At the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Tri State Raceway in Earlville, Iowa, Gord Gingles stomped the Top Alcohol Dragster field to strengthen his hold on the Central Region points lead, and Kirk Williams won Top Alcohol Funny Car to tie Kris Hool for the top spot in the region.
In the Top Alcohol Dragster final, Gingles left within a hundredth of Chase Copeland, .080 to .089, and made his strongest run of the weekend, 5.48, for his second regional victory in his last three outings. He also scored at Cordova. Copeland, who usually does his best at the end of the season, dropped cylinders a few hundred feet off the starting line and slowed to a 7.43 at 126 mph.
Gingles ran back-to-back 5.57s in the early rounds to eliminate past national event champions John Finke and Randy Meyer. Finke, racing far from his upstate New York base on back-to-back weekends in an attempt to win the East Region championship, got off the mark first with a .048 reaction time but lost with a 5.66 in the first round. Meyer, who surprisingly is winless this season, fell to Gingles in the semis with a tire-smoking, backpedaling 5.77.
Copeland topped Christine Chambless in the first round with a 5.44 and newcomer Dean Dubbin in the semi's with a 5.48, leaving first both times. Back-to-back runner-ups, including one at the Brainerd national event three weeks ago, have him back to 10th in the national standings, where he's finished in each of the past two seasons.
In the Top Alcohol Funny Car final, Williams beat Cordova runner-up Dale Brand on a holeshot, 5.79 to 5.75. Williams had his best reaction time of the race, .041, against Brand's .090 to hold off the faster car by 11-thousandths of a second.
"Dale was running a couple hundredths quicker than us, so I figured I'd better get after it on the Tree because there was nothing to lose," said Williams, who's won countless races on holeshots during his career. "I knew I was going to have to short-shift because the right lane here can be really tricky to get down, and I hit the button at 8,500."
Brand, who has two-runner-ups and a semifinal showing in his only three starts this season, won the first round with a solid 5.76 after Wayne Butler red-lighted. Williams defeated Mike Bell in that round with a 5.750, which, at the time, was low e.t.
Brand reclaimed low e.t. for good in the semifinals with a 5.73 against Lance Van Hauen, who ended the weekend with a pair of semifinals finishes, including one from the rescheduled Topeka event that was completed at Earlville. Williams survived that round with a 5.79 win over No. 1 qualifier Scott McVey.
"This whole weekend was chaotic," Williams said. "On the first qualifying run, the car just died and rolled down the track. The next morning, it wouldn't start. We borrowed a mag from Dean Dubbin, who didn't even know me, and a main cap from Lance Van Hauen, who had to take his spare motor out from under the bench to get one we could use. If it wasn't for those guys, we never would have made it."
Williams' victory ties him with Hool atop the Central standings. Both have 266 points. For Williams, who won five races and the Division 5 championship in 2010, and Hool, who's parking his car at the end of this season, it all comes down to the penultimate regional event of the season this weekend in Noble, Okla.
Comp Eliminator saw Pat Nahan take the win and jump to the No. 2 spot in divisional points as he beat Shaun Vincent in 7.323 seconds at 167 mph. The win is Nahan’s second in three final rounds this year as he won at S.R.C.A. Dragstrip to open the season.
Phil Unruh continued his winning ways taking yet another trophy in the division’s Fineline/Madcap Top Dragster class. Unruh, who leads the points battle, ran down Matt Driskell for the trophy at 212 mph in 6.437 seconds. The McPherson, Kan., racer won both the Top Dragster and Super Stock classes last Thursday at the conclusion of the Lucas Oil event from Heartland Park Topeka which was completed here at Tri-State Raceway.
Mike Lund and Tyler Wudarczyk each scored victories as Lund beat Fred Bartoli Sr. in Super Stock and Wudarczyk won over Michael Brand in Stock. Lund, Bettendorf, Iowa, went 10.086 at 115 mph in his ’88 Camaro while Wudarczyk jumped to the No. 3 position in Stock points behind Brand.
Other winners this weekend were Chris Brown, Wichita, Kan., in Super Comp; Ricky Hill, Gretna, Neb., in Super Gas; Bob Fuller, Rogers, Ark., in Super Street; Tom Schmidt, Lindstrom, Minn., in the Jerry Haas Race Cars Top Sportsman class; and Derek Dorey, Kingswood, Texas, in Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley Davidson.
The event was the last in the NHRA West Central Division, however, racers can travel outside their division and continue to earn points toward national, regional and divisional championships.
The following are the final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Tri-State Raceway:
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER:
6) Dean Dubbin, Royalton, Minn., 5.662, 241.24 def. 3) Edwin Schmeeckle, Gothenburg, Neb., 8.311, 127.17
4) Gord Gingles, Winnipeg, Manit., 5.579, 258.12 def. 5) John Finke, Selkirk, N.Y., 5.662, 263.98
2) Ryan Copeland, Gainesville, Texas, 5.445, 269.29 def. 7) Christine Chambless, Scott City, Kan., 6.761, 146.42
1) Randy Meyer, Spring Hill, Kan., 11.063, 105.44 def. 8) Jared Dreher, Clinton, Ind., broke
Gingles, 5.574, 259.66 def. Meyer, 5.777, 250.74
Copeland, 5.483, 269.13 def. Dubbin, 5.567, 253.90
Gingles, 5.489, 262.44 def. Copeland, 7.437, 126.79
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR:
2) Dale Brand, Sully, Iowa, '06 Monte Carlo, 5.769, 251.16 def. 7) Wayne Butler, Forest City, Ill., '02 Firebird, foul
1) Scott McVey, Winnipeg, Manit., '06 Monte Carlo, 33.434, no speed def. 8) Bruce Carlson, Prior Lake, Minn., '97 Firebird, broke
3) Lance Van Hauen, Reinbeck, Iowa, '12 Camaro, 5.790, 247.61 def. 6) Kris Hool, Casper, Wyo., '06 Monte Carlo, broke
4) Kirk Williams, Glenwood, Iowa, '02 Camaro, 5.750, 251.44 def. 5) Mike Bell, Fulton, Mo., '11 Mustang, 7.637, 127.57
Brand, 5.731, 253.37 def. Van Hauen, 5.855, 245.54
Williams, 5.794, 249.07 def. McVey, 7.104, 171.99
Williams, 5.791, 249.03 def. Brand, 5.753, 251.77
Pat Nahan, Sartell, Minn., dragster, E/D, 7.323, 167.28 def. Shaun Vincent, Omaha, Neb., '02 S-10, C/TA, 8.525, 157.30
Mike Lund, Bettendorf, Iowa, '88 Camaro, GT/EA, 10.086, 115.46 def. Fred Bartoli Sr., Elk Grove, Ill., '98 Firebird, SS/IA, 11.421, 88.11
Tyler Wudarczyk, Topeka, Kan., '69 Nova, G/SA, 11.412, 99.26 def. Michael Brand, Thornton, Colo., '73 Formula, F/SA, 11.068, 107.67
Chris Brown, Wichita, Kan., dragster, 8.889, 168.56 def. Dave Dahlem, Tremont, Ill., dragster, 8.882, 171.21
Ricky Hill, Gretna, Neb., '93 Olds, 9.930, 145.88 def. Kurt Potach, Austin, Minn., '97 Beretta, 9.936, 143.38
Bob Fuller, Rogers, Ark., '69 Firebird, 10.858, 145.94 def. Steve Domingues, Derby, Kan., '67 Camaro, 10.855, 146.64
Tom Schmidt, Lindstrom, Minn., '63 Corvette, 6.897, 201.82 def. Rick Wilson, Independence, Kan., '69 Camaro, 6.983, 191.05
Phil Unruh, McPherson, Kan., dragster, 6.437, 212.93 def. Matt Driskell, Wellsville, Kan., dragster, 6.889, 194.83
Derek Dorey, Kingswood, Texas, '03 Razor, 8.760, 150.70 def. David Primrose, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, '96 Kawasaki, 8.769, 147.50
SUPER COMP SHOOTOUT
Jarod Bowman, Marion, Iowa, dragster, 8.907, 168.66 def. Don Nichols, Lincoln, Neb., dragster, 8.896, 160.02
SUPER GAS SHOOTOUT
David Nelson, Randall, Minn., '99 Camaro, 15.693, 89.57 def. Al Gavlovsky, Bemidji, Minn., '63 Corvette, broke
SUPER STREET SHOOTOUT
James Wilson, Milan, Ill., '64 Nova, 10.998, 122.37 def. Roger Hayward, Ankeny, Iowa, '67 Fairlane, 10.908, 135.62
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