Nitro Jam Countdown #10: Fast Fuel
Nitro Jam Media
Dec 2, 2011
Bobby Lagana at the 2011 Palm Beach Nitro Jam
To kick off our countdown of the top 10 moments from the 2011 Nitro Jam season, we look no further than where it all began – Palm Beach International Raceway.
On a quiet strip of asphalt in the heart of Palm Beach County right in the thick of winter, the professionals of the Nitro Jam series rolled into town for two nights of over-the-top motorsports action. On the agenda on this chilly weekend in January was five nitro classes including the debut of Fuel Altered, the return of Nitro Harley and, of course, the kings of the sport Top Fuel.
Coming off of his very first championship season, New York’s Bobby Lagana knew he was going to have to be on his game to repeat as he prepared to go toe-to-toe against another former champ in Indiana’s own Bruce Litton. With the pressure of another big season ahead, and of course being the star of the show, Lagana prepared for a conservative but successful weekend behind the wheel of the quickest and fastest class in drag racing.
Bobby Lagana (near) vs. Bruce Litton
What he got was anything but conservative.
Lagana began the 2011 season with an unthinkable quartet of passes exceeding 320 miles per hour as he swept both nights of the Palm Beach Nitro Jam to get his title defense off on the right foot. Even more remarkable was the fact that Lagana had only had two passes of over 320 mph prior to the Palm Beach Nitro Jam in over 12 years of racing, but he shattered that mark with four blistering passes including a career best lap on his first pass of the 2011 season.
Oh, and let’s not forget that in the other lane Litton wasn’t exactly stuck in the mud. Litton produced four superb passes of his own on that chilly January evening to give race fans in south Florida one of the best nitro shows of the year.
“This was absolutely the best Top Fuel show the IHRA has ever seen,” Lagana said in victory lane back in January. “I had two 320 mile per hour passes in my life before this weekend and now I have six. All eight runs between the two of us were over 300 miles per hour side-by-side so that was great for the fans and great for us. What a night.”
Lagana continued his success the following month at the Mardi Gras Nitro Jam in Baton Rouge by picking up his first career win at State Capitol Raceway and went on to win 11 times in 2011 on his way to his second career Nitro Jam Top Fuel championship.
But all that momentum and all that success began back at West Palm Beach where a career-best weekend in the Sunshine State propelled the New York native to his biggest and best season ever.
“It is hard to believe that just a few years ago we were struggling to make passes and now we are one of the fastest cars out there,” Lagana said. “It has been a wild ride and it is very exciting for everyone involved with this team.”
*Throughout the month of December we will be counting down the top 10 moments from the 2011 Nitro Jam season. Check back often as we celebrate a memorable season of racing and be sure to visit NitroJam.com and become a fan of Nitro Jam on Facebook today to follow all of the action of the fastest show on earth!*