Just a reminder: It’s really better to be safe than to be lucky

Think you don’t need to wear a driver’s suit or fasten your seatbelt? Here’s a reminder that you can’t always count on good luck to save you. Racer Kelly Harvey was driving a 1955 Chevy at Pikes Peak International Raceway on Saturday, competing in the Colorado Street Outlaws at the Fountain, Colorado, racetrack when he lost control of his car. Yes, those are his legs sticking through the windshield.

NHRA Lucas Oil winners crowned at Texas FallNationals

At Texas Motorplex and the 29th Annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Shayne Lawson, Broken Arrow, Okla., and Steve Harker, Gainesville, Ga., took home the wins in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car respectively.

Shayne Lawson, who was driving Randy Meyer’s ’09 dragster for the weekend, worked his way through the field and ran 5.299 seconds at 270.64 mph in his final round victory over Joey Severance, Woodburn, Ore., who clocked in at 12.519 seconds, 61.01 mph. This was the first time that Lawson and Severance have faced each other in eliminations. Severance had the starting line advantage but then had problems once he left the starting line and shut it off. Lawson had a nice straight pass down the groove to take the win. This is Lawson’s second national event win this year and second of his career. He received his first national event win at the NHRA Kansas Nationals in Topeka.

SteveHarker-Norwalk-trophyHarker faced off against Terry Ruckman, Grand Junction, Colo., and posted a winning run of 5.560 seconds, 261.62 mph in his ’13 Monte Carlo. Ruckman drove to a 5.702 second, 252.71 mph lap for his runner up finish. This was the first time Harker and Ruckman had faced each other in eliminations. This was Ruckman’s first final round appearance. Ruckman was off the line first and was in front just past the 330-foot mark but Harker was able to pull away and take the win. This was Harker’s sixth national event win and he has appeared in 20 final rounds.

SlateCummings-launch-SuperStockSlate Cummings was successful with back-to-back weekend wins in Stock and Super Stock. Cummings faced off against Jarod Granier in the final round in Texas. Granier was in a hurry and went red and Cummings took the win in Super Stock. Cummings received his previous win at the NHRA Lucas Oil South Central Divisional event at Thunder Road Raceway Park.

Alan Savage scored his first National event win as he faced off against Christopher Dodd in his final round. Dodd had the starting line advantage but Savage had the better run and took home his first Wally in Super Comp.

Jerry Emmons got the win in Stock Eliminator over Jimmy Hidalgo, Jr. Hidalgo has been to three finals and has had one win while Emmons has been to 21 final rounds and has had 13 wins. Emmons had the starting line advantage but Hidalgo broke out trying to run him down and Emmons took home the Wally.

TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER: Shayne Lawson, Broken Arrow, Okla., 5.299, 270.64 def. Joey Severance, Woodburn, Ore., 12.519, 61.01

TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR: Steve Harker, Gainesville, Ga., Monte Carlo, 5.560, 261.62 def. Terry Ruckman, Grand Junction, Colo., Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.702, 252.71.

COMP ELIMINATOR: Clark Smiley, Denver City, Texas, GXP, 7.358, 179.04 def. Keith Hall, Ravenna, Texas, Chevy Cavalier, 8.510, 159.74.

SUPER STOCK: Slate Cummings, Ponchatoula, La., Chevy Cavalier, 8.992, 165.89 def. Jarrod Granier, Labadieville, La., Chevy, foul.

STOCK ELIMINATOR: Jerry Emmons, Pasadena, Texas, Chevy, 10.247, 116.04 def. Jimmy Hidalgo, Donaldsonville, La., GTO, 10.951, 114.53.

SUPER COMP: Alan Savage, Mexia, Texas, TNT, 8.910, 154.53 def. Christopher Dodd, Double Oak, Texas, 8.887, 173.05.

SUPER GAS: Jimmy Lewis, Forney, Texas, Chevy Corvette, 9.894, 151.17 def. Robby Lopez, Grand Prairie, Texas, Chevy Corvette, 9.882, 147.23.

SUPER STREET: Maxwell McGlothin, Carrollton, Texas, Vega, 10.899, 125.99 def. Reggie Baudoin, Breaux Bridge, La., Chevy, 10.897, 135.78. (file photos)

Charlotte TAD and TAFC rounds to be finished at Maple Grove

NHRA officials have announced that the postponed elimination rounds for Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car from the Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals will be contested at the NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, Oct. 2-5.

NHRA says they considered a number of different options as well input from the racers and felt this was the best solution to a tough situation.

Round 1 of eliminations for both classes was completed in Charlotte with the remaining rounds being held in conjunction with qualifying rounds for the event at Maple Grove. Additional information will be made available as it is finalized.

Atco takes NHRA Northeastern Division team title

Atco Raceway captured the team championship and four racers are headed to the NHRA Summit Racing Series National Championship with victories at the NHRA Northeast Division Summit Racing Series Finals.

The team from Atco Raceway racked up 60 points in topping the team standing and bettering Old Bridge Township Raceway Park and Maple Grove Raceway, who finished second and third with 56 and 44 points respectively.

Stephen Sisko led the team from Atco taking the win in Super Pro over Brian Kunkowski, Laurel, Del. The pair left the line together but Sisko was better at the stripe posting a 7.612-second lap on his 7.61 dial for a .015-second package, good enough for the win and the trophy. Kunkowski clocked in at 7.109, 191 mph in his dragster.

In Pro it was Sean Steffey, Reading, Pa., running for Maple Grove Raceway who drove his ’72 Demon to a 10.412 (10.41 dial) to knock out Rick Mattiolli, Middlesex, N.J. Mattiolli left early with a red light foul start in his ’67 Camaro.

Scott Smith was red hot on the tree all day posting a pair of perfect reaction times, including one in the final, along with a .002 in round 5 and a .007 in his third round win. Smith crossed the finish line in 11.769 at 112.81 mph in his ’80 Malibu to end Michael Barbone’s day out of East Hanover, N.J., in his ’70 El Camino.

In the Bike/Sled class it was Dale Hamilton, Mount Airy, Md., advancing to his second final round in two days and hoping to close the deal on David Ferguson, Newburgh, N.Y. But Ferguson would have nothing to do with it taking the win by about six feet, posting a 9.773 on his 9.77 dial for a .026 second package at 129.53 mph on his ’95 Arcticat sled.

Hamilton also advanced to the final in Friday’s Race of Champions competition that pits the top point earners from each track in a special elimination shootout. Hamilton faced off with Derek Cesair, Southampton, Pa., who took the starting line advantage and held on to defeat Hamilton crossing the finish line in 8.439 seconds at 144.23 mph to Hamilton’s 9.637, 143.44

Sisko, Steffey, Smith, and Ferguson all advance to the NHRA Summit Racing Series National Championship in Pomona, Calif., where they will meet up with the champions from the other NHRA six divisions at the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in November at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

1. Atco Dragway 60
2. Old Bridge Twp Raceway Park 56
3. Maple Grove Raceway 44
4. Mason Dixon Dragway 42
5. Numidia Dragway 41
6. US 13 Dragway 35
7. Lebanon Valley Dragway 28
8. New England Dragway 28
9. Island Dragway 23
10. South Mountain 20
11. Spencer Speedway 19
12. Esta Dragway 19
13. Cecil County 18
14. Team Canada 8

SUPER PRO: Stephen Sisko, Atco, N.J., dragster, 7.612, 170.61 def. Brian Kunkowski, Laurel, Del., dragster, 7.109, 191.00.

PRO ET: Sean Steffey, Reading, Pa., ’72 Demon, 10.412, 127.24 def. Rick Mattiolli, Middlesex, N.J., ’67 Camaro, foul.

STREET: Scott Smith, Birdsboro, Pa., ’80 Malibu, 11.769, 112.81 def. Michael Barbone, East Hanover, N.J., ’70 El Camino, foul.

BIKE/SLED: David Ferguson, Newburgh, N.Y., ’95 Arcticat, 9.773, 129.53 def. Dale Hamilton, Mount Airy, Md., dragster, 9.662, 137.90.

HIGH SCHOOL: J.T Schaeffer, Lancaster, Pa., ’92 S-10, 12.140, 106.79 def. Nelson Belot, Dalton, Mass., ’62 Valiant, 12.997, 100.15.

SUPER PRO: Howie Smith, Cicero, N.Y., dragster, 7.066, 177.97 def. Johnny Gulliford, Iselin, N.J., dragster, 7.644, 170.35.

PRO ET: Steve Dunn, Pottstown, Pa., ’79 Corvette, 9.287, 145.89 def. Bob Mullaney, Rockaway, N.J., dragster, 9.476, 135.93.

STREET: David Harvey, Atco, N.J., dragster, 11.627, 110.11 def. Garrett Suders, Keymar, Md., dragster, 11.571, 114.92.

BIKE/SLED: Derek Cesari, Southampton, Pa., dragster, 8.439, 144.23 def. Dale Hamilton, Mount Airy, Md., dragster, 9.637, 143.44.

Karosik wins one race as Jablonski narrows gap on TNTSS points leader Vitez

TB-JoeKarosik-EBRP-winOn one of the coldest race days in years, Joe Karosik of Depew, NY, won the Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series on Friday, Sept. 12, at Elegant Builders Raceway Park, presented by Sam LoVetro Automotive.

Saturday’s TNTSS event at Empire Dragway was washed away due to rain and will be rescheduled to Friday, Sept. 26, at Elegant Builders Raceway Park, presented by Sam LoVetro Automotive.

Karosik qualified 16th with a 7.017 and then sliced through the 29-car field with precision while dealing with 48-degree temperatures and 99% humidity at the Lancaster, NY, facility.

The weather conditions on Friday didn’t faze the veteran sled racer as he was .020 on the tree and dead zero in round one to push Ron D’Alessandro under the 7.00 index. A bye in round two set him up against Pete Maduri Sr. where Karosik drilled the tree with an .012 and ran 7.010 to a losing 6.965 by Maduri.

In the semi’s, Karosik had .010 in hand against Pete D’Agnolo and ran 7.002 to advance to the money round. There he met up with past TNTSS champion David Surmatchewski, who was marching his way through both the TNTSS and the Top ET fields.

When the tree came down, Surmatchewski had a slight advantage, leaving first by a mere .005 and then took .008 at the stripe. But it was Karosik who broke out less, running a 6.996 to Surmatchewski’s 6.993 for the win. (Ted Barnes photo)

Champions crowned in DSE Sportsman Series

SK_AndrewStirk-SuperProThe sixth and final event weekend of the DSE Sportsman racing series took place Sept. 13-14 at Toronto Motorsports Park. On Sunday four new champions and two repeating champions were crowned.

Roger Demers repeated as Street Eliminator Champion and Emily Ramundo repeated as Jr. Dragster Champion.

Taking the inaugural Quick 16 championship was Tom Bene. The new Super Bike/Sled Champion is Ray Philp, and Andrew Stirk (shown) took both the Modified Eliminator and Super Pro Points titles.

For all the race results go to http://etdragracing.com/magazine/2014-summer/dse-finals-at-toronto (Stacee Kenington photo)

Spradlin gets two wins as NOPI adds Top Dragster and Top Sportsman at Atlanta event


Spradlin Motorsports, a multi-time division champion Top Dragster and Top Sportsman team, entered into its first NOPI Nationals Supershow at Atlanta Dragway this past weekend and came away with its first “double up,” winning in both classes.

The Southeastern Hose-sponsored team decided to make the short trip over to Atlanta Dragway as a last minute add on to their regular NHRA Lucas Oil division schedule to support the growing number of drag racing sanctions that are realizing the fan appeal of the sportsman ranks’ fastest classes. The NOPI Nationals Supershow has not been the traditional place to find ultrafast doorslammers and dragsters. However, for the 2014 events they have added Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, and Pro Modified racing to offer the typical import car fan a peak at what eight cylinder, large cubic inch, full chassis racing looks and sounds like.

“When we made the decision last week to give the NOPI Top Sportsman/Top Dragster race a try, we knew to expect a different fan base, and it was definitely different,” team driver Casey Spradlin explained of the difference between more traditional Top Sportsman/Top Dragster venues. “When we pulled in the gate, the pits were totally different from the NHRA national/divisional events we are used to at Atlanta Dragway. Instead of a sea of toterhomes, it was max capacity imports of all kinds. I even saw a right hand drive Nissan 300Z! It was an up tempo festival atmosphere with live bands, DJs, lots of skin, burnout contests, hydraulic car “hop off,” and even a large drift course. It was wild and it was packed with fans,” Spradlin continues.

The NOPI format is 1/8-mile qualifying on Saturday followed by the fastest in each class participating in a “Quick 16” race that night, then final eliminations on Sunday.

At the end of qualifying the team had grabbed its first pole in their beautiful supercharged ’37 Chevy Coupe Top Sportsman with a 4.51 E.T. at 159 MPH. Spradlin just missed the Top Dragster pole in his supercharged dragster by two hundredths of a second, ending up second with a 4.15 E.T. at 166 mph.

In the Top Dragster final against Brittney Vancica, Spradlin got the holeshot and force Vancica to break out trying to catch him.

In his first-round bye in his coupe the ring and pinion shattered on the launch, locking up the rear end. With a rear end loaned by fellow Top Sportsman racer Craig Cain, Spradlin made it to the final where he met fellow LODRS racer Shawn Morrow.

“Shawn and I were parked right next to each other,” said Spradlin. “ He was also helping NOPI run the Top Sportsman/Top Dragster program, so like myself, he was running ragged by late Sunday night and was just glad to make it to the end. I had never gotten both cars to the finals in the same weekend so I was determined to get the win. I got the holeshot and was able to get the win with a dead on the index pass,”

Spradlin tried to get another Dragster went, but went red by four-thousandths of a second against Shannon Roberts in the semi.

Congratulations to all these folks for exposing a vast new market to old-fashioned drag racing. Maybe we can convert some new fans.

Jr. Street drivers to make history at Maple Grove NHRA national event

Bisci_JakeKarol-winnerLocal racers will get their day in the sun at the Oct. 2-5 NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa., in the forms of all-out competition, exhibition runs and car displays.

In the all-out competition category, local bracket racers who participated in MGR’s Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail E.T. bracket series will face each other in the 2014 Money Trail Shootout on Saturday and Sunday of the NHRA Nationals. The grand prize will be a deluxe golf cart and the runner-up will receive a big-screen television.

First-round pairings in the Money Trail Shootout are: Brock Moshier vs. Marty Flegal and Derrick Fox vs. Gary Sassaman (Super Pro); Todd Thoman vs. Dennis Kessler and Paul Thimm vs. Paul Werner (Pro); Dave Raser vs. Bob Ormsbee and Elise Renninger vs. Lee Ann Ormsbee (Street); Bruce Gockley vs. Danny Boyer and Wayne Pyfrom vs. Austin Youndt (Top Bike).

Drag racing’s stars of tomorrow also will participate in the annual Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.

Robert Weidenhammer

Robert Weidenhammer

For the first time ever at an NHRA national event, two racers in the new NHRA Jr. Street class will make an exhibition run at Maple Grove Raceway. The two novices for this inaugural trip down the track are Jake Karol of Mohnton, Pa., and Robert Weidenhammer of Reading, Pa.

The top six drivers in the 2014 U.T.I. Jr. Dragster point standings will display their cars on the NHRA midway and also race each other on Saturday and Sunday before the biggest drag racing audience assembled in the Northeast. Drivers will include: 2014 champion C.J. Ketterer, Jeremy Ketterer, Elizabeth Pyles, 2013 champion Vincent Branca, Jessie Rothenberger and Kyle Robb. (John Bisci photos)

NMRA will return to MIR in 2015 with exclusive SVT Shootout

The ProMedia Competition Department has announced the return to Maryland in 2015. The 15th Annual NMRA Ford Nationals will be held on May 1-3, 2015 at Maryland International Raceway (MIR) in Mechanicsville, Maryland. The Royce Miller and family owned and operated facility is situated at nearly sea level for ideal atmospheric conditions.

The NMRA Keystone Automotive Ford Nationals Series (www.nmradigital.com) brings Street Outlaw racers along with classes like Renegade, Coyote Modified, Modular Muscle, Super Stang, True Street and much more. Every NMRA event also features a giant all-Ford car show, manufacturers’ midway, swap meet and burnout contest.
Owners and fans of Ford’s limited-edition SVT cars and trucks will enjoy the SVT-only events during the 3rd Annual SVT Shootout, held exclusively in Maryland.