Jim Whitely and Frank Manzo extended their points lead as they continue to dominate the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car respectively. Both drivers took home wins this weekend at Brainerd International Raceway for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., qualified third and worked his way through a tough filed that included a second round match up with Randy Meyer and a semifinal win against Bill Reichert, both of whom are top five in the national points standings. In the final, Chase Copeland has perfect reaction time but lost traction right off the start as Whiteley motored to his 17th national event win in 5.400 seconds at 266.37 mph.
Manzo spoiled the Whiteley family double up as he defeated Annie Whiteley (Jim’s wife) in the Top Alcohol Funny Car final with a run of 5.528 at 261.02 mph. The win is Manzo’s 98th national event win and his 37th consecutive final round win. This was Whiteley’s first national event final round as she trails Manzo by 66 points, sitting second in the national points standings.
Luke Bogacki was a hundredth of a second form his own double up advancing to the final round in both Super Gas and Super Comp. The Carterville, Ill., racer beat Mark McMasters, Owatonna, Minn., in the Super Gas final before meeting up with Steve Mikus in the Super Comp final. Both drivers had good reaction times but it was Mikus, Ashley, Mich., at the finish line in a double breakout.
Bruno Massel had to work for his win in Comp Eliminator as he took on veteran racer David Rampy. Rampy had the better reaction time but Massel had the horsepower posting a lap of 7.001 at 179.49 mph for his eighth national event win and his third this year.
Brad Plourd continued his winning ways taking the trophy in Stock Eliminator with his ’66 Chevy over Bill Feist in a Ford Mustang. Plourd won in both Stock and Super Comp at Pacific Raceways outside Seattle two weeks ago.
Rounding out the winners were Dan Fletcher in Super Stock and John Lobner in Top Dragster. The win was Fletcher’s 88th as he defeated Ron Roddel in his ’69 Camaro. Lobner, DeSoto, Kan., beat Craig Sullivan, Avon, Ind., with a pass of 6.803 seconds at 197.94 mph.
Many of these racers will head to Heartland Park Topeka for the NHRA West Central Division Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event this weekend, August 24-25.
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