Top Fuel pilot Spencer Massey had a near perfect weekend as he returned to his home state of Texas for the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex. With a second consecutive runner-up finish for the season and the points lead after he knocked off teammate Antron Brown in the semifinal round, Massey and his Prestone/FRAM dragster left Texas Motorplex in the exact spot he wanted to be in – the lead. “It was a great weekend,” said Massey. “Of course, that was a huge race against Antron. Beating him allowed us to take the top spot in the standings. When you face either of my teammates (Antron or Tony Schumacher), you know you have to bring your best up to the starting line.” Massey sits seven points ahead of Brown in a Top Fuel class that has already seen three different points leaders since the Countdown began. In Funny Car, a first round loss was not enough to kick Mike Neff off of the top of the point standings, though it did close the gap between he and the field. Neff currently sits only four points ahead of second-place driver Matt Hagan and after an impressive win Sunday in Dallas, two-time world champion Cruz Pedregon sits in the third spot seven points out of first-place. While the first and second spots in both Top Fuel and Funny Car are separated by less than a round win, Pro Stock is quite a different story. After making it to his second-consecutive final round for the Countdown to the Championship, Pro Stock points leader Jason Line defeated Kurt Johnson to score his fifth win of the season and strengthen his points lead over the competition. “I certainly appreciate being in the lead, but we’ve only completed two of the six Countdown events, so there is a lot of racing left before the title is decided,” said Line. “There are several drivers, including my own teammate Greg Anderson, who have stumbled a bit out of the gate, but you know they are going to turn it around very soon, so we definitely have our work cut out for us.” Line is currently 112 points ahead of second-place Anderson in the standings. Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Eddie Krawiec kept his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson in the top spot in the standings despite a second round loss to race winner Michael Phillips in Dallas. Krawiec currently holds a 63 point lead over second-place Karen Stoffer, while rookie rider Hector Arana Jr. moved into the third spot, 90 points out of first-place with his runner-up finish in Dallas. The NHRA Full Throttle Series will make its third stop in the NHRA Countdown this weekend at Maple Grove Raceway for the Auto-Plus® NHRA Nationals.
O’FALLON, MO (September 26, 2011) — The American Drag Racing League (ADRL) has released the matchups in all six classes for the Speedtech “Battle For The Belts.”
The innovative, one day, eight-spot shootout will take place in the following classes: Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous, Extreme 10.5, Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Extreme Pro Stock and Pro Junior Dragster on Oct. 22 at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, TX as part of the LenMar Motorsports ADRL World Finals VII.
ADRL drivers earned points during the 2011 ADRL Tour for their racing performance, record-breaking runs and event participation. Only the top eight drivers in each class advance to the shootout.
The points leader in each class also receives a first-round bye, while the No. 7 and 8 qualifier race to see who advances to face the No. 2 driver in the points standings.
To see the payout information for “The Battle For The Belts,” go to www.adrl.us/competition/purse.
The following is a list of the top eight qualifiers in each class and how the first-round matchups will stack up at Texas Motorplex.
No. 7 Qualifier Jason Scruggs will race No. 8 Qualifier Joshua Hernandez to earn a spot in the field.
No. 1 – Jason Hamstra is the current points leader and will receive a first-round bye
No. 2 – Joey Martin will face the winner of Scruggs and Hernandez
No. 3 – Mick Snyder will face No. 6 Qualifier Alex Hossler
No. 4 – Frankie Taylor will face No. 4 Qualifier Todd Tutterow
(both are currently tied for fourth in points, though Taylor holds the current tiebreaker with his one event win)
Hamstra will face the Taylor/Tutterow winner in the semifinals, while the Martin/Scruggs/Hernandez winner will meet the Snyder/Hossler winner in the semifinals. Those winners will then meet in the BFTB finals.
Notes: Hernandez cracked the field by advancing to the Ohio Drags finals. Hossler moved up to sixth by winning the Ohio Drags, while Scruggs is now seventh after being No. 15 in points as late as August.
No. 7 Qualifier John Decerbo will race No. 8 Qualifier Bob Rahaim to earn a spot in the field.
No. 1 – Mike Castellana is the current points leader and will receive a first-round bye
No. 2 – Khalid Al-Balooshi will face the winner of Decerbo and Rahaim
No. 3 – Mahana Al-Naemi will face No. 6 Qualifier Jeff Naiser
No. 4 – Stan Allen will face No. 5 Qualifier Burton Auxier
Castellana will face the Allen/Auxier winner in the semifinals, while the Al-Balooshi/Decerbo/Rahaim winner will meet the Al-Naemi/Naiser winner in the semifinals. Those winners will then meet in the BFTB finals.
Notes: Decerbo and Rahaim both slipped into the field and will make their first BFTB appearance, as will Al-Naemi. Allen made a considerable move over the last two races.
No. 7 Qualifier Todd Moyer will race No. 8 Qualifier Eric Stubbs to earn a spot in the field.
No. 1 – Dan Millen is the current points leader and will receive a first-round bye
No. 2 – Frankie Taylor will face the winner of Moyer and Stubbs
No. 3 – Billy Glidden will face No. 6 Qualifier Grant McCrary
No. 4 – Chuck Ulsch will face No. 5 Qualifier Lamar Swindoll Jr.
Millen will face the Ulsch/Swindoll Jr. winner in the semifinals, while the Taylor/Moyer/Stubbs winner will meet the Glidden/McCrary winner in the semifinals. Those winners will then meet in the BFTB finals.
Notes: McCrary jumped into the field and made a huge move by winning the Ohio Drags. Stubbs stayed in the top eight, while Taylor moved to second with his Ohio Drags performance.
PRO EXTREME MOTORCYCLE
No. 7 Qualifier Dave Vantine will race No. 8 Qualifier Casey Stemper to earn a spot in the field.
No. 1 – Ashley Owens is the current points leader and will receive a first-round bye
No. 2 – Kim Morrell will face the winner of Vantine and Stemper
No. 3 – Terry Schweigert will face No. 6 Qualifier Billy Vose
No. 4 – Carlos Wilkerson will face No. 5 Qualifier Eric McKinney
Owens will face the Wilkerson/McKinney winner in the semifinals, while the Morrell/Vantine/Stemper winner will meet the Schweigert/Vose winner in the semifinals. Those winners will then meet in the BFTB finals.
Notes: Vantine secured his spot at the Ohio Drags, while Stemper slipped into the field by gaining participation points at the race. Vose has made a big move over the past two races as well.
EXTREME PRO STOCK
No. 7 Qualifier Brian Gahm will race No. 8 Qualifier Richie Stevens Jr. to earn a spot in the field.
No. 1 – Cary Goforth is the current points leader and will receive a first-round bye
No. 2 – Pete Berner will face the winner of Gahm and Stevens Jr.
No. 3 – John Montecalvo will face No. 6 Qualifier Elijah Morton
No. 4 – Dean Goforth will face No. 5 Qualifier Scott Hintz
C. Goforth will face the D. Goforth/Hintz winner in the semifinals, while the Berner/Gahm/Stevens Jr. winner will meet the Montecalvo/Morton winner in the semifinals. Those winners will then meet in the BFTB finals.
Notes: Stevens held onto the final spot at the Ohio Drags, while Berner and Montecalvo swapped places at the race.
PRO JUNIOR DRAGSTER
No. 7 Qualifier Kaley Allen will race No. 8 Qualifier J.C. Gloyd to earn a spot in the field.
No. 1 – Trevor Wilson finished atop the points standings and will receive a first-round bye
No. 2 – Tia Tutterow will face the winner of Gloyd and Allen
No. 3 – Kendall Thiesse will face No. 6 Qualifier Alexander Oppen
No. 4 – Kyle Dvorak will face No. 5 Qualifier Morgan Benfield
Wilson will face the Dvorak/Benfield winner in the semifinals, while the Tutterow/Gloyd/Allen winner will meet the Thiesse/Oppen winner in the semifinals. Those winners will then meet in the BFTB finals.
ENNIS, Texas – Texas Motorplex will host the 2011 NHRA South Central Division Summit Racing Series Finals, September 30 – October 2. Top drivers from NHRA member tracks across the South Central division will compete in six classes for individual and team honors. Individual champions in No-Electronic Quick, No-Electronic Street, Motorcycle, and Super Pro (or Pro) will advance to a run-off against the winners from NHRA’s other six divisions at the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., in November. (The winners in Super Pro and Pro have a runoff to determine who will compete in Pomona.)
Participants in the top classes will compete for cash awards of more than $25,000. Drivers who compete in Pomona will each receive $3,500 and the champions in each class will earn $5,000. Competitors in the High School class will earn trophies.
The team from Thunder Valley Raceway, located in Noble, Oklahoma, won the team championship last year at the Texas Motorplex. Individual winners were Sandra Marshall in Super Pro, Brad Young in Pro, Jeff Hefler in No-Electronic Quick and in No-Electronic Street, and Tony Davis in Motorcycle. Hefler went on to be the 2010 Summit Racing Series Sportsman National Champion at Pomona last year.
Time trials at Texas Motorplex are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The Race of Champions, a race within a race where the top points-earning drivers from each track square off in head-to-head competition, will start at 1 p.m. Saturday, and all classes will run first round of eliminations afterward. Final eliminations begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
For more information contact the Texas Motorplex, (972) 878-2641 or visit www.TexasMotorplex.com.
NORWALK, OH (September 24, 2011) – A year ago, Mike Castellana wasn’t sure he would be racing in 2011.
Now, the Pro Nitrous standout is on the verge of a world championship in the American Drag Racing League (ADRL).
Castellana had another race to remember on Saturday, running 3.799 at 197.42 miles per hour to knock off Stan Allen in a great side-by-side race during the finals of the Summit Racing Equipment Ohio Drags V at Summit Motorsports Park.
A year after being diagnosed with cancer, Castellana is now cancer-free and has four wins in 2011. The Al-Anabi Racing driver also maintains a near-insurmountable points lead heading into the final event of the season, the LenMar Motorsports World Finals, which takes place Oct. 21-23 at Texas Motorplex.
“I wasn’t even sure I was going to race this year,” Castellana said. “I was just happy to be here racing, and I came out and enjoyed myself all year. This team has just been unbelievable.”
Several other teams were just as impressive on a nearly-flawless day at Summit Motorsports Park where fans were treated to frenetic action and two world records. After rain wiped out the first day of the Summit Racing Equipment Ohio Drags V, Saturday started with two qualifying rounds and ended with unbelievable performances in eliminations.
Other winners included Alex Hossler (Pro Extreme), Grant McCrary (Extreme 10.5), Jeremy Teasley (Pro Extreme Motorcycle), Cary Goforth (Extreme Pro Stock), Scott Wasko (Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman) and Lee Adkins (Penske Truck Leasing Pro Modified).
Goforth set a new world record in XPS, going 4.037 en route to his event win, while Billy Vose set a new speed record in PXM at 180.77 mph.
Like Castellana, Goforth extended his points lead and now has a commanding advantage heading into the World Finals after going 4.069 at 177.62 mph in the finals against Doug Kirk.
“I’m very happy and very lucky to do this,” Goforth said. “I knew this win means a lot to my dad (Dean) and I really wanted to try hard and get this for him.
“This whole team deserves this. I’m so proud I can get this for them. They all deserve this.”
Castellana’s hold on the points lead in Pro Nitrous looked in danger after he didn’t qualify his ’69 Camaro at Dragstock VIII two weeks ago in Rockingham.
But Castellana rebounded in a major way in Norwalk, qualifying in the No. 12 spot and making improvements throughout. He knocked off Jeff Naiser with a 3.833 in the semifinals and then set a track record with his 3.799 against Allen, who just missed his second straight win.
“We stumbled in Rockingham and we were devastated,” crew chief Shannon Jenkins said. “We came back and raced like we know we can, and this is great.”
Goforth had similar sentiments after an incredible Saturday that saw him take the No. 1 qualifier spot, set a new world record and end with a win.
In a must-see semifinal matchup against Pete Berner, who is second in points, Goforth went a blistering 4.037 in his Jerry Haas Race Cars GXP to beat a red-lighting Berner.
“We’re lucky to be here and it would be a dream come true to win a championship,” Goforth said.
Hossler won’t win a world championship in Pro Extreme, but he did ensure a berth in the one-day “Battle For The Belts” shootout at the World Finals with his first win of 2011.
It didn’t come in dramatic fashion, as Joshua Hernandez went red just before Hossler’s belt broke on his Garrett Race Cars Al-Anabi Racing ’57 Chevy.
Hossler, though, wasn’t about to complain about a victory that came during a year filled with struggles.
“This year has just been a nightmare and it’s been tough to have any confidence,” Hossler said. “Hopefully we’ve found a home with our team and we’ll definitely take this.
“It’s nice to have a little luck come our way.”
Hossler didn’t run quicker than a 3.71 on Saturday, but he took advantage of opportunities, ousting points leader Jason Hamstra in the semifinals after Hamstra’s Duster got loose.
Hossler also credited his new team that is headed by crew chief Howard Moon.
“Howard and all the guys worked their tails off,” Hossler said. “These guys are all working hard, and we’re trying to get this car on track.”
The win for McCrary in Extreme 10.5 was big on several levels. He had predicted a run in the 3.80s this weekend in Norwalk, and it happened in the finals against Chuck Ulsch when he went a career-best 3.849 at 200.86 mph.
It was enough to slip past Ulsch’s 3.887 in what ended up as another marvelous drag race, giving McCrary his first ADRL win and a spot in the “BFTB.”
“I knew we could go fast if we could stay on the throttle the whole time,” McCrary said. “I said it could go a 3.84 or a 3.85, and we got that 3.84. I’ve raced against Chuck for years and that was a lot of fun racing him.”
McCrary and his Fast Forward Innovations (FFI) turbo-charged Stratus picked up steam as the day went along, knocking off Billy Glidden in the quarterfinals with a 3.906.
“This is freaking awesome. I can’t describe it,” McCrary said. “We worked our butts off and I’m already looking forward to (the World Finals).”
In just his second race in the ADRL, Jeremy Teasley picked up his first victory, riding a Rob Hunnicutt-owned bike to a 4.04 at 176.10 mph in the finals against Travis Davis.
“I never thought it would come this fast,” Teasley said. “It was just a little bit of everything. This bike had a lot of passes with Rob, and it couldn’t have worked out any better.”
Teasley consistently ran in the 4.10s through qualifying and the early part of eliminations before finding his groove in the semifinals. Facing Vose, Teasley went 4.037 to ensure his spot in the finals. A round later, Hunnicutt was overcome with emotion.
“To see him get that win light, I’m just speechless,” Hunnicutt said. “This bike just goes straight every pass.”
Davis knocked off points leader Ashley Owens in the semifinals, but Owens, who was the No. 1 qualifier, was able to clinch the world championship in PXM for the first time on Saturday.
Racing less than an hour from home, Scott Wasko thrilled the big turnout of family and friends that cheered him on, as he knocked off Glenn Butcher in the Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman finals with a 4.359 at 155.78 mph.
Butcher was trying to become the first two-time winner in Summit Racing TS, but Wasko’s family-based team won out.
“This is just fantastic,” Wasko said. “Any win is memorable, but I just love fast doorslammers and to be a part of this, it is just awesome.”
In the Penske Truck Leasing Pro Modified class, an ADRL veteran took out an ADRL newcomer, as former Pro Nitrous winner Lee Adkins went 3.903 at 191.59 mph to knock off No. 1 qualifier Pete Farber.
Farber went 3.95 in qualifying, but Adkins saved his best for last, overcoming a broken transmission on his ’68 Camaro earlier in the day.
“I love this. To win in ADRL Pro Nitrous and now to do it in Pro Modified in the same car, this is great,” Adkins said. “We’ve got a good car and these guys just busted their butts.”
In Pro Junior Dragster, Trevor Wilson picked up his second win of the season, going 8.23 at 68.43 mph to knock off Kaley Allen.
The ADRL finishes its 2011 season next month with the LenMar Motorsports World Finals VII, which takes place Oct. 21-23 at Texas Motorplex. The three-day event will include the “Battle For The Belts” and officially crown world points championships.
ENNIS, Texas – Cruz Pedregon raced to his first win of the season and moved into the third spot in the Funny Car point standings as racing came to an end Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex.
Bob Vandergriff, Jason Line and Michael Phillips were also winners in their respective categories at the second of six races in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, the six-race playoffs to determine the world championships.
Pedregon held off an impressive line-up of cars to reach the final round, driving his Toyota Camry past Todd Simpson, Bob Tasca and Melanie Troxel on his way to a final round matchup with Ron Capps. In the final Pedregon drove to an impressive 4.200 seconds at 302.48 mph past Capps to secure his first win of the season and 29th of his career. The win also propelled Pedregon from fourth to third in the point standings, just seven points behind leader Mike Neff with four races left in the season.
“I think this is probably the best race car I’ve ever had,” said Pedregon. “I felt a little more pressure on myself that here we had such a great car that if we don’t come out of here with a win, boy, we’re really going to be hurting. But it was great to win finally.”
Funny Car points leader Neff lost in the first round to second-place driver in the standings Matt Hagan. Hagan was unable to get around Melanie Troxel in the second round though and only four points separate first-place Neff from Hagan.
In Top Fuel, Vandergriff raced to his first win in his 14th final round appearance, ending the longest streak of final round appearances before a win in NHRA history. Vandergriff powered his dragster to a 4.243 at 238.44 to hold of hometown favorite Spencer Massey in the final round.
Massey’s final round appearance moved him to the top of the Top Fuel standings, just seven points ahead of second-place driver Antron Brown, who fell to Massey in the semifinal round of eliminations. Massey is the 41st different driver in NHRA history to lead the points in Top Fuel.
In a repeat matchup from the Pro Stock final round in Charlotte just one week previous Jason Line and Kurt Johnson met again in the finals, but this time it was Line who powered his Pontiac GXP to a 6.633 at 208.46 to get his fifth win of the season and 26th of his career. The win also helped strengthen Line’s lead to 112 points over second-place driver and KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson, who lost in the first round.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Phillips held off rookie rider and Mac Tools U.S. Nationals winner Hector Arana Jr. when he rode his Suzuki to a run of 6.979 at 194.96 to secure his first win in over a year and move up to the seventh spot in the point standings. Arana Jr. moved to the third spot in the standings with his runner-up finish to Phillips.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing will return to action next week at the Auto-Plus® NHRA Nationals, Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.