FINAL RESULTS - WINNERS CROWNED AS ADRL GATEWAY DRAGS CONCLUDES
With the grand re-opening of Gateway Motorsports Park and the American Drag Racing League’s (ADRL) return to its home track serving as the backdrop, Pro Extreme driver Mick Snyder continued one of the best recent runs in class history at the Gateway Drags IV presented by CarSafe.
Consistently running in the 3.60s as part of a picturesque weekend in St. Louis, Snyder and his Powersource Transportation Corvette won for the second straight race, running 3.63 at 208.23 miles per hour in the finals of the Gateway Drags IV presented by CarSafe on Saturday.
“To get two in a row is just crazy,” Snyder said. “You can’t script it any better. It was a great team effort and this class is so hard, just to get to two straight finals is tough. To get two straight wins is just unreal.”
Other winners included Doug Riesterer (Pro Nitrous), Todd Moyer (Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5), Eric McKinney (Pro Extreme Motorcycle), Todd Hoerner (Extreme Pro Stock), Jeff Naiser (Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified), Chris Nyerges (Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman) and Drew Skillman (SuperCar Showdown).
Snyder’s run capped off a spectacular day and weekend for the ADRL at Gateway Motorsports Park, where numerous world and track records were set in near-perfect conditions at a facility brimming with excitement.
Snyder finished as the No. 1 qualifier for the second straight race as well and then ran a pair of 3.64s, a 3.65 and the finals run of 3.63. He was set to run teammate Jason Scruggs in the finals, but Scruggs was unable to start his car.
“To go to different tracks and run these numbers, it’s just incredible. It makes you think you have a handle on it,” Snyder said. “This car is just so much fun to drive.”
Riesterer put together a storybook Saturday in Pro Nitrous, edging Burton Auxier in the finals with a 3.826 at 189.10 mph.
Riesterer didn’t arrive at Gateway Motorsports until Saturday, making only one qualifying pass before winning for the first time in nearly two years.
“We put a little more in it because it was Burton, but it was a good run and it felt good,” Riesterer said. “This feels great, it really does. We thought we had a car capable of winning in Bristol, so it’s nice to finish it off.”
After qualifying No. 7, Riesterer took out No. 1 qualifier Rickie Jones with a 3.80 in the quarterfinals, tying the track record that Jones set the night before.
“The car has been running and working well, so we thought we could figure it out in a couple of laps and go a couple rounds,” Riesterer said.
Todd Hoerner’s win in Extreme Pro Stock was noteworthy for a variety of reasons. In running a 4.072 at 177.30 mph to beat Trevor Eman in a matchup of first-time finalists, Hoerner became the first driver in XPS to win running electronic fuel injection (EFI).
“This is totally awesome. I’m so happy for Sonny and Sonny’s Racing Engines. We’ve worked so hard with this EFI deal and we’re definitely taking steps with it,” Hoerner said. “The EFI is just super friendly and just gives you great consistency with the clutch.”
It’s worked terrifically for Hoerner, who picked up his first ADRL win in just his third ADRL event. That it came against the quickest qualifying field in XPS history (No. 16 qualified with a 4.096) made it mean that much more, as did becoming the first 2012 Camaro to win in the class.
To reach the final, Hoerner had a splendid .002 reaction time in a holeshot win against defending world champion Cary Goforth.
“We’ve always hoped and wanted to get an ADRL win, but we never could have dreamed it would have come this quick,” said Hoerner, who went as quick as 4.04 this weekend in his 2012 Camaro from Jerry Bickel Race Cars. “All of the hard work paid off. To compete with these guys is just amazing.”
Eric McKinney won back-to-back races for the first time in his standout ADRL career, taking the Pro Extreme Motorcycle victory with a 4.072 at 176.01 mph against Travis Davis in the finals.
After struggling at times during qualifying, McKinney turned it on during eliminations, running back-to-back 4.07s in the semifinals and finals. His run under the lights in the finals set a new track record and further bolstered McKinney’s points lead in PXM.
“This year has just been awesome. We couldn’t have had a better weekend after a tough start and we really wanted to keep that points lead,” McKinney said. “The first two passes in qualifying, we didn’t even make it past 330 feet. We just picked it up each round.
“We’ve got a good package and hopefully we can keep it going. This never gets old.”
Todd Moyer was gladly the recipient of a huge break in the finals of Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5. Points leader and two-time event winner in 2012 Alan Pittman couldn’t get his car started, leaving Moyer to a solo pass of 4.608 at 125.17 mph to collect his first win in more than two years.
“It was ugly, that’s all I can say, but we haven’t had any luck this whole year so this feels good,” Moyer said. “I almost forgot what this feels like.
“We think we’re onto something now. This car has so much power it’s scary.”
Jeff Naiser joined Moyer and Riesterer as the third Texan to win in St. Louis, putting together a pair of impressive passes in eliminations to win in Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified.
Naiser went 3.876 in the semifinals to beat Scott Ray and then improved to a thrilling 3.867 at 193.32 mph to pick up his first win in the new class.
“This is real exciting. We’ve got a new manifold and new nitrous and we stepped up the nitrous every round,” Naiser said. “The car showed its potential and this was an awesome win. This class just fits us perfectly.”
In a matchup of underdogs, Chris Nyerges, the No. 16 qualifier in Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman, went 4.467 at 157.72 mph to hold off Jim Sackuvich in a great side-by-side final.
Sackuvich was the No. 15 qualifier, but Nyerges won by a mere 12 inches for his first victory in the ADRL.
“We had a couple of lucky rounds, but this is nice,” Nyerges said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had a win.”
In what was the quickest side-by-side run in the history of the SuperCar Showdown class, Drew Skillman came out on top, tracking down Jimmy DeFrank with a 5.727 at 120.90 mph.
“That was awesome and a lot of fun,” Skillman said. “I love this place. The ADRL treats us so well and it’s always a great time.”
In Pro Junior Dragster, Mitchell Seymore got the win, running 7.95 at 76.35 mph.
The next stop on the 2012 ADRL Tour takes place on June 22-23 with the U.S. Drags V at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va.
SATURDAY - FINAL QUALIFYING
FRIDAY QUALIFYING: SNYDER TOPS FRIDAY ADRL GATEWAY QUALIFYING
On a picturesque day at the American Drag Racing League’s (ADRL) home track, Pro Extreme driver Mick Snyder picked up right where he left off a month ago.
Coming off an incredible performance at Maple Grove Raceway that finished with a victory, Snyder and his Powersource Transportation team took advantage of the near-perfect conditions at Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis on Friday.
He ran a career-best 3.609 at 210.05 miles per hour, setting two track records to cap off a thrilling day that served as the official grand re-opening of Gateway Motorsports Park.
“This feels pretty awesome. When you’re on a hot streak like this, you just want to try to ride it out,” Snyder said. “Obviously it was a good pass, but we left a little on the table. Right now we’re in uncharted territory, but that’s where you want to be.”
Friday turned into a record-setting day on a number of fronts, as St. Louis-area native John DeFlorian re-set the world E.T. (4.018) and speed (179.92 mph) records in Extreme Pro Stock. Chuck Mohn set the world E.T. record in Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman, going 4.089, while a number of other drivers closed in on world records and set track records as cool temperatures made for one remarkable performance after another.
Other No. 1 qualifiers through three rounds include Rickie Jones (Pro Nitrous), Alan Pittman (Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5), Casey Stemper (Pro Extreme Motorcycle), DeFlorian (XPS), Pat Musi (Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified), Mohn (TS) and Drew Skillman (SuperCar Showdown).
Final qualifying for the Gateway Drags IV presented by CarSafe takes place at 12 p.m. local time on Saturday, with eliminations to follow.
Snyder finished off a spectacular start-to-finish day of racing in Pro Extreme, putting him in prime position for a second straight win.
It won’t be easy, though, as an amazing 12 drivers ran in the 3.60s, including Jason Scruggs going 3.617 to move to No. 2.
“We prepared to de-tune it when we got to St. Louis. We didn’t think we would have this kind of weather, so we pretty much just left it the same after Maple Grove,” Snyder said. “It’s never been this cool in St. Louis before when we’ve been racing.”
DeFlorian was beaming after his record-setting 4.018 pass in Extreme Pro Stock, topping his earlier run of 4.035 at 179.28 mph. The longtime Jerry Haas Race Cars employee continues to impress in his 2012 Camaro powered by Sonny’s Racing Engines, and is on track for his third straight No.1 qualifier.
"This is beyond, far beyond my wildest dreams and having it happen here makes it so much sweeter," DeFlorian said. "I know so many people here and having them out here at this race just makes it so special. I’m just so thankful for this.”
The entire Extreme Pro Stock field impressed, as all 16 qualifiers ran in the 4.00s for the first time in ADRL history. But nobody could match DeFlorian, who thrilled a number of onlookers with his record-breaking run.
"I felt like we needed to get our act together and it worked out. I'm almost speechless,” DeFlorian said. “This is just unbelievable and that's not even a big enough of a word to describe it.
“We found some thing we could improve on and get after it a little more. It’s unbelievable.”
Rickie Jones went 3.83 right off the bat to take the No. 1 spot in Pro Nitrous, and then stepped up to a 3.80 at 196.76 mph during the third qualifying session under the lights, setting both ends of the track records for his Summit Racing Equipment team.
Jim Laurita went 3.831 in the third session to momentarily take the top spot, but Jones and his RJ Race Cars 2012 Camaro responded minutes later.
“The car was hooked up great and it made an awesome run. This is our hometown track and I like coming to St. Louis a lot. The track was great, the air was really good and we ended up making a really nice run,” Jones said. “We’re happy to be on the pole after the first day.”
Alan Pittman is on the verge of a world record in Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5 after going 3.803 at 201.55 mph.
Should Pittman, a two-time winner in 2012, back up his outstanding pass in his ’09 Mustang, he will officially become a world record-holder for the first time in his standout career.
“That was unbelievable. We were almost going to sit the round out, but (team owner Terry Leggett) said we might as well go out and try to get the record,” Pittman said. “I saw that time flash up on the scoreboard and I felt like I won the race.
“It was just absolutely amazing. I thought I could put together a run like that, but we still want to win the race, too.”
A storied racer, Pat Musi is on track to get his first No. 1 qualifier in the ADRL after going 3.861 at 196.22 mph during the third qualifying session in the Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified class.
Edward Wilson and his 3.873 moved to the top spot initially, but Musi put together a picture-perfect pass against a sunset backdrop at Gateway Motorsports Park, needing only a backup for a new speed record in the class.
“We’ve got a lot of power in this car, but we’ve just been struggling a little bit with it,” Musi said. “We’re sneaking up on it, trying to be careful with it because it has so much power.”
Casey Stemper closed in on another No. 1 qualifier in Pro Extreme Motorcycle, recovering from a botched first qualifying session with an impressive 4.098 at 171.82 mph a round later.
“The nitrous line came apart on the bike and released itself, so we fixed that and that second pass was almost like our first run down the track,” Stemper said. “We threw in a similar tune-up from the one we ran at Maple Grove and it worked out well.
“We’re just hoping we can reclaim the points lead this weekend.”
In Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman, Chuck Mohn continued his No. 1 qualifier dominance, taking it to a new level in St. Louis with a world record pass of 4.089 at 175.05 mph in his Jerry Bickel Race Cars ’69 Camaro.
Powered by Pat Musi Racing Engines, Mohn set the mark during the second qualifying session. If it holds up, Mohn will rack up his fourth No. 1 qualifier award in Summit Racing Top Sportsman in as many races.
Ronnie Davis impressed in going to the No. 2 spot with a 4.108, as his pass of 178.66 mph marks the fastest pass in the history of the class.
In Pro Junior Dragster, Austin Vaughn is the current No. 1 qualifier with a 7.902 at 82.05 mph.
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