Shields and Lombardo reign in Reading nationals
Duane Shields and John Lombardo Jr. picked up wins in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car respectively Oct. 1-4 at the 31st annual NHRA Keystone Nationals held at Maple Grove Raceway. Seven Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series categories were contested at the facility in eastern Pennsylvania with racers in the hunt for year-end divisional and national championships.
Shields, racing out of Boulder City, Nev., picked up his second career win at the event notching his 22nd National event Wally trophy. He got off the line first in the Top Alcohol Dragster final against Mia Tedesco and never trailed for the win. Shields clocked in at 5.4 seconds at 272.45 mph to defeat Tedesco’s runner up lap of 5.515 seconds at 259.61 mph. This marks back to back National event wins for Shields, who sits in striking distance of the National Championship at third place.
The Top Alcohol Funny Car title went to Lombardo Jr. as he knocked out the event’s No.1 qualifier in the final round. Paul Noakes had a slight starting line advantage, but tire shake forced him to shut it down as Lombardo blew by him with a 5.610 second, 269.78 mph winning pass. This marks the fifth career National event victory for the Brea, Calif., native.
Allyn Armstrong had a significant starting line advantage over Peter Luciano in the Comp Eliminator final and held on for the win. Armstrong, with nearly a one second gift at the tree, powered his Opel GT to a 8.704 second, 152.18 mph lap over Luciano’s 8.552 second, 155.06 mph pass.
It was a battle of firefighting twin brothers as Bryan and Byron Worner squared off in the Super Stock money round. Bryan jumped off the line first in his ’90 Camaro, but that wasn’t enough to overthrow Bryon in his winning 9.900 second, 129.07 mph ’96 Camaro.
Jim Boudreau scored his sixth National event victory with a win light over Peter Biondo in the Stock Eliminator final. Boudreau was out of the gate first, while Biondo was piecing together a great run but broke out by just .002 seconds on his 10.37 dial, handing the win over to Boudreau.
Tom Stalba and Jack Sepanek Jr. got off the line together in the Super Comp final and battled all the way to the 1320’ mark. Sepanek recorded a 8.943 second, 156.63 mph pass to narrowly defeat Stalba’s 8.947 second, 164.31 lap for his third National event win.
The Super Gas trophy went to Jason Lynch, the fourth of his career. He listed a 9.918-second, 169.91-mph pass for the victory as Mike Sawyer ran .004 seconds too quick on the 9.90 index.
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER: Duane Shields, 5.400, 272.45 def. Mia Tedesco, 5.515, 259.61
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR: John Lombardo Jr., 5.610, 269.78 def. Paul Noakes, 12.467, 62.47
COMP ELIMINATOR: Allyn Armstrong, 8.704, 152.18 def. Peter Luciano, 8.552, 155.06
SUPER STOCK: Byron Worner, 9.900, 129.07 def. Bryan Worner, 10.233, 122.47
STOCK: Jim Boudreau, 9.922, 131.86 def. Peter Biondo, 10.368, 124.57
SUPER COMP: Jack Sepanek Jr., 8.943, 156.63 def. Tom Stalba, 8.947, 164.31
SUPER GAS: Jason Lynch 9.918, 169.91 def. Mike Sawyer, 9.896, 167.63