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The IHRA tour stop at Cordova (Illinois) Dragway Park for the Amalie Oil Summer Nationals is always one of the best races on the circuit. Track owner and former Pro Stock racer Scott Gardner has made the nearly 50-year-old facility into one of the most racer and fan friendly tracks anywhere.

Gardner has continually improved the venerable facility, paved much of the pits and pit roads, improved the track lighting and generally changed what used to be a short, dark, slick and narrow track into a fine drag racing venue.

This year, thanks to the efforts of IHRA and Gardner, the track surface is as smooth as a pool table and the old "Armco" track barriers have been replaced with concrete.

This year's edition of the Summer Nationals was IHRA drag racing at its finest with equal parts of high performance, high anxiety, and high drama. In front of near capacity crowds on Friday and Saturday night Top Fuel racer Clay Millican and tuner Mike Kloeber proved that not only can they run the number at either NHRA or IHRA events but they can do it consistently by running the table at Cordova.

Transplanted Netherlander Fuel Harley racer Stan Verheijen came from the No. 8 qualifying spot to get his first win. Mike Janis, with tuning help from Tommy Anderson, showed that he is a serious threat to win the Pro Mod title this year and Pro Stock's rising star Gene Wilson had his three race winning streak broken at this race.

Marvin Foxworth's Havoc Top Fuel team had a personal streak going at Cordova. In winning the previous race at Grand Bend and winning two rounds at Cordova they had won five rounds in a row, which was a personal best. Losing in the final round stopped their streak but the Texas team with driver Jim Bailey and tuner Rick Casseol have made the finals two races in a row and will in all probability run the rest of the schedule.



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