IHRA TORCO PRESIDENT'S CUP
Keep up with this weekend's action in Budd's Creek, Md., the 10th event on the 11-race tour. Closest national event drag race to Washington, DC. Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Showdown and more.
MONDAY FINAL -
MILLICAN CLINCHES CHAMPIONSHIP WITH TOP FUEL WIN IN MARYLAND
Diehl, Smith, Stott and Parker Also Claim Torco President’s Cup Nationals Wins
Two races after losing the Knoll Gas – Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel points lead, Clay Millican, Drummonds, Tenn., has clinched his sixth consecutive IHRA world championship by defeating Rick Cooper in the final round of the Torco Racing Fuels President’s Cup Nationals in Budds Creek, Md. Millican now leads Doug Foley by 117 points.
Other professional winners include Jeff Diehl (Nitro Funny Car), Ricky Smith (Pro Stock) Neal Parker (Alcohol Funny Car) and Quain Stott (Pro Modified).
Millican, who entered Top Fuel eliminations Sunday as the No. 3 qualified car, took out Kevin Jones in round one with a 4.685/314.97, then won against No. 1 qualifier TJ Zizzo to advance to the final with Cooper, who would have lane choice. Millican didn’t make a clean pass, but didn’t need one, as Cooper left the line early and lost with a red-light.
With this win, Millican has clinched the world championship, assuming he shows up at the final event, October 20 – 22, in Rockingham, N.C., where he’ll be granted the 31 bonus points IHRA awards for attending every national event. Foley, who missed this race due to injuries sustained during a race in Cayuga, Ontario, will not be able to make up the 148-point difference, even if he does show up to Rockingham.
“It’s been one of the hardest years, but obviously it has been one of the most rewarding,” Millican said. “Every guy on this team hung in there and did what they had to do. We never gave up…there is not a quitter on this team. It’s very, very satisfying to win this championship. I wish we could have finished it out by racing Doug at the end, but Doug will be back.”
Diehl won his first IHRA Knoll Gas – Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car Ironman when he defeated the heavily favored Paul Lee, who was making his fourth final round appearance of the year. Lee, who has yet to win, has proven he’s capable of making 4-second runs, but Diehl had the better car in the final. En route to his win, Diehl took out Dale Creasy Jr. in round one and Jack Wyatt in round two. Creasy and Wyatt are locked in the championship battle.
“We came in here with a new car and were going to treat it as a test session,” Diehl said. “Then we got to the first round and I just lose it. All the sudden I want to do something for this team, I know I have to do something for this team. I got braver and the car started reacting. Even though I didn’t make it all the way to the finish line I wasn’t going to quit until the car quit. There was no way I was going to stop.”
In his first Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock final of the year, Smith used a holeshot – 0.042 to 0.084 – to defeat a faster Tony Gillig. The pair also engaged in a 30-second staging battle prior to the run. Smith took out Pete Berner, Brian Gahm and Bert Jackson before taking on Gillg, who defeated John Nobile, John Montecalvo and Robert Patrick in previous rounds. Gillig entered this race with the points lead, and will leave with it, 31 points ahead of Berner.
“That brought back old memories. It brought back memories of me and Ronnie Sox and Warren Johnson because we had those kinds of burndowns,” said Smith, referring to the staging battle he had with Gillig in the final. “It really gets the fans into it. It came out in my favor this time, but could end up on the other side the next time. But I love the game and love being back over here in IHRA.”
In the Alcohol Funny Car class, the upsets came early as defending world champion Rob Atchison, the current points leader when this race began, failed to qualify, opening the door for Thomas to take the points lead. Thomas defeated Tom Carter and Larry Dobbs, gaining more-and-more points with each round. He eventually met Parker in the final round, who had a solid car all weekend, but slightly slower than Thomas. Despite that, Parker used a holeshot to win the race, a 0.006 light to Thomas’ 0.094, which was enough to put his 5.841 ET ahead of the five-time world champion’s 5.773.
“This feels great,” Parker said. “It’s been six years since we’ve won a national event and that was in Pro Outlaw. To have a small budget team and be able to pull it out for the team, and do it on a holeshot, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
In somewhat unusual fashion, Stott won his second Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified race of 2006 against teammate Tommy D’Aprile, who was in his second final or the year. The two left the starting line and coasted to the other end of the track, stopping just before the finish. Stott eventually crossed the line first, in 41-seconds at 25 mph and now leads the Pro Modified points by 10 over Glen Kerunsky, who Stott took out in the second round.
“For a lot of years I’ve watched these two-car teams, and sometimes not teammates, play the game of laying down and,” Stott said. “That was the first time I ever did that. There weren’t any team owners, it was Tommy’s decision. We decided if we were going to do it we were not going to lie to our fans and not going to lie to our sponsors. We were going to let everyone know what we were doing. I’ve been knocked out of a lot of championships on the other side, and I’m still a long way from winning this one. But now we’re back in the hunt.”
Bo Kenney won the JEG’S Top Stock world championship run-off by defeating Monty Bogan Jr. Kenney lost traction off the starting line but Bogan crossed the center after a big wheel-stand. Kenney was awarded with the $40,000 prize, the biggest single payout of the weekend.
Television coverage of the Torco Racing Fuels President’s Cup Nationals airs on SPEED:
Top Fuel, Nitro Funny Car and JEG’S Top Stock – Saturday, October 21 at 4:30 pm
Pro Modified, Alcohol Funny Car and Pro Stock – Saturday, November 25 at 6 pm
The next event on the 2006 eMax Drag Racing Series is the IHRA World Finals, October 20 – 22, at Rockingham Dragway, Rockingham, N.C.
SUNDAY - TORCO PRESIDENT'S CUP NATIONALS POSTPONED TO MONDAY
Morning and Late Afternoon Rain Causes Delays in Eliminations
Eliminations for the Torco Racing Fuels President’s Cup Nationals have been postponed until Monday, October 2.
Sunday began with showers early, causing a delay in the start-time. The weather cleared but as the semifinals of the professional classes were running, rain began falling again around 4:30 p.m.
Racing will begin Monday at 10 a.m. with sportsman classes. Professional eliminations will resume at 11 p.m.
SATURDAY QUALIFYING - Patrick Highlights Record-Setting Pro Stock Field
Grabs #1 qualifier spot as well as $20,000 Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Showdown win at President’s Cup Nationals; Gilbertson, Millican, Cannon and Tigges claim poles at Maryland International Raceway
The Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock class has always been a fan favorite at Maryland International Raceway. Saturday, at the President’s Cup Nationals, Robert Patrick (Fredericksburg, Va.) cleaned up…clocking a 6.320 at 221.20 mph to claim the top qualifying spot. In the process, in the last round of Saturday night qualifying, he also defeated Frank Gugliotta (Mt. Airy, Md.) in the final round of the Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock Showdown to claim the $20,000 first prize.
“It was tough,” Patrick said of his big day at MIR. “The main thing is we have to go four rounds tomorrow. I’m a little bit whipped and I have to pull back in to get back to where I have to be. I’m tired now, but I have to try to go four rounds tomorrow to try to win this race. I have a good team and if I can do my job tomorrow I think we have a good chance.”
Bob Gilbertson (Charlotte, N.C.) continued his strong late-season surge by climbing to the top of the Knoll Gas-Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car qualifying sheet with a 4.762 pass at 323.35 mph. Both the elapsed time and speed for Gilbertson are pending IHRA World Records. He must run within one percent of those numbers to officially break his own records, set in Epping, N.H. earlier in September.
Paul Lee, who Gilbertson defeated in the final at the IHRA Canadian Nationals in Cayuga last Monday, claimed the #2 qualifying position with a career-best 4.803 at 316.38 mph.
T.J. Zizzo (Lincolnshire, Ill.) claimed the #1 qualifying spot in the Knoll Gas-Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel class by putting down a 4.619 ay a track record 325.61 mph. Zizzo finished in front of Boise, Idaho resident Rick Cooper who clocked a 4.635 at 320.13 to lock down the #2 spot. Five-time defending IHRA Top Fuel World Champion Clay Millican (Drummonds, Tenn.) will enter eliminations third.
Scott Cannon (Lyman, S.C.) highlighted the quickest Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified field in IHRA history by carding a 6.019 pass at 238.89 mph to claim the pole. Ray Commisso (Toronto, Ont.) took the #2 spot with a 6.033 at 239.44 mph. Ed Hoover finished on the bump spot with a 6.165…the quickest #16 qualifier in history.
Fred Tigges (Holbrook, Mass.) headlined a surprising Alcohol Funny Car qualifying field that should throw the season championship points race into turmoil. Rob Atchison, who entered the President’s Cup Nationals as the season points leader, failed to make the show and will be forced to watch Sunday eliminations. Tigges clocked a 5.749 at 244.74 mph to grab the pole while Mark Thomas, who entered the event second in the points standings, qualified second with a 5.778 at 247.61.
Professional eliminations for the Torco President’s Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway begin Sunday at 11 p.m. Final rounds start at 4:15 p.m.
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 2006 eMax Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday.
Top Fuel -- 1. T.J. Zizzo, 4.615 seconds, 325.61 mph vs. 5. Jim Cavalieri, 4.689, 313.15; 2. Rick Cooper, 4.635, 320.13
vs. 6. Scott Weis, 4.829, 254.76; 3. Clay Millican, 4.637, 313.29 vs. 7. Kevin Jones, 5.239, 214.93; 4. Bobby Lagana Jr., 4.683, 310.98 vs. 8. Roger Dean, 5.483, 225.03.
Nitro Funny Car -- 1. Bob Gilbertson, Dodge Stratus, 4.762, 323.35 vs. 5. Jack Wyatt, Pontiac Firebird, 5.217, 212.03; 2.Paul Lee, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.803, 316.38 vs. 6. Vincent Arcadi, Monte Carlo, 5.779, 178.95; 3. Dale Creasy Jr., Monte Carlo,
4.880, 306.05 vs. 7. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Celica, 7.647, 115.18; 4. Andy Kelley, Firebird, 5.105, 221.45 vs. 8. Terry Haddock, Stratus, 7.864, 115.64.
Pro Modified -- 1. Scott Cannon, Pontiac GTO, 6.019, 238.89 vs. 9. Mike Janis, Chevy Cobalt, 6.087, 236.01; 2. Raymond Commisso, Chevy Camaro, 6.033, 239.44 vs. 10. Quain Stott, Chevy Corvette, 6.094, 235.27; 3. Danny Rowe, Corvette, 6.042, 236.01 vs. 11. John Russo, Camaro, 6.096, 234.33; 4. Eddie Ware, Camaro, 6.059, 236.22 vs. 12. Jim Halsey, Camaro, 6.117, 231.08; 5. Tommy D'Aprile, Corvette, 6.063, 236.42 vs. 13. Mike Castellana, Chevy Cavalier, 6.121, 231.16; 6. Kenny Lang, Corvette, 6.075, 234.09 vs. 14. Glen Kerunsky, Chevy Bel Air, 6.147, 233.40; 7. Steve Bareman, Dodge Stratus, 6.084, 238.93 vs. 15. Billy Harper, Dodge Viper, 6.156, 226.62; 8. Carl Spiering, Camaro, 6.086, 235.64 vs. 16. Ed Hoover, Corvette, 6.165, 230.76.
Alcohol Funny Car -- 1. Frederick Tigges, Dodge Avenger, 5.749, 247.11 vs. 5. Rocky Hummel, Chevy Camaro, 5.872, 241.76; 2. Mark Thomas, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.778, 247.61 vs. 6. Thomas Carter, Camaro, 5.892, 237.63; 3. Neal Parker, Monte Carlo, 5.838, 239.61 vs. 7. Tony Bogolo, Ford Mustang, 5.960, 231.24; 4. Terry Munroe, Monte Carlo, 5.850, 240.34 vs. 8. Larry Dobbs, Chevy Corvette, 5.962, 235.15.
Pro Stock -- 1. Robert Patrick, Shelby GT 500, 6.320, 221.20 vs. 9. Tony Gillig, Ford Mustang, 6.372, 218.72; 2. Pete Berner, Pontiac GTO, 6.348, 220.04 vs. 10. Jeff Dobbins, Ford Escort, 6.386, 218.34; 3. Steve Spiess, Chevy Cobalt, 6.357, 219.01 vs. 11. Jerry Haas, GTO, 6.393, 219.36; 4. Dan Sweeney, GTO, 6.360, 219.44 vs. 12. Brian Gahm, Mustang, 6.397, 219.01; 5. John Montecalvo, Cobalt, 6.360, 218.19 vs. 13. Cary Goforth, Cobalt, 6.399, 219.90; 6. Frank Gugliotta, Escort, 6.366, 220.80 vs. 14. Richard Penland, Escort, 6.413, 219.69; 7. John Nobile, Escort, 6.366, 219.86 vs. 15. Daniel Seamon, Mustang, 6.415, 218.94; 8. Rickie Smith, Cobalt, 6.372, 219.72 vs. 16. Bert Jackson, Chevy Cavalier, 6.416, 218.34.
Bob Gilbertson, Rick Cooper, Danny Rowe, Robert Patrick and Mark Thomas Provisional Top
Qualifiers in Maryland
Bob Gilbertson has been on a mission lately. It all started at the World Nationals in Norwalk last month when the Charlotte, N.C. resident eclipsed John Force’s long-standing track ET record. It continued in Epping, N.H. at the Amalie Oil North American Nationals where Gilbertson established a both ends of the IHRA World Record with a 4.841 pass at 318.09 mph. Friday, during the evening qualifying session at the Torco Racing Fuels President’s Cup Nationals in Budds Creek, Md., Gilbertson continued his assault on the record books.
In the second-to-last pair of cars in Friday’s Knoll Gas-Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car qualifying session, Gilbertson blistered the strip at Maryland International Raceway with a 4.762 pass at 323.35 mph. This pass set both ends of the professional record, pending a qualifying back-up run sometime during the event.
With teammate Doug Foley still recovering from his injuries suffered in the final in Cayuga last week, Rick Cooper (Boise, Idaho) put together a strong pass to move to the top of Friday’s qualifying session in the Knoll Gas-Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel class. Cooper clocked a 4.635 at 320.13 mph to move to the top of the sheet. T.J. Zizzo had previously set the new track mph record by clocking a 321.50 mph pass.
Danny Rowe (Rossville, Ga.) moved to the top of the Friday qualifying sheet in the Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified class as he posted a 6.084 at 235.76 mph in his ’63 Corvette. Carl Spiering (Jordan Station, Ont.) was the provisional #2 qualifier with a 6.086 at 235.64 mph. Mike Janis (Lancaster, N.Y.) and Tommy D’Aprile (Port Charlotte, Fla.) both posted 6.087 passes Friday night, but Janis moved into the #3 position due to a superior speed at the top end of the track.
Robert Patrick paced a Friday qualifying session that saw 10 drivers eclipse the previous Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock track record. Each of those 10 drivers ran in the 6.30’s, led by Patrick’s 6.332 at 220.84 mph. Patrick (Fredericksburg, Va.) grabbed the provisional top qualifying spot by running a solid three hundredths quicker than the #2 driver, Dix Hills, N.Y. resident John Montecalvo, who posted a 6.360 at 218.19 mph to grab the provisional #2 spot.
Mark Thomas (Louisville, Ohio) jumped to the top of the provisional qualifying sheet in the Alcohol Funny Car class by clocking a 5.882 pass at 246.44 mph in his Ethanol-sponsored Avenger. Thomas, currently second in IHRA World Championship points standings, was one thousandth quicker than Neal Parker…who carded a 5.883 pass.
Qualifying resumes Saturday for the Torco Racing Fuels President’s Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway. Gates open at 8 a.m. with Sportsman eliminations at 9:30 a.m., Professional qualifying at 3 and 7 p.m. Professional eliminations start Sunday at 11 a.m.
Results Friday after qualifying for the Torco Race Fuels President's Cup Nationals at Maryland International
Raceway, tenth of 11 events in the 2006 eMax Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final
Top Fuel -- 1. Rick Cooper, 4.635 seconds, 320.13 mph; 2. T.J. Zizzo, 4.677, 321.50; 3. Bobby Lagana Jr., 4.786, 257.78; 4. Scott Weis, 4.829, 254.76; 5. Clay Millican, 5.111, 234.78; 6. Kevin Jones, 5.239, 214.93; 7. Roger Dean, 5.483, 225.03; 8. JackOstrander, 5.647, 168.64.
Nitro Funny Car -- 1. Bob Gilbertson, Dodge Stratus, 4.762, 323.35; 2. Paul Lee, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.165, 241.67; 3.
Vincent Arcadi, Monte Carlo, 5.779, 178.95; 4. Andy Kelley, Pontiac Firebird, 7.213, 116.94; 5. Terry Haddock, Stratus, 7.864,
115.64; 6. Dale Creasy Jr., Monte Carlo, 8.540, 106.22; 7. Jack Wyatt, Firebird, 11.938, 78.97; 8. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Celica,
Pro Modified -- 1. Danny Rowe, Chevy Corvette, 6.084, 235.76; 2. Carl Spiering, Chevy Camaro, 6.086, 235.64; 3. Mike Janis, Chevy Cobalt, 6.087, 236.01; 4. Tommy D'Aprile, Corvette, 6.087, 235.02; 5. Jim Halsey, Camaro, 6.117, 230.84; 6. John Russo,Camaro, 6.120, 232.79; 7. Glen Kerunsky, Chevy Bel Air, 6.147, 232.07; 8. Billy Harper, Dodge Viper, 6.156, 226.62; 9. Quain Stott,Corvette, 6.166, 234.45; 10. Raymond Commisso, Camaro, 6.186, 228.38; 11. Steve Vick, Corvette, 6.199, 225.79; 12. Steve Bareman, Dodge Stratus, 6.216, 236.92; 13. Mike Castellana, Chevy Cavalier, 6.223, 230.69; 14. Tim O'Hare, Camaro, 6.435, 218.65; 15. BurtonAuxier, Corvette, 6.436, 183.54; 16. David Roemer, Camaro, 6.887, 158.06.
Alcohol Funny Car -- 1. Mark Thomas, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.882, 246.44; 2. Neal Parker, Monte Carlo, 5.883, 239.48; 3. Thomas Carter, Chevy Camaro, 5.997, 236.96; 4. Terry Munroe, Monte Carlo, 7.559, 117.75; 5. Rocky Hummel, Camaro, 8.816, 95.79; 6. LarryDobbs, Chevy Corvette, 9.302, 92.41; 7. Terry McMillen, Dodge Avenger, 10.437, 89.29; 8. Rob Atchison, Monte Carlo, 12.746, 62.38.
Pro Stock -- 1. Robert Patrick, Shelby GT 500, 6.332, 220.84; 2. John Montecalvo, Chevy Cobalt, 6.360, 218.19; 3. Frank
Gugliotta, Ford Escort, 6.366, 220.33; 4. Pete Berner, Pontiac GTO, 6.367, 220.04; 5. John Nobile, Escort, 6.376, 219.86; 6. Tony Gillig, Ford Mustang, 6.381, 218.72; 7. Steve Spiess, Cobalt, 6.383, 218.65; 8. Jerry Haas, GTO, 6.393, 219.36; 9. Dan Sweeney, GTO,6.396, 219.08; 10. Rickie Smith, Cobalt, 6.398, 219.36; 11. Elijah Morton, Ford ZX2, 6.429, 214.93; 12. Bob Bertsch, Mustang, 6.434,216.34; 13. Jeff Dobbins, Escort, 6.453, 217.70; 14. Larry O'Brien, Dodge Stratus, 6.454, 216.62; 15. Daniel Seamon, Escort, 6.470, 218.19; 16. John Bartunek, Cobalt, 6.474, 217.39.