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RTRA NORTH STAR DRAGWAY - RADIAL TIRE SPRING NATIONALS NOTEBOOK
RTRA NORTH STAR DRAGWAY - RADIAL TIRE SPRING NATIONALS NOTEBOOK
by Chris Graves
Mon, 2016-04-25 23:19
Chad Reynolds and team BangShift were on hand covering all the record breaking drag radial action at North Star Dragway.
It was great to see Grant McCrary back behind the wheel as he greeted North Star Dragway starter David Strickland before racing action got underway on Saturday afternoon.
North Star Dragway owner Gene Nicodemus has undoubtedly the quickest and fastest drag radial race track in the world. It's a fine science to provide the perfect conditions for these precise machines to set world records, assisted by this trick unit used by starter David Strickland to finely mist VHT on the starting line before final qualifying began.
PRO DRAG RADIAL
"Stevie Fast" Jackson wheeled Jeff Sitton's nitrous assisted Camaro to the Pro Drag Radial world record with a 3.75 at 201 mph blast in the final round. Records have been shattered repeatedly in Pro Drag Radial this season, but this 3.75 is likely to last!
Steve Jackson claimed his first RTRA Pro Drag Radial event win defeating Rob Valden in the final round. Valden, certainly no easy opponent, posted a 3.80 at 206 mph while Jackson blew up the scoreboards with his world record 3.75 at 201. This pair is now the quickest and fastest side by side drag radial pass in drag racing history.
Rob Valden won the RTRA season opener in March and after qualifying third with a 3.88, marched past Shawn Ayers and Norman Bryson to meet Steve Jackson in the final round. Valden will lead the RTRA Pro Drag Radial points heading into the next event in June.
Norman Bryson made his first career RTRA appearance at the Spring Nationals at North Star Dragway and qualified seventh with a 4.06. Bryon's 4.11 at 182 mph was the upset of the night as he took out Kyle Huettel's 4.25 at 132 mph in the first round.
Rodney Whatley debuted his screw blown Pro Drag Radial entry this season in RTRA competition and has steadily improved his performance. Whatley qualified fourth with a 3.93 and used another nice 3.93 to defeat Ryan Martin in the first round, before falling to Steve Jackson in the semi-finals.
Kyle Huettel and the "Bad9er Racing" camp dominated RTRA Pro Drag Radial competition in 2015, but this year have not enjoyed the success seen in the previous season. Huettel qualified strong with a 3.88 at 182 mph but bowed out in the first round of competition at the RTRA Spring Nationals.
NFL Star Fletcher Cox and driver Shawn Ayers also bowed out in the first round of Pro Drag Radial competition. Ayers came up short with a 4.10 to Rob Valden's 3.84 blast.
"G-Mac" Grant McCrary returned to the cockpit of a drag radial entry this weekend making his RTRA debut as a driver in Rick Thornton's Fast Forward Innovations built twin turbocharged Camaro. McCrary made his best run of the weekend in the first round with a 3.96 at 194 mph, but came up short to Steve Jackson's 3.79.
Ryan Martin's "Fireball Camaro" posted a runner up finish at the RTRA season opener in March, but fell in round one to Rodney Whatley at the Spring Nationals at North Star Dragway.
LIMITED DRAG RADIAL
Eric Gustafson made his RTRA Limited Drag Radial debut this weekend and dominated the field by qualifying number one and defeating Bobby Kruck in the final round. We hear this car is for sale!
Bobby Kruck qualified number two with a 4.47 at 169 in Limited Drag Radial and after defeating Larry Wright in the first round, came up short to Gustafson in the final.
Rhonda Trietsch wheeled the David Houser owned 1986 Camaro to the number four qualifying spot with a 5.20 and bowed out in round one with a 5.00 to Gustafson's 4.22.
Larry Wright's 2005 Chevy Cavalier made it's RTRA debut at the Spring Nationals and his 4.58 in first round came up just short to Kruck's 4.48 at the stripe.
Shane Fisher claimed his first RTRA series victory of the season in X275 competition. Fisher qualified fourth with a 4.48 at 159 mph and stepped up to a 4.47 at 159 in the final round to hold off Bob Bales' 4.54 at 155 mph.
Bob Bales qualified tenth with a 4.56 in X275 but had no problem claiming win lights during eliminations. Bales took out Kit Luong, Chad Smallwood and Eric Moore before finally meeting his match in Shane Fisher in the final round. This wass Bales' first final round appearance in RTRA competition.
Eric Moore was your X275 runner up at the season opener in March and again in April enjoyed success. Moore qualified sixth in an extremely tight field with a 4.53. Moore used a holeshot to take out both Kenny Hubbard and Odie Sturgeon before being outran in the semi-finals by Bales.
Rich Bruder led the pack in X275 qualifying with a 4.42 at 158 mph. In semi-final round action, Bruder's 4.48 at 157 mph came up just short to Shane Fisher's 4.45 at 159 in one of the quickest side by side X275 races in history.
Clint Downs came into the Spring Nationals looking to for back to back wins in the RTRA series after claiming his first career win in March. Downs qualified fifth with a 4.49 at 157 mph, but spun the tires at the hit in round three action and had the best seat in the house to watch Shane Fisher advance with a 4.47 pass.
Odie Sturgeon is on the move to the top in X275 as he continues to set career bests in RTRA competition this season. His 4.45 qualified him third in the nineteen car field, but a snooze on the starting line in round three allowed Eric Moore's 4.57 at 152 to take out Sturgeon's quicker but loosing 4.48 at 156 mph.
X275 world record holder Chris Groves came to take names at North Star Dragway and qualified second with a 4.44 at 161 mph. In the upset of the event in X275 action, Chad Smallwood snuck past a tire spinning Groves in round two action.
Chris Wilson entered eliminations in the number nine qualifying position with a 4.56 at 155 mph. Wilson met his match in round three as his 4.54 at 155 wasn't enough to hold off Rich Bruder's 4.45 at 157 mph.
Stephen Barnett has proven to be a top contender in RTRA Limited 275 competition. Barnett claimed victory at the season opener and again marched to the final round after qualifying second with a 4.81 at 145 mph. Barnett met Jim Staples in the final round as Barnett's 4.80 at 146 mph took out Staples' 4.98 at 142 mph. This marks back to back Limited 275 wins for Barnett and company as they tighten their grasp on the rest of the field entering mid-season.
Jim Staples was the number four qualifier in Limited 275 with a 4.88 at 143 mph. In semi-final round action Staples met world record holder and top qualifier Daniel Large. Large blew the tires off at the hit while Staples ripped off a 4.86 at 143 mph to move into the final round where he fell to Barnett.
Daniel Large came out in 2016 ready to play hard ball in Limited 275 action. Large posted a runner up finish and world record elapsed time at the RTRA season opener and backed that up in a "Large" way at the Spring Nationals. His 4.80 at 146 led the qualifying sheets and a 4.75 at 147 in the first round set a new world record for the category. Large backed that up with another 4.75 in round two and moved past Derek Lewis in round three with a 4.77. The semi-final match up with Jim Staples ended the weeeknd for Large and company when they spun the tires at the hit, but rest assured the competition has taken note of this new heavy hitter in the class.
John "Small Block" Mathis locked in the third qualifying position with a nice 4.86 at 143 and advanced to the semi-finals to take on Stephen Barnett. Mathis was first off the line, but his 4.90 at 142 mph wasn't enough to hold off Barnett's quicker 4.84 at 145 mph.
Derek Lewis made his first RTRA appearance of the season at the Spring Nationals and qualified ninth with a 4.97 at 143 mph. A third round match-up with Daniel Large ended his weekend as his 4.93 at 143 was no match for Large's 4.77 at 146 mph.
Chris Kato enjoyed a very successful season opener in March, but struggled at the Spring Nationals, qualifying eighteenth with a 5.33 at 129 and bowing out in first round to Clint Davis.
Pat McKinney qualified sixteenth with a 5.15 at 139 mph but struggled to find the four second zone and was eliminated in round two with a 5.24 to Daniel Large's 4.75.
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