The IHRA ventures yearly into the Washington, DC market for the Torco Race Fuels President's Cup Nationals. Originally created as a Pro Modified marquee event, this national event has developed into a fan favorite with drag racing's nitro classes. Records are traditionally set every year at the venture north of the Potomac River.




SUNDAY FINAL - Millican’s Triumphant Return Claims Top Fuel Ironman at President’s Cup Nationals; Pete Berner, Mike Janis, Jack Wyatt and Laurie Cannister also take home titles in Budds Creek
millican_winner_budds_creek.jpg There was a familiar face back in the Winner’s Circle at Maryland International Raceway. Six-time IHRA Top Fuel world champion Clay Millican, who raced a full schedule on the NHRA tour this season, came to Maryland International Raceway to defend last season’s event championship. He succeeded, knocking off current points leader T.J. Zizzo in the final round to claim his 51st career national event Ironman.

It was Millican’s first career national event victory with new Crew Chief Johnny West, and he had to earn it. Zizzo, in a close race for the IHRA world championship, threw everything he had at Millican, posting a 4.685 at 321.73 mph. Millican was able to edge him with a 4.576 at 325.85…a pass that backed up his provisional record run of 328.14 set during Friday qualifying.
“That was unbelievable,” Millican said after the final. “We expected them to come out swinging, but never in my life did I expect them to throw out a 6.68 at 321. That was a great final round and I’m really proud of T.J. and his entire team. They had a big weekend, too.”

king_winner_budds_creek.jpg Mitch King had the biggest weekend of his racing career, claiming his first-ever Nitro Funny Car victory by stopping Jack Wyatt in the final round. King clocked a 5.133 at 289.45 mph to stop Wyatt, who smoked his tires at the hit of the throttle.

“We have worked so hard and paid a lot of dues,” King said. “I can’t say enough about my guys. All year we’ve been running a Top Fuel car and a Nitro Funny Car. My guys have gone without eating, without sleeping, without a lot of things and they’ve never complained. I know, at every race, I have the hardest-working crew on the property.”

janis_winner_budds_creek.jpg Mike Janis (Lancaster, N.Y.) continued his recent hot streak, claiming the Pro Modified Ironman with a final-round victory over

John Russo. Janis posted a 6.025 at 241.63 to turn on the win light over Russo’s 6.127/241.24 pass.

Janis pulled within a couple of rounds of Scott Cannon at the top of the national points list, but failed to go to the Edmonton race and will not receive the 41-point bonus for attending each IHRA Knoll Gas Nitro Jam event. Cannon will qualify for the 41 points when he stages his car in Rockingham.

“We can’t worry about that, we just have to try to get every point we can get,” Janis said. “What’s in the past is in the past and we’re going to see what we can do in Rockingham. This was a great race and we’ve really figured some things out lately.”

berner_winner_budds_creek.jpg Pete Berner (Crete, Ill.) won his 18th career Ironman with a Pro Stock final victory over Dean Goforth. Berner claimed the win with a 6.307 at 222.40 to knock off Goforth’s 6.357/223.69.

“This was an amazing weekend and I’m very proud of what IHRA was able to do out here,” Berner said. “I’ll be honest, we were thinking about possibly going over to run on the other side but when you run IHRA it’s like running with family. We hug each other when we win or lose and I just don’t want to leave that.”

Laurie Cannister found the Winner’s Circle for the first time since 2002, taking home the Alcohol Funny Car championship with a win over Mark Thomas. Cannister clocked a 5.780 at 245.49 to get the win, driving for Kevin and Wendy Sims. After the race she had an announcement about her future.

cannister_winner_budds_creek.jpg “The car owners called me a couple of weeks ago and asked me if I wanted to drive in the last couple of events to see what would happen,” Cannister said. “That was the call I have been waiting a long time for. Now they asked me if I would drive the car next year, so we’re going to be driving a full IHRA schedule next season. I’m really excited about that and thrilled I was able to get the win here.”

The next event on the $19.5 million Knoll Gas Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series is the IHRA World Finals presented by the United States Air Force, Oct. 19-21, at historic Rockingham Dragway. 


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Sunday's final results from the Torco Race Fuels President's Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway. The  race is the tenth of 11 in the $19.5 million 2007 Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Clay Millican, 4.576 seconds, 325.85 mph  def. T.J. Zizzo, 4.685 seconds, 321.73 mph.

Nitro Funny Car --
Mitch King, Chevy Corvette, 5.133, 289.45  def. Jack Wyatt, Dodge Stratus, broke.
Pro Modified -- Mike Janis, Chevy Cobalt, 6.025, 241.63  def. John Russo, Chevy Camaro, 6.127, 241.24.

Alcohol Funny Car -- Laurie Cannister, Chevy Camaro, 5.780, 245.49  def. Mark Thomas, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.845, 245.09.

Pro Stock -- Pete Berner, Pontiac GTO, 6.307, 222.40  def. Dean Goforth, GTO, 6.357, 223.69.

Pro Stock Showdown -- John Nobile, Ford Mustang, 6.304, 221.49  def. Frank Gugliotta, Chevy Cobalt, 6.320, 222.51.

Top Dragster -- Jimmy Jones, Dragster, 7.691, 146.86  def. Aldan Miller, Dragster, 7.699, 131.96.

Top Sportsman -- Mike Kaufman, Chevy Corvette, 6.996, 197.45  def. Sandy Wilkins, Chevy Cavalier, 7.056, 193.29.

Quick Rod -- Tony Helms, Dragster, 8.900, 171.73  def. Rusty Cook, Dragster, 8.885, 177.51.

Super Rod --
Joseph Cepelka, Dodge Charger, 9.901, 138.17  def. Peabody Harrell, Chevy Roadster, 9.929, 147.20.

Hot Rod -- Robert Holloway, Chevy Camaro, 10.883, 127.25  def. Joseph Chiaramonte, Plymouth Barracuda, 10.872, 127.63.

Super Stock --
Bob Phillips, Chrysler Lebaron, 10.670, 123.93  def. Scotty Stillings, Pontiac Grand Am, broke.

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SATURDAY QUALIFYING - Brian Gahm Shocks Pro Stock World at Maryland International Raceway

Sets both ends of the world record in moving to the top of the qualifying sheet; Scott Cannon also claims both ends of the Pro Mod record in Saturday evening qualifying

gahm.jpgWhile the Nitro classes usually headline the Knoll Gas Nitro Jam, Saturday evening at Maryland International Raceway the door-slammers took center stage.
Brian Gahm (Lucasville, Ohio) claimed both ends of the IHRA world record in the Torco’s CompetionPlus.com Pro Stock class, clocking an astounding 6.281 at 223.95 mph, both records that were already backed up earlier in the event, break the e.t. record set by Pete Berner (Crete, Ill.) earlier in the Saturday session. The speed record was held by Steve Spiess (Manhattan, Ill.) at 223.84 mph, also set earlier in Saturday’s evening qualifying session.
Gahm ended up on top of the qualifying list, heading the quickest Pro Stock qualifying field in IHRA history. Daniel Seamon (Bellevue, Ohio) ended up on the bump spot with a 6.401
“That was awesome,” Gahm said. “The conditions were right and we sat back and watched three other cars run in the 6.20’s. We shook the tires in the Pro Stock Showdown but knew we were safe in the field so we went for it. We knew the conditions were going to be as good as we would ever see…at least until next year.”
cannon.jpg Gahm could just shake his head about leading the quickest Pro Stock field in IHRA history.
“It’s just amazing,” he said. “Who would have ever thought you would see Pro Stocks running in the 6.20’s at over 223 miles per hour? It was just unbelievable.”
Scott Cannon Jr. also rewrote the record books in Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified competition with a record-setting 5.938 pass at 242.63 mph to claim the top qualifying spot and grab Last Man Standing honors.
“We’re been trying to get all the points we can,” Cannon said. “We’ve been bumping up against the world record for awhile now and we’re thrilled we were able to get it. We’re chasing the championship and every single point is huge for this team.”
Cannon (Lyman, S.C.) is looking to claim his first career world championship after stepping into the car and taking over driving duties for his father, who won six career world titles.
millican.jpg “It’s easy to brag when your son can do what he does out there,” Cannon Sr. said. “Maybe Junior is picking up where his old man left off.”
Clay Millican (Drummonds, TN) needed a strong evening run to move to the top of the Knoll Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel qualifying sheet. After watching T.J. Zizzo post a 4.595 at 324.36 mph to move to the top of the sheet Millican responded with a 4.585 at 319.37 to reclaim the pole.
Zizzo (Lincolnshire, Ill.) was able to pick up two points on Bruce Litton (Indianapolis, Ind.) in the Top Fuel championship points chase, leading in the sprint for the title by a slim six points heading into Sunday eliminations. Scotty Cannon is just 51 points behind Zizzo, sitting in third place.
creasy.jpg Beecher, Ill. resident Dale Creasy Jr., who has already clinched his second consecutive Knoll Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car world championship, waited until the final pair the Saturday evening qualifying session to bump Bob Gilbertson off the #1 qualifying spot, clocking a 4.920 at 310.41 to edge Gilbertson’s 4.921 out by a thousandth. Creasy also claimed Last Man Standing brought to you by MetalWood Bat honors.
Dale Brand (Sully, Iowa) held on to the Alcohol Funny Car pole as his 5.604 at 249.39 mph stood up against all challengers during both Saturday qualifying sessions. Neal Parker claimed Last Man Standing brought to you by MetalWood Bat in the Saturday evening session.
Professional eliminations are scheduled for Sunday at 10:30 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

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First-round pairings for professional eliminations Sunday for the Torco Race Fuels President's Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway, the tenth of 11 events in the $19.5 million 2007 Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series.  Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday.

Top Fuel -- 1. Clay Millican, 4.585 seconds, 328.14 mph  vs. 5. Scotty Cannon, 4.723, 298.54; 2. T.J. Zizzo, 4.595, 324.36 vs. 6. Jeff O'Neill, 4.776, 313.66; 3. Michael Gunderson, 4.668, 310.05  vs. 7. Bobby Lagana Jr., 4.866, 293.15; 4. Bruce Litton, 4.689, 266.06  vs. 8. Dave Gallegos, 5.053, 225.75.

Nitro Funny Car -- 1. Dale Creasy Jr., Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.920, 310.41  vs. 5. Terry Haddock, Monte Carlo, 5.078, 290.13; 2. Bob Gilbertson, Dodge Stratus, 4.921, 309.77  vs. 6. Jeff Diehl, Pontiac Firebird, 5.079, 269.56; 3. Mitch King, Chevy Corvette, 5.064, 278.75  vs. 7. Todd Simpson, Chevy Camaro, 5.089, 296.05; 4. Andy Kelley, Firebird, 5.078, 301.47  vs. 8. Jack Wyatt, Stratus, 5.115, 259.61.

Pro Modified -- 1. Scott Cannon, Pontiac Firebird, 5.938, 242.63  vs. 9. Matt Hagan, Chevy Corvette, 6.101, 236.84; 2. Chip King, Dodge Daytona, 6.001, 238.47  vs. 10. Pat Stoken, Chevy Camaro, 6.117, 231.44; 3. Danny Rowe, Corvette, 6.023, 238.76  vs. 11. Jim Halsey, Camaro, 6.151, 232.67; 4. Mike Janis, Chevy Cobalt, 6.055, 241.80  vs. 12. Harold Martin, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.156, 230.06; 5. John Russo, Camaro, 6.065, 239.87  vs. 13. Kenny Lang, Corvette, 6.170, 237.38; 6. Ed Hoover, Corvette, 6.073, 235.93 vs. 14. Billy Farmer, 6.173, 232.59; 7. Jason Hamstra, Corvette, 6.084, 234.13  vs. 15. Milt Decker, Corvette, 6.194, 228.89; 8. Quain Stott, Corvette, 6.096, 235.06  vs. 16. Mike Castellana, Ford Mustang, 6.206, 230.21.

Alcohol Funny Car -- 1. Dale Brand, Chevy Camaro, 5.604, 249.39  vs. 5. Rob Atchison, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.769, 246.26; 2. Neal Parker, Monte Carlo, 5.724, 242.54  vs. 6. Terry Munroe, Monte Carlo, 5.782, 241.80; 3. Mark Thomas, Monte Carlo, 5.735, 249.72 vs. 7. Terry McMillen, Dodge Avenger, 5.872, 238.13; 4. Laurie  Cannister, Camaro, 5.751, 246.62  vs. 8. Trevor Lebsack, Ford Mustang, 5.907, 239.53.

Pro Stock -- 1. Brian Gahm, Ford Mustang, 6.281, 223.95  vs. 9. Frank Gugliotta, Chevy Cobalt, 6.320, 222.51; 2. John Montecalvo, Cobalt, 6.291, 223.65  vs. 10. Rob Mansfield, Pontiac GTO, 6.323, 221.78; 3. Pete Berner, GTO, 6.294, 221.74  vs. 11. Jeff Dobbins, Ford Escort, 6.337, 220.22; 4. Robert Patrick, Shelby Cobra, 6.299, 222.58  vs. 12. Dean Goforth, GTO, 6.340, 223.62; 5. Bob Bertsch, Mustang, 6.300, 221.96  vs. 13. Rickie Smith, Cobalt, 6.356, 221.67; 6. John Nobile, Mustang, 6.304, 221.49  vs. 14. Elijah Morton, Ford ZX2, 6.379, 219.15; 7. Steve Spiess, Cobalt, 6.309, 223.84  vs. 15. Chuck DeMory, Escort, 6.380, 220.40; 8. Cary Goforth, Cobalt, 6.320, 223.25  vs. 16. Daniel Seamon, Mustang, 6.401, 218.72.

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FRIDAY QUALIFYING - Records in Jeopardy after Sizzling Night of Qualifying at IHRA Torco President’s Cup Nationals

Millican claims provisional Top Fuel speed record in Budds Creek; Gilbertson (Nitro Funny Car), Cannon (Pro Mod), Brand (Alcohol Funny Car) and Patrick (Pro Stock) also claim provisional top qualifying honors
gilbertson_friday.jpg Clay Millican may not have run the entire Knoll Gas Nitro Jam series this season, but Friday at Maryland International Raceway he felt right at home.
The six-time IHRA Top Fuel World Champion, driving in just his second Knoll Gas Nitro Jam national event of the season, jumped straight to the top of the Friday qualifying sheet and provisionally broke Melanie Troxel’s mph world in the process, clocking a 4.642 at 328.14 mph.
“I didn’t think a 4.64 would stand up because of the conditions and I even had to pedal it,” Millican said. “If I didn’t pedal it I think it would have run in the .40’s. I love this place, that’s why I’m here. There is nothing better than racing in Budds Creek.”
Michael Gunderson (Middleburg, FL) was second on the provisional Top Fuel qualifying sheet with a career best 4.668 at 301.74 mph. Current points leader T.J. Zizzo was on the wrong side of the bump spot after Friday qualifying as his tire-shaking 8.559 put him ninth on the sheet.
Bob Gilbertson (Gastonia, N.C.) claimed the provisional Nitro Funny Car pole and grabbed Last Man Standing brought to you by MetalWood Bat honors with a 4.921 at 309.77 mph.
cannon_friday.jpg Scott Cannon (Lyman, S.C.) became the second Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified driver to ever dip into the 5.90 range, running a 5.993 at 240.64 mph to climb to the top of the provisional qualifying sheet during Friday evening qualifying. Cannon’s 5.993 blistered the Maryland International Raceway et record and his speed was good enough to set the IHRA world speed record, pending a back-up. Cannon will have to make an official run within one percent of his 240.64 during the event to claim the record. Cannon also claimed the five points for winning Last Man Standing honors.
“When we left the pits we weren’t worried about the five points, we just wanted to qualify. We backed the car down a little bit but must have gotten a little confused along the way,” Cannon said with a chuckle. “Now we’re qualified so we can go after it every pass tomorrow.”
Mike Janis (Buffalo, N.Y.) also set a provisional speed world record, surpassing Cannon’s mph with a 241.02 pass. Janis can claim the world speed record with a back-up pass during the event.
brand_friday.jpg Dale Brand provisionally rewrote the Alcohol Funny Car record books with his powerful blast down the track Friday. His 5.604 at 249.39 obliterated both ends of the track record and provisionally set both ends of the world record. He also claimed the five bonus points for winning the Last Man Standing brought to you by MetalWood Bat.
Brand raced for the first time since going to seven final rounds during the 2002 season last weekend in Milan, Mich. At that event he established a new et record, but knew he had even more power heading to Maryland International Raceway.
“We knew when we left Milan we had more in it,” he said. “We were a little worried about the starting line, but down-track this was awesome. It was a lot of fun out here. IHRA did a great job getting this track ready for this weekend.”
patrick_friday.jpg Robert Patrick (Fredericksburg, VA) claimed the provisional pole in the Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock class, becoming the second member of the Jerry Haas 6.20’s Club and provisionally matching the world et record when he laid down a blistering 6.299 pass. Patrick also claimed the Quartermax Last Man Standing honors for Friday evening, adding five to his national points lead.
“We haven’t really been paying attention to the Quartermax Last Man Standing points, but it looks like we’re going to need them,” Patrick said. “It was great to be able to come out here and qualify #1 Friday and get into the Jerry Haas 6.20’s Club in the process.”
The IHRA mph world record also fell, pending back-up, when Brian Gahm (Lucasville, Ohio) was clocked at 223.06 mph through the traps at the finish line. Cary Goforth (Holdenville, OK) had set the world speed record two pairs earlier, posting a 222.88. Both drivers will have the chance to back up their record runs during Saturday qualifying or Sunday during the rounds of elimination.
The Torco President’s Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway will continue Saturday with the first professional qualifying session scheduled for 10:30 a.m. There will be an afternoon qualifying session at 2:30 and an evening session, as part of the Night of Fire, scheduled for 7 p.m.
Results Friday after  qualifying for the Torco Race Fuels President's Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway, tenth of 11 events in the $19.5 million 2007 Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series.  Qualifying will continue Saturday for
Sunday's final eliminations.

Top Fuel -- 1. Clay Millican, 4.642 seconds, 328.14 mph; 2. Michael Gunderson, 4.668, 301.74; 3. Bruce Litton, 4.689,
266.06; 4. Scotty Cannon, 4.723, 298.54; 5. Bobby Lagana Jr., 4.866, 293.15; 6. Dave Gallegos, 5.053, 225.75; 7. Jeff O'Neill, 5.099, 213.91; 8. Chris Karamesines, 8.425, 99.88.

Nitro Funny Car -- 1. Bob Gilbertson, Dodge Stratus, 4.921, 309.77; 2. Dale Creasy Jr., Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.001, 301.40; 3. Andy Kelley, Pontiac Firebird, 5.078, 301.47; 4. Terry Haddock, Monte Carlo, 5.078, 290.13; 5. Todd Simpson, Chevy Camaro, 5.400, 209.14; 6. Mike Smith, Camaro, 5.542, 195.53; 7. Jack Wyatt, Stratus, 5.577, 185.82; 8. Mitch King, Chevy Corvette, 7.831, 107.87.

Pro Modified -- 1. Scott Cannon, Pontiac Firebird, 5.993, 240.64; 2. Mike Janis, Chevy Cobalt, 6.061, 241.02; 3. Jason
Hamstra, Chevy Corvette, 6.084, 234.13; 4. Matt Hagan, Corvette, 6.101, 236.84; 5. Quain Stott, Corvette, 6.117, 234.49; 6. Jim Halsey, Chevy Camaro, 6.151, 231.08; 7. Pat Stoken, Camaro, 6.154, 230.49; 8. Harold Martin, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.168, 230.06; 9. Chip King, Dodge Daytona, 6.185, 218.41; 10. Billy Farmer, 6.204, 231.16; 11. Mike Castellana, Ford Mustang, 6.206, 230.17; 12. Burton Auxier, Corvette, 6.296, 223.17; 13. Ed Burnley, Corvette, 6.532, 218.55; 14. Tommy Gray, Pontiac GTO, 6.689, 152.06; 15. Shannon Jenkins, GTO, 6.835, 169.21; 16. Danny Rowe, Corvette, 9.014, 100.34.

Alcohol Funny Car -- 1. Dale Brand, Chevy Camaro, 5.604, 249.39; 2. Rob Atchison, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.769, 246.26; 3. Terry Munroe, Monte Carlo, 5.782, 241.80; 4. Neal Parker, Monte Carlo, 5.801, 241.63; 5. Terry McMillen, Dodge Avenger, 5.872, 236.05; 6. Scott McNiece, Olds Cutlass, 5.950, 237.00; 7. Tony Bogolo, Ford Mustang, 5.971, 232.27; 8. Paul Noakes, Mustang, 5.975, 208.68.

Pro Stock -- 1. Robert Patrick, Shelby Cobra, 6.299, 221.13; 2. Pete Berner, Pontiac GTO, 6.300, 220.22; 3. Brian Gahm, Ford Mustang, 6.309, 223.06; 4. Cary Goforth, Chevy Cobalt, 6.351, 222.88; 5. Dean Goforth, GTO, 6.368, 219.22; 6. Bob Bertsch, Mustang, 6.374, 220.62; 7. Rickie Smith, Cobalt, 6.375, 220.73; 8. John Nobile, Mustang, 6.379, 219.69; 9. Elijah Morton, Ford ZX2, 6.379, 219.08; 10. John Bartunek, Cobalt, 6.476, 218.16; 11. Sylvester Barnes, Chevy Cavalier, 6.630, 213.06; 12. Ed Machacek, Cavalier, 6.861, 199.05; 13. Ron Miller, Cavalier, 7.300, 190.78; 14. Jeff Dobbins, Ford Escort, 8.159, 170.73; 15. Rob Mansfield, GTO, 9.652, 104.80; 16. Steve Spiess, Cobalt, 10.282, 83.10.

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