wins Top Fuel conclusion of Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway;
Locks Up Third-Consecutive World Championship
|Clay Millican captured the Spring Nationals
title by defeating Rhonda Hartman-Smith.
(10-18-2003) - Clay Millican won his 29th career
Top Fuel event Saturday during the conclusion of the 33rd Annual
Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway by running the quarter-mile
in 4.653 seconds at 309.34 mph to defeat Rhonda Hartman-Smith in
the final round.
Millican of Drummonds, Tenn., has locked up his third-consecutive
Hooters IHRA Top Fuel world championship.
Mike Janis, Lancaster, NY., Pro Modified; Mark Thomas, Louisville,
Ohio, Funny Car; and Rick Jones, Galesburg, Ill., Sunoco Race Fuels
Pro Stock were winners in their respective categories.
Millican began the day No. 1 qualifier and drove the Werner Enterprises
dragster to a 4.659 ET
to defeat Tim Cullinan in the first round, which clinched the championship.
He met John Smith
round two and defeated him with a 4.627 ET as Smith smoked the tires.
Millican went on to
defeat Hartman-Smith in the final round of the Richmond County Tourism
"Night of Fire" for the
|Mike Janis entered eliminations as the
longshot 16th seeded entry and stopped Al Billes in the final
"It's done and over with, but now we have to keep thinking
about the next race so there is no
celebration time," said Millican, following his first round
victory over Tim Cullinan to clinch
the world championship. "We still want to win tonight and we
want to win Sunday. This is how
we make a living and just because we have the championship locked
up doesn't mean we are going to let up. But there will be a big
celebration after this race.
"Last year we wanted to have the perfect season and we didn't
do it. This year we have a shot
to make it to every final round."
Hartman-Smith began the day with the FRAM dragster qualified second
and defeated 18-year-old Josh Starcher in round one with a 4.703
at 308.64, top speed of the round. Hartman-Smith met Ken Zeal in
the semifinal. Zeal had the quicker ET with a 4.814 to Hartman-Smith's
5.132 and appeared to win the round but was disqualified for crossing
the centerline. Hartman-Smith
advanced to the final round.
Pro Modified winner Janis of Lancaster, N.Y., began the day as
the No. 16 qualifier and defeated points leader Mitch Stott in round
one on a hole shot. This round-win and Quain Stott's loss in round
one make Janis the only competitor able to catch Mitch Stott in
the chase for the world championship. Janis then defeated Tim McAmis
in round two and Shannon Jenkins in round three, both red light
wins. Janis defeated Al Billes in the final round with a 6.142 at
|Mark Thomas stopped Rob Atchison in the
"We came down here with the intentions to lockup second place
in the points," said Janis. "To
win this thing is just an added bonus to the season.
"It's exciting. The chance is actually there to win the championship."
Billes, the No. 2 qualifier, advanced beyond the first round uncontested
and met Mike Castellana in round two. Billes ran the quarter-mile
in 6.203 seconds to win the round and went on to defeat Ed Hoover
to advance to the final round.
Thomas, the only Funny Car driver coming into this race with a
mathematical chance to catch Rob Atchison in the points battle,
was qualified second and defeated Mark Poyser in the first round.
Then, the Louisville, Ohio-native defeated Larry Dobbs with a 5.812
ET and Neal Parker to advance to the final round against Atchison.
He defeated Atchison with a 5.821 to win the race.
"We really love the race here at Rockingham," said Thomas.
"Whether Rob wins the championship or not, we came down here
hoping to end the year on a good note.
"We haven't hurt any parts this weekend and I feel good about
Atchison came into the event as points leader and qualified No.
1. The London, Ontario-native
ran a 5.884 at 238.51 mph to defeat first round opponent John Sullivan.
In round two, Atchison
beat Ronnie Midyette off the line with a 0.010 reaction time and
won the round and then defeated Tony Bogolo to advance to the finals.
|Rick Jones was brutal on the Sunoco Pro
Stock field with a torrid winning pace in the 6.40s.
In Sunoco Pro Stock, Jones of Galesburg, Ill., came into the race
qualified No. 14 and defeated
Charlie Peppers in round one. Jones then ran a 6.528 ET to defeat
Floyd Cheek's 6.584. In the
semifinal, Jones shook the tires but recovered as he saw Frank Gugliotta
cross the centerline
drawing a disqualification. Jones defeated defending world champion
Brian Gahm in the final
round with a 6.480.
"Brian and I are competitors and I just wanted to make it
a good clean race," said Jones. "My
crew chief Mark Stockseth and my son Rickie made some good calls
on the car. It has been an
awesome weekend for us. Now, I just want to concentrate on tomorrow
and get a finish in the top five.
"I had a lot of help from a lot of different people and that
really made the difference for me
Qualified No. 5, Gahm defeated Jason Collins in the first round
with a 6.541 ET. The
Lucasville, Ohio-native then defeated Chris Holbrook round two and
Mike Bell in round three to
make it to the finals.
Baker still has the Pro Stock points lead. Gahm and Gugliotta are
the only competitors with a
mathematical chance to catch Baker for the world championship.
The next event on the 2003 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series
is the 8th annual IHRA World Finals, also at Rockingham Dragway,
concluding this Sunday, October 19.
Saturday's final results from the 33rd annual Spring Nationals
presented by Advance Auto Parts & Castrol at Rockingham Dragway.
The rain-delayed $1.1 million race is the second of 12 in the 2003
Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel -- Clay Millican, 4.653 seconds, 309.34 mph def. Rhonda
Hartman-Smith, 4.707 seconds, 313.15 mph.
Pro Modified -- Mike Janis, Chevy Corvette, 6.142, 231.08 def.
Al Billes, Studebaker, 11.744,
Funny Car -- Mark Thomas, Dodge Avenger, 5.821, 243.59 def. Rob
Atchison, Pontiac Firebird, 10.655, 81.23.
Pro Stock -- Rick Jones, Dodge Neon, 6.480, 213.23 def. Brian Gahm,
Ford Mustang, 6.612,
Final results of eliminations conducted Thursday:
Top Sportsman -- Marco Abruzzi, Chevy Camaro, 7.193, 181.64 def.
David Lambert, Camaro, 7.011, 194.32.
Top Dragster -- Frank Kohutek, 7.329, 176.49 def. Eric Boyd, 7.301,
Quick Rod -- Gary Bingham, Dragster, 8.888, 164.53 def. Bob Fuller,
Dragster, 8.879, 163.45.
Super Rod -- John Vineyard, Ford Roadster, 10.016, 151.00 def.
Frank Kohutek, Pontiac Grand Prix, 10.071, 152.87.
Hot Rod -- Robert Holloway, Chevy Camaro, 10.887, 137.62 def. Michael
Harris, Camaro, 10.933, 136.44.
Super Stock -- Tracy Robbins, Chevy Corvette, 9.057, 142.55 def.
Scotty Stillings, Pontiac
Grand Am, 9.353, 143.57.
Stock -- Missy Phillips, Chevy Nova, 9.937, 127.35 def. Scotty
Stillings, Chevy Camaro, 11.525,
Final round-by-round results from the 33rd annual Spring Nationals
presented by Advance Auto Parts & Castrol at Rockingham Dragway,
the second of 12 events in the 2003 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series
ROUND ONE -- John Smith, 4.718, 306.67 def. Danny Dunn,
4.754, 305.08; Ken Zeal, 5.793, 148.05
def. Roger Dean, broke; Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.703, 308.64 def.
Josh Starcher, 5.177, 204.48;
Clay Millican, 4.659, 304.25 def. Tim Cullinan, 8.713, 89.05;
SEMIFINALS -- Hartman-Smith, 5.132, 265.95 def. Zeal,
foul; Millican, 4.627, 314.09 def. Smith,
FINAL -- Millican, 4.653, 309.34 def. Hartman-Smith, 4.707,
ROUND ONE -- Tim McAmis, Chevy Corvette, 6.207, 223.99
def. Harold Martin, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.273, 217.28; Roy Hill, Corvette,
6.272, 220.91 def. Annette Summer, Chevy Bel Air, broke; Mike Castellana,
Chevy Camaro, 6.231, 222.91 def. Rickie Smith, Dodge Viper, 6.221,
223.95; Ed Hoover, Corvette, 6.267, 225.03 def. Quain Stott, Corvette,
9.354, 89.94; Shannon Jenkins, Camaro, 6.236, 221.60 def. Dale Brinsfield,
Camaro, 6.313, 219.29; Pat Moore, Bel Air, 6.262, 219.54 def. Fred
Hahn, Corvette, 9.913, 102.65; Al Billes, Studebaker, 6.261, 222.25
def. Paul Athey, Corvette, broke; Mike Janis, Corvette, 6.256, 227.84
def. Mitch Stott, Corvette, 6.250, 224.70;
QUARTERFINALS -- Hoover, 6.245, 224.02 def. Moore, 6.512,
179.83; Jenkins, 6.217, 222.29 def. Hill, foul; Billes, 6.203, 224.81
def. Castellana, 6.346, 210.90; Janis, 6.199, 230.10 def. McAmis,
SEMIFINALS -- Billes, 6.245, 224.25 def. Hoover, 6.275,
225.11; Janis, 6.181, 227.50 def.
FINAL -- Janis, 6.142, 231.08 def. Billes, 11.744, 84.77.
ROUND ONE -- Rob Atchison, Pontiac Firebird, 5.884, 238.51
def. John Sullivan, Pontiac Firehawk, 6.207, 224.43; Mark Thomas,
Dodge Avenger, 5.859, 239.10 def. Mark Poyser, Ford Mustang, 6.109,
228.19; John Vouros, Firebird, 5.886, 237.75 def. Chris Foster,
Avenger, 12.539, 85.20; Tony Bogolo, Oldsmobile Achieva, 5.843,
239.06 def. Terry McMillen, Avenger, 5.948, 232.15; Monty Todd,
Chevy Camaro, 6.094, 230.02 def. Terry Munroe, Firebird, 8.228,
93.35; Neal Parker, Camaro, 5.891, 235.35 def. Von Smith, Avenger,
5.887, 237.21; Larry Dobbs, Chevy Corvette, 5.886, 236.55 def. Mike
Comella, Avenger, 7.010, 149.33; Ronnie Midyette, Camaro, 6.127,
224.62 def. Bunny Burkett, Avenger, 6.080, 234.66;
QUARTERFINALS -- Bogolo, 5.911, 237.80 def. Todd, 6.174,
229.86; Thomas, 5.812, 239.74 def. Dobbs, 5.926, 237.05; Atchison,
5.793, 238.81 def. Midyette, 5.943, 235.02; Parker, 5.858, 237.84
def. Vouros, 5.860, 237.00;
SEMIFINALS -- Atchison, 5.787, 240.47 def. Bogolo, 5.880,
239.48; Thomas, 5.835, 240.89 def. Parker, foul;
FINAL -- Thomas, 5.821, 243.59 def. Atchison, 10.655,
ROUND ONE -- Mike Bell, Ford Probe, 6.559, 210.24 def.
John Bartunek, Chevy Cavalier, 6.554, 211.43; Frank Gugliotta, Ford
Mustang, 6.579, 210.21 def. Tim Nabors, Cavalier, 15.011, 73.17;
Floyd Cheek, Mustang, 6.576, 208.14 def. Steve Spiess, Pontiac Grand
Am, 6.626, 208.33; Brian Gahm, Mustang, 6.541, 209.92 def. Jason
Collins, Mercury Cougar, 6.558, 209.79; Chris Holbrook, Ford Escort,
6.593, 209.69 def. Steve Williford, Cavalier, 6.607, 208.33; Rick
Jones, Dodge Neon, 6.551, 210.24 def. Charlie Peppers, Mustang,
6.619, 209.79; Jerry Haas, Grand Am, 6.551, 211.69 def. Pete Berner,
Mustang, foul; Elijah Morton, Cougar, 6.547, 209.52 def. Carl Baker,
Cougar, 6.542, 212.03;
QUARTERFINALS -- Jones, 6.528, 210.97 def. Cheek, 6.584,
209.72; M. Bell, 6.566, 211.56 def. Haas, 6.535, 211.76; Gugliotta,
6.575, 210.41 def. Morton, foul; Gahm, 6.542, 209.85 def.
Holbrook, 6.665, 208.07;
SEMIFINALS -- Gahm, 6.544, 210.83 def. M. Bell, 15.883,
60.93; Jones, 7.898, 205.04 def.
FINAL -- Jones, 6.480, 213.23 def. Gahm, 6.612, 208.68.
FRIDAY – Rain
halts eliminations in the semis; Action resumes on Saturday
(10-17-2003) - Once again, rain stopped the IHRA
Spring Nationals solid in its tracks. But this time, the track was
working perfectly. There were no sand gnats, no pollen and very
few oildowns. Steve Earwood’s commitment to improving the
Rockingham Dragway racing surface and his subsequent repaving project
resulted in tremendous performances across the board.
In Top Fuel, one round went into the books as complete with Clay
Millican (Tim Cullinan), John Smith (Danny Dunn), Rhonda Hartman-Smith
(Josh Starcher) and Ken Zeal (Roger Dean).
Pro Modified had been eliminated down to the semi-finals. The remaining
combatants included Mike Janis, Shannon Jenkins, Al Billes and Ed
Funny Car eliminations whittled down to the quartet of Rob Atchison,
Tony Bogolo, Mark Thomas and Neal Parker.
Sunoco Pro Stock semi-final survivors included Mike Bell, Brian
Gahm, Frank Gugliotta and Rick Jones.
Eliminations will run simultaneously with Saturday’s World
Finals qualifying. The semis will kick off 1 PM and finals will
be at 6 PM.
Results from the first two rounds of racing Friday in the 33rd
Spring Nationals drag races at Rockingham Dragway, an event postponed
from March. Racing continues Saturday.
First round - 1. Clay Millican, Drummonds, Tenn., 4.659,
304.25 mph, def. 8. Tim Cullinan, Des
Plaines, Ill., 8.713, 89.05 mph; 2. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, Williamstown,
S.C., 4. 703, 308.64
mph, def. 7. Josh Starcher, Fairmont, West Va., 5.177, 204.48 mph;
3. Ken Zeal, Reno, Nev.,
5.793, 248.05 mph, def. 6. Roger Dean, Webster Springs, West Va.,
broke; 5. John Smith,
Williamstown, S.C., 4.718, 306.67 mph, def. 4. Danny Dunn, Wilkesboro,
N.C., 4.754, 305.08 mph.
Semifinals - Millican vs. Smith; Hartman-Smith vs. Zeal.
First round - 16. Mike Janis, Lancaster, N.Y,, 1963 Chevy
Corvette, 6.256, 227.84 mph, def. 1.
Mitch Stott, Mill Spring, N.C., 1963 Chevy Corvette, 6.250, 224.70
mph; 2. Al Billes, Barrie,
Ontario, Canada, 1953 Studebaker, 6.261, 222.25 mph, def. 15. Paul
Athey, Uncasville, Conn, 1963 Chevy Corvette, no time; 14. Pat Moore,
Kinsman, Ohio, 1957 Chevy Bel Air, 6.262, 219.54 mph, def. 3. Fred
Hahn, Elma, N.Y., 2002 Chevy Corvette, 9.913, 102.65 mph; 4. Shannon
Jenkins, Tuscaloosa, Ala, 1968 Chevy Camaro, 6.236, 221.60 mph,
def. 13. Dale Brinsfield, Oak Ridge, N.C., 1968 Chevy Camaro, 6.313,
219.29 mph; 5 Roy Hill, Sophia, N.C., 1963 Corvette, 6.272, 220.91
mph, def. 12. Annette Summer, Aiken, S.C., 1957 Chevy Bel Air, no
time; 11. Ed Hoover, Gilbert , S.C., 1963 Chevy Corvette, 6.267,
225.03 mph, def. 6. Quain Stott, Inman, S.C., 1963 Chevy Corvette,
9.354, 89.94 mph; 10. Mike Castellana, Westbury, N.Y., 1968 Chevy
Camaro, 6.231, 222.91 mph, def. 7. Rickie Smith, King, N.C., 2001
Dodge Viper, 6.221, 223.95 mph; 9. Tim McAmis, Hawk Point, Mo.,
1963 Chevy Corvette, 6.207, 223.99 mph, def. 8. Harold Martin, West
Broomfield, Mich., 2003 Pontiac, 6.273, 217.28 mph.
Second round - Hoover, 6.245, 224.02 mph, def. Moore,
6.512, 179.83 mph; Jenkins, 6.217, 222.29 mph, def. Hill, foul;
Billes, 6.203, 224.81 mph, def. Castellana, 6.346, 210.90 mph; Janis,
6.199, 230.10 mph, def. McAmis, foul.
Semifinals - Janis vs. Jenkins; Billes vs. Hoover.
First round - 16. Jerry Haas, Fenton, Mo., Grand Am,
6.551, 211.69 mph, def. 1. Pete Berner,
Crete, Ill., Mustang, 6.532, 210.93 mph; 15. Elijah Morton, Jacksonville,
N.C., Mustang, 6.547,
209.52 mph, def. 2. Carl Baker, North Ridgeville, Ohio, Mercury
Cougar, 6.542, 212.03 mph; 14. Rick Jones, Galesburg, Ill., Dodge
Neon, 6.551, 210.24 mph, def. 3. Charlie Peppers, Auburn, Ga., Mustang,
6.619, 209.79 mph; 4. Chris Holbrook, Redford, Mich., Ford Escort
ZX2, 6.593, 209.69 mph, def. 13. Steve Williford, Engelhard, N.C.,
Cavalier, 6.607, 208.33 mph; 5. Brian Gahm, Lucasville, Ohio, Ford
Mustang, 6.541, 209.92 mph, def. 12. Jason Collins, Rainbow City,
Ala., Cougar, 6.558, 209.79 mph; 6. Floyd Cheek, Lake Site, Tenn.,
Mustang, 6.576, 208.14 mph, def. 11. Steve Spiess, Manhattan, Ill.,
Grand Am, 6.626, 208.33 mph; 10. Frank Gugliotta, Mt. Airy, Md.,
Mustang, 6.579, 210.21 mph, def. 7. Tim Nabors, Lawrenceville, Ga.,
Cavalier, 15.011, 73.17 mph; 8. Mike Bell , McLeansville, N.C.,
Ford Probe, 6.559, 210.24 mph, def. 9. John Bartunek Pearl River,
N.Y., Cavalier, 6.554, 211.43 mph.
Second round - Jones, 6.528, 210.97 mph, def. Cheek, 6.584,
209.72 mph; M. Bell, 6.566, 211.56 mph, def. Haas, 6.535, 211.76
mph; Gugliotta, 6.575, 210.41 mph, def. Morton, 6.537, 209.98 mph;
Gahm, 6.542, 209.85 mph, def. Holbrook, 6.665, 209.07 mph.
Semifinals - M. Bell vs. Gahm; Jones vs. Gugliotta.
First round - 1. Rob Atchison, London, Ontario, Canada,
Pontiac Firebird, 5.884, 238.51 mph,
def. 16. John Sullivan, Pike Road City, Ala., Firebird, 6.207, 224.43
mph; 2. Mark Thomas,
Louisville, Ohio, Dodge Avenger, 5.859, 239.10 mph, def. 15. Mark
Poyser, Fort Wayne, Ind., Ford Mustang, 6.109, 228.19 mph; 3. John
Vouros, Victory, N.Y., Firebird, 5.886, 237.75 mph, def. 14. Chris
Foster, Davenport, Iowa, Avenger, 12.539, 85.20 mph; 13 Tony Bogolo,
Hamilton, Ohio, Oldsmobile Achieva, 5.843, 239.06 mph, def. 4. Terry
McMillen, Elkhart, Ind., Avenger, 5.948, 232.15 mph; 12. Monty Todd,
Montgomery, Ala., Camaro, 6.094, 230.02 mph, def. 5. Terry Munroe,
Beaver, Pa., Firebird, 8.228, 93.35 mph; 11. Neal Parker, Millville,
N.J., Chevrolet Camaro, 5.891, 235.35 mph, def. 6. Von Smith, Oak
Ridge Tenn., 2002 Dodge Avenger, 5.887, 237.21 mph; 7. Larry Dobbs,
Welland, Ontario, Canada, Chevy Corvette, 5.886, 236.55 mph, def.
10 Mike Comella, Mentor, Ohio, Avenger, 7.010, 149.33 mph; 8. Ronnie
Midyette, Virginia Beach, Va., Camaro, 6.127, 224.62 mph, def. 9.
Bunny Burkett, Spotsylvania, Va., Avenger, 6.080, 234.66 mph.
Second round - Bogolo, 5.911, 237.80 mph, def. Todd, 6.174,
229.86 mph; Thomas, 5.812, 239.74 mph, def. Dobbs, 5.926, 237.05
mph; Atchison, 5.793, 238.81 mph, def. Midyette, 5.943, 235.02 mph;
Parker, 5.858, 237.84 mph, def. Vourous, 5.860, 237.00 mph.
Semifinals - Atchison vs. Bogolo; Thomas vs. Parker.
THURSDAY - Sportsman competition
wraps up from Spring Nationals
(10-16-2003) – Six months after the 33rd
annual Spring Nationals began, the sportsman portion of the event
concluded on Thursday.
Thursday's final results from the 33rd annual Spring Nationals
presented by Advance Auto Parts & Castrol at Rockingham Dragway.
Final eliminations for IHRA Professional categories will begin at
4:00 p.m. Friday, October 16. The $1.1 million race is the second
of 12 in the 2003 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series:
Top Sportsman -- Marco Abruzzi, Chevy Camaro,
7.193, 181.64 def. David Lambert, Camaro, 7.011, 194.32.
Top Dragster -- Frank Kohutek, 7.329, 176.49 def.
Eric Boyd, 7.301, 183.10.
Quick Rod -- Gary Bingham, Dragster, 8.888, 164.53
def. Bob Fuller, Dragster, 8.879, 163.45.
Super Rod -- John Vineyard, Ford Roadster, 10.016,
151.00 def. Frank Kohutek, Pontiac Grand Prix, 10.071, 152.87.
Hot Rod -- Robert Holloway, Chevy Camaro, 10.887,
137.62 def. Michael Harris, Camaro, 10.933, 136.44.
Super Stock -- Tracy Robbins, Chevy Corvette,
9.057, 142.55 def. Scotty Stillings, Pontiac
Grand Am, 9.353, 143.57.
Stock -- Missy Phillips, Chevy Nova, 9.937, 127.35
def. Scotty Stillings, Chevy Camaro, 11.525, 114.69.
SPRING NATIONALS RAINED OUT; ‘‘SUPER EVENT' SCHEDULED
|Eliminations have been postponed until
(3-30-2003) – Heavy rain washed out Sunday's
33rd annual IHRA Spring Nationals drag racing event at Rockingham
Dragway and the lack of a viable makeup date prompted track and
IHRA officials to adopt a unique and creative approach to facilitate
Because Rockingham Dragway hosts a second event in the IHRA Hooters
Drag Racing Series, officials opted to create a four-day "super
event" in the fall consisting of the uncompleted portion of
the Spring Nationals followed by the Oct. 17-19 IHRA World Finals.
All those drivers qualified to compete in the Spring Nationals
will be afforded one time trial on Thursday, Oct. 16, with single
elimination finals beginning Thursday afternoon at a time yet to
be determined. Once the Spring Nationals is completed, racers will
move immediately into the World Finals.
Tickets purchased for Sunday's Spring Nationals finales will be
honored on either of the four days of the expanded fall race ––
Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
"In effect, we get a ‘‘double points' season finale
that could have an enormous impact on the race for Hooters Championships,"
said Rockingham owner Steve Earwood. "What we get is four days
of Top Fuel dragsters, Pro Modifieds, Pro Stocks and Funny Cars
instead of just three."
"Because of travel considerations and schedule conflicts,
we felt that this was the best option for all our racers, spectators
and sponsors," said IHRA President Bill Bader. "It's a
unique solution but one that was available to us only because Rockingham
Dragway hosts a pair of events in the Hooters Series."
Details regarding the completion of the Holley All-Star Shootout,
contested in conjunction with the Spring Nationals, have not been
determined and will be announced at a later date.
Final Qualifying Lists
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- First-round pairings for professional eliminations
for the 33rd annual Spring Nationals presented by Advance Auto Parts
& Castrol at Rockingham Dragway, the second of 12 events in
the 2003 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results
in qualifying, which ended Sunday.
Top Fuel -- 1. Clay Millican, 4.697 seconds, 295.79
mph vs. 8. Tim Cullinan, 5.501, 216.34; 2. Rhonda Hartman-Smith,
4.772, 308.07 vs. 7. Josh Starcher, 5.494, 195.56; 3. Ken Zeal,
4.970, 256.70 vs. 6. Roger Dean, 5.431, 267.32; 4. Danny Dunn, 5.074,
210.21 vs. 5. John Smith, 5.230, 278.06.
Pro Modified -- 1. Mitch Stott, Chevy Corvette,
6.156, 227.46 vs. 16. Paul Athey, Corvette, 6.306, 221.16; 2. Al
Billes, Studebaker, 6.190, 225.48 vs. 15. Pat Moore, Chevy Bel Air,
6.306, 222.14; 3. Fred Hahn, Corvette, 6.209, 224.55 vs. 14. Dale
Brinsfield, Willys, 6.292, 221.45; 4. Shannon Jenkins, Chevy Camaro,
6.209, 222.55 vs. 13. Annette Summer, Bel Air, 6.284, 219.86; 5.
Roy Hill, Ford Mustang, 6.212, 225.52 vs. 12. Ed Hoover, Corvette,
6.272, 221.52; 6. Quain Stott, Corvette, 6.224, 227.42 vs. 11. Mike
Castellana, Camaro, 6.272, 221.63; 7. Mike Ashley, Studebaker, 6.230,
224.40 vs. 10. Tim McAmis, Corvette, 6.272, 222.11; 8. Rickie Smith,
Dodge Viper, 6.238, 223.84 vs. 9. Harold Martin, Pontiac Grand Am,
Funny Car -- 1. Rob Atchison, Pontiac Firebird,
5.831, 238.47 vs. 16. John Sullivan, Pontiac Firehawk, 6.098, 230.41;
2. Mark Thomas, Dodge Avenger, 5.873, 238.76 vs. 15. Mark Poyser,
Ford Mustang, 6.087, 231.71; 3. John Vouros, Firebird, 5.904, 234.66
vs. 14. Chris Foster, Avenger, 6.056, 232.55; 4. Terry McMillen,
Avenger, 5.939, 235.68 vs. 13. Tony Bogolo, Olds Achieva, 6.033,
205.98; 5. Terry Munroe, Firebird, 5.950, 235.89 vs. 12. Monty Todd,
Chevy, 6.027, 232.31; 6. Von Smith, 5.959, 222.91 vs. 11. Neal Parker,
Chevy Camaro, 5.989, 232.79; 7. Larry Dobbs, Chevy Corvette, 5.970,
234.45 vs. 10. Mike Comella, Avenger, 5.979, 233.56; 8. Ronnie Midyette,
Camaro, 5.977, 236.55 vs. 9. Bunny Burkett, Avenger, 5.979, 235.60.
Pro Stock -- 1. Pete Berner, Ford Mustang, 6.538, 211.53
vs. 16. Elijah Morton, Mustang, 6.635, 208.91; 2. Carl Baker, Mercury
Cougar, 6.552, 211.46 vs. 15. Rick Jones, Dodge Neon R/T, 6.626,
206.99; 3. Charlie Peppers, Mustang, 6.554, 211.13 vs. 14. Steve
Williford, Chevy Cavalier, 6.622, 209.20; 4. Chris Holbrook, Ford
Probe, 6.557, 205.35 vs. 13. Jason Collins, Cougar, 6.618, 210.14;
5. Brian Gahm, Mustang, 6.567, 210.97 vs. 12. Steve Spiess, Pontiac
Grand Am, 6.618, 208.91; 6. Floyd Cheek, Mustang, 6.573, 209.33
vs. 11. Frank Gugliotta, Cougar, 6.610, 209.85; 7. John Konigshofer,
Cougar, 6.593, 210.11 vs. 10. John Bartunek, Grand Am, 6.609, 209.62;
8. Tim Nabors, Cavalier, 6.600, 209.95 vs. 9. Mike Bell, Pontiac
Firebird, 6.603, 209.49.
It's the pollen...well at 11 PM that's what they were blaming
|The most impressive thing about the Rockingham
Saturday evening show is that less than a six pack of beer was
tossed onto the track. Reportedly, officials near the grandstands
were pelted with chicken bones.
(11-29-2003) - First it was sand gnats on the
track that resulted in a delay. Then there was rain and that was
okay cause it washed the bug guts off of the track. But then there
was an accident that necessitated a clean up. Then it rained again.
Then an amazing thing happened. The sun came out. Then it rained
with the sun out. That was okay because it kept the heat in the
track. They dried the track and proceeded to run a professional
session, but then that proved to be less than spectacular. The IHRA
then ran some sportsman cars and then prepared for the pro car with
extra track prep.
Confident the track prep was worth the extra time that delayed
the start of the final qualifying session, the IHRA decided to run
their Holley All-Star eliminations. Then two of the cars swapped
lanes and a few of them had near misses necessitating officials
to go back and prep the track again. This time an abundance of pollen
was blamed for the slick conditions.
IHRA Bill Bader then sent a pair of wheelstanders down the track
as a test. Both cars made it shy of the eighth-mile mark and then
returned to earth. Confident that his team could make a difference
in the obviously slickened track, veteran Top Fuel crewchief Mike
Kloeber volunteered the Werner Enterprises team to make a run. Driver
Clay Millican launched and sixty feet into the lap went up in smoke.
Car after car produced a smoking effort except for the one shot
of Rhonda Hartman-Smith, which netted a 4.77, 308.07. Pro Stock
made single runs, but only a 6.74 was the best that could be mustered.
One Funny Car made a lap, but when his headers scraped the track
on the burnout, the rest of the contingent created a mass exodus
from the staging lanes that greatly resembled the running of the
bulls in Spain. Of course the majority of Pro Modifieds made their
attempt, but then again most of these guys are used to racing on
tracks that made the conditions of this particular evening look
like the facility of the year.
If it sounds like we are trying to poke humor or criticize the
sanctioning body, nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone
on the grounds at Rockingham Dragway actually felt bad for the officials
that were trying their absolute hardest to give the fans a show
and then there were the fans that sat faithful in the stands hoping
to see some resemblance of a show. The fans seemed to understand
and knowing the usual Rockingham general admission, when less than
a six pack of beer was hurled at the track, that was a positive
In the end, no one scored a victory on this evening, but it wasn't
for a lack of effort.
Saturday Report – Revolving Door Top Fuel Qualifying, Patriotic
Displays and Tricky Track for Third Session
|Rick Jones, the lone Mopar representative
in IHRA mountain motor Pro Stock, had a tough time on the first
day of qualifying.
The Neon Lights on Broadway – One race after
shining brightly in San Antonio, Texas, chassis builder and Sunoco
Pro Stock points leader Rick Jones went dim on Friday evening. Jones
experienced an oil pump malfunction, which led to four burned rod
bearings. After an all-nighter that featured his crew and veteran
engine builder Jon Kaase, Jones was back in commission on Saturday.
Jones has special incentive to do well at Rockingham. Prior to his
win at San Antonio, the last mountain motor Mopar victory was recorded
by Bobby Yowell in 1979. Jones added, “We’d like to
win here because of the history, but we’re just taking this
whole deal one run at a time. We’re not counting points or
keeping stats. We’re just living for the moment.”
Bug Out - Okay...you just had to see it to believe
it. When a tremendous gathering of sand gnats descended on the Rockingham
Dragway racing surface, officials were forced to delay competition
when the track became slick with bugs.
Bruno Massel, John Furr unhurt in two car crash, but…–
In Top Dragster qualifying, both Bruno Massel and John Furr were
involved in a two-car crash, but never made contact with one another.
According to eyewitnesses, both got loose and crashed at mid-track,
making contact with their respective guard walls. Massel withdrew
from competition, while Furr borrowed a car from Scott Duggins and
won Top Dragster in the Holley All-Stars Shootout. For the record,
the gnats were not blamed for the crash.
|Pro Modified racer Chip King gives his
ultimate support of the troops and sends an international message.
Patriotic? You Betcha - Several cars made an appearance
at this weekend’s event complete with heaping amounts of patriotism.
The Lion’s share of the “American Pride” was present
in the Pro Modified ranks. Rickie Smith, Chip King and local competitor
Ken Regenthal all carried themes in support of our armed forces
involved in military conflict in the Middle East. Smith added his
supportive livery on the Monday before the event. As he pointed
out, “We didn’t have a sponsor so I thought this would
be a perfect thing for those troops bravely supporting our country.”
King, whose wife Wendy has a few Navy Commanders on her side of
the family, is very patriotic and is showing his support in the
face of protests. King pointed out, “Our brave soldiers are
over their giving their lives so those people can have the right
to protest. We’re just simple good, down home folks, but when
we see that stuff it just pisses me off. This is a great country
and that’s why I put a little note underneath the ‘Support
Our Troops’ portion just for those that protest it. It’s
in Swedish and is a special nickname that I have reserved just for
them.” For the record, “Kuk Huvud” combines a
certain part of the male anatomy and the word head.
Overzealous Pit Return – Top Fuel racer
Ken Zeal, who is driving Paul Smith’s entry this weekend,
felt as if he was in a revolving door following Friday’s lone
qualifying session. Rains settled in following Zeal’s 4.970,
256.70 pass that landed him in the second spot. Reportedly, upon
returning to the scales, the scales crew had sought refuge inside
of their trailer. Zeal and his crew stopped and when they didn’t
see anyone assumed that it was okay to tow back to the pits. IHRA
officials then disqualified the run. When the crew pleaded their
case, they were re-instated.
|Ronnie “The” King” Davis
has the perfect war weapon – his 3,000-pound, steel-bodied
Lethal Weapon – Ronnie “The”
King” Davis has the perfect war weapon – his 3,000-pound,
steel-bodied ’69 Nova. After crashing his sleek ’63
Corvette earlier this year at an IHRA points event in Florida. Davis
dubbed his temporary replacement machine “The 3000-Pound Bunker
Buster.” The neat machine was running in the 7.40s over the
course of the weekend.
The Marketing Plan Perfect for HBO – Talented
journalist Thomas Pope, the Motorsports Editor for the Fayetteville
Observer Times, suggested that HBO has a great marketing opportunity
in Hooters IHRA Drag Racing. Pope explained, “We have a Gambino
out here running which would be perfect for ‘The Sopranos.’
‘Six Feet Under’ could go on Tommy Gray’s ‘Undertaker’
Pro Modified car. Bill Bader could represent ‘Mind of the
Married Man.’ Mitch Stott fits the profile of ‘Curb
Your Enthusiasm.’ Of course there’s ‘Oz’
and I can think of a few representatives for that one.”
Billes and the Vette – Canadian Pro Modified
racer Al Billes admitted that he has no intentions to park his trusty
’53 Studebaker any time soon. The multi-time national event
winner has a ’53 Corvette being built by Tim McAmis. As Billes
puts it, “My timetable is so unpredictable that I have no
|Steve Salvadore has taken delivery of
the former Bob Rieger turbo and supercharged '57 Chevy.
What Happens to Great Pro Mod Cars? – If
they go on the auctioning block, Pro Modified racer Steve Salvadore
snags them up quick. For the last couple of seasons, Salvadore has
driven the same ’53 Corvette that Fred Hahn drove to the 2000
IHRA Pro Modified title. This year, he’s taken delivery of
the ’57 Chevy that Bob Rieger made famous last season with
both a supercharged and turbocharged combination.
Litton Loves the Rock – Since the IHRA returned
to Rockingham in 1999, Top Fuel racer Bruce Litton has reached the
final round in every Spring race. Headed into the final session,
the Lucas Oil-sponsored driver was resting on the bump headed into
the final session.
Mr. Versatile – Pro Modified racer holds
an unofficial record for Rockingham Dragway. In his career at the
North Carolina facility, he has raced a 500-inch Pro Stocker, a
Pro Stock Motorcycle, a nitrous-injected Pro Modified and now a
She’s the Quickest – Annette Summer
became the quickest Pro Modified driver of the female persuasion
as she ripped off a personal best 6.284, 219.86. Summer has gained
assistance from Shannon Jenkins in her combination and admits that
her car has more left in it.
Perfect Marketing Combination – With it
rumored that Floyd Cheek is talking with Hooters, we couldn’t
help but notice the natural cross-marketing opportunity of Hooters
and the Cheeks. Just to think, they don't think T&A will sell
to Corporate America.
Tricky Track after Third Session – While
many teams experienced more than their share of frustration of getting
down the track, not one single driver made a run quicker than the
6.306 bump spot. The quickest quarter-mile lap was Cody McManama's
6.308. Fred Hahn appeared to be on a monster run, but inexplicably
lifted at the eighth-mile mark with a 4.051, which would have most
certainly been a 6.20s lap.
Top Fuel Count – After three qualifying
session, eleven Top Fuel entries have made runs yet the bump spot
remains a 7.374.
Regional Announcing – When in Egypt you
walk like an Egyptian. When in Rockingham, you talk like down home
folk as one announcer exemplified. He quipped, “That’s
pert near a heads-up run.”
MILLICAN TAKES FIRST DAY QUALIFYING LEAD IN I.H.R.A. SPRING NATIONALS
|Clay Millican continued his dominance
of Top Fuel qualifying by blasting out a 4.697, 295.79.
(3-28-2003) - Clay Millican took the first step
toward claiming his 10th consecutive No. 1 qualifying award when
he drove the Werner Enterprises Top Fuel dragster to a quarter mile
time of 4.697 seconds at 295.79 miles per hour Friday on the first
day of the 33rd annual IHRA Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway.
Millican, the last driver down the track after rain interrupted
the first day program on four
occasions, actually was off the throttle on two different occasions
on the effort which was .273
of a second quicker than No. 2 Ken Zeal of Reno, Nev., who briefly
led the way in his IHRA Top
|Pro Modified points leader Mitch Stott
roared to the top of the heap with a 6.156, 227.46.
Millican, the two-time reigning IHRA Hooters Top Fuel Champion,
has been the No. 1 qualifier at 20 of the last 25 events in the
series. He'll have two opportunities to improve his performance
at 12 noon and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Drivers in categories other than Top Fuel completed two qualifying
sessions Friday and will have two more opportunities to improve
their performance in advance of single elimination finals beginning
at 11 a.m. Sunday.
In Pro Modified, Mitch Stott of Mill Spring, N.C., raced to the
head of the pack in the "Radiac
Maniac" 1963 Chevy Corvette with a time of 6.156 seconds at
227.46 mph that put him in a
different area code, performance-wise.
The first Pro Modified driver to break the 6.00 second barrier,
Stott is seeking his second
victory of the new season, having opened with a win at San Antonio,
|Canadian Rob Atchinson was the quickest
of the Funny Cars on the grounds at Rockingham Dragway.
Also of note Friday were the efforts of reigning Pro Mod Champion
Shannon Jenkins of Tuscaloosa, Ala., who posted the quickest quarter
mile time in history in a car using a non-supercharger motor, and
rookie Annette Summer of Aiken, S.C., who became the quickest woman
in the history of the class with a time of 6.284 seconds.
Other first day leaders were Pete Berner of Crete, Ill., who led
a Ford breakaway in Pro Stock,
and Rob Atchison of London, Ontario, Canada, in Funny Car.
Berner's 6.538 second, 211.53 mph effort at the wheel of his independently
campaigned 2002 Ford Mustang led a one-through-seven sweep for Ford
products. Charlie Peppers of Auburn, Ga., was second at 6.554, 211.13
mph in another Mustang with Carl Baker of North Ridgeville, Ohio
third in a Mercury Cougar (6.555, 211.46 mph), former series champion
Chris Holbrook of Redford, Mich., fourth at 6.557, 205.35 mph in
his 1998 Probe and reigning champ Brian Gahm of Lucasville, Ohio,
fifth at 6.567, 210.93 mph.
|Pete Berner was the baddest of the Sunoco
Pro Stock entries.
The highest qualified non-Ford after the first day was Tim Nabors'
Lawrenceville, Ga.-based 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier which was clocked
at 6.600, 209.95 mph for the eighth spot.
Atchison was the surprise first day leader in Funny Car although
five-time former series champion and pre-season favorite
Mark Thomas of Louisville, Ohio, was lurking close behind in the
No. 2 spot at 5.873, 238.76
Thomas' latest bid is enhanced by his new alliance with Jimmy Rector,
last year's Funny Car
champion who this year is doing double duty as Crew Chief on both
Thomas' Funny Car and Mitch Stott's Pro Mod.
Results Friday after qualifying for the 33rd annual Spring
presented by Advance Auto Parts & Castrol at Rockingham Dragway,
second of 12 events in the 2003 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series.
Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Clay Millican, 4.697 seconds, 295.79
mph; 2. Ken Zeal, 4.970, 256.70; 3.
Danny Dunn, 5.074, 210.21; 4. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 5.750, 242.80;
5. Bobby Lagana Jr, 6.262, 145.55; 6. Tim Cullinan, 6.606, 135.41;
7. John Smith, 6.683, 132.93; 8. Louie Allison, 7.374, 131.32; 9.
Josh Starcher, 10.833, 84.21; 10. Bruce Litton, 13.610, 72.61; 11.
Jerry Freeman, 14.320, 51.73.
Pro Modified -- 1. Mitch Stott, Chevy Corvette,
6.156, 227.46; 2. Al Billes, Studebaker,
6.190, 225.48; 3. Fred Hahn, Corvette, 6.209, 224.55; 4. Shannon
Jenkins, Chevy Camaro, 6.209, 222.55; 5. Roy Hill, Ford Mustang,
6.212, 225.52; 6. Quain Stott, Corvette, 6.224, 227.42; 7. Mike
Ashley, Studebaker, 6.230, 224.40; 8. Rickie Smith, Dodge Viper,
6.238, 223.84; 9. Harold Martin, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.248, 223.14;
10. Tim McAmis, Corvette, 6.272, 222.11; 11. Mike Castellana, Camaro,
6.272, 221.63; 12. Ed Hoover, Corvette, 6.272, 221.52; 13. Annette
Summer, Chevy Bel Air, 6.284, 219.86; 14. Dale Brinsfield, Willys,
6.292, 221.45; 15. Pat Moore, Bel Air, 6.306, 222.14; 16. Paul Athey,
Corvette, 6.306, 221.16.
Funny Car -- 1. Rob Atchison, Pontiac Firebird,
5.831, 238.47; 2. Mark Thomas, Dodge
Avenger, 5.873, 238.76; 3. John Vouros, Firebird, 5.904, 234.66;
4. Terry McMillen, Avenger,
5.949, 235.06; 5. Terry Munroe, Firebird, 5.950, 235.89; 6. Von
Smith, 5.959, 222.91; 7. Larry
Dobbs, Chevy Corvette, 5.970, 234.45; 8. Ronnie Midyette, Chevy
Camaro, 5.979, 236.55; 9. Bunny Burkett, Avenger, 5.979, 235.60;
10. Mike Comella, Avenger, 5.979, 233.56; 11. Neal Parker, Camaro,
5.989, 232.79; 12. Monty Todd, 6.027, 232.31; 13. Tony Bogolo, Olds
Achieva, 6.033, 205.98; 14. Chris Foster, Avenger, 6.056, 232.55;
15. John Sullivan, Pontiac Firehawk, 6.098, 230.41; 16. Bobby Martindale,
Dodge Daytona, 6.506, 216.27.
Pro Stock -- 1. Pete Berner, Ford Mustang, 6.538,
211.53; 2. Carl Baker, Mercury Cougar,
6.552, 211.46; 3. Charlie Peppers, Mustang, 6.554, 211.13; 4. Chris
Holbrook, Ford Probe, 6.557, 205.35; 5. Brian Gahm, Mustang, 6.567,
210.97; 6. Floyd Cheek, Mustang, 6.573, 209.33; 7. John Konigshofer,
Cougar, 6.593, 210.11; 8. Tim Nabors, Chevy Cavalier, 6.600, 209.95;
9. Mike Bell, Pontiac Firebird, 6.603, 209.49; 10. John Bartunek,
Pontiac Grand Am, 6.609, 209.62; 11. Frank Gugliotta, Cougar, 6.610,
209.85; 12. Steve Spiess, Grand Am, 6.618, 208.91; 13. Jason Collins,
Cougar, 6.618, 210.14; 14. Steve Williford, Cavalier, 6.622, 209.20;
15. Rick Jones, Dodge Neon R/T, 6.626, 206.99; 16. Jerry Haas, Grand
Am, 6.638, 207.78.
Shannon Jenkins records quickest nitrous lap in Pro Modified history
|As news breaks, we'll pass it on to you.
(3-28-2003) - Sometimes the champion has to take
the lead role. That’s exactly what the four-time Pro Modified
Champion Shannon Jenkins did during the final Friday qualifying
session at the 33rd annual IHRA Spring Nationals in Rockingham,
NC. The Tuscaloosa, Ala-based driver became the quickest nitrous
runner in the division as he rattled off a 6.209 elapsed time at
a mile per hour of 222.55.
Jenkins was very praising of his crew after the run.
“This is what championship teams are supposed to do,”
explained Jenkins. “Everyone always goes out there with the
objective and running the quickest and fastest that they possibly
can. This is just a positive testimony to the hard work and effort
of the Awesome Motorsports.
Jenkins ascended as high as fourth in the qualifying order of what
promises to be the quickest field in the history of the class.
“We are still lagging far behind the blower cars. They are
making great big stride and we are making minor ones in comparison,
but don’t get me wrong…I’m pleased with what has
transpired this evening. The nitrous group still has some significant
rivalries and when you can be the quickest of the whole group, it’s
an accomplishment that you’re proud of.”
Even though the 6.20 was quite a lap, he points out that if he
taps into the full potential of the car, he could potentially lower
the mark to a 6.18.
“It’s possible that we could stretch into the six-teens
this weekend,” admitted Jenkins. “The conditions have
to be just right and then we could go as quick as a high 6.18.”
Friday Report – IHRA gets patriotic, Hoover is Tops,
The Musi Challenge and Shafiroff’s still alive and well in
|As news breaks, we'll pass it on to you.
(3-27-2003) - Show M-16; See a Free Drag
Race - This Sunday at Rockingham Dragway, if a member of
the armed forces presents a U.S. Military I.D., the soldiers and
their families will receive free entry to the IHRA Spring Nationals
presented by Advance Auto Parts & Castrol. The IHRA along with
Clear Channel Motorsports, and Rockingham Dragway feels that this
is the best way to show their thanks to the great men and women
of the United States military for protecting freedom around the
world and serving the country.
Returning to his roots – After an unsuccessful
test session with the new supercharged entry, veteran Pro Modified
racer Ed Hoover decided to enter Paul Trussell’s nitrous entry
into the Pro Modified division, while gaining some much needed lap
time in Top Sportsman. His first lap down the track netted a 6.364,
216.41, which not only gives him a good baseline to work with, but
also the quickest elapsed time recorded in Top Sportsman. Expect
Hoover to withdraw the blown car from competition on Saturday and
enter it into Pro Modified.
|Jerry Williams continues to make an incredible
recovery from burns sustained in a fire at Farmington Dragway.
The Iron Man Returns – Pro Modified racer
Jerry Williams, injured in a devastating fire last March at Farmington
Dragway, was seen in the pits at Rockingham Dragway. Williams is
still recovering from burns to his face and feet. He was in a burn
unit for three weeks and underwent a week’s work of physical
therapy. Williams has yet to get medical clearance to return to
driving and because of that Dale Brinsfield will drive the car at
all Quick Eights in the Carolinas.
The Prodigal Son Returns and He Didn’t Kill Kenny
– While many associate New York Mortgage Banker Mike
Ashley with the NHRA AMS Pro Modified Challenge, he made a rare
stop at the IHRA Spring Nationals with the intention of using the
outing as a test session for his InfiNet-sponsored, supercharged
1941 Willys. Ashley fared well by ripping off a 6.230 lap in his
first attempt. Also tagging along with Ashley is AMS Challenge coordinator
Kenny Nowling, who was on hand with his B/Econo Altered Firebird,
which was reclassified as a Top Sportsman entrant.
Good Thing He Didn’t Hear That – Mike
Ashley got nailed twice by the IHRA’s platoon of new announcers.
In the first snafu, it was announced that Ashley was piloting the
“Headhunter” Willys, which is driven by Thomas Patterson.
However, it’s the second boo-boo that could have brought Ashley’s
temper to the boiling point. Following his side-by-side run will
drag racing school instructor Roy Hill the comment was, “That’s
a good race for the teacher and his student.” For the record,
Ashley was a pioneer of the Pro Modified division and Hill is in
his rookie season within the class.
|Brian Gahm is the latest of the Pro Stock
contingent to get a paint theme from Illusions and Mark Brown.
Gahm’s got a “Woodie” –
IHRA Pro Stock World Champion Brian Gahm debuted his new “Rare
Breed” themed Mustang, which featured exquisite art work from
Illusions Paint & Body and Mark Brown’s Great Art this
weekend. Reportedly, Gahm had just dropped the car off with the
instructions to create a theme. The old West theme features vibrant
colors and lots of simulated wood. The end product left Gahm at
a loss for words. Gahm pointed out, “I love it.”
We’ve seen fire and we’ve seen rain –
Pro Stock racer Chuck DeMory found out the hard way that a fuel
leak and a 200-mph entry do not work out well. After a brief fire,
DeMory returned to the pits with his brand-new Mustang. The cosmetic
damage was minimal, but the wiring was a write off. Shortly following
the session, a brief rain show slowed qualifying action and bought
Demory some time to get the wiring repaired.
Holbrook’s Escort Service? – After
crashing a new Mustang at the season-opener in San Antonio, Texas,
Holbrook returned to competition with the Ford Probe that team owner
Chuck DeMory has piloted over the years. The car is a temporary
fix until they debut a new car later in the season. Could Holbrook
have the first Escort in IHRA competition?
|Pro Stock racer needs help in naming "The
Beast" on the side of his Chevrolet Cavalier.
Name that Beast – After a number of unsuccessful
attempts to properly name the beast on the side of his beautiful
mountain motor Pro Stock Cavalier, New Jersey racer John Bartunek
is taking suggestions. Got any ideas? Let us hear them by emailing
us at Name the Beast.
Right off the Bat – The first pair of Pro
Modified entries to hit the track during the first session resulted
in a 6.330 to 6.339 decision among two nitrous entries. The second
pair provided an all-blower match up and the end result was a 6.212
to 6.230 match. Hmmmm… At the end of the first qualifying
session, the quickest nitrous car was sixth quickest at .14 behind
top qualifier Al Billes. That nitrous front-runner was Rickie Smith
who produced his quickest career lap with a 6.238 elapsed time.
The new Pro Modified controversy – Hemi
versus the Wedge – After the first session, the Hemi was the
overwhelming choice of the qualifying leaders as Al Billes, Mitch
Stott, Fred Hahn and Roy Hill led the first four provisional positions.
Mike Ashley was the quickest Wedge-powered entry.
|Those uniforms look awful familiar...could
something be in the works?
Hooting and Hollering? – Could Hooters be
close to putting their name on the side of a Pro Stocker? There
are some uniforms being worn that have a great resemblance to those
of a potential sponsor.
The Musi Challenge – Veteran Pro Street
runner and engine runner Pat Musi is on hand lending assistance
to Cody McManama’s EFI-equipped ’57 Chevy and Marc Dontoni's
1941 Willys. Reportedly, Musi has extended the challenge to the
rest of the nitrous fraternity to run the first six-teen. Musi has
gone on the record as saying that one of his cars will be the best.
Yo Vinny – Scott Shafiroff’s talented
engine man Vinny Budano made the last minute decision to travel
to Rockingham Dragway. Reportedly, the veteran team owner has Budano
running the events to promote his latest line of Ultra Street motors.
The Pro Modified Quote of the Weekend - When asked
if he missed his days running Pro Modified, defending Pro Stock
World Champion Brian Gahm uttered, "I'm over that."