Records set at Australia’s Sunset Strip

Rob McKay reset the Modified Eliminator BB/MD record to 139.78 mph.


Several records were set for the eighth mile at the Sunset Strip Nationals. The third event of the 2018/19 ANDRA Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series was held at Mildura.


During the weekend’s competition these racers reset national Super Comp markers: Craig Geddes (E/D record at 4.519); Alex Panagiotidis (E/GA records at 5.514 seconds and 123.59 mph); and Adrian Vella (B/APA records at 4.667 and 148.52).


In the Competition Bike ranks it was Rob Cassar (AA/CBN record at 139.15 mph) and event winner Danny Rickard (V/CB records at 5.615 seconds and 23.41 mph).


Next on the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series will be the South Coast Nationals held at Portland’s South Coast Raceway on Nov. 10-11.  

Lancaster crowns 2018 champions

Lancaster National Dragway put a wrap on its 2018 Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing season on Friday night, Sept. 28. With the end of another successful season of straight-line racing, the track champions were crowned in all four weekly classes.


Dale Eckert of South Wales, NY, earned his second-straight Top ET track title. Eckert now has 12 track championships over the last 13 seasons with run of 10 Mod ET championships from 2006-2016.


In McGard Mod ET, Jeff Kerl of Cheektowaga, NY, claimed his fourth career class championship, and first since 2009. Mike Peters of Angola, NY, took top honors in Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds for the third year in a row. Second-generation driver, Mason Fix of Amherst, NY, had already sewn up his third Tread City Tire Street ET championship in a row heading into the final race of the season.


It was three-way race for the Top ET championship with Jan Winkowski leading both Eckert and Mike Swinarski by 10 points at the start of the event. Winkowski was eliminated in the first round paving the way for Eckert and Swinarski to take advantage. Swinarski did not get past the second round, while Eckert made it to the semi-finals to clinch his 13th championship.

Joe Passero of Stevensville, Ontario, picked up the win in Top 8 Eliminator as he beat Carl Ettipio in a battle of rear engine dragsters. It was Passero’s first visit to Lancaster since 2014. He advanced to the Top ET final with a chance to go for his second win of the night, however, a late rain shower washed out that possibility. Passero and Dave Balser were the final cars remaining in competition.


Jeff Kerl came into the final for McGard Mod with a 40-point advantage over Ryan Ricketson. Ricketson needed to go four rounds to unseat Kerl, but he lost in the third round. Kerl went four rounds to lock up the championship.

The McGard Mod final came down to Keith Banas of Tonawanda, NY, and Guy Menard. Banas was able to drive by Menard to pick up his second win of the 2018 season.


Mike Peters had a comfortable 50-point lead over Vig Puglia in the race for the Bikes & Sleds crown. Peters clinched the championship with a win in the first round of eliminations. Puglia, however, managed to score his fourth win of the season as defeated Lucas Salemi in the final round. Peters and Puglia finished the season tied with four wins each.

Ken Wischman of Arcade, NY, won the final race of the season for Tread City Tire Street ET. Wischman snapped the five-race win streak of 2018 track champion Mason Fix. Wischman beat Scott Baron in the finals for his first win of the season. 

Torrence determined to keep momentum going this year

Steve Torrence (right) has a 70-point lead on Clay Millican going into the third of six Countdown events. Last year’s spoiler, Brittany Force, is 261 points behind the leader.


Last year Steve Torrence thought he had the NHRA Top Fuel championship locked up, but then Brittany Force won three Countdown events in a row and took the championship on the very last day of the season. Torrence is determined not to let that happen this season, as the Texas racer comes off five wins in the “regular season” and wins at the first two Countdown events at Reading and St. Louis.


“We’d like to win at our hometown track, but more importantly just keep the momentum going in the Countdown,” Torrence said. “We’re just going to go in there, make sure we get qualified, and then go one round at a time.


"It's the same attitude we had last year. Maybe we're a little bit better prepared for anything that could happen, but it's the same intensity, same focus. It's the same mindset of take no prisoners and just try to win 'em all."


His father, Billy Torrence, will be driving the second Capco dragster at Dallas. He got his first ever Top Fuel win earlier this year at Brainerd, MN.


We’re happy to report that Torrence’s crew chief, Richard Hogan, is back at work after undergoing a successful procedure last week to correct an irregular heartbeat.   

Rampy leads Saturday LODRS winners at Great Bend

Dave Rampy won his 99th national event this year at St. Louis. 


In the first half of the double header at SRCA Dragstrip in Great Bend, KS, and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Cornbelt Classic, David Rampy continued his winning ways with his 61st NHRA divisional event win. Mike Town and Mark Grame grabbed their second straight wins at SRCA.


Alabama racer Rampy and Nebraska runner Matt Harris left the line together with .018 second reaction times in Comp Eliminator but Rampy had the power to pull away with a 7.631 second, 152.50 mph pass for the win in his ’32 roadster with Harris clocking in at 8.770, 125.90. The win was also Rampy’s third divisional of the year to go with his 99 NHRA national event wins.


Jason DeForrest, Andover, MN, was out on Town, Paola, KS, in the Super Stock final before Town laid down a 10.805 on the 10.80 dial to take the win and the NHRA Wally trophy by about two feet over the quicker DeForrest at 9.457, 131.93.


Grame, Overland Park, KS, took the early lead in Super Comp over Michael Miller and held on as Miller could not make up the difference. Grame went 9.077, 182.90 in his ’11 dragster to Miller’s 9.064, 166.52 in his ’10 dragster.


In the Fineline Madcap Top Dragster final round Kendra Larson out of Minnesota was better at both ends of the track to take down Dusty Meyer of Tonganoxie, KS. Larson tripped the clocks in 7.284 at 179.42 mph for her second series win.


First time winner Monte Weaver celebrated in the winner’s circle as he left the line first against Todd Stallbaumer in the Advanced Product Design Top Sportsman. Weaver, Lubbock, TX, held on for the win with his ’63 Corvette running 6.590, 185.77 to Stallbaumer’s 7.611, 180.67 out of Seneca, Kan.


In Stock Eliminator, Paul Merolla bagged his first win with a nice pass over the red-lighting Norman Warling; Tim Nicholson was out first in Super Gas but ran too quick to give Butch Kleewein, North Platte, NE, and his ’13 Camaro the win; Rodger Sauder was .007 seconds on the tree then went 11.057 on the 11.05 index for the win in Super Street; and John Fitzpatrick went four rounds for Sportsman Motorcycle trophy over Robert Williams in an all-Kansas final.


SUPER COMP SHOOTOUT:  Austin Sharpe, Omaha, NE, '07 Undercover, 9.097, 170.82 def. Larry Bernshausen, Manito, IL, ‘11 Gebhardt, 9.129, 166.58.


SUPER GAS SHOOTOUT: Trevor Larson, Starbuck, MN, '08 Daren Erickson, 10.088, 161.02 def. Chris Bishop, Grand Rapids, MM, '05 Don Davis, 10.025, 150.73.


SUPER STREET SHOOTOUT: Dave Ash, Victoria, KS, '92 Camaro, 11.042, 142.40 def. Dan Smith, Buffalo, MN, '67 Camaro, 11.033, 147.34.  

Rampy doesn’t repeat Sunday at Great Bend

David Rampy could not get the second-half win in Comp Eliminator on Sunday at the SRCA Dragstrip’s Thunder on the Plains. Instead, it was Saturday’s runner-up Matt Harris who took it one step further for the win in defeating Chad Voges. Harris went 7.810, 172.76 to Voges’ 7.979 at 151.99 mph.

Megan Meyer defeated her sister Rachel in a close round one battle then took out Christine Chambless to advance to the final in Top Alcohol Dragster against Dean Dubbin. Dubbin, Royalton, MN, was out first but quickly had problems and Meyer, Olathe, KS, sped by for her second win of the year, stopping the clocks at 7.199, 263.82.


Kris Hool, out of Evansville, WY, qualified No. 1 in Top Alcohol Funny Car and would face off with No. 2 qualifier Lance Van Hauen in the money round. Hool was out first and led from start to finish with a 5.817 second, 255.39 mph pass to Van Hauen who slowed to an 8.143, 116.99.


Michael Miller turned the tables on Mark Grame to take the Super Comp title and the 11th of his career running 9.526 at 140.68. Grame, Overland Park, KS, beat Miller in Saturday’s action.


Steve Hayes and Mark Von Heeder took home trophies in Super Gas and Super Street respectively. Hayes beat out Don Nichols in a dead heat as both racers put together .038 second packages. Von Heeder was out first on Saturday’s winner Rodger Sauder, which forced Sauder to run too quick and break out. The win was Von Heeder’s first out of Ainsworth, NE.


In the ADP Top Sportsman class, it was Kirk Piepke driving his ’07 GTO to the win and Randy Dahlberg took out Les Feist in the Fineline Madcap Top Dragster class. Piepke covered the quarter mile in 7.237 at 167.88 over Allen Firestone and Dahlberg went 7.231, 145.58 against Feist who fouled at the start.


Rounding out the weekend’s winners were Wyatt Wagner, Baschor, KS, in Super Stock winning over Jared Swinehart, Tom Mosbek downed Logan Wernet in Stock, Dave Olsen put Michael Shelton on the trailer in Sportsman Motorcycle and Bruce Sampson defeated John Fitzpatrick in the Voss Shootout.


This was the last event in the 2018 NHRA West Central Division but racers can compete outside their division and continue to earn points toward the 2018 championship. 

Bourgeois, Labbous lead LODRS winners at Silver Dollar

Former Lucas Oil World Champion Craig Bourgeois and reigning Super Gas World Champion John Labbous led the list of winners at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series at Silver Dollar Raceway in Reynolds, GA.

Bourgeois qualified No. 1 then posted the victory over Jim Kimbrough in Comp Eliminator. Bourgeois was out first then pulled away to a 6.890 second lap at 180.57 mph to Kimbrough’s 7.379, 177.79 out of the No. 3 spot. 


Labbous used a .004 second reaction time to jump out in front of Rusty Cook in a battle of Corvettes. Labbous went 9.943, 159.99 in his ’63 to oust Cook and his ’99 Corvette at 9.956, 154.32.


Super Stock saw a pair of hitters face off in the final as Mike Crutchfield and Jimmy Hidalgo went to battle. Hidalgo was out first but Crutchfield ran him down at 9.156, 135.81 to Hidalgo’s 10.100, 132.91.


The Super Comp final saw a great race as Tyler Caheely, Rock Spring, GA, and Raymond Miller, Spring City, TN, left the line together with .004 and .007 second reaction times respectively. Caheely was a tick better at the top end tripping the clocks at 8.921, 173.21 to Miller’s 8.926, 167.45.


Super Street was also close at the start with Jacob Rutledge, Powder Springs, GA, taking a .001 second lead (.009 to .010) over Don Popham, Upatoi, GA, but Popham was better at the strip running 10.963, 109.44 in his ’98 Mustang. Rutledge came in at 11.204, 121.11.


In the Stotts Ford Top Sportsman class it was Dylan Stott hoisting the NHRA Wally trophy. His ’18 Mustang went 7.015 at 156.86 mph for the win. Bruce Duncan was right with him off the start in his ’95 Camaro but had problems down track and had to shut it off.


Rounding out the winners in the Lucas Series were Gale Pinkston in a battle of old Camaro vs new Camaro in Stock and Scott Gibson won in the Hickory Enclosed Trailer Top Dragster over Greg Gallagher. The Shelbyville, TN, racer Pinkston went 11.175 at 114.95 for the win over Daniel Young, Palm Harbor, Fla., and Gibson raced to a 7.297, 183.27 mph pass after Gallagher fouled at the start with a red light.


The NHRA Summit Jr. Drag Racing league was also in action this weekend with Aaron Kennedy, Logan Westmoreland and Autumn Greene taking the wins. Kennedy, Winder, GA, won the Novice class over Alyssa Rabon, Westmoreland the Intermediate class against Hayden Wallace and Greene went start to finish in the Advanced class to beat Ozell Brown. 

NMRA racers clinch championships at Bowling Green

The final NMRA event of the 2018 season was held at Bowling Green, KY. To see the results please go to here.


The NMRA 2018 World Champions include Andy Manson in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw (shown), Frank Varela in Edelbrock Renegade, Haley James in ProCharger Coyote Modified, Michael Ciborowski in Steeda Limited Street, Darin Hendricks in G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock, Dan Ryntz in Richmond Gear Factory Stock, Gordon Harlow in ARP Open Comp, Randy Conway in Detroit Locker Truck & Lightning, Jenson Henson in Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle, Marvin Knack in Roush Performance Super Stang, and Bryan Parker in Race Star Wheels Ford Muscle.    

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