Norwalk scores team title, five heading to national championship

Summit Motorsports Park made a late push to pick up the coveted Team Championship at the Sept. 18-20 NHRA Summit Racing Series North Central Division Finals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The team out of Norwalk, Ohio, notched their third title by outlasting 18 other NHRA Member Tracks in the division, who also picked up wins in 2013 and 2011. SMP led the way with 46 points, while Crossroads Dragway (44) and Lyons Raceway Park (43) came up just short.

Bill Leahey, Chuck Lewis, Nick Hastings and Rick Poole captured individual championships and now advance to the NHRA Summit National Championship at Auto Club Raceway and the Auto Club Finals in Pomona, Calif. Joining these four will be the Super Pro Sunoco Race of Champions winner Chris Bear who will round out the 8-car field in Super Pro. A special drawing was held earlier this year and the North Central division was drawn to fill the eighth spot in the Super Pro class.

Past event champions Hastings of Shelby, Ohio, and Poole, New Franklin, Ohio, helped propel Summit Motorsports Park to the Team Championship with individual wins of their own. Hastings, who won the event in 2013, used a great .010 reaction time and 12.323-second pass on his 12.32 dial to defeat Thomas Summers, Amheret, Ohio, in the all Summit Motorsports Park Sportsman class final. It was a great race in the two-wheel category as Poole narrowly defeated Route 66 Raceway rider Bob Foster Jr. in Super Pro Motorcycle. Poole, who also won back in 2010 and had a runner up finish in 2013, used his better reaction time and clocked in at 8.387 seconds, 150.75 mph on his 8.38 dial to defeat Foster’s 7.821 second, 166.33 mph lap on his 7.82 dial.

Pacemakers Dragway Park racer Leahey of Columbus, Ohio, lasted eight rounds and picked up the win in Super Pro. He laid down a 4.786-second, 143.05-mph pass to defeat National Trail Raceway’s Bill Webb and his lap of 4.696 seconds at 147.36 mph.

The Pro ET title went to Lewis of Adrian, Mich. Lewis, representing Milan Dragway, got his ’70 Duster off the line in .009 seconds and pieced together a 5.839 second, 116.04 mph lap on his 5.83 dial for the win. Mike McKinney, Centerville, Ind., raced to a runner-up finish for Muncie Dragway.

A High School class was also contested with Kil-Kare Dragway racer Kay Crum of Jamestown Ohio, taking the win. Crum powered his ’89 Ranger into the winners circle over the hard charging ’67 Camaro of Josh Pickett of Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

In the Race of Champions action that places the top points earners from each track in head to head competition, Bear of Curtice, Ohio, outlasted the field in Super Pro with a 4.754 second, 140.07 mph lap over Geramie Edwards, Mattoon, Ill.

The Pro final went to Chris Stephenson of Tipton, Ind., as he drove his ’73 Apollo to a 7.496-second, 86.49-mph winning lap. He used a starting line advantage to get around John Ratulowski Sr., Highland, Ill., and his pass of 6.824 seconds, 100.06 mph.

Bill McCarty, Spencer, Ind., pieced together a 13.071 second lap on his 13.07 dial to take the Sportsman title over Tony Schwab, Brookville, Ind., in his ’34 Ford. Schwab clocked in at 12.481 seconds, 106.33 mph for his runner up finish.

Rounding out the list of Sunoco Race of Champions winners was Jonathan Vickers, Streator, Ill., in the Super Pro Bike category. With similar reaction times, Vickers took the victory with a 8.668 second, 149.08 mph lap on his 8.66 dial over Craig Adams, Brunswick, Ohio, and his runner up pass of 8.186 seconds, 156.75 mph.

TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Summit Motorsports Park 46
Crossroads Dragway 44
Lyons Raceway Park 43
Muncie Dragway 39
Pacemakers Dragway Park 38
Gateway Motorsports Park 37
National Trail Raceway 37
Route 66 Raceway 36
Milan Dragway 34
Ohio Valley Dragway 31
Edgewater Sports Park 31
Byron Dragway 29
Beech Bend Raceway Park 29
Kil-Kare Dragway 27
Bunker Hill Dragstrip 24
Coles Country Dragway USA 23
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indy 23
Beacon Dragway 18
Mid-Michigan Motorplex 13

SUPER PRO: Bill Leahey, Columbus, Ohio, ’99 Racetech, 4.786, 143.05 def. Bill Webb, Centerburg, Ohio, ’07 Racetech, 4.696, 147.36.

PRO ET: Chuck Lewis, Adrian, Mich., ’70 Duster, 5.839, 116.04 def. Mike Mckinney, Richmond, Ind., ’72 Vega, 6.460, 104.26.

SPORTSMAN: Nick Hastings, Shelby, Ohio, ’83 Mustang, 12.323, 104.35 def. Thomas Summers, Amheret, Ohio, ’79 Malibu, 12.890, 105.42.

SUPER PRO BIKE: Rick Poole, Akron, Ohio, ’01 Suzuki, 8.387, 150.75 def. Bob Foster Jr., Lansing, Ill., ’07 Kawasaki, 7.821, 166.33.

HIGH SCHOOL: Kay Crum, Jamestown, Ohio, ’89 Ranger, 12.706, 102.28 def. Josh Pickett, Avon, Ind., ’67 Camaro, 12.171, 109.85.

TRACK MANAGERS: Rod Zolman, Pacemakers Dragway, dragster, 13.658, 100.43 def. Jordan Newell, National Trail Raceway, dragster, 17.456, 73.53.

SUPER PRO ROC: Chris Bear, Curtice, Ohio, ’14 American, 4.754, 140.07 def. Geramie Edwards, Mattoon, Ill., dragster, 5.807, 116.57.

PRO ET ROC: Chris Stephenson, Tipton, Ind., ’73 Apollo, 7.496, 86.49 def. John Ratulowski Sr., Highland, Ill., ’71 Camaro SS, 6.824, 100.06.

SPORTSMAN ROC: Bill McCarty, Spencer, Ind., ’84 Dodge, 13.071, 95.56 def. Tony Schwab, Brookville, Ind., ’34 Ford, 12.481, 106.33.

SUPER PRO BIKE ROC: Jonathan Vickers, Streator, Ill., dragster, 8.668, 149.08 def. Craig Adams, Brunswick, Ohio, ’15 Suzuki, 8.186, 156.75.