ET Dragracing

NHRA Sportsman Classes at Houston

Champions crowned at Royal Purple

Words and photos by Bob Johnson


The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series raced April 20-22 at the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston.

Brenda Grubbs, Magnolia, TX, squared off against fellow Texan Craig Gualtiere of Amarillo in the Super Stock final round. Grubbs took the lead in her Camaro from the starting line and never looked back as she earned her second national event Wally trophy with a victory pass of 9.284 seconds, 138.47 mph. Gualtiere recorded a runner up pass of 9.691 seconds, 132.43 mph in his Nova.

The Stock final round between Tim Snively, Fayetteville, AR, and Brandon Bakies, Alexandria, LA, came down the wire. Bakies took a small lead off the starting line, but Snively was able to catch and edge him for the victory peaking at 11.745 seconds, 110.84 mph. Bakies followed up at 11.091 seconds, 114.30 mph.


Austin Williams, the 2017 Lucas Oil Super Comp World Champion from Burleson, TX, continued his title defense against Texas racer Lyndon Rutland of Spring. Rutland scored his first national event Wally running 8.901 seconds, 180.07 mph, outlasting his foe. Williams runner upped at 8.902 seconds, 156.99 mph.

The Super Gas final round showcased a duel between father and son, as Steve (new lane) and Koy Collier of Benton, LA, took to the starting line. Koy took the starting line advantage and the win, running 9.902 seconds, 156.75 mph. His father, Steve, followed up at 9.890 seconds, 163.06 mph.

In the Mickey Thompson Top Fuel Harley final round, Doug Vancil, Cedar Crest NM, registered a strong pass of 6.300 seconds, 230.76 mph to oust Randal Andras, Amelia, LA, who went up in smoke. It was returning veteran racer Vancil’s second win in the series this year.


Top Fuel Harley rider Brian Jernigan of Cypress, TX, was involved in an on-track incident during the first round of eliminations. Jernigan made contact with the right-hand wall, maintained control and brought the Top Fuel Harley Davidson motorcycle to a stop before being attended to by onsite safety personnel. Jernigan was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. 


Who doesn’t enjoy some wheelstands?



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