Experience dominates at Gateway NHRA national event

Craig Bourgeois scored his fourth national event win in Comp Eliminator while Luke Bogacki picked up his 11th national win at the Sept. 25-27 AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park outside St. Louis as experienced racers dominated the winner’s circle.

Craig Bourgeois, Metairie, La., had a quick reaction time of .036 in the final round matchup with Tony Pontillo, Kenosha, Wis., running a 7.033 second lap at 173.54 mph for the win. This was Pontillo’s first appearance in a final round and was late off the line running a 6.841 second lap at 193.57 mph but could not run down Bourgeois.

NHRA Drag RacingIn a tight Super Comp race Luke Bogacki (near lane), Carterville, Ill., had a great light and battled with Jeremy Demers of Carroll, Iowa, down the lane. Bogacki won on a double breakout 8.890 to 8.889 on the 8.90 dial. Bogacki gained his 11th national event win, with this being his 7th in Super Comp. (Auto Imagery photo)

Seasoned NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series National Champion Tommy Phillips, Forney, Texas, left too soon at the light and gave Brina Splingaire, North Riverside, Ill,, her third national career win in the Super Stock final; Jacob Elrod, grabbed his first national event win beating Mark Hackett, Quincy, Ill., in Super Gas.


Britt Cummings, Hammond, La., the win in Stock Eliminator defeating Fred Suiter of Defiance, Mont. Suiter in his first final round appearance left to early and went red giving Cummings his third national event win. Cummings has two national event wins in Super Comp and this is his first in Stock Eliminator.

Marco Abruzzi, Warren, Ohio, won his fifth national event NHRA Wally trophy and his first in Top Dragster defeating Andrew Johnson, Cynthiana, Ky. Abruzzi earned his first win running 7.025 seconds at 133.20 mph. He also won here in Top Sportsman in 2010.

In the Top Sportsman it was the first final round appearance for both racers. Lester Johnson, Cynthiana, Ky., in his ’55 Bel Air worked his way through eliminations and with a huge holeshot held off Glenn Butcher, Doylestown, Ohio, in the final with a 6.474 second pass at 208.62 mph.

COMP ELIMINATOR: Craig Bourgeois, Dragster, 7.033, 173.54 def. Tony Pontillo, Spitzer, 6.841, 193.57.

SUPER STOCK: Brina Splingaire, Chevy Cobalt, 9.493, 122.83 def. Tommy Phillips, Chevy Cavalier, foul.

STOCK ELIMINATOR: Britt Cummings, Chevy Corvette, 10.800, 107.81 def. Fred Suiter, Chevy Camaro, foul.

SUPER COMP: Luke Bogacki, Dragster, 8.890, 175.89 def. Jeremy Demers, Dragster, 8.889, 182.92.

SUPER GAS: Jacob Elrod, Chevy Corvette, 10.683, 109.98 def. Mark Hackett, Chevy Camaro, broke.

TOP DRAGSTER: Marco Abruzzi, Dragster, 7.025, 133.20 def. Andy Johnson, Dragster, foul.

TOP SPORTSMAN: Lester Johnson, Chevy Bel Air, 6.474, 208.62 def. Glenn Butcher, Chevy Camaro, 6.432, 219.54.