just not good enough to win” he said. The Shortline Express team would like to thanks their sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs.


Tricky Track Conditions Sidelines the Shortline Express Team Early in Chicago

Chicago - It was hot and muggy in Chicago as Duane Shields and the Shortline Express team were looking for two wins on one big weekend. First, the Jegs Allstars title was up for grabs as well as the O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals title.

In the JEGS All Star race, the popular Boulder City, Nevada native qualified third with an impressive 5.36 at 267 MPH. In the first round, Duane Shields faced Jim Whiteley. As the christmas tree lights came down, Whiteley was out first with an 0.054 reaction time to Duane's 0.063. The Shortline Express dragster then smoked the tires and then tried to recover but Whiteley went on to take the win with a 5.38 at 265 MPH to Duane's 6.45 at 262 MPH. "The car ran great right out of the trailer. But we hopped it up some before the first round and it was a little too much as we smoked the tires" Shields said.

On Sunday morning NHRA's track prep had changed. Not knowing this, the Shortline crew backed down on the tune up since they had smoked the tires in the Jegs Allstars race on the previous day. In round one of the main event, the Shortline Express team took on Midwest A/Fuel hitter Dave Hirata. At the light, Hirata got out of the gate first with a 0.070 to Shields' 0.112. Hirata, managed to stay in front of the Shortline Express car and hang on for the win with a 5.55 at 254 MPH to Duane's 5.52 at 261 MPH. "We stuck the tires and didn't get enough wheel speed. We underestimated the track as well as our competitor and lost" Duane observed.

With Chicago's hot and muggy weather, Duane is glad to get back to the dry desert heat of Nevada. The team's next event is planned for Brainerd, Minnesota and hopefully it will be cooler when the race arrives in the northern region of the country. The Shortline Express team would like to thank NGK Spark Plugs and Hussey Copper for their support.


Shields Remains Undefeated In Englishtown

Englishtown NJ - The last time Duane Shields made an appearance at Englishtown was back in 2002 when he won both the national and the divisional titles in the same year. After a long absence, Shields picked up where he left off by winning the NHRA SuperNationals Top Alcohol Dragster title while winning his third race in a row. “We have won three races in three weeks so this is a great way to start our break” Shields said, referring to a month long break that will keep the Shortline Express team out of action until the JEGS All Star race in Chicago, July 7-10.

Shields qualified fourth in Englishlown with a 5.34 and was paired up with Ken Winward who qualified 13th. Winward got off of the starting line first with a 0.075 to Shields’ 0.097. Shields then cruised to an easy first round win after Winward experienced some engine problems. Shields recorded a 5.33 at 274 MPH to Winward’s 5.70 at 198.00. “Winward was on a great run until he pitched a blower belt” Shields acknowledged.

Since his second round opponent, Monroe Guest, had crashed on Saturday, Shields got a bye run and was able to throw some horsepower at the track. The effort was successful as Shields got low ET of the round with a 5.27 at 275 MPH. "We were stuck in the 30’s on Saturday so the bye run gave us a chance to hop-up the car on Sunday and get us into the 20’s” Shields said.

In the semifinals, Shield had his hands full as he took on the defending NHRA Champion, Bill Reichert. At the hit Reichert got out of the gate first with an 0.057 to Shields’ 0.068. Shields was able to get around Reichert and grabbed the win with another consistent pass. Shields stopped the clock with a 5.27 at 275 MPH to Reichert’s 5.37 at 255 MPH. “When you’re racing the Champ you have to be ready because he can step it up when he needs to. We hopped-up it up because we knew the track was getting better and could hold more power” Shields said.

The track was indeed getting better with every round so the Shortline Express crew lead by Dana Hopewell chose to step it up in the final round as they faced East Coast veteran, Mike Kosky. At the green Kosky got a sizable starting line advantage with an 0.030 to Shields’ 0.102. But by the eighth mile mark Shields pulled ahead and outran Kosky the rest of the way. Shields took the NHRA SuperNationals crown with a new track record of 5.20 at 277 MPH. Kosky, who has been to the final round in Englishtown for the last three years, recorded a 5.47 at 262 MPH for runner-up honors. “This was a great win as everything worked out well. Both Bill and Chris were sick so we had to pull through” Shields said after the big win.

Shields would like to thank his crew and sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs.


Shields Wins Two in a Row!

Mohnton PA - Duane Shields won his second Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event title in a row, this time in Division 1 at Maple Grove Raceway. Last week, Shields scored a win in Division 2 at Atlanta Dragway. “We are happy to get another win so we can keep up with these guys” Shields said. The field at Maple Grove was stout as there were 14 cars trying to get into an eight car field. “It was a very tight competitive field but our car was consistent and running good” Shields observed. Shields qualified third with a 5.43 at 266 MPH.

In the first round, Shields met up with Dan Page driving Arthur Gallant’s A/Fuel entry. At the hit Page went up in smoke and had to abandon the run as Shields cruised to an easy win by posting a 5.35 at 272 MPH. “Page ran well in qualifying so we hopped it up a little bit. We were very happy with the run” Shield said.

In the semifinals, Shields faced John Finke. At the light, Finke got off the line first with a 0.067 reaction time to Shields’ 0.087. Shields was able to make his move around Finke about 60 feet out but Finke stayed close behind until half track where Shields managed to increase his lead. The Dana Hopewell tuned dragster then crossed the stripe first with a 5.35 at 272 MPH to Finke’s valiant 5.43 at 265 MPH. “John steps it up against us every time we race him so we knew it would be a close race” said Shields.

In the finals, Shields was paired with Dan Mercier. Unfortunately for Shields, the crew noticed a slight change in the sound of the engine as the car hurt itself on the burnout due to a broken lash cap but Shields staged the car not knowing anything was wrong. At the hit, Mercier got out of the gate first with a 0.083 reaction time to Shields’ 0.100. Shields passed Mercier immediately but at 3.2 seconds into the run the Shortline Express dropped a cylinder. However, Shields managed to maintain the lead all the way to the finish line. Shields scored the victory with a 5.37 at 265 MPH to Mercier’s 5.39 at 266 MPH. “We were fortunate to get the win as the car nosed over late in the run and I was nervous that Dan was going to come around me” Shields said.

The win was gratifying for Shields as many of his friends and family were on hand for the race including his wife Betsy. Also, team member Sheryl Hopewell was celebrating a birthday. “Even though we are from Las Vegas we had quite a cheering section so it was a nice touch to get the win and have everyone in the winner’s circle” Shields said.

After some sightseeing this week in Washington DC and Philadelphia, the team will be heading to Englishtown where Shields has won twice before in a blown alcohol car. Shields thanks his crew along with his sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs.

Shields Wins Atlanta Division 2 Event

Atlanta - Duane Shields and the Shortline Express team won the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Atlanta Dragway in front of a good crowd. Shields qualified on the pole with a 5.49 at 264 MPH to top the six car field. “It was a high anxiety weekend because the weather was hot which makes the track tricky and we hadn't clinched the JEGS All Star race yet so we had to do well” Shields remarked.

In the first round, Shields took on number six qualifier Don Fiorelli of Palm Bay, Florida. At the hit, Fiorelli got off the line first with a 0.103 to Shields’ close 0.107. But that would be the end of Fiorelli’s slight advantage as Shields stormed by Fiorelli to take the win with a 5.65 at 262 MPH to Fiorelli’s 6.26 at 187 MPH. For Shields, the win officially clinched his team a spot in the JEGS All Star Race. "We had smoked the tires in the second qualifying round so we were a little too conservative on our tune up. But it was a relief to have won the first round and finally clinch a spot in the All Star race since Alvin Moeser was still in the hunt coming into this event” said Shields.

In the semifinals, Shields got a well deserved bye run. Shields recorded a 5.48 at 267 MPH to advance to the final round. “We were happy with the run but we barely got away with it” Shields said.

By the time the final round was contested the track temperature was up to 145 degrees. The final round would pair Shields up with Rich McPhillips who had improved his performance on every round. “Since McPhillips was running quicker every round, we couldn't afford to back our car down” Shields said. When the light turned green, McPhillips got off of the line first with a 0.035 reaction time to Shields’ 0.106. At the stripe it was Shields taking the win with a 5.60 at 264 MPH. McPhillips recorded a 5.72 at 248 MPH in a losing effort. “It shook the tires and I had to pedal it but we got the win” said Shields.

This was a key win for Shields who is now tied with Moeser for first place in the Southeast Division's Top Alcohol Dragster class. “We missed the first two races so this was an important win if we want to defend our Division 2 Championship“ Shields confirmed. The Shortline Express team would like to thank sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs for their continued support.


Shields Goes to Quarter Final Round in Houston

Houston - Duane Shields and the Shortline Express team went to Houston looking for a win at the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil after a final round appearance in Charlotte. Royal Purple Raceway has traditionally been one of Shields’ favorite tracks as he has done very well there. “We have won in Houston four times. Either I win or I lose a close race like I did to Chase Copeland last year” Shields said.

Shields once again qualified in the top half of the field with a 5.32 at 270 MPH which was good for the fourth qualifying position. This would lead to a first round match up with Matthew Cummings, who had qualified ninth. Cummings was driving one of only two supercharged cars in the field. At the hit, Cummings got off the line first with a 0.098 to Shields’ 0.103. Even with the starting line advantage, Shields was just too much for Cummings as he secured the win with a 5.52 at 268 MPH to Cummings’ close 5.59 at 256 MPH. “Cummings stepped it up and ran well against us” Shields commented.

In the second round, Shields took on Mark Taliaferro who is driving for Tom Conway. “Mark was running the same numbers as we were so we hopped it up since we had to be on our game” Shields said. Taliaferro was off of the line first with a 0.057 to Shields’ 0.091. It was a close race most of the way down the track but Shields was unable to close the gap at the top end and Taliaferro was able to take the win by a car length. Taliaferro stopped the clocks with a 5.35 at 271 MPH to Shields’ valiant 5.36 at 269 MPH. “The engine dropped a cylinder at 3.5 seconds into the run. Had the car run on all eight cylinders we might have seen a different result. We didn't win the race but we sure tried” Shields acknowledged.

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

Shields Goes to Third Final Round of Season

Charlotte - Duane Shields went to his third final round of the season at the second annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, NC. Shields lost traction in the finals against Monroe Guest and had to settle for runner-up honors.

The Shortline Express team had their hands full all weekend since the Four-Wide race has a faster turn around time than most NHRA events due to the Four-Wide format and they were also shorthanded as crew member Bill Jones pulled a tendon. “Dana Hopewell, Chris Zedaker and Ralph Freeman really stepped it up and did a great job covering for Bill. They also did a good job servicing the car so quickly between rounds. I was really impressed with my team” Shields commented.

Shields started the weekend off right by qualifying third with a respectable 5.32 at 274 MPH. This would set up a first round match up with Don Fiorelli, of Palm Bay FL. Fiorelli, got off the line first with a 0.045 to Shields’ 0.093 but that was as far down track as Fiorelli would get as he wisely shut the car off after discovering he didn't have any steering. For Shields it was a lucky break as he was on and off the throttle twice after smoking the tires and scored the win with an off pace 6.06 at 269 MPH.

In second round, Shields took on Marty Thacker. At the hit, Thacker was out of the gate first with an 0.056 to Shields’ 0.084 but Shields’ A/Fuel car would prove to be too much for Thacker’s blown alcohol combination. Shields rebounded from round one with a 5.33 at 273 MPH to take the win. Meanwhile, Thacker stopped the clocks with a close 5.44 at 258 MPH.

In the semi final round, Shields drew Rich McPhillips. McPhillips was able to get the starting line advantage with a 0.039 to Shields’ 0.096, but like the round prior Shields was able to chase down his opponent and take the win. Shields covered McPhillips by nearly three tenths allowing him to advance to the final round. Shields blew the barn door open with a 5.38 at 271 MPH to McPhillips’ 5.66 at 242 MPH.

Shields advancement to the final round would initiate a showdown with the number one qualifier, Monroe Guest. At the start it was Guest off the line first with an impressive 0.022 to Shields’ 0.085. Unfortunately for Shields he lost traction right away and Guest was long gone as he scored the Four-Wide Nationals victory with a 5.27 at 277 MPH. “We hopped up the car looking to get into the 5.20's because we knew that Guest was running well and he’s always quick off the starting line. We are working with a new tune up and we were just too aggressive which caused me to smoke the tires. It’s a tough loss but we’re running as good as anyone and we should do well at the next event in Houston” Shields said.

The Shortline Express team would like to express their best wishes to Shawn Cowie and hope that he makes a full and speedy recovery after his accident in Nashville. The team would also like to thank their fans and supporters including Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs USA.


Shields Wins Divisional Battle But Loses Early in Gatornationals Eliminations

GAINESVILLE FL - It was a weekend of mixed results for Duane Shields at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals. Shields driving the Shortline Express A/Fuel Dragster actually had two races in one weekend as the final round of the Division 2 event from South Georgia Motorsports Park was also contested in addition to the Gatornationals.

For Shields, the best part of the weekend happened during qualifying where he once again qualified on the pole with a sizzling 5.20 at 274 MPH. Then on Saturday, the Divisional 2 final round was contested where Shields won his second race of the season. Shields’ final round opponent was Randy Meyer. Meyer got off the line first with an 0.027 to Shields’ 0.097. Meyer then rattled the tires which opened the door for Shields to take the win with a 5.43 at 271 MPH to Meyer’s 5.57 at 246 MPH. “I had to peddle it as we began to battle the track conditions but it was a good win” Shields said.

Everything was going Shields’ way up until the first round of eliminations where Shields hoped to win his third Gatornationals crown. Shields opponent was Jerry Powell who got off the starting line first with a 0.044 to Shields’ 0.129. “I was a little off on my staging as Powell uses a torque converter and a Trans break and I’m not really use to that” Shields said. During the run Shields had to peddle the car and was unable to play catch up with Powell who scored the win on a hole shot.

Powell recorded a 5.50 at 255 MPH to Shields’ quicker 5.46 at 271 MPH. I struggled with the transition and had to peddle it. But, if I had a better light it wouldn’t have mattered as we would have won the round” Shields noted.

While the outcome wasn’t what the Shortline Express team had expected, they still came out of Gaineville as the top qualifier but more importantly scored a divisional win. “I’m OK with how the weekend went as we did win the divisional so we’re fifty-fifty” Shields concluded. As always, the team wants to thank their great sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs for all of their support.

Shields Goes to Second Straight Final Round

CECIL GA - Duane Shields will go to his second straight final round next week as the finals of the Top Alcohol classes at the Division 2 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event held in Cecil, GA have been postponed until the NHRA Gatornationals.

Briefly, Shields qualified on the pole in Cecil with a 5.29. This set up a first round pairing with Sidney Frigo. Frigo got off the line first with a 0.041 to Shields' 0.077 but Shields was able score the win with a 5.39 at 273 MPH to Frigo's 5.45 at 269 MPH.

In the second round, Shields received a single since there was an odd number of cars left in the field. In Gainesville, Shields will face Randy Meyer, who finished off Bill Reichert in round two. Reichert shut off due to a mechanical problem.

Shields Wins NHRA Winternationals Convincingly

POMONA CA - Duane Shields of Las Vegas won the 51st annual Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline, beating Don St. Arnaud of Edmonton in the final round on Sunday, February 27. Shields ran consistently well throughout the weekend and qualified his A/Fuel Dragster in the pole position of the Top Alcohol Dragster class. The historic event was even more special as it celebrated NHRA's 60th year.

After winning one of drag racing’s most prestigious events, it would appear that the win capped a great week for Duane Shields. But away from the track it was a difficult week as one of his close friends, Laurie Nason has been in a Las Vegas area hospital fighting for her life. And to start the week, Shields attended the funeral of his 20 year old nephew. “It’s been a very trying week for me personally” Shields said.

Shields qualified fifth with a respectable 5.36 in the opening round on Thursday. With the qualifying schedule up in the air due to inclement weather on Saturday, Shields left Pomona for much of the day. “I flew from Ontario to Las Vegas to visit Laurie in the hospital and then I got back to Pomona just in time for the final round of qualifying where we qualified number one” Shield recalled. Shields took the pole position with a sizzling 5.23 at 271 MPH.

On Sunday, Shields got a bye run in the first round but still made the most of it with another great pass, posting a 5.25 at 272 MPH. In the second round, Shields faced Kyle Rizzoli who got out of the gate first with a 0.050 to Shields’ 0.071. Shields was able to overcome the starting line deficit as he charged past Rizzoli before half track scoring the fastest run of the event with another 5.25 at 275 MPH to Rizzoli’s 5.34 at 271 MPH. “I knew Rizzoli was going to be tough as he has a lot sportsman racing experience and is good at the starting line” Shields said.

The competition didn't get any easier in the semi finals as Shields took on Shawn Cowie who was also in “the zone” and had posted a 5.24 in the opening round and a 5.26 in the prior round. At the hit, Cowie went red which gave the win to Shields. Shields continued to show consistency with a 5.28 at 268 MPH pass while Cowie recorded a 5.25 at 261 MPH run to prove that it would have been a close race. “We got real lucky and got a break as Cowie had a very good run” Shields explained.

In the final round, Shields would battle first time finalist, Don St. Arnaud from Edmonton. “I get a little nervous facing a first time finalist because I’ve made many of them first time winners over the years” Shields said. Shields was also a little nervous about the track conditions. “It was getting cooler by the minute and they didn't run any cars for about twenty minutes prior to the finals in the Top Alcohol classes, but NHRA did a good job prepping the track and had jet track driers heating the track" said Shields.

The final round was another dandy as Shields made a fourth straight run during eliminations in the 5.20 range. As the light went green it was St. Arnaud off the line first with a 0.050 to Shields’ 0.078 but that was as much of a lead as St. Arnaud would get as Shields blew by him 300 feet into the run and never looked back to score the Winternationals victory. Shields recorded a 5.27 at 274 MPH over St. Arnaud’s 5.38 at 268 MPH. “St. Arnaud ran well. He has some former members from the Lucas team helping him. There were no easy match ups today as every round was tough. The field has tightened up and the racing will be very close all year” Shields predicted.

Shields thanked his crew for turning the car around in some very tight time frames, sometimes less than an hour. He then made a special dedication to his hospitalized friend, “I am dedicating this win to Laurie Nason. I have been her cancer coach for eleven years” Shields said.

Along with his crew, Shields thanked his sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs.



Shields Gets Back into the 5.20 Zone in Phoenix

Duane Shields’ 2011 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series debut at Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix didn’t go as planned but if anything the race served as a good warm up for the NHRA Winternationals as Shields dipped back into the 5.20 zone in qualifying.

Shields started the weekend off with a fine 5.33 at 266 MPH to qualify third on Friday but the weather began to deteriorate which ultimately postponed the one remaining qualifying session and eliminations until Monday. “The weather was miserable and kept us here an extra day. As soon as they would cancel racing for the day it would clear up” Shields said. On Monday, the weather improved and the Top Alcohol Dragster class was awarded a final qualifying session. Shields made the most of the final session and moved up to second with a 5.29 at 274 MPH.

In the first round, Shields took on James Butler who qualified seventh with a 5.90. At the light, Butler got out of the gate first with an 0.111 to Shields’ 0.130. As luck would have it, Shields broke a lifter stand at .39 seconds into the run. Meanwhile, Butler had a little trouble of his own as an object flew off his car but it wasn’t enough to slow him down as he took the win with a 5.54 at 255 MPH. In a valiant try, Shields recorded 5.68 at 253 MPH but it wasn’t enough to chase Butler down to grab the win.

Even with the dreaded first round loss, Shields was optimistic “we’re encouraged as the car is running well again and we were excited going into the first round hoping that the car would run as good as it did in qualifying since we didn’t change anything from our last pass when it ran the 5.29. It was just bad luck that we lost a rocker stand. Hopefully the weather will be better in Pomona and the car will continue to run well there” Shields said.

Shields would like to welcome back and thank his two long time sponsors: Hussey Copper and NGK Spark Plugs for their continued support in 2011.


Shields Tests in Vegas to Prepare for 2011 Season

In order to get a jump start on the 2011 NHRA drag racing season, the Shortline Express team made a series of test runs at their home track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, on Saturday, February 5.

The test results were encouraging as the car's performance picked up on every run. The best pass of the test session was a 5.54 at 260 MPH. "The test session went OK. We had good 60 foot times and we didn't hurt any parts but more importantly, we improved on every run even though the corrected altitude was at 3,200 feet" So, overall we are encouraged and look forward to the official start of the season" Shields said

Shields will begin the season in Phoenix, Arizona at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event, February 18-20 and then will compete at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, February 24-27 before heading to the east coast for NHRA events in Georgia and Florida.



Fans can get results and follow Duane on Twitter at Afuelracer1


Shields Racing: The Year in Review

Photos courtesy of - Roger Richards

For Duane Shields and the Shortline Express A/Fuel Dragster team, 2010 was a season of both triumphant wins and some late season disapointments. Still, such a season could easily be considered a banner year for a lot of racers looking to establish themselves on the national landscape as Shields won the NHRA Gatornationals for a second time in a row, the O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals for the first time and scored the Division 2 Southeast Lucas Oil Division series title while also leading the national points chase for much of the late Spring and Early Summer.

Off to a Great Start
Shields started the 2010 season by competing in Bradenton Florida instead of racing at the NHRA Winternationals but the strategy paid off as Shields won the Division 2 opener. In the final round, Shields took on west coast competitor, Darren Nicholson. Choosing the Florida race over the Winternationals being held the same weekend also allowed Shields to clinch a birth in the JEGS All Star race.

A Historic Win at the Gatornationals
After a big victory in Bradenton, The Shortline team moved on to another Division 2 race, this time held in Gainesville, Florida where Shields lost to Mark Taliaferro after dropping cylinders in the first round. Shields would rebound the following weekend to win his second Division 2 race of the season in Atlanta by beating Randy Meyer in the final.

Shields then scored one of his biggest wins of the year as he became the first Top Alcohol Dragster racer to win the NHRA Gatornationals two years in a row. In the final round at the Gators, Shields once again took on west coast rival Darren Nicholson for the victory. “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 the event. It was at Gainesville that Shields took over the points lead after a red hot start to begin the season.

The Texas Two Step
It was then on to Texas beginning in Houston where Shields was upset in the first round by Chase Copeland. Copeland was driving an A/Fuel entry for drag racing legend Gene Snow. Copeland scored a hole shot and managed to end Shields’ day earlier than he had planned. From Houston it was off to Dallas for an NHRA Lucas Oil Division 4 meet. Shield qualified on the poll but went up in smoke in round one.

A Sweet Win in Kansas
The team then moved north to Topeka, Kansas for the O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals. The trip to Topeka was triumphant as Shields had never scored a single round win there before. Shields broke the Topeka spell and returned to his winning ways by beating the late Mark Niver in the final. Shields narrowly beat Niver with a 5.40 to Niver’s close 5.42. “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.

Challenging Races in Reading and Chicago
The following weekend Shields traveled from Kansas to the east coast to compete at a Division 1 Lucas Oil series race at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, PA. It was at Reading where Shields would once again qualified no. 1 but suffered a first round loss to Dan Mercier when both drivers fouled at the starting line. It was then back to the Midwest for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Chicago which is also the home of the JEGS All Star Race. Shields was under the weather for most of the weekend but gave it the old college try and was able to survive through the quarter finals at both the JEGS All Star race and Sunday’s main event. By the end of June the team took a planned mid-summer break.

Another Final Round Appearance
After their mid-summer sabbatical, the Shortline Express team returned to the track in mid-August just in time for the NHRA Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainard International Raceway. Shields demonstrated he hadn’t lost his touch after several weeks off as he lasted until the final round where he lost to Chris Demke in a close sea-saw race. Demke took the win while Shields severely damaged his engine. It was his first engine casualty in two years for the team. Not bad for a touring nitro racer.

Battling it out with Thacker
After a good outing in Brainard, it was on to Indy for the prestigious NHRA US Nationals, drag racing’s crown jewel. Shield qualified in the top half of the field and faced Marty Thacker in round one. 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! Still, someone would have to loose and it was Shields by less than a blink of an eye. “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 at the time. Shields faced Thacker the following weekend at a Lucas Oil Series event in Atlanta and the outcome was the same as Thacker got the win light over Shields. But this time Shields had lost traction in final round.

The Point Chase Tightens Up
With the end of the season on the horizon, the points battle had tightened up between several teams. Shields knew a win at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Charlotte was key. Shields started of the weekend well as he qualified on the poll but lost an important second round meeting with John Finke. Shields acknowledged that the loss hurt his chance at winning the NHRA World Championship. ”Now, our destiny also depends on how the other teams do” Shields observed. Shields then moved up the east coast to Reading, PA where he returned to Maple Grove Raceway for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals. Unfortunately, Shields lost another close race to Finke in the second round.

Out of Contention
Shields then returned to Georgia where he had one final event in the Southeast Division, this time at Silver Dollar Raceway. Shields lost in an upset to Dan Fiorelli in round one, which mathematically took him out of contention for the Championship. Shields then returned to the west coast where he finished off the season in Vegas and then Pomona. While Shields didn’t win the World Championship it was still a great year as he won the Southwest Division Championship for the second year in a row and placed eighth over all in the national rankings for 2010 the season. As always Mr. Shields thanks his sponsors Hussey Copper and NGK Sparkplugs, his crew and the families of each team member including his own.

Read 2010 stories Here