LODRS Division 7 Regional at Las Vegas

The racing went on long into Saturday night in order to not be racing on Easter Sunday.  (Tim Marshall photo)

WHITELEYS SWEEP AGAIN

For the second year in a row, Jim and Annie Whiteley's YNot Racing team swept the Las Vegas Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Regional, Jim in Top Alcohol Dragster and wife, Annie, in Top Alcohol Funny Car. Jim dominated the dragster contingent from wire to wire, setting low ET of all three qualifying sessions and two of three rounds of eliminations. Annie came from the No. 2 spot to defeat Doug Gordon in the Top Alcohol Funny Car final with low ET of the event, 5.59.

Jim Whiteley defeated Joey Severence in the semifinal.  (Tim Marshall photo)

The Whiteleys celebrate their wins.  (Bob Johnson photo)

Jim Whiteley, who beat Chris Demke last season in a final that had to be rerun after something blew through the lights in Demke's lane as they approached the finish line the first time, was a winner before he passed the Tree this time on Don St. Arnaud's red-light. Arnaud, who had killed the Tree in the first two rounds, left too soon with a -.131 reaction time, but with a 5.343 (low ET), Whiteley would have been hard to get around regardless.

"I saw the red-light before my green came on," Mr. Whiteley said. "It can mess you up sometimes, but I didn't mind because we weren't running as good as we did here last year."

Whiteley qualified his Norm Grimes-tuned YNot dragster on top with an almost identical run, 5.344, eliminated Megan McKernan in a much-closer-than-expected first-round match, 5.40 to 5.43, and took out Joey Severance in the semifinals, 5.35 to an early-shutoff 5.59. Severance had a realistic shot at unseating him after running slightly quicker in his first-round win over Demke (5.401) than Whiteley had in his win over McKernan (5.408).

"We struggled a little all weekend," Whiteley said. "The car made good, smooth runs every time, but the numbers weren't the same as last year. We were trying to loosen up the clutch a little, and we probably went too far. We ran in the .20s here last year in similar conditions, so we definitely didn't get it all, but it was enough to win."

LODRS JEGS CajunNationals

LODRS JEGS Cajun Nationals

SZUPKA DOUBLES AT JEGS SPORTSNATIONALS

Steve Szupka won not once but twice this weekend at the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals at No Problem Raceway and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and Jody Simoneaux took home the trophy in the NHRA Moser Sportsman Shootout.

Szupka, Willow Grove, Pa., become just the 15 driver in history to capture the double-up winning in two different classes at an NHRA national event.  Szupka beat Jim Kimbrough in the final of Comp Eliminator with a pass of 8.729 seconds after Kimbrough left early with a red-light foul start then came back around to face Austin Williams in Stock Eliminator.  Szupka, driving an ’85 Camaro, got the starting line advantage and held on for the win and the double running 11.300 at 114.66 mph.  Williams, Burleson, Texas, went 10.923, 118.06 in his ’72 Duster.

Simoneaux of Napoleonville, La., worked his way through the field in the Moser Sportsman Shootout (a race with-in a race) in his ’99 Firebird before meeting up with John Salter, Katy, Texas.  Simoneaux clocked in at 6.168, 106.46 mph for the win as Salter went red on the starting line.

P J Vicari joined Simoneaux as home state winners grabbing the trophy in the division’s Sunset Racecraft Top Dragster class at 195.51 mph in 6.611 seconds beating No. 1 qualifier Michael Kile of Westlake, La.  Kile went 6.361 at 202 mph in his losing effort.

Ryan Herem made his trip out from California worth the haul winning in Super Gas over Jim Perry.  The pair had identical reaction times with Herem, Quartz Hill, Calif., running 9.932 seconds in his ’63 Corvette to win by 0.006 of a second.

Former JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals winner Anthony Bertozzi, Ashland, Va., repeated his performance from a year ago when he won in Top Dragster to win in Super Stock against Gilbert Johnson, Lecompte, La.  Bertozzi went 8.742 seconds at 147.92 for the win.

Other racers visiting the winner’s circle this weekend were Greg Brotherton, Mena, Ark., over Dan Foley in Super Comp; Ray Dew, League City, Texas, beat Bart Nelson in Super Street; Allen Firestone won in Top Sportsman against Chris Arnold; and Mike Voss from Maplewood, Minn., downed former Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Craig Treble in Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley Davidson.

The following are the final results from the JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals at No Problem Raceway:

TOP DRAGSTER

PJ Vicari, Marrero, La., 6.611, 198.09 def. Michael Kile (shown), Westlake, La., 6.361, 202.00

TOP SPORTSMAN

Allen Firestone, Velma, Okla., 6.839, 198.09 def. Chris Arnold, Mont Belview, Texas, 7.172, 185.43

COMP ELIMINATOR

Steve Szupka, Willow Grove, Pa., 8.729 seconds, 116.38 def. Jim Kimbrough, Pace, Fla.,21.016, 52.46

SUPER STOCK

Anthony Bertozzi, Ashland, Va., 8.742, 147.92 def. Gilbert Johnson, Lecompte, La., 10.102, 120.97

LODRS at Gainesville

LODRS at Gainesville

Rich McPhillips

MCPHILLIPS, POMPONIO WIN IN GAINESVILLE

Rich McPhillips and Dan Pomponio took the wins in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto Plus Raceway at Gainesville.

McPhillips, Valley Forge, Pa., scored his 3rd national event win beating Ken Perry in the final with a lap of 5.331 seconds at 266.90 mph to Perry’s 5.420, 262.79.  McPhillips ran 5.30’s all weekend including a 5.354 to take out former world champion Bill Reichert in his semifinal match up.

Pomponio picked up his first national event win outrunning Todd Veney at 5.609, 259.61 in the funny car final.  Pomponio, Berlin, N.J., took out John Bojec, No. 1 qualifier John Lombardo Jr. and Dale Brand on his way to the final.

19 year-old Mia Tedesco, Murrysville, Pa., had a shot at the elusive double reaching the final round in both Super Comp and Super Gas.  She first met up with Delaware, Ohio, racer Troy Coughlin Jr. who ran the numbers in his ’57 Jegs Mail Order Corvette to deny Tedesco the double, then fell to Greg Kamplain who used a holeshot and held on for the Super Comp trophy. 

Frank Aragona Jr., Anthony Bertozzi and Bo Butner rounded out the winners with Aragona, Freehold, N.J., beating Steve Ambrose in Comp Eliminator for his 6th win.  Ashland, Va., racer Bertozzi reach the double digit mark taking his 10th national win running 8.832 at 152 mph to down Herbie Null in Super Stock and Bo Butner, Floyds Knobs, Ind., secured lucky number 13 in beating Charley Downing in Stock Eliminator.

IHRA Summit Super Series at San Antonio Raceway

Summit Super Series @ San Antonio Raceway

San Antonio Raceway hosted round number two of their IHRA Summit Super Series points season Saturday under sunny, but windy skies. A strong cross wind prompted track officials to run only on the 1/8 mile instead of the full ¼ mile, due to safety concerns.

As the first session of time trials, track temperatures had already gone over the century mark, showing 110 on the starting line. Action was slowed several times during time trials when Alvin Baldwin’s Mustang began a bad trend, dumping fluid and parts on the track. This kept track crews busy throughout the day.

Baldwin retreated to his nearby shop, dropped off his Mustang, loaded his back up Chevy Nova, and returned without missing the second time trial session. Joe Rodriguez wasn’t as lucky after leaving bottom end parts scattered across the track.

Leroy O'Bryant getting ready for work in his office

O’Bryant Celebrates Takin’ o’ the Green

San Antonio’s Leroy O’Bryant celebrated St. Patrick’s Day early taking home the larger share of the Electronics purse. O’Bryant’s Wild West, Wheeler Racing Products, O’Bryant Automotive, Chevy Monza squared off against former track and national champ, Scott Ball trying to double up in his dragster. In a rematch from round 1, Ball pulled a .005 light, but after having been consistent, missed his dial while O’Bryant pegged his 7.20 with a 7.203.

Leroy O’Bryant, 7.203 @ 96.13 defeats Scott Ball, 4.874 @ 136.86

O’Bryant got taken out by Ball in round one, bought back in then got past Kevin Picha, David Johns, Preston Pennington and Russell Fields. After taking out O’Bryant, Ball took down Johns and Brent Ritter in “Quick 8” rounds, then Aaron Cole and Ritter again in the semis.

Ball Best In “Quick 8”

Scott Ball getting focused for his run

Ball faced off with Ritter in the finals of “Quick 8” and used a .007 light to take the hole shot victory while Ritter ran closer to his dial-in number.

Scott Ball, 4.906 @ 135.09 defeats Brent Ritter, 5.040 @ 135.95

Summit Bracket Racing Series at MIR

Summit Bracket Racing Series presented by COMP Cams

The weather could not have better for 3rd points meet of the Summit Bracket Racing Series presented by COMP Cams at Memphis International Raceway.  Making the night even better, R.T. Turbines announced an increase in its partnership with Memphis International Raceway to include a purse for the R.T. Turbines Jr. Dragster class effective with this event – the purse was retroacted back to the 1st race of the season.  This is exciting news for the R.T. Turbines Junior program – this is the future of our sport and to see such a commitment to the program is very exciting.

TJ Tracey from Millington, TN moved up to the number 2 spot in points in the Super Pro Class with his win over JR Barclay from Henderson, TN.  Barclay was a little too quick off the line giving the automatic win to Tracey.  Tracey had a good run with a .016 second reaction time, 5.688 second ET at 115.13 mph. 

Greg Rushing from Jackson, TN takes the win over Matt Anderson from Byhalia, MS in the Pro Footbrake Class.  Anderson was too eager to unseat the class’s points leader – Rushing and was -.002 seconds off the line giving the win to Rushing who had a great run with a .080 reaction time, 6.92 second dial in time with a 6.926 second ET at 99.16 mph. 

Cody Graham from Millington, TN takes the win over James Brown also from Millington in the R.T. Turbines DOT Class.  Graham finished with .039 second reaction time, 12.87 dial in time, 12.882 ET at 96.84 mph.  James Brown performed solidly with a .070 reaction time, 12.10 dial in time, 12. 074 ET at 107.39 mph. 

NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series – Southeast Division

NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series – Southeast Division

Lucas Winners Crowned in South Georgia

In the final results from South Georgia Motorsports Park and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Terry Smith and Peter Biondo led all winners from Sunday’s eliminations.

Smith, Middletown, Ohio, ran down Glen Treadwell, Sorrento, Fla., clocking in at 7.432 seconds at 165.46 mph to Treadwell’s 8.033, 148.61 in Comp Eliminator and Biondo took out veteran racer David Rampy in Super Stock with his ’96 Firebird.  Biondo, Maspeth, N.Y., went 129.34 for the win in Super Stock.

A pair of Georgia racers won for the home state with Bruce Thrift winning in the Davis Golf Cart Top Sportsman class and Robbie Shaw in Stock Eliminator.  Thrift, Waycross, Ga., drove his ’07 GTO to a lap of 6.912 at 199.94 mph to beat Donny Urban’s 7.154, 177.70 and Bowdon, Ga., resident Shaw won in his ’01 Firebird over Peter Noriega and his ’80 Malibu.

In the Southeast Division Hickory Enclosed Trailer Sales Top Dragster class it was Lauren Freer, Mooresville, N.C., knocking out Steve Cohen, Trilby, Fla.  Freer went 6.876 at 195 mph to Cohen, 7.123, 186.  

Other winners this weekend included Raymond Miller, Spring Hill, Fla., in Super Comp; John Taylor, Naples, Fla., in Super Gas; Ed Pauley, Shelby, N.C., in Super Street; Travis Bryant, Bowman, Ga., in 10.00 Index; Jake Sealey, Aiken, S.C., in 11.00; and Chip Rollins, Gainesville, Fla., in 12.00.

NHRA Southeast Division racers head to Auto Plus Raceway, in Gainesville, Fla., for the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals this coming weekend, March 14-17.

The following are the final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Ultimate Sportsman Weekend event at SGMP:

COMP ELIMINATOR

Terry Smith, Middletown, Ohio, Advanced, D/DA, 7.432, 165.46 def. Glen Treadwell, Sorrento, Fla.,dragster, G/ED, 8.033, 148.61.

IHRA Summit Pro-Am at Baton Rouge

IHRA Summit Pro-Am at Baton Rouge

Latino collects three wins in one weekend

David Latino knows a thing or two about winning at State Capitol Raceway in Baton Rouge.

The Donaldsonville, Louisiana, native has won an event at the Baton Rouge facility in each of the past three seasons, slowly accumulating more and more trophies each time he visits. He won there once in 2011, added two more Ironman trophies to his collection last season and now Latino has added a three-win weekend to his career.

Quite frankly there isn’t much left for Latino to conquer at SCR.

Latino swept Super Stock behind the wheel of his 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt and added a win on Saturday in Stock Eliminator in his 2002 Firebird to take home an Ironman triple at the Division 4 season opener on the Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL double-header over the weekend at State Capitol Raceway.

Other winners from the Renegades season opener were Kamron Wright and Ricky Miller (Top Sportsman), Matt Levatino and David Johns (Top Dragster), David Latino (Super Stock), David Latino and Jody Simoneaux (Stock), Jake Levatino and Laramie Reid (Quick Rod), Buddy Wood and Clayton Nance (Super Rod), Mike Frederick and Tommy Costales (Hot Rod), Jackson Core and Cory Gulitti (Junior Master), Bryant Huesers and Ty Casey (Junior Advanced) and Carson Russell (Junior Beginner).

March Meet – A Day Late

March Meet - A Day Late

The sportsman classes at the 55th annual March Meet at Auto Club Famoso in Bakersfield, Calif., were run on Monday, March 11. They were delayed after a Sunday oil-down caused the AA Funny Car and Fuel Dragster classes to run long.

Darrell Waters, far lane.

A/Fuel was an emotional round for the Waters crew. The legendary Tony Waters passed away in December 2012 and Darrell Waters had been to the finals before only to be denied the victory. Waters qualified #1 and was paired with Bill Wayne in the finals on Monday. Both drivers were on the wheel with Waters trailing Wayne off the line by a 1/100th of a second. Waters ran him down with his 6.352 at 220.58 mph just nipping Wayne’s 6.432 at 211.69.

Wayne Ramey survived the Jr. Fuel eliminations meeting Richard Brady in the finals. Brady went red and Ramey ran a 7.046 at 187.68 mph on a 6.98 dial in.

LODRS at Firebird

Jay Payne (far lane) beat Brian Hough to the finish line to take Top Alcohol Funny Car title this weekend at Firebird International Raceway.

LODRS at Firebird

Local Racer Bycroft Takes Win at Firebird

In the first of two NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series events for this weekend’s Pacific Division double-header at Firebird International Raceway, John Bycroft of Phoenix took the win in Super Street while JR Lobner scored for the second time in as many weeks.

Bycroft drove his ’69 Dart to the win over Bob Richmond, Glendora, Calif., in 10.905 seconds at 133.66 mph pushing Richmond to breakout running too quick with a 10.852 second run on the 10.90 index.

Lobner, Gardner, Kan., won in the division’s Top Sportsman class for the second week in a row winning the NHRA Arizona Nationals last weekend.  Lobner clocked in at 7.537 at 181.86 mph in his ’05 S-10 to beat Shawn Herbst, Selah, Wash., with a 7.715, 179.23 with his ’63 Corvette.

LODRS at Houston

Fair, Westerfield Score in Houston

Forrest Fair and Shane Westerfield each grabbed wins at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series season opener for the NHRA Central Region/South Central Division at Royal Purple Raceway this past weekend.

Fair, Haughton, La., came from the No. 5 qualifying position with a pair of 5.273 second runs in rounds 1 and 2, and a 5.340 at 265.85 mph in the final to defeat defending Lucas Oil Central Region champion Gord Gingles in Top Alcohol Dragster. Gingles clocked in at 5.387, 272.78.  Fair beat Buddy Domingue and No. 1 qualifier David Brounkowski in rounds 1 and 2. 

Lake Forest, California racer Westerfield qualified No. 2 and faced off with No. 1 qualifier and fellow Californian John Lombardo Jr., Brea, Calif., in the Top Alcohol Funny Car final.  Westerfield used a starting line advantage combined with a 5.562 second run at 261.22 mph to hold off the quicker Lombardo at 5.531, 263.87. 

A number of home state racers made trips to the winner’s circle on Sunday led by reigning NHRA Lucas Oil Super Gas National Champion Jeff Lopez and his ’63 Corvette.  The Bedford, Texas, racer won over Jay Bunce in Super Gas.  Gary Emmons, Keith Hall and Bob Gulitti also added wins for Texas with Emmons, Friendswood, Texas, beating Austin Williams in Stock; Hall, Ravenna, Texas, won in Comp over Adam Hickey; and the Orteq Top Sportsman trophy went to Gulitti, Tomball, Texas, with a 6.696 second, 203.98 mph win against Keith Raftery.