Taliaferro and Foster Tops at Brainerd National Event

MF_GeneMosbek-Plymouth-SSGene Mosbek was the Super Stock winner. (Michael Fischbeck photo)

At the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Mark Taliaferro upset heavily favored Joey Severance for his second win in five final-round appearances in Top Alcohol Dragster. Chris Foster rode a string of 5.50s to his first national event win this year in Top Alcohol Funny Car.

In the Top Alcohol Dragster final, reaction times within .003 seconds led to a great race with Taliaferro of Odessa, Texas, trailing Joey Severance of Woodburn, Ore., for the first half of the race.  Taliaferro gained speed and stuck his nose out front and kept it there for the win. Both racers ran almost identical times Taliaferro, 5.292 seconds at 270.64 mph, and Severance, 5.304 seconds at 274.00 mph which made for a margin of victory of 0.0155 seconds, approximately 6 feet.

In Top Alcohol Funny Car, Foster, Davenport, Iowa, won thanks to an advantage at the starting line and pulled farther ahead down the lane to his second-ever national event win, in his fourth career final round appearance.  Foster faced off against Jay Payne, Claremont, Calif., and posted a winning run of 5.686 seconds, 259.11 mph in his ’15 Mustang. Payne drove to a 5.694-second, 260.16-mph lap for his runner up finish.

Gene Mosbek, Elk River, Minn., took the stripe by 0.0230 seconds (approximately 5 feet) in a double breakout defeating Curtis Hieb, Chamberlain, S.D. This was Mosbek’s 5th career Wally trophy, first in Super Stock to go along with four previous wins in Stock. Mosbek’s last wins in Minnesota were in 1983 and 1985 in Stock.

Other racers visiting the winner’s circle this weekend were Randi Lyn Shipp, Floyd Knobs, Ind., in Stock Eliminator; Luke Bogacki held a starting line advantage for his 9th National event win, his 5th win in Super Comp; and Brian Folk, Durand, IL, took his 11th National event trophy and 7th in Super Gas.

TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER: Mark Taliaferro, 5.292, 270.64 def. Joey Severance, 5.304, 274.00.

TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR: Chris Foster, Ford Mustang, 5.686, 259.11 def. Jay Payne, Chevy Camaro, 5.694, 260.16.

SUPER STOCK: Gene Mosbek, Plymouth Savoy, 10.239, 128.08 def. Curtis Hieb, Ford Mustang, 9.947, 134.74.

STOCK ELIMINATOR: Randi Lyn Shipp, Pontiac Firebird, 10.568, 124.69 def. Jeff Adkinson, Chevy Camaro, foul.

SC-final-LukeBogacki_GaryStinnett.jpg

SUPER COMP: Luke Bogacki, Dragster, 8.929, 165.64 def. Gary Stinnett, Dragster, 8.930, 186.79.

SUPER GAS: Brian Folk, Chevy Camaro, 9.865, 151.32 def. Russ Ginger, Dodge Aspen, 9.821, 163.06.

Demke, Bellemeur lead winners in Northwest

*JD_ChrisDemke-helmet-shot-LVMS-R1-JD4 131Chris Demke, Tujunga, Calif., and Sean , Placentia, Calif., took home the wins in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car respectively at Pacific Raceways near Seattle, Wash., on Aug. 23.

Demke came from the No. 3 qualifying position and worked his way through the field, running 5.294 seconds at 273.55 mph in his final round victory over No. 1 qualifier Garrett Bateman, Albany, Ore., who and an identical 5.294 at 271.41. Demke’s .037 second reaction time proved to be the difference.

Bellemeur faced off against Randy Parker, Puyallup, Wash., and posted a winning run of 5.597 seconds, 259.41 mph in his ’06 Monte Carlo. Both drivers left together but Bellemeur made a strong pass while Parker, slowed to an 8.486 second, 131.51 mph lap for his runner up finish.

Two series hitters faced off in the final of Comp Eliminator with Jeff Land and Justin Lamb going to battle in a close race from start to finish. In the end it was Lane, North Bend, Wash., taking the win in his ’10 Cobalt. Lamb, Henderson, Nev., also advanced to the final in Super Stock where he met up with Alan Falcone, Olympia, Wash. Lamb took the starting line advantage but was unable to run down Falcone and his ’05 Cavalier. Falcone won with a lap of 9.271, 142.42.

In the RH Racecars Top Sportsman, Don Sefton and Lee Goranson were just .003 seconds apart at the start but Sefton was better at the strip, taking the win with his ’00 S-10 in 7.685 seconds at 175.64 mph.

The NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series was also in action at Pacific Raceways this weekend with Janette Thornley, Mocksville, N.C., taking the win in Pro Fuel over Dennis Fisher. The win moves Thornley closer to Fisher in the points battle as the pair sit one and two in the standings.

Other winners in the Lucas Oil Series were Tommy Gaynor, Vancouver, Wash., over Jerry Stein in Stock; Brian Preszler, Kennewick, Wash., beat Jerry Dean, Olathe, Kan., in Super Comp; Todd Sims, Puyallup, Wash., upended Justin Sibley, Puyallup, Wash., in Super Street; and Mike MacBrair, Napa, Calif., took out Robert McMahan, Lodi, Calif., in the Rig Rentals Top Dragster class.

Also winning in the Harley-Davidson Series were Lance Bonham, Sunnyvale, Calif., in Pro Gas; Charles Robbins, Puyallup, Wash., in Hot Street; William Rowe, Hellentown, Pa., won in both Draggin’ Bagger and Screamin’Eagle Performance; and Don DePeel, Gladstone, Ore., won in the Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley-Davidson.

Pacific Raceways also ran their Pro classes with Joel Dalke taking the win.

Racing was stopped on Sunday night prior to the final rounds in Super Gas and Super Pro due to local curfews. The Super Gas final will be run at the next Lucas Oil event in Woodburn, Ore., with Kike Shannon taking on Dave Kelly. The final for Super Pro will see has not been rescheduled but will see Dave Jackson take on the winner of the semifinal matchup between Nick Axtman and Casey Depeel.

Northwest Division racers head to Woodburn Dragstrip, Woodburn, Ore. for their next NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event, Sept. 18-20.

TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER:
Round 1

5) Casey Grisel, Orangevale, Calif., 5.388, 267.32 def. 4) Shawn Cowie, Delta, B.C., broke;
3) Chris Demke, Tujunga, Calif., 5.302, 271.57 def. 6) Johnny Ahten, Santa Clarita, Calif., 5.329, 264.96
2) Megan McKernan, Sierra Madre, Calif., 5.261, 276.41 def. 7) Jeff Ashwell, Salem, Ore., 5.465, 260.66
1) Garrett Bateman, Albany, Ore., 5.395, 260.97 def. 8) Kim Parker, Graham, Wash., 5.444, 258.37

Semifinals
Bateman, 5.386, 260.61 def. Grisel, 5.467, 268.81
Demke, 5.302, 273.11 def. McKernan, 5.341, 273.05

Final
Demke, 5.294, 273.55 def. Bateman, 5.294, 271.41

TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR:
Round 1
2) Doug Gordon, Paso Robles, Calif., ’15 Camaro, 5.575, 263.26 def. 7) Dave Germain, Toledo, Wash., ’10 Monte Carlo, 7.314, 204.94
6) Randy Parker, Puyallup, Wash., ’04 Mustang, 5.800, 244.34 def. 3) Clint Thompson, Klamath Falls, Ore., ’06 Monte Carlo, 9.176, 103.10
1) Brian Hough, Junction City, Ore., ’10 Mustang, 16.067, 66.88 was unopposed
4) Sean Bellemeur, Placentia, Calif., ’06 Monte Carlo, 5.623, 258.86 def. 5) Chris Marshall, McMinnville, Ore., ’06 Mustang, 5.721, 252.05

Semifinals
Parker, 5.836, 245.05 def. Gordon, 6.033, 184.40
Bellemeur, 5.621, 258.02 def. Hough, 5.657, 255.43

Final
Bellemeur, 5.597, 259.41 def. Parker, 8.486, 131.51

COMP ELIMINATOR: Jeff Lane, North Bend, Wash., ’10 Cobalt, B/SMA, 7.913, 169.66 def. Justin Lamb, Henderson, Nev., ’10 Cobalt, B/SMA, 7.898, 169.44.

SUPER STOCK: Alan Falcone, Olympia, Wash., ’05 Cavalier, GT/AA, 9.271, 142.42 def. Justin Lamb, Henderson, Nev., ’10 Cobalt, SS/BM, 8.720, 151.39.

STOCK ELIMINATOR: Tommy Gaynor, Vancouver, Wash., ’92 Corvette, C/SA, 10.416, 119.13 def. Jerry Stein, Brentwood, Calif., ’69 Dart, C/SA, 10.547, 122.76.

SUPER COMP: Brian Preszler, Kennewick, Wash., ’08 TNT, 8.890, 176.24 def. Jerry Dean, Olathe, Kan., ’00 Worthy, 8.880, 166.03.

SUPER STREET: Todd Sims, Puyallup, Wash., ’66 Nova, 10.920, 136.93 def. Justin Sibley, Puyallup, Wash., ’68 Camaro, 10.914, 119.50.

TOP SPORTSMAN: Don Sefton, Port Orchard, Wash., ’00 S-10, 7.685, 175.64 def. Lee Goranson, Gresham, Ore., ’97 Olds Cutlass, 7.486, 184.09.

TOP DRAGSTER: Michael MacBrair, Napa, Calif., ’09 Sarmento, 6.897, 161.85 def. Robert McMahan, Lodi, Calif., ’08 Dragster, 6.857, 204.88.

SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE: Don DePeel, Gladstone, Ore., ’74 Kawasaki, 8.444, 153.42 def. Jake Havens, Edmonds, Wash., ’95 Suzuki, 8.145, 157.85.

PRO: Joel Dalke, Olympia, Wash., ’68 Camaro, 9.962, 131.91 def. Jeff Warnke, ’69 Nova, foul.

PRO FUEL HARLEY: Janette Thornley, Mocksville, N.C., ’15 Hawaya, 7.399, 174.82 def. Dennis Fisher, Dayton, Ohio, ’11 Harley, 7.664, 166.05.

PRO GAS HARLEY: Lance Bonham, Sunnyvale, Calif., ’96 Kosman, 8.664, 150.92 was unopposed.

DRAGGIN BAGGER HARLEY: William Rowe, Hellentown, Pa., ’06 Road King, 14.538, 87.78 was unopposed.

HOT STREET HARLEY: Charles Robbins, Puyallup, Wash., ’02 Buell, 12.124, 110.58 was unopposed.

William Rowe Jr., Hellentown, Pa., ’06 Harley, 10.627, 114.63 def. Sue Bistline, Boise, Idaho, ’93 Harley, 10.773, 120.36.

Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail Series comes to an exciting end for 2015

The final race of the 2015 Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail ET Bracket Racing Series at Maple Grove Raceway was held Saturday, August 22 with a twilight event. Cool temperatures lead to some fast racing at the race, which saw Shayne Beck take the win in the Gold Rush Trailers Super Pro division. Beck, of Narvon, Pa., defeated Alan Robinson of Honeybrook, Pa. in the final heat of the division. Beck won the race when Robinson red lighted at the start.

Robert Smith (West Chester, Pa.) was the winner in Ciccarone Racing Products Pro Eliminator, as he ran his ’66 Chevy to the victory over Paul Thimm, Jr. (Mohnton, Pa.) and his ’27 Ford Roadster. Smith took the win on a double break out, with Smith getting closer to his dial-in than Thimm.

P.C. Richard and Son Street Eliminator was won by Ted Meyle from Chalfont, Pa. Meyle beat Phil Williams in the final elimination when Williams red lighted at the start.

Taking the win light in Reading Standard Motorsports Top Bike was repeat winner Kyle Gockley of Mohnton, Pa. Gockley rode his Suzuki to the win over Austin Youndt of Stevens, Pa.

Ben Spotts of Douglassville, Pa. visited Sunoco Race Fuels Victory Lane in the Universal Technical Institute Junior Dragster division, defeating Braylon Kuhn, also of Douglassville.

The Junior Street class saw Samantha Hess of Mountville, Pa. take the win over his finals competition Ian Bechtel of Reading, Pa. Hess won when Bechtel red lighted at the start.

The Trophy class was won on Saturday by Tim Rubendull of Pottstown, Pa. Rubendull defeated James Ely of Center Valley, Pa. by posting a reaction time of .013 compared to Ely’s .088.

Pro Dial was once again part of the action on Saturday night, with Jayme Colon taking the win light. Colon, of Reading, Pa., drove his ’68 Camaro to the win based on his competition, Shane Sweigart of Reading, Pa., fouling at the starting line.

Lastly, the NHRA King of the Track was crowned Saturday night, and the King was Shayne Beck of Narvon, Pa. The winners of Super Pro, Pro, Street, and Top Bike all ran in the final heats of the night and in the final it was Beck taking out Kyle Gockley to secure the victory.

Super Pro: Shayne Beck, .050 reaction time, 7.988 ET on a 7.94 dial-in, 150.98 mph defeated Alan Robinson, ’01 Robinson Digger, -.014, 8.232 on a 7.62 dial-in, 119.13 mph (foul).

Pro: Robert Smith, ’66 Chevy, .023 reaction time, 10.417 on a 10.42 dial-in, 12.90 mph defeated Paul Thimm, Jr., ’27 Ford Roadster, .054, 9.060 on a 9.07 dial-in, 146.45 mph.

Street: Ted Meyle, ’59 Bel Air, .007 reaction time, 11.919 on a 11.93 dial-in, 111.65 mph defeated Phil Williams, ’71 Dart, -.020, 11.475 on a 11.56 dial-in, 110.36 mph (foul).

Top Bike: Kyle Gockley, ’03 Suzuki, .083 reaction time, 8.837 on a 8.85 dial-in, 143.61 mph, defeated Austin Youndt, ’86 Suzuki, .068, 10.452 on a 10.48 dial-in, 125.46 mph.

Junior Dragster: Ben Spotts, ’03 Halfscale, .030 reaction time, 7.978 ET, 76.96 mph defeated Braylon Kuhn, .078, 9.034 ET, 71.17 mph.

Junior Street: Samantha Hess, .077 reaction time, 11.317 on a 11.30 dial-in, 65.98 mph defeated Ian Bechtel, ’09 Pontiac G6, -.023 reaction time, 11.202 on a 11.19 dial-in, 62.46 mph (foul).

Trophy: Tim Rubendull, .013 reaction time, 12.743 ET on a 12.53 dial-in, 93.43 mph defeated James Ely, ’99 Honda Civic, .088, 17.796 on a 17.63 dial-in, 79.20 mph.

Pro Dial: Jayme Colon, ’68 Camaro, .029 reaction time, 23.584 on a 9.39 dial-in, 40.06 mph defeated Shane Sweigart, ’71 Demon, -.001, 10.556 on a 10.47 dial-in, 112.31 mph (foul).

NHRA King of the Track: Shayne Beck, .021 reaction time, 7.937 on a 7.94 dial in, 164.05 mph defeated Kyle Gockley, ’03 Suzuki, .016, 7.937 on a 7.94 dial in, 149.46 mph.

Manners and Lombardo take wins at second Heartland Park event

Michael Manners and John Lombardo scored big wins in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car respectively at the NHRA Lucas Oil West Central division presented by Aeromotive at Heartland Park Topeka. It was a great weekend of back to back regional and divisional racing events.

Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car competed in a single race over the weekend. Manners, Houston, picked up his second win of the season to strengthen his lead in the Top Alcohol Dragster regional points race. In a very close final round, Manners went 5.270 seconds at 269.94 mph and covered Randy Meyers’, Spring Hill, Kan., 5.273-second pass at 271.95 mph. This was the best run of the weekend for both racers, as they ran almost identical times; only difference was the reaction time.

In Top Alcohol Funny Car, Lombardo, Brea, Calif., conquered a deep and talented field for his third straight win this season. Lombardo leads the regional points standings at 106 points ahead of the field.

Alan Ellis, Mapleton, Utah, outlasted his competition all weekend in Comp Eliminator and took home two trophies. Ellis ran consistent all weekend, then was handed the final win from Pat Nahan, Sartell, Minn., who was too anxious at the tree.

In a couple of races it was a matter of inches that determined a victory. In Super Stock, it was a battle of the ’87 Camaros as Brad Zaskowski, Belding, Mich., won by a margin of two inches defeating Troy Ross, Emporia, Kan. It was a one inch margin of victory in the Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley-Davidson for Ricky Kay. Kay, Humble, Texas, was almost dead on the dial running 9.942 seconds at 126.80 mph and barely defeating Cameron Belisle, Hugo, Minn., who ran 9.287 seconds at 134.11 mph.

In Saturday’s action, Jeffrey Hostetler, Chilicothe, Mo., knocked out Jimmy Lewis, Forney, Texas, in the Top Sportsman class from event #1. In the final, that was held over from Friday, Hostetler went 7.597 at 181.23 mph to Lewis’s quicker 7.070, 196.02

TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER:
Round 1

4) Randy Meyer, Spring Hill, Kan., 5.423, 268.33 def. 5) Bradley Thompson, Vernon, Texas, 15.068, 65.68; 6) Michael Manners, Houston, Texas, 5.415, 216.31 def. 3) Forrest Fair, Haughton, La., 5.454, 245.85; 7) Megan Meyer, Spring Hill, Kan., 5.436,
245.27 def. 2) Gord Gingles, Winnipeg, Manit., 5.445, 263.20; 1) James Thompson, Vernon, Texas, 5.381, 260.81 def. 8) Brandon Pierce, Cypress, Texas, 14.613, 65.21

Semifinals
Manners, 5.614, 261.12 def. M. Meyer, 5.843, 258.47; R. Meyer, 5.326, 272.12 def. J. Thompson, 5.349, 266.32;

Final
Manners, 5.270, 269.94 def. R. Meyer, 5.273, 271.95.

TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR:
Round 1

1) Jonnie Lindberg, Upplands Vausby, Sweden, ’10 Monte Carlo, 6.069, 243.63 def. 8) Lance Van Hauen, Reinbeck, Iowa, ’15 Camaro, 8.223, 165.62; 2) Steve Harker, Gainesville, Ga., ’13 Monte Carlo, 5.879, 247.88 def. 7) Kirk Williams, Glenwood, Iowa, ’04 Camaro, 10.941, 89.82; 3) John Lombardo Jr., Brea, Calif., ’14 Mustang, 5.543, 262.74 def. 6) Kris Hool, Evansville, Wyo., ’10 Monte Carlo, 5.797, 252.80; 4) Scott McVey, Winnipeg, Manit., ’06 Monte Carlo, 5.679, 255.97 def. 5) Jay Payne, Claremont, Calif., ’14 Camaro, 5.717, 256.36

Semifinals
Lindberg, 5.574, 262.74 def. McVey, 5.620, 259.46; Lombardo Jr., 5.528, 265.01 def. Harker, 5.561, 263.10

Final
Lombardo Jr., 10.317, 81.68 def. Lindberg, foul.

COMP ELIMINATOR: Alan Ellis, Mapleton, Utah, ’23 roadster, A/AP, 7.064, 143.19 def. Pat Nahan, Sartell, Minn., dragster, E/D, foul.

SUPER STOCK: Brad Zaskowski, Belding, Mich., ’87 Camaro, GT/E, 9.899, 133.08 def. Troy Ross, Emporia, Kan., ’87 Camaro, SS/BM, 8.991, 143.61.

STOCK ELIMINATOR: Jacob Pitt, Mansfield, Texas, ’69 Barracuda, C/SA, 10.705, 116.42 def. Charley Downing, Britton, Mich., ’10 Mustang, FS/J, 10.952, 120.69.

SUPER COMP: Jordan Pratt, Otsego, Minn., dragster, 8.927, 167.88 def. Craig Schultz, Winona, Minn., dragster, 8.890, 169.21.

SUPER GAS: Don Johnson, Lufkin, Texas, ’12 Corvette, 9.886, 170.5 def. Kay Collier, Benton, La., ’68 Camaro, 9.885, 154.97.

SUPER STREET: Rob Boyer, Mount Hope, Kan., ’73 Nova, 10.901, 127.87 def. Jim Burrell, Clande, Texas, ’70 Torino, foul.

TOP SPORTSMAN: Curt Harshfield, Sioux City, Iowa, ’55 Chevy, broke def. Jim White, Haysville, Kan., ’09 Cobalt, broke.

TOP DRAGSTER: Matt Driskell, Wellsville, Kan., dragster, 6.562, 203.46 def. J.R. Baxter, Waxahachie, Texas, dragster, 6.658, 201.10.

SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE: Ricky Kay, Humble, Texas, ’92 Suzuki, 9.942, 126.80 def. Cameron Belisle, Hugo, Minn., ’90 Suzuki, 9.287, 134.11.

Cecil County Dragway crowns LODRS winners

Racers in ten categories were crowned event champions Aug.16 at the Northeast Division NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series at Cecil County Dragway in Rising Sun, Md.

Local racer Christopher Krajewski from nearby Baltimore went the distance in his ’70 Camaro to pick up the win in the MXI/Magnaflux Top Sportsman presented by Select Performance class. Krajewski laid down a 7.244 second, 188.54 mph pass to defeat Michael Kaufman of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., and his run of 6.866 seconds at 205.10 mph. He used a .018 package in his first final round to secure his first ever divisional victory.

The MXI/Magnaflux Top Dragster presented by Select Performance final did not disappoint as it was decided by less than twenty inches. Kyle Cultrera, Eliot, Maine, (7.225 seconds, 182.97 mph) edged out James Beckman of Warren, Conn., (7.039 seconds, 188.78 mph) with a margin of victory of .006 seconds to grab his first win in the category, to go along with five in Comp Eliminator and three in Super Comp.

It was a battle of heavy hitters in the Comp Eliminator final as Arnie Martel, Tewksbury, Mass., went the distance from the No.1 qualifying position. Frank Aragona, of Freehold, N.J., got off the line first in his dragster but slowed near half-track and came to a halt before the finish line as he watched Martel blow by him in his ’15 Camaro with a winning pass of 7.670 seconds at 153.58 mph. Martel raced to his 20th divisional final, his 15th in Comp Eliminator, acquiring his seventh Wally trophy in the category.

Joel Warren, Clinton, N.C., took down Larry Mohar, Hagerstown, Md., in the Super Stock final with a winning lap of 10.267 seconds at 116.68 mph. It was a close battle in the Super Comp money round as the No.1 qualifier David Long, Wallingford, Pa., won his second career divisional Wally trophy over Chase Fahnestock, Newville, Pa., in a double breakout. Iggie Boicesco of Warminster, Pa., collected his 13th division trophy in Super Gas as he got off the line first and held on to take out Jason Kenny, Kutztown, Pa.

First time winners included Bubba Linke, Old Bridge, N.J., over Adam Berberich, Mooresville, N.C., in the Stock Eliminator final and Frank Renda, Staten Island, N.Y., drove his ’70 Nova dead-on his dial to take out George Forster, Greencastle, Pa., who went red at the tree. Other racers visiting the winners circle included Dale Collins Jr., Frankford, Del., in the Outlaw 10.5 class and Brian Pretzel, Belding, Mich., aboard his ’14 Ski-doo in the Pro Stock Snowmobile category.

Northeast racers will make their way to historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., to wrap up the division’s seven race series. The event will be contested September 11-13.

SUPER STOCK: Joel Warren, Clinton, N.C., ’98 Firebird, SS/JA, 10.267, 116.68 def. Larry Mohar, Hagerstown, Md., ’69 Camaro, SS/JA, 10.350, 125.71.

STOCK ELIMINATOR: Bubba Linke, Old Bridge, N.J., ’97 Camaro, C/SA, 10.583, 121.04 def. Adam Berberich, Mooresville, N.C., ’14 Camaro, FS/D, 9.940, 133.61.

SUPER COMP: David Long, Wallingford, Pa., dragster, 8.895, 176.14 def. Chase Fahnestock, Newville, Pa., dragster, 8.894, 162.31.

SUPER GAS: Iggie Boicesco, Warminster, Pa., ’02 Corvette, 9.930, 163.45 def. Jason Kenny, Kutztown, Pa., ’03 Corvette, 9.897, 152.09.

SUPER STREET: Frank Renda, Staten Island, N.Y., ’70 Nova, 10.900, 132.19 def. George Forster, Greencastle, Pa., ’65 Chevy II, foul.

TOP SPORTSMAN: Christopher Krajewski, Baltimore, Md., ’70 Camaro, 7.244, 188.54 def. Michael Kaufman, Woodcliff Lake, N.J., ’67 Corvette, 6.866, 205.10.

TOP DRAGSTER: Kyle Cultrera, Eliot, Maine, dragster, 7.225, 182.97 def. James Beckman, Warren, Conn., dragster, 7.039, 188.78.

CONTESTED SATURDAY

COMP ELIMINATOR: Arnie Martel, Tewksbury, Mass., ’15 Camaro, E/AA, 7.670, 153.58 def. Frank Aragona, Freehold, N.J., dragster, F/ED, broke.

OUTLAW: 10.5: Dale Collins Jr., Frankford, Del., ’02 Camaro, 4.198, 185.89 def. Mo Hall, Olney, Md., ’06 Corvette, 4.703, 170.95.

PRO STOCK SNOWMOBILE: Brian Pretzel, Belding, Mich., ’14 Ski-doo, 8.402, 151.95 def. Gary Schweikent, Slatinton, Pa., ’03 Ski-doo, foul.

Winners crowned for first of two events at Heartland Park Topeka 

Home state racers Phil Unruh, Jeff Koron and Mike Gordine led the list of winners for the first of two events Aug. 14-16 at Heartland Park Topeka and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series presented by Aeromotive.

Unruh, McPherson, Kan., took the easy win in Super Stock over Dean Mesenbring who broke in the final allowing McPherson, the defending NHRA West Central Division Champion, to cruise to the win. Koron, Hays, Kan., outran James Ogden for the Fineline Graphics/Madcap Engines Top Dragster trophy. Koran went 6.435 seconds at 195.76 mph in his dragster to Ogden, League City, Texas, who crossed the finish line in 6.714, 165.42

Gordine, out of Salina, Kan., wheeled his ’66 Chevelle to a 10.923 second lap at 131.82 mph in Super Street to defeat John Kastner, Clearwater, Minn., who went 10.934, 130.97 in his ’86 Camaro.

Defending West Central division Stock Champion, Brett Speer, Little Falls, Minn., knocked out Tyler Wudarczyk, Wakarusa, Kan., in the final of Stock Eliminator. Speer’s ’70 Nova clocked in at 10.306, 119.93 for the win while Wudarczyk was 11.503, 102.65 in a ’69 Nova.

Darryle Modesto and Robby Lopez took home the Super Comp and Super Gas titles respectively. Modesto, Davis, Okla., out ran Austin Williams in the double breakout match-up with an 8.866 to an 8.865. Lopez, Grand Prairie, Texas, went 9.910 at 146.86 mph in his ’63 Corvette to end Dennis Hay’s day who went too quick at 8.865 out of Golden, Colo.

The Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley-Davidson trophy went to River Ridge, La., racer Dave Gautreaux on his ’03 Suzuki with a 9.130 second lap at 145.02 mph over Robert Sanders, Cypress, Texas, 9.740, 132.84.

The final in Comp Eliminator was carried over to Saturday with Alan Ellis, Mapleton, Utah, taking the win over Shaun Vincent, Omaha, Neb. Ellis clocked in at 6.564 at 201.88 in his roadster to Vincent’s 8.443, 156.66. The Jerry Haas Racecars Top Sportsman final will be run later in the day on Saturday during qualifying for racer #2.

Racers in Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car made qualifying runs on Friday that set their fields for Saturday’s eliminations with James Thompson and Jonnie Lindberg leading the fields. The alcohol classes will compete in a single event this weekend.

Thompson, Vernon, Texas, sits on top of the dragster field posting a run of 5.325 seconds at 264.91 mph and is followed by Gord Gingles, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 5.343, 265.80.

Lindberg, Upplands Vausby, Sweden, drove his ’10 Monte Carlo funny car to a 5.520, 264.86 mph run with reigning funny car national champion Steve Harker in second with a 5.543, 263.46.

COMP: Alan Ellis, Mapleton, Utah, ’23 roadster, 6.564, 201.88 def. Shaun Vincent, Omaha, Neb., ’02 S-10, 8.443, 156.66

SUPER STOCK: Phil Unruh, McPherson, Kan., ’10 Cobalt, SS/CM, 20.389, 64.28 def. Dean Mesenbring, Rochester, Minn., ’92 Camaro, GT/JA, broke.

STOCK ELIMINATOR: Brett Speer, Little Falls, Minn., ’70 Nova, A/SA, 10.306, 119.93 def. Tyler Wudarczyk, Wakarusa, Kan., ’69 Nova, G/SA, 11.503, 102.65.

SUPER COMP: Darryle Modesto, Davis, Okla., dragster, 8.866, 176.63 def. Austin Williams, Burleson, Texas, dragster, 8.865, 158.74.

SUPER GAS: Robby Lopez, Grand Prairie, Texas, ’63 Corvette, 9.910, 146.85 def. Dennis Hay, Golden, Colo., ’85 Corvette, 9.887, 162.55.

SUPER STREET: Mike Gordine, Salina, Kan., ’66 Chevelle, 10.923, 131.82 def. John Kastner, Clearwater, Minn., ’86 Camaro, 10.934, 130.97.

TOP DRAGSTER: Jeff Koron, Hays, Kan., dragster, 6.435, 195.76 def. James Ogden, League City, Texas, dragster, 6.714, 165.42.

SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE: Dave Gautreaux, River Ridge, La., ’03 Suzuki, 9.130, 145.02 def. Robert Sanders, Cypress, Texas, ’82 Suzuki, 9.740, 132.84.

Dead On: Jok suggests taking a cue from Street Outlaws. What?!

Jok suggests taking a cue from Street Outlaws. What?!

I have an idea; think it could work? Look, even if you are a diehard drag racing fan, race where the pits are full all the time and you think national events on TV still have some level of interesting content, how about this:

 

You have to agree that the Top Fuel and Fuel Funny Car classes are nothing but a "corporate outing", right? Teams all dress the same with black pants, imprinted fancy shirts they put on for the sponsors, dining area next to the pit areas with A/C in the tents, catered food, etc. They all do the exact same things to their cars and in most cases they all get their parts and pieces from two or three huge teams that supply the parts. No personalities, no "outlaws", no verbal challenges, just smiles and styled hair and a list of sponsors to mention. OK, it is what it is, a corporate outing in front of a very small TV audience.

 

What about this idea: (I am leaving the pros out of this idea because I think it too late for them to change.) We all know the auto manufacturers have "bought in" to the idea of making a limited number of bad-ass muscle cars. Why not make those some of the featured cars at the national events? There is some work to do but if you want fans paying to watch and the entire sport building excitement, then look no further than to what "Street Outlaws" has accomplished. (I want to thank a close friend who "lit my fire" about this opportunity I think we are missing. I won't mention his name but thanks, DG!)

 

We need a new Factory Outlaw class that has the baddest factory-built cars of each brand running the other brands of cars. We need car names and characters to build fan appeal with cars that look exactly like young and old people can buy at a dealership. Current year Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers.

 

We need "characters" and "car names" for identity and to build a fan base with like "Boston Strangler", "Snake Venom", etc. and names people will remember like we remember Garlits, Prudhomme and others that established what we are watching today being wasted away right now. We need open match races at national events and local tracks. No wheelie bars, no traction control and no bullshit; just head-to-head racing with mandatory burnouts across the line, T-shirts for sale at the race car trailer, and people crazy enough to make the effort to save drag racing.

 

Sure these cars are Stock and Super Stock cars so what? Stock and Super Stock was just fine before the $150,000 cars came onto the scene and we started watching 9-second Stockers dragging the brakes to protect their horsepower rating and 8-second Super Stockers with a basically stock bodied car!

 

Change the class and make them a featured attraction. It will be up to the car owners to lose the "corporate look" too. The drivers or owners need to challenge each other to match races -- social media will be a huge part in this. They have to travel more to smaller tracks and run with no track prep on occasion. Local tracks have to be part of it as well.

 

I can see a couple Ford Cobra Jet guys challenging a couple of the COPO car owners in a best of three grudge shoot-out. Live streaming over young people's iPhones, laptops and maybe local media will jump in there as well. Make these match races a two-hour show for $20 admission and spend some time getting sponsors to host the “Production Car Challenge Series".

 

Bottom line -- will it work? It isn't up to writers and dreamers like me. It is up to the car owners, the auto manufacturers and the drivers to get some "attitude" and become interesting again. Just because you have a fast Cobra Jet doesn't mean anybody cares. Now if you got on Social Media and challenged a couple COPOs to a match race, say at Muncie Dragway, Friday night after racing is over for the day at the U.S. Nationals ... you might see a string of headlights pouring into Muncie like a "Field of Dreams".

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IHRA Summit Series Pro-Am Tour at San Antonio Raceway

IHRA Summit Series Pro-Am Tour at San Antonio Raceway

 

The IHRA Summit Series Pro-Am concluded on Sunday, Aug. 16, with another complete race program following one round of time trials and qualifications. It would be another scorcher in the central Texas sun as drivers in the 10 Pro-Am classes fought it out on the quarter-mile strip near San Antonio.

 

With only one time trial/qualification run, first round saw track temperatures only around 120. By the time final rounds began kicking off it had risen to 140, topping out at 150 for the final few races.

 

These Saturday nights winners were looking to double up for the weekend: Ronnie Hughes (Top Dragster), Steve Harvey (Top Sportsman), Jarrod Granier (Super Stock), Hunter Pierdolla (Stock), Bryon Turner (Super Rod), Kevin Picha (Quick Rod), Alan Bracey (Hot Rod), Shallon Broussard (Jr. Masters), Aaron Jordan (Jr. Advanced), and Ashley Wenske(Jr. Beginner). Of those drivers two were able to make it to the Sunday afternoon finals, but no one was able to do a two-day double. There were two runners-up from Saturday that went on to win on Sunday and a couple that only doubled as the runner-up.

Top Dragster

Two local veteran drivers, both named David, were paired off for the Top Dragster finals. David Johns (Floresville) in the Johns Automotive, Waynes Paint & Body, Worthy Chassis used a .009 light to get a slight edge on David Bills (San Antonio). Both ran within 2/100ths of their dial in with Johns scoring the victory.

 

To get to the finals Johns took out Terry Pollard, Curt Harvey, Andy Mears with a round 1 bye. Bills got wins over Mike Crader, Saturday’s winner Ronnie Hughes, Peeps Pennington and took a bye in round 4.

 

David Johns (shown) (7.01) 7.0335 at 185.80 defeats David Bills (7.29) 7.3188 at 181.38

 

Torres takes double SCEDA wins at Fontana

GabeTorres-SCEDA-winner.jpg

Events seven and eight of the 10-race Southern California Drag Racing Association series were run at Auto Club Dragway at Fontana, Calif.

With about 150 cars on the grounds winners earned their way through the field to receive a “Big Guy” trophy and more. Repeat winner of the weekend Gabe Torres, of Valinda, CA, son of veteran drag racer Val Torres, dominated both days in Super Comp.

Interesting to note that seven of the final-round participants were former Junior Dragster competitors including Justin Ball, Ryan Diosdado, Evan Kowalski, Ryan Mangus, Kyle Rizzoli, Gabe Torres, and Katelyn Whynaught. Some of these Junior Dragster drivers have over 5,000 passes down the drag strip.

Saturday, August 8
Super Comp: Gabriel Torres def. Ryan Diosdado
Stock/SStk Combo: Kyle Rizzoli def. Charlie Allen
Electronics: Kevin McClelland def. Michaelyn Roelle
No Electronics: Justin Ball def. Trevor Hayes
Jr. Dragster 6-9: Gavin Pine def. Cy Mitchell
Jr. Dragster 10-12: Ryan Mason def. Dylan Hegwood
Jr. Dragster 13+: Ethan Gates def. Emmie Leath

Sunday, August 9
Super Comp: Gabriel Torres def. Ryan Diosdado
Stock/SStk Combo: Ryan Mangus def. Jim Meador
Electronics: Katelyn Whynaught def. Scotty Keough
No Electronics: Evan Kowalski def. Jeff Interlicchia
Jr. Dragster 6-9: Cy Mitchell def. Caden Ball
Jr. Dragster 10-12: Damon Bustamante def. Tyler Smith
Jr. Dragster 13+: Emmie Leath def. Hailey Pearce

Top Speed of the Meet: Eddie Fischle at 176.51 mph
Best reaction time: Ryan Houmard with a .000 perfect light.