Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.
Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.
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Sunday's 50-minute sprint race ran with two yellow flag interruptions but compared to Saturday's rain-shortened event in mixed conditions, it was a welcome change of pace with a clear, sunny afternoon.
Torrential rain and a less than favorable weekend forecast have forced the cancellation of the remainder of the IHRA Nitro Jam Pittsburgh Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports at Pittsburgh Raceway Park.The professional classes will complete the race at a Nitro Jam event to be determined later this year. Spectators can hold on to their tickets in a two-for-one deal in which every ticket will get in two people at an IHRA event at Pittsburgh Raceway Park in 2015.
"We really wanted to get this event in for the great fans here in Pittsburgh; unfortunately mother nature had other plans. With the storms we saw this evening, combined with an awful forecast for Sunday, we really had no choice but to call the race," said Skooter Peaco, IHRA Vice President. "We saw some tremendous racing during the afternoon and were set for a great evening of racing. To make it up to the fans, we are offering a special two-for-one deal in 2015 where fans can bring their ticket back to an IHRA event next year and get themselves and a friend into the event. It is our little way of saying thank you for supporting IHRA and Pittsburgh Raceway Park.
"All of us at IHRA and PRP want to thank the great fans for coming out this weekend."
IHRA's professional classes completed two rounds of competition on Saturday before the rains came. Those classes, plus all additional Nitro Jam categories, will finish their respective races at a Nitro Jam event later this year.
In Nitro Funny Car, the top four drivers in qualifying all advanced to the second round. Top qualifier Peter Gallen bested Gary Kraus with the best pass of the afternoon with a 4.923-second pass at 224.10 miles per hour to move on to the semifinals. In other Nitro Funny Car action Bruce Litton defeated Ronny Young, Mike McIntire Jr. defeated John Hale and Jake Crimmins defeated recently crowned IHRA World Champion Jason Rupert.
Rupert locked up the IHRA Nitro Funny Car World Championship Friday night when Mark Sanders, the closest driver to him in points, failed to qualify for the race. By qualifying in the top five, Rupert locked up his first IHRA championship and his fourth nostalgia Nitro Funny Car championship in a row, adding three titles in the Hot Rod Heritage Series.
"It feels great to win this championship. Everyone out here tries so hard and all of these guys are such great drivers, with such great cars and tuners, it is truly an honor to be the champion of this group," Rupert said. "I have a lot of heroes in drag racing, but the guy I really look at is Frank Manzo. He has won so many championships and he is so humble about it and I now understand why. Success is not going to last forever, and knowing that makes this mean so much more. When you are chasing others you have nothing to lose, but when you are being chased you have everything to lose. All of these guys are great drivers, it was just our year."
Nitro Harley was the other class to complete its runs on Saturday, with Bob Malloy, Rocky Jackson, Mike Scott and Larry Brancaccio advancing to the semifinals.
Sportsman competitors will complete their competition for an IHRA Ironman trophy at a PRP event later this year.
For more information, please visit the International Hot Rod Association at www.ihra.com or visit us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also visit Pittsburgh Raceway Park at www.pittsburghracewaypark.com and on social media for additional information.
J. FORCE, SCHUMACHER, AND A. JOHNSON RACE TO NO. 1 QUALIFYING POSITIONS AT O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA NORTHWEST NATIONALS
On Saturday, August 2, John Force raced to his 150th No. 1 qualifying position in Funny Car at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) also will lead their categories into Sunday’s 11 a.m. eliminations at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event near Seattle.
Force entered Saturday as the top qualifier but briefly lost the top spot to his daughter Courtney in the final qualifying round. John rallied with a track record run of 4.057 seconds at 307.86 mph in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang Funny Car on the final run of the day to take the top position from his daughter. This is Force’s fourth No. 1 of the season and sixth at Pacific Raceways.
"I was overloaded today, had too much on my plate," said Force. "And then she bumped me. I figured Robert (Hight) would do it, he didn't. (Crew chief) Jimmy (Prock) turned around and said, 'What do you want to do?' I said, 'Turn 'er up.' We knew what it would do, but you really don't want to show the competition what you have. If you can hold your cards and get them in the evening, then you can step on it.”
Courtney, who won last weekend in Sonoma and moved to the number two position with her run of 4.082 at 306.33 in her Traxxas Ford Mustang, will face Gary Densham on Sunday. The 2011 Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan qualified third with a run of 4.100 at 302.69 in his Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger and will aim for his second win of the season when he faces Terry Haddock.
Piloting his U.S. Army dragster, Schumacher retained his No. 1 qualifying position from Friday and will lead the Top Fuel category into eliminations. Schumacher will make his 400th NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series start against rookie Jenna Haddock in the opening round.
“We have a great car,” Schumacher said. “I wouldn’t want to race me tomorrow. The fact that we went down both lanes just shows what (crew chiefs) Mike [Green] and Neal [Strausburg] have been looking for for a long time. We just didn’t go down the track but we were first or second each session and had some .820 60-foot times. They’re making some great calls. Our initial launch is what we’ve been longing for. Everyone knows that if you get the car moving, you can apply clutch quicker.”
Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta qualified second in his Mac Tools dragster with a run of 3.805 at 320.28 and is paired against Mike Salinas in the opening round. Shawn Langdon will begin eliminations in the third position with his run of 3.807 at 317.05 and will face Clay Millican. Most recent event winner Khalid alBalooshi qualified sixth in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster with a run of 3.813 at 319.22 and faces Brittany Force.
Pro Stock’s Johnson retained his No. 1 qualifying position with his Friday effort in his Mopar / Magneti Marelli Dodge Dart, with his run of 6.535 at 211.86. It is the 35th No. 1 of his career and his third at this event. He has four No. 1 qualifying positions this season, but has yet to win when he starts from the top spot.
“The guys did an awesome job here,” Johnson said. “All four rounds low and building up them baby points. That last round the track was representative of what we will see tomorrow. We made a really good run and we just need to keep doing what we are doing and be very consistent. If the driver does his job, we can get this thing done.”
Teammate to Johnson, Jeg Coughlin qualified fourth with a run of 6.553 at 211.13 and he will face Larry Morgan in eliminations. Shane Gray, who was the No. 1 qualifier at the most recent event, qualified second at 6.538 at 211.96 in his Gray Manufacturing Chevy Camaro and will race Travis Mazza in the opener.
Sunday's first-round elimination pairings for the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Pacific Raceways, the 16th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.
Top Fuel -- 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.804 seconds, 320.20 mph vs. 16. Jenna Haddock, 4.176, 273.44; 2. Doug Kalitta, 3.805, 320.28 vs. 15. Mike Salinas, 4.158, 283.79; 3. Shawn Langdon, 3.807, 317.05 vs. 14. Clay Millican, 3.967, 305.77; 4. Richie Crampton, 3.809, 317.19 vs. 13. Terry McMillen, 3.931, 313.73; 5. Bob Vandergriff, 3.812, 318.77 vs. 12. Antron Brown, 3.884, 309.34; 6. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.813, 319.22 vs. 11. Brittany Force, 3.848, 310.84; 7. Spencer Massey, 3.815, 318.09 vs. 10. Troy Buff, 3.845, 311.41; 8. J.R. Todd, 3.827, 314.83 vs. 9. Steve Torrence, 3.834, 316.45. Did Not Qualify: 17. Ron Smith, 4.339, 269.83.
Funny Car -- 1. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.057, 308.07 vs. 16. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.361, 283.49; 2. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.082, 306.33 vs. 15. Gary Densham, Chevy Impala, 4.303, 292.46; 3. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.100, 302.69 vs. 14. Terry Haddock, Impala, 4.199, 292.46; 4. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 4.101, 303.23 vs. 13. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.175, 294.18; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.102, 304.19 vs. 12. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.156, 297.29; 6. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.107, 303.91 vs. 11. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.150, 301.40; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.120, 306.40 vs. 10. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.136, 298.34; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.126, 296.18 vs. 9. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.131, 300.53. Did Not Qualify: 17. Bucky Austin, 4.398, 276.63; 18. Paul Lee, 4.979, 204.20.
Pro Stock -- 1. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.535, 211.86 vs. Bye; 2. Shane Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.538, 211.96 vs. 15. Travis Mazza, Ford Mustang, 8.038, 129.28; 3. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.549, 211.36 vs. 14. Mark Wolfe, Mustang, 7.060, 205.57; 4. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.553, 211.13 vs. 13. Larry Morgan, Mustang, 6.695, 207.82; 5. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.556, 211.56 vs. 12. Deric Kramer, Dodge Avenger, 6.615, 209.85; 6. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.561, 211.26 vs. 11. Matt Hartford, Avenger, 6.597, 210.67; 7. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.562, 211.46 vs. 10. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.588, 210.57; 8. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.569, 210.73 vs. 9. Dave Connolly, Camaro, 6.587, 210.60
36 Champions Crowned at 2014 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn's
The 33rd Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship presented by AMSOIL came to a conclusion on Saturday with the fifth and final day of racing in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Thirty-six National Championships were awarded upon completion of the third set of motos with six dominant riders emerging victorious in two different classes.
The AMA Award recipients: (left to right) Garrett Marchbanks, RJ Hampshire,
Tristan Charboneau, John Grewe
Perhaps the rider who finished with the highest honors after the week's racing was Factory Connection/AMSOIL Honda rider of RJ Hampshire, who managed to win all six motos that he entered in both the 250 A and Open Pro Sport classes, along with two Bell Holeshot Awards. Hampshire's impressive performance throughout the week led up to the highest accolade of them all, the coveted AMA Horizon Award that's given to the A rider who shows the most promise as they prepare to enter the professional ranks. The newly crowned 2014 AMA Horizon Award winner plans to compete in the upcoming round of the Pro Motocross Championship at Unadilla.
The AMA Motocross Amateur Rider Award, which is new for 2014, is presented to an outstanding non-A-class rider at the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship. It is designed to recognize those who are ready to make an immediate impact in A-class competition. This year's recipient, Tristan Charboneau, scored a perfect 1-1-1 score en route to a 450 B title, in addition to an impressive 2-1-2 performance to capture the 250 B championship as well.
Garrett Marchbanks won 5 of 6 motos to capture two championships
and the Youth Rider Award
The AMA Motocross Youth Rider Award goes to a rider under the age of 16 chosen for his or her performance in the youth classes at the motocross nationals. Youth riders who also participate in amateur classes will be considered, but only their youth class results will be factored into the selection. This year's recipient of the in the Youth division is Garrett Marchbanks, champion of both Mini Sr 1 (12-13) and Mini Sr 2 (12-14).
The AMA Motocross Vet/Senior Rider Award acknowledges an outstanding rider over the age of 30 at the AMA Motocross National Championships. Results from all classes ridden are taken into consideration in selecting the winner. In an ultra-competitive Vet division, John Grewe topped both the Senior 40+ and Senior 45+ classes to capture not only two titles, but also the coveted Vet/Senior Rider Award.
Jon Ames and Luke Purther entered the final day tied in Schoolboy 1 (12-16) B/C. Both riders had to work through the pack in order to keep their championship hopes alive, and a late mistake from Purther handed the title to Ames in the end. Jake Masterpool (4-3-1) and Justin Cooper (3-12-2) also took advantage of Purther's crash to finish atop the podium.
Mini Sr. 1 (12-13) belonged to the ultra fast Monster Energy/Team Green Kawasaki of Garrett Marchbanks, who made it a clean sweep on Saturday. Jalek Swoll (4-2-2) and Brock Papi (2-3-4) finished second and third.
Austin Forkner ended his minicycle days-he's moving to the 250F-with a clean sweep of Super Mini 2 over teammate Sean Cantrell (2-2-2) and Jordan Bailey (3-4-4).
Hannah Hodges dominated her third straight moto on Saturday to make it a clean sweep in Girls (12-16). Danielle Grigoletti (3-2-2) and Gracie Van Horn (2-3-3) joined Hodges atop the podium. In Girls Jr. (9-13), Jordan Jarvis claimed her third straight win to capture the championship, while Jamie Astudillo (2-3-3) and Karly Morgan (3-4-2) finished second and third, respectively.
Bad luck struck for Kaitlyn Morrow in the third moto of Women 14+, as she went down early on and wasn't able to finish the moto. Mackenzie Tricker (1-2-5) took full advantage and won the championship, her second straight title, over Marissa Markelon (4-5-2) and Brandy Richards (9-3-1).
In Vet racing, John Grewe and Trampas Parker had traded moto wins entering the third and final Senior 45+ moto. It was a winner-take-all affair on Saturday and it was Grewe who edged out Parker in the final duel at the Ranch. Barry Carsten (4-3-3) would round out the podium with third overall. Grewe went on to also capture the Senior 40+ championship after a good battle with two-time moto winner Tony Lorusso, who went 1-9-1 for third overall, and the second place finisher of Gregory Pamart (5-2-3). In Masters 50+, Rodney Smith made it interesting by winning the final moto, but Earl May was able to capture the championship following two moto wins earlier in the week.
John Grewe proved to be the most dominant Vet rider in 2014
One of the best championship battles of the week to place in Vet 30+ B/C. Entering the final moto Saturday, both Reid Edwards and Chad Murphy had captured a moto win in the class. The slugfest continued in Moto 3, as Edwards passed Murphy just before the white flag dropped, but Murphy struck back on the final lap and won by just 1.03 seconds.
In 250 C Limited Braden O'Neal survived a fourth in the final moto to win the championship. Cole Conatser (1-2-6) finished second, with Chad Saultz (4-9-1) in third. Draken Jaynes (1-4-2) would win the final moto of the day-250 C-over Justin Boyd (4-3-1) and Nicholas Rolando (3-6-4).
RacerTV.com provided over 30 hours of LIVE stream coverage of racing throughout the week and the archived footage is now available for viewing HERE.
Complete results from the 2014 National Championship can be found HERE.
Saturday concludes the 2014 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship presented by AMSOIL, which took place place July 27 - Aug. 2 at Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. For more information, visit the series website at www.mxsports.com.
About the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship
The Rocky Mountain ATV/MCAMA Amateur National Motocross Championship is the world's largest and most prestigious amateur motocross racing program. The national qualifying program consists of 52 Area Qualifiers (February through May) and 12 Regional Championships (June), hosted at select motocross facilities across the country. The qualifying system culminates in the National Final (first week of August) hosted annually since 1982 at the home of country music star Loretta Lynn in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. Nearly 20,000 racers attempt to qualify in 36 classes for the 1,446 available positions at the National. Christened "The World's Greatest Motocross Vacation", the National event serves as a launch pad for some of the biggest names in professional motocross and supercross, including Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, and Ryan Dungey. The national program is produced by MX Sports, Inc., a West Virginia-based race production.
(Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship PR)
DiMeo and Adam Poland, of Mt. Vernon, Texas in the No. 11 Texas Track Works/Eastex Motorsports Mazda MX-5 put on an absolute show in battling for the TC class lead. At some sections of the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, DiMeo's car held the edge, while Poland's Mazda had an advantage in other areas.
2. TC, (1), Steven Doherty, Plainfield, Ill., Nissan Altima Coupe, 25, -5.524.
3. TC, (5), Adam Poland(R), Mt. Vernon, Texas, Mazda MX-5, 25, -21.507.
4. TC, (9), Kevin Anderson(R), Huntington Station, N.Y., Mazda RX8, 25, -51.566.
5. TC, (7), Emilee Tominovich(R), Laurel, Md., Volkswagen Jetta GLI, 25, -52.301.
6. TC, (8), Branden Peterson, Breckenridge, Colo., Honda Civic SI, 25, -1:13.829.
7. TC, (4), Tony Rivera, Lake Jackson, Texas, Scion FRS Coupe, 25, -1:14.724.
8. TC, (6), Ron Yarab(R), Youngstown, Ohio, Honda Civic Si, 25, -1:16.759.
9. TC, (3), Bryan Heitkotter, Fresno, Calif., Nissan Altima Coupe, 2, Mech.
2. TCA, (3), Ernie Francis_Jr, Dania, Fla., MAZDA MX-5, 25, -6.116.
3. TCA, (4), Jason Cherry(R), Gambrills, Md., Mazda MX-5, 24, -1 lap.
4. TCA, (2), Jason Wolfe(R), Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Kia Forte Koup, 24, -1 lap.
2. TCB, (8), Brian Price(R), Middletown, Va., Honda Fit, 23, -5.481.
3. TCB, (11), Nathan Stacy(R), Owassa, Okla., Ford Fiesta, 23, -6.904.
4. TCB, (2), Tyler Palmer, San Diego, Calif., MINI Cooper, 22, -1 lap.
5. TCB, (4), John Heinricy, Clarkston, Mich., Chevrolet Sonic, 22, -1 lap.
6. TCB, (5), Glenn Nixon(R), Mission, British Columbia, MINI Cooper, 22, -1 lap.
7. TCB, (10), Paul Holton(R), Tallahassee, Fla., Honda Fit, 22, -1 lap.
8. TCB, (12), Andrei Kisel(R), N. Vancouver, British Columbia, MINI Cooper, 22, -1 lap.
9. TCB, (3), PJ Groenke, Toronto, Canada, Honda Fit, 22, -1 lap.
10. TCB, (9), Jason Fichter(R), Jupiter, Fla., MINI Cooper, 22, -1 lap.
11. TCB, (7), Tom Noble(R), St. Louis Park, Minn., MINI Cooper, 22, -1 lap.
12. TCB, (13), Dan Goodman, Erie, Colo., Fiat 500, 22, -1 lap.
13. TCB, (6), Austin Snader(R), Fulshear, Texas, FIAT 500, 4, Crash.
Seven race groups of 27 Runoffs-eligible classes put on quite an opening act during Saturday’s SCCA Eastern Conference U.S. Majors Tour Round 13 race at Summit Point Motorsports Park, part of the SafeRacer SCCA National Racing program. While watching the on-track action, one could tell many of these drivers were pushing hard during the final race weekend on the conference schedule.
After a lengthy six-week break following Rounds 7 and 8 in Utah, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, is back at it once again. In what is arguably the home of short course off road in southern California, Glen Helen Raceway is host once again to Rounds 9 and 10 of the championship, and once again, the action here will be under the lights. This is traditionally one of the best-attended weekends of the year, and tonight did not disappoint, as fans flocked to the stands in droves to see their favorite drivers battle some very competitive fields. A very hot afternoon gave way to very enjoyable conditions this evening, and tonight saw a host of exciting races, including some very memorable performances from several different drivers. Read on to find out how the stars of short course faired tonight.
The first race of the weekend was Modified Kart, and after a big opening lap pile-up in turn two forced a full restart of the race, it was Broc Dickerson who shot into the early lead in his #523 Walker Evans Racing/GMZ machine. Cole Mamer was in hot pursuit in his #535 Team Associated/Simpson kart, as were Eliott Watson in the #503 Fox Racing Shox/DASA truck, Christopher Polvoorde in the #594 Horizon Solar Power Racing/The Palms River Resort entry, and Brock Heger in the #511 Spy/UNI Air Filters machine. Dickerson and Mamer were quickly pulling open a gap over their competitors, and after pressuring him for a short while, Mamer passed Dickerson with a stronger run around the inside line of whoops through turn six. Mamer assumed the lead, and started to pull clear by lap four, only to then come to a stop at turn four on the next lap. Just as everything had been looking good for Mamer, his race suddenly ended in mechanical failure, and so Dickerson re-took the lead. Dickerson was still out in front at the Competition Yellow, with Watson now second, Polvoorde third, Heger fourth, and Ryan Carey fifth in the #522 Lawrence Equipment/TheRowdyRose.com truck. In the second half, the competition amongst the top five was very evenly matched, as only Dickerson was able to make any kind of noticeable ground on those behind him. At that, Dickerson only managed to gain a few truck lengths, which he then gave back somewhat on the final lap as he appeared to be a bit cautious in ensuring that he made it through the track's big ruts without incident. At the stripe, Dickerson was the big winner for the first time in Modified Kart- congratulations Broc! Second went to Watson, third to Polvoorde, fourth to Heger, and fifth to Carey.
Pro 4 Unlimited
Kicking off things on the full-length track tonight were the Pro 4 Unlimiteds, and with a $2500 bounty on offer to anyone who can beat Kyle LeDuc this weekend, there was extra incentive for everyone, including LeDuc (who could take home the cash if nobody can beat him this weekend), to charge hard (as if they needed any extra motivation). Not surprisingly, LeDuc ran out front at the end of lap one, with Carl Renezeder, Rob MacCachren, Doug Fortin, and Greg Adler already running a few lengths behind. The top five drivers held their positions over the first six laps, but a bad bicycle by Adler at turn five on lap seven finally shook things up a bit, as he dropped to seventh, while Todd LeDuc moved up to fifth. On the next lap, Ricky Johnson got by Todd on the inside at turn three, and that moved him up to fifth in his #48 Red Bull/KMC Wheels Ford. Up front, Renezeder was now closing on Kyle, who almost looked like he might have an issue. Things were really starting to look interesting, and when a full course caution was thrown on the next lap, the ensuing restart looked like it could help shake things up even more. On that restart lap, Fortin got by MacCachren on the inside at turn three to move up to third spot, but MacCachren passed Fortin back on the next lap in the same corner to re-take the position. Two corners later, Renezeder suddenly slowed, and as he pulled into the infield at the start/finish line, it was clear that his race was run. At the end of that same lap, a second full course yellow was thrown thanks to a massive rollover by Corry Weller, who got over the outside k rail and down into the rocky gully below. Fortunately, Weller was ok, and after her truck was extricated from the scene, racing resumed on lap 19. Fortin ran wide out of turn three on the restart lap, which nearly allowed Johnson to get past him, but Fortin held him off with a wide line at turn four to hold his position. Fortin actually slowed Johnson enough to allow Todd LeDuc to briefly sneak past, but Johnson passed him right back on the next lap to re-take fourth. Up front, MacCachren just closed in a bit on Kyle LeDuc on the penultimate lap, but it appeared as though LeDuc had pace to cover any challengers, as well as some extra beyond that, and he came home the winner for the eighth time this season in the #99 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Ford. MacCachren was second in the #21 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Power Tools Ford, with Fortin rounding out the podium in his #96 Fortin Racing, Inc./General Tire Toyota. Johnson charged hard from last on the grid (he was unable to make qualifying this afternoon) to get fourth, and fifth was Todd LeDuc in the #7 Rockstar Energy Drink/Loan Mart Toyota.
Pro Buggy Unlimited
With his hometown fans out in force here tonight, it was Garrett George who shot into the early lead in his #71 Performance Utility Supply/Anenberg Funco, ahead of Steve Greinke, Chad George, Sterling Cling, and Larry Job. At the end of the third lap, a full course yellow was thrown for an incident out in turn four, and when racing resumed on lap five, it was Eric Fitch who moved up to fifth in the #97 Parts On A Shelf/BFGoodrich Tires Racer. After that, the running order in the top five stayed the same for several laps, with the leading George just managing to open up a little gap on lap nine. Greinke closed that gap down on the next lap, and the two frontrunners then proceeded to make a little ground on the points leader Chad George, something that's not been done much this season. The running order stayed the same as the laps wound down, with the only real fight being between Cling and Fitch for fourth spot. Fitch was all over Cling on laps 13 and 14, but on the final lap, an error on Fitch's part dropped him back a few spots, leaving Cling with some breathing room, and moving Dave Mason Jr. up to fifth in the #65 Loan Mart/Mickey Thompson Alumi Craft. Out front, an elated Garrett George had a great return to form as he picked up a solid win, with Greinke taking second in the #1 SC Fuels/Fortin Racing, Inc. Racer, in perhaps his most competitive run of the season. Chad George rounded out the podium in the #42 Redline Performance/ASL Builder Inc. Funco, thus keeping his season-long podium streak alive; Cling was fourth and Mason Jr. was fifth.
Pro Lite Unlimited
In Pro Lite Unlimited, it was front row starters RJ Anderson and Casey Currie who ran one-two at the end of lap one, ahead of Ryan Beat in third, Kyle Hart in third, and Jimmy Fishback in fifth. On lap three, a spin in turn three dropped Beat back to eleventh spot, and that elevated Hart to third, Fishback to fourth, and Brian Deegan to fifth in the #38 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Power Tools Ford. On the next lap, though, points leader Sheldon Creed got his #74 Traxxas/BFGoodrich Tires Dodge alongside Deegan through the rhythm section, and with a forceful inside line in the next corner, he got by Deegan to move into fifth. Over the next few laps, the running order in the top five stayed the same, and as had been the case throughout the race so far, Anderson and Currie had a solid gap over the rest of the field, with Anderson holding just enough breathing room over Currie to prevent Currie from being a serious threat to him. On lap seven, Creed got by Fishback for fourth, and with Deegan quickly getting by early on the next lap, it was now apparent that Fishback was fighting a mechanical issue. Fishback pulled into the Hot Pits and out of the race on lap eight, and it was now Anderson, Currie, Hart, Creed, and Deegan in the top five. There were a lot of laps left to run, but surprisingly, the class best known for chaos was actually very calm tonight. The only serious challenge amongst the frontrunners was Myles Cheek, who was hounding Deegan for fifth all the way to the checkers, but Deegan managed to put his experience to good use as he kept the young gun at bay. Out front, Anderson cruised to perhaps the smoothest win in Pro Lite Unlimited history, and his win was his second of the season in the #37 Loan Mart/Polaris RZR Nissan. Second went to Currie in the #2 Monster Energy/Oakley Jeep, who attributed much of his return to form tonight to a major re-work of his truck during the recent six-week break, and Currie gave special thanks to Kyle LeDuc for his hand in that effort. Third was Round 8 winner Hart in the #41 ReadyLift Off Road Suspension/Maxxis Dodge, fourth was Creed, and fifth was Deegan.
Pro 2 Unlimited
The final race of the night was Pro 2 Unlimited, and as the old saying goes: they saved the best for last. Brian Deegan had the lead at the end of lap one in his #38 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Power Tools Ford, but chasing him was a dangerous quartet, which consisted of Rob MacCachren, Bryce Menzies, Jeremy McGrath, and Carl Renezeder. After a few laps of Deegan running with a bit of a gap back to his pursuers, MacCachren closed the gap down to almost nothing by lap four. MacCachren quickly set to work on trying to make a pass on Deegan, and as they two lost just a little pace while battling each other, Menzies and his #7 Red Bull/Discount Tire Ford closed in and tacked on to make it a three-truck battle for the lead. At the end of lap eight, Renezeder then moved his #17 Lucas Oil/General Tire Nissan past McGrath to take over fourth spot, while just ahead, the top three continued to battle. The top trio stayed virtually nose-to-tail for several laps, but it was apparent that MacCachren seemed to have a better chance of making a pass, at least as far as speed was concerned, for he was consistently running Deegan closer than Menzies was running MacCachren. Lap 13 then saw a full course yellow after Myan Spaccarelli came to a stop at the exit of turn four, and as had been the case in the Pro 4 Unlimited race, it looked like the restart could be the chance those pursuers needed to make a move. Unfortunately for MacCachren, his attempt on the restart didn't pay off, as he dove down the inside at turn two, only to get half spun from behind by Menzies. MacCachren dropped all the way to last place as a result, and as Menzies was also balked by the incident, it was Renezeder who shot up and into second spot. Renezeder was immediately all over Deegan, but almost seemed to be driving over his head, as a near-spin at turn three saw him take out an advertisement banner on the next lap. Two corners later, Menzies ran Renezeder very wide at turn five to get back by "King Carl," and as the white flag waved, it was now Deegan, Menzies, Renezeder, Marty Hart, and RJ Anderson in the top five. On the final lap, MacCachren got by Anderson on the inside at turn four to get his #21 Rockstar Energy Drink/Makita Power Tools Ford back inside the top five, and at the stripe, Menzies was black flagged for his part in MacCachren's aforementioned half spin. This put Menzies down one lap in the final standings, so as of the time of this writing, it was Deegan on top with his fifth win of the season, ahead of Renezeder, Hart in the #15 ReadyLift Off Road Suspension/Kolpin Ford, MacCachren, and Anderson in the #37 Monster Energy/BFGoodrich Tires Ford. Please keep in mind, however, that the results are as of yet unofficial.
Round 9 is now in the books here at Glen Helen. Tomorrow night, we'll do it all again in Round 10, with gates opening to the public at noon. Qualifying will kick off at 1:30pm, racing will start at 6:00pm, and Opening Ceremonies will be at 7:30pm, with Modified Karts and the Pro class races immediately following. If you're getting here in the afternoon, be sure to bring your sunblock, and don't forget to hydrate. Be sure to be here tomorrow, as it should be another very enjoyable and exciting summer night under the lights.
About the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series:
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is the evolution of the long-standing support of short course racing by Forrest Lucas and Lucas Oil Products. Steeped in the Midwest tradition of short course off-road racing infused with a West Coast influence, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing brings intense four wheel door-to-door action to challenging, fan-friendly tracks. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: This is Short Course. For more information, please visitwww.LucasOilOffRoad.com.
(Scott Neth for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series)
2. GT, (7), Johnny O'Connell, Flowery Branch, Ga., Cadillac CTS-V R, 19, -1.347.
3. GT, (1), Mike Skeen, Charlotte, N.C., Audi R8 Ultra, 19, -1.396.
4. GT, (5), Anthony Lazzaro, Atlanta, Ga., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 19, -4.612.
5. GT, (8), Andrew Palmer, Chicago, Ill., Audi R8 Ultra, 19, -5.718.
6. GT, (10), James Sofronas, Villa Park, Calif., Audi R8 Ultra, 19, -10.596.
7. GT, (9), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Cadillac CTS-V R, 19, -10.876.
8. GT, (12), Michael Mills(A), Angleton, Texas, Porsche GT3R, 19, -14.585.
9. GT, (15), Jim Taggart(A), Cary, N.C., Porsche GT3 R, 19, -18.860.
10. GT, (11), Albert von Thurn und Taxis(A), Regensburg, Germany, Lamborghini Gallardo FL2, 19, -21.602.
11. GT, (24), Alex Lloyd, Westfield, Ind., Chevrolet Corvette, 19, -22.073.
12. GT, (6), Butch Leitzinger, State College, Pa., Bentley Continental GT3, 19, -23.847.
13. GT, (20), Bill Ziegler(A), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Audi R8 Ultra, 19, -32.773.
14. GT, (17), Dan Knox(A)(R), Pilot Point, Texas, Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R, 19, -33.134.
15. GT, (19), Alex Welch(A), Englewood, Colo., Audi R8 Ultra, 19, -34.842.
16. GT, (3), Robert Thorne, Littleton, Colo., McLaren 12C GT3, 19, -57.046.
17. GT, (2), Alex Figge, Denver, Colo., McLaren 12C GT3, 19, -1:15.711.
18. GT, (16), Jeff Courtney(A), Milwaukee, Wis., Audi R8 Ultra, 19, -1:16.668.
19. GT, (14), Henrik Hedman(A)(R), Ft Lauderdale, Fla., Ferrari 458 GT3, 19, -1:19.409.
20. GT, (18), Tim Pappas(A), Boston, Mass., Mercedes AMG SLS GT3, 18, -1 lap.
21. GT, (21), Fred Roberts(A), Toronto, Ontario, Dodge Viper Coupe, 18, -1 lap.
22. GT, (22), Walt Bowlin(A), Tarpon Springs, Fla., Audi R8 Ultra, 17, -2 lap.
23. GT, (23), Peter Cunningham, Milwaukee, Wis., Acura TLX-GT, 16, -3 lap.
24. GT, (13), Marcelo Hahn(A), Sao Paulo Brazil, BR, Lamborghini Gallardo FL2, 1, Mech.
25. GT, (25), Bret Curtis(A), Austin, Texas, Audi R8 Ultra, DNS.
2. GTS, (4), Alec Udell, The Woodlands, Texas, Ford MustangBoss302S, 19, -23.352.
3. GTS, (3), Nic Jonsson, Buford, Ga., Kia Optima, 19, -29.081.
4. GTS, (7), Mark Wilkins, Toronto, Ontario, Kia Optima, 19, -31.292.
5. GTS, (11), Joey Atterbury, Rochester, N.Y., Ford MustangBoss302S, 19, -39.186.
6. GTS, (9), Tony Gaples, Libertyville, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 19, -40.524.
7. GTS, (13), Nick Esayian, San Diego, Calif., Aston Martin GT4, 19, -42.207.
8. GTS, (21), Larry Funk, Oberlin, Ohio, BMW M3, 19, -2:03.461.
9. GTS, (2), Andy Lee, Colorado Springs, Colo., Chevrolet Camaro, 19, -3:00.482.
10. GTS, (24), Buz McCall, Boca Raton, Fla., Porsche Cayman S, 18, -1 lap.
11. GTS, (6), Dean Martin, Westland, Mich., Ford MustangBoss302S, 18, -1 lap.
12. GTS, (8), Jack Roush Jr, Livonia, Mich., Ford MustangBoss302R, 18, -1 lap.
13. GTS, (18), Brad Adams, New Orleans, La., Ford MustangBoss302S, 18, -1 lap.
14. GTS, (16), Brian Kleeman, Baltimore, Md., Nissan 370Z, 18, -1 lap.
15. GTS, (27), Jay Matus(R), Houston, Texas, Porsche 996, 17, -2 lap.
16. GTS, (22), Geoff Reeves(R), Cleveland, Ohio, Chevrolet Camaro, 17, -2 lap.
17. GTS, (5), Jack Baldwin, Marietta, Ga., Porsche Cayman S, 15, -4 lap.
18. GTS, (10), Drew Regitz, Denver, Colo., Aston Martin GT4, 15, -4 lap.
19. GTS, (19), Jorge De La Torre(R), McAllen, Texas, Aston Martin GT4, 15, -4 lap.
20. GTS, (26), Scott Bove, Conifer, Colo., Ford Mustang Boss, 12, -7 lap.
21. GTS, (14), Mitch Landry, Lake Charles, La., Ford MustangBoss302S, 1, Crash.
22. GTS, (17), Craig Capaldi, Richmond Township, Mich., Ford MustangBoss302S, 1, Crash.
23. GTS, (20), Ric Bushey, Virginia Beach, Va., Nissan 370Z, 0, Crash.
24. GTS, (23), Robert Stout, Brownsburg, Ind., Scion FR-S, 0, Crash.
25. GTS, (12), BJ Zacharias, Milford, Ohio, Nissan 370Z, DNS.
26. GTS, (15), Mark Klenin, Denver, Colo., Aston Martin GT4, DNS.
27. GTS, (25), Ray Mason, Columbus, Ohio, Subaru WRX-STi, DNS.
Fastest qualifier: #2 Mike Skeen, 1:20.725 (100.697 mph) (GT); #1 Lawson Aschenbach, 1:27.557 (92.840 mph) (GTS)
In life, there are a few things you can almost always count on: death, taxes and Peter Gallen being at or near the top of the charts at Pittsburgh Raceway Park.
The Pennsylvania native has had a stranglehold on the Nitro Funny Car class the past two years in Pittsburgh and the three-time IHRA champion doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Gallen once again rocketed to the top of the charts Friday Night in claiming the No. 1 qualifying position during the fourth annual IHRA Nitro Jam Pittsburgh Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports.
Gallen was joined by Mark Cox, who was tops in Nitro Harley, along with top qualifiers Dean Goforth (Pro Stock), Don Blackshear (Nitro Altered) and Kat Moller (Jet Dragster).
Gallen made the jump to the No. 1 spot in the final nitro pass of the night, overtaking Bruce Litton who had taken the top qualifying position just one pair earlier. Gallen, driving the "Poverty Stricken" 1977 Monza, wrapped up Friday's professional qualifying with a 4.971-second pass at 223.33 mph in 1,000 feet of real estate, just ahead of Litton's 4.981 at 224.66 pass.
Local favorite Mike McIntire Jr., in the "McAttack" '69 Camaro, qualified third with a 5.044 at 214.90, followed by Jake Crimmins and Jason Rupert. John Hale, Ronny Young and Gary Kraus round out the Nitro Funny Car field.
In a surprising turn, perennial favorites Tim Boychuk and Mark Sanders both failed to qualify for Saturday's final eliminations in Nitro Funny Car.
Mark Cox led the way in IHRA's Nitro Harley category, putting down a 5.679 at 200.71 mph in the event-shortened 1,000 foot distance. Alvin Kobernusz was second with a 6.013 at 177.80, followed by Rocky Jackson, Bob Malloy and Mike Pelrine. The top three drivers in points - Mike Scott, Randal Andras and Jay Turner - all qualified in the bottom half of the field.
In Pro Stock, Dean Goforth followed up his surprising win two weeks ago in Cordova with the quickest lap Friday night as the entire Pro Stock field struggled to get down the tricky Pennsylvania track. Goforth put down a 4.617 at 118.45 in the eighth mile, followed by John DeFlorian Jr., Scott Hintz, Todd Hoerner and Pete Berner. The Pro Stock teams will get one more shot at qualifying Saturday afternoon.
Don Blackshear was top qualifier in Nitro Altered, putting the "Bullet Bob" machine securely in the No. 1 qualifying position with a 5.492 at 195.06. Shane Harter in "Nasty Benjamin" was second with a 5.541 at 199.20, followed by Kyle Hough, Ron Maroney and Mike Hilsabeck.
Finally in Jet Dragster, Kat Moller, just two weeks removed from her first career win, blasted to the top spot in the Matrix-sponsored jet dragster with a 4.980 at 244.96 pass. Newcomer Allison West, in only her second career start, was second with a 4.980 at 244.57.
Friday's results after qualifying from the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Pittsburgh Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports at Pittsburgh Raceway Park.
Nitro Funny Car - 1. Peter Gallen 4.971, 223.33; 2. Bruce Litton 4.981, 224.66; 3. Mike McIntire Jr. 5.044, 214.90; 4. Jake Cimmins 5.086, 220.80; 5. Jason Rupert 5.140, 215.93; 6. John Hale 5.154, 217.08; 7. Ronny Young 5.422, 205.86; 8. Gary Kraus 5.461, 197.46; 9. Tim Boychuk 5.502, 177.03; 10. Mike Smith 5.588, 166.91; 11. Mark Sanders 5.716, 132.55; 12. Greg Jacobsmeyer 5.856, 148.66
Pro Stock - 1. Dean Goforth 4.617, 118.45; 2. John DeFlorian Jr. 4.664, 120.32; 3. Scott Hintz 6.105, 94.40; 4. Todd Hoerner 7.980, 56.15; 5. Pete Berner 9.033, 48.14; 6. Cary Goforth broke
Nitro Harley - 1. Mark Cox 5.679, 200.71; 2. Alvin Kobernusz 6.013, 177.80; 3. Rocky Jackson 6.039, 165.75; 4. Bob Malloy 6.061, 153.48; 5. Mike Pelrine 6.368, 125.80; 6. Randal Andras 6.396, 137.70; 7. Mike Scott 6.569, 123.15; 8. Larry Brancaccio 6.731, 139.93; 9. Jay Turner 6.742, 111.94
Nitro Altered - 1. Don Blackshear 5.492, 195.06; 2. Shane Harter 5.541, 199.20; 3. Kyle Hough 5.693, 193.38; 4. Ron Maroney 5.874, 188.05; 5. Mike Hilsabeck 5.923, 132.86; 6. Troy Martin broke
Jet Dragster - 1. Kat Moller 4.980, 244.96; 2. Allison West 4.980, 244.57; 3. Marisha Falk 5.016, 228.31; 4. Elaine Larsen 5.021, 229.01
The IHRA Nitro Jam Pittsburgh Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports will continue on Saturday with sportsman racing throughout the day followed by Nitro Jam eliminations beginning at 6 p.m.
Tony Schumacher, John Force and Allen Johnson race to provisional No. 1’s at O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals
John Force raced to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position in Funny Car during Friday qualifying at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event near Seattle.
Force ran a 4.085-second pass at 308.07 mph in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang to top the leaderboard after the first day of qualifying. Force, the driver with the most professional victories at Pacific Raceways with seven, is looking for his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season and sixth at the facility.
“[Crew chief] Jimmy Prock’s been real consistent with this Ford,” said Force, whose hot rod has been to three straight finals. “It’s running real good. Temperatures started dropping real fast and Jimmy stepped it up.”
Defending event winner Matt Hagan sits second after the first day with a 4.100 at 302.41 in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger. Two-time season race winner Alexis DeJoria drove her Patron XO Cafe Toyota Camry to a 4.101 at 303.23, good enough for the provisional No. 3 spot. Sonoma winner Courtney Force sits fifth with a 4.125 at 301.60 in her Traxxas Ford Mustang.
In Top Fuel, Schumacher claimed the top spot on the last run of the day with his 3.804 at 318.32 in his U.S. Army dragster. Schumacher, a seven-time world champ, is two sessions away from securing his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and third career in Seattle.
“The car was excellent on that last run,” Schumacher said. “To go out and qualify No. 1 with all those stout cars, everyone within a hundredth or a hundredth and a half in the top eight, that’s pretty impressive.”
Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta ran his Mac Tools dragster 3.805 to 320.28 to claim the No. 2 position. Reigning Top Fuel world champ Shawn Langdon was the top qualifier following the first session but sits third in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster with a 3.807 at 317.05. Sonoma winner Khalid alBalooshi is provisionally sixth with a 3.813 at 319.22 in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster.
Johnson is going for his fourth No. 1 of the season in Pro Stock following his 6.535 at 211.86 in the Magneti-Marelli Team Mopar Dodge Dart. Johnson has one career victory at Seattle coming in 2006.
“The track’s awesome,” Johnson said. “NHRA’s done a great job. My crew made some real wholesale changes with the car coming here from Sonoma on Sunday. To go out and do what we did, hats off to the team.”
Shane Gray ran a 6.538 at 211.96 in his Gray Manufacturing Chevy Camaro to sit second with two sessions remaining. Recent Sonoma winner Jason Line continued his positive momentum, driving his Summit Racing Chevy Camaro to the current No. 3 spot with a 6.549 at 211.36.
Friday's results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 27th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Pacific Raceways, 16th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.804 seconds, 318.32 mph; 2. Doug Kalitta, 3.805, 320.28; 3. Shawn Langdon, 3.807, 317.05; 4. Richie Crampton, 3.809, 317.19; 5. Bob Vandergriff, 3.812, 318.77; 6. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.813, 319.22; 7. Spencer Massey, 3.815, 318.09; 8. J.R. Todd, 3.827, 314.83; 9. Steve Torrence, 3.834, 316.45; 10. Troy Buff, 3.845, 311.41; 11. Brittany Force, 3.868, 309.34; 12. Antron Brown, 3.884, 309.34.
Not Qualified: 13. Clay Millican, 3.942, 300.53; 14. Mike Salinas, 4.195, 219.12; 15. Jenna Haddock, 4.210, 244.74; 16. Terry McMillen, 4.628, 166.11.
Funny Car -- 1. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.085, 308.07; 2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.100, 302.41; 3. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 4.101, 303.23; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.123, 297.94; 5. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.125, 301.60; 6. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.131, 300.53; 7. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.136, 298.34; 8. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.156, 299.26; 9. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.170, 291.57; 10. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.183, 294.18; 11. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.197, 286.92; 12. Terry Haddock, Chevy Impala, 4.199, 292.46.
Not Qualified: 13. Gary Densham, 4.201, 291.76; 14. Robert Hight, 4.204, 280.89; 15. Jack Beckman, 4.256, 288.52; 16. Paul Lee, 4.558, 204.20; 17. Bucky Austin, 4.922, 186.79; 18. Jeff Diehl, 6.782, 110.51.
Pro Stock -- 1. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.535, 211.86; 2. Shane Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.538, 211.96; 3. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.549, 211.36; 4. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.553, 211.13; 5. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.561, 211.30; 6. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.561, 211.10; 7. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.562, 211.46; 8. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.569, 210.73; 9. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.588, 210.57; 10. Matt Hartford, Dodge Avenger, 6.597, 210.67; 11. Dave Connolly, Camaro, 6.613, 209.14; 12. Deric Kramer, Avenger, 6.615, 209.39. Not Qualified: 13. Mark Wolfe, 7.154, 204.66; 14. Travis Mazza, 7.845, 129.28; 15. Larry Morgan, 14.308, 66.42.
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying concludes Saturday with sessions beginning at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.