Rumor Mill


Joe Santangelo went seven rounds in Stock eliminator to take the win and the NHRA Lucas Oil National Championship today at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Short Line Express Gambler Shootout event.  Santangelo, Marlborough, Conn., Div7_Pacific-4cbeat Jimmy Hidalgo Jr., Donaldsonville, La., in the final round as both were chasing Jody Lang for the Championship.

Santangelo’s win in his ’95 Camaro moved him past Lang for the championship.  Hidalgo also had a shot at the title but the win gave Santangelo an insurmountable lead over Hidalgo with one race remaining, and Lang is out of events where he can score points.

Frank Manzo and Gary Stinnett are the other two drivers that have clinched 2011 NHRA Lucas Oil National Championships out of the seven up for grabs.  This is Manzo’s 15th National Championship in Top Alcohol Funny Car while Stinnett grabbed his fourth, and second in a row, in the Super Comp category.

Lou Ficco Jr., Wheatridge, Colo., won in Comp Eliminator to close the gap on Sal Biondo for the championship as he knocked out Ray Vierheller, and Mike Sawyer kept his hopes alive in Super Gas with a final round appearance today.  The Leominster, Mass., racer lost to Steve Apted, Medford, Ore., and his ’67 Corvette.  Sawyer is chasing Biondo’s brother Peter for the Super Gas championship.  David Bogner advanced to the fifth round in Super Stock to move in on Jackie Alley as the rest of the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Championships will be decided at the final event of the year this coming weekend at Auto Club Dragway at Pomona.

Taking the event win in Top Alcohol Dragster was Jim Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., who outran Joey Severance at 5.330 seconds, 270.16 mph.  Whiteley secured the NHRA Pacific Division Champion with the win while Severance, Woodburn, Ore., still has eyes on the national championship needing to win the event this weekend to overtake Duane Shields

John Lombardo Jr., Brea, Calif., took the Pacific Division Top Alcohol Funny Car Championship with a win over Clint Thompson in his ’10 Napa Auto Parts Monte Carlo running 5.651 seconds at 256.21 mph.

Former national champion Jimmy DeFrank also clinched the division championship with a win in the Super Stock class.  The Chatsworth, Calif., resident beat Jason DeForrest out of Andover, Minn., while Las Vegas racer Dave Phillips won the Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley Davidson class posting an 8.798 second lap at 155.36 mph to defeat Pete Miclette, Garberville, Calif.

In Top Sportsman it was Randal Olynyk, Edmonton, Alb., over Chip Rumis, Ramona, Calif., who held on for the Division Championship with the final round showing.

Other winner’s this weekend were Del Cox Jr., Downey, Calif., in Top Dragster; Brock Green Penrose, Colo., in Super Comp, and Bernie Polvadore, Sun City, Ariz.., in Super Street.

The following are Monday’s final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Short Line Express Gambler Shootout event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:


Round 1
2) Joey Severance, Woodburn, Ore., 5.401, 265.90 def. 7) Duane Shields, Boulder City, Nev., 7.188, 132.09
4) Jackie Fricke, Flemington, N.J., 5.422, 261.17 def. 5) Michael Manners, Willis, Texas, 13.863, 78.21
3) Megan McKernan, Sierra Madre, Calif., 6.318, 175.27 def. 6) Cody Perkins, Bluffdale, Utah, 11.631, 52.09
1) Jim Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., 6.072, 246.98 def. 8) Don St. Arnaud, Edmonton, Alb., 6.866, 174.50
Severance, 5.380, 266.37 def. McKernan, 5.377, 267.22
Whiteley, 5.368, 266.90 def. Fricke, 7.519, 114.39
Whiteley, 5.330, 270.16 def. Severance, 5.372, 265.53
Round 1
1) Paul Gill, Brockton, Mass., '08 Mustang, 5.570, 259.41 def. 8) Nick Bastiao, Sacramento,  '05 Monte Carlo, 5.692, 256.99
6) Clint Thompson, Klamath Falls, Ore., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.726, 256.21 def. 3) Shane Westerfield, Lake Forest, Calif., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.784, 254.18
4) John Lombardo Jr., Brea, Calif., '10 Monte Carlo, 5.764, 253.80 def. 5) Annie Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., '10 Mustang, 5.712, 253.95
2) Jay Payne, Claremont, Calif., '10 Mustang, 5.755, 255.48 def. 7) Doug Gordon, Paso Robles, Calif., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.788, 255.29;
Thompson, 5.675, 246.62 def. Payne, 5.713, 252.85
Lombardo Jr., 6.178, 249.63 def. Gill, 7.597, 93.84
Lombardo Jr., 5.651, 256.21 def. Thompson, 5.748, 239.95
Lou Ficco Jr., Wheatridge, Colo., '09 GXP, B/AP, 11.783, 73.88 def. Ray Vierheller, Barberton, Ohio, McKinney, D/DA, foul.
Jimmy DeFrank, Chatsworth, Calif., '10 Cobalt, SS/BS, 8.778, 157.01 def. Jason DeForrest, Andover, Minn., '87 Z28, GT/DA, 9.920, 138.58.
Joe Santangelo, Marlborough, Conn., '95 Camaro, C/SA, 10.748, 122.58 def. Jimmy Hidalgo Jr, Donaldsonville, La., '91 Corvette, G/SA, foul.
Brock Green, Penrose, Colo., dragster, 9.058, 157.15 def. Blake Williams, Chandler, Ariz., dragster, foul.
Steve Apted, Medford, Ore., '67 Corvette, 10.040, 165.60 def. Mike Sawyer, Leominster, Mass., '03 Cavalier, 10.029, 164.69.
Bernie Polvadore, Sun City, Ariz., '69 Camaro, 11.103, 148.82 def. Guerdon Alguire, Fairfield, Calif., '68 Barracuda, 11.106, 151.04.
Dave Phillips, Las Vegas, Nev., '77 Kawasaki, 8.798, 155.36 def. Pete Miclette, Garberville, Calif., '97 GSXR, foul.
Randal Olynyk, Edmonton, Alb., '96 Firebird, 7.523, 170.47 def. Chip Rumis, Ramona, Calif., '05 Cobalt, 6.861, 200.65.
Del Cox Jr, Downey, Calif., dragster, 6.906, 176.26 def. Art Hoover, Concord, Calif., dragster, 7.697, 151.32.