Bill Reichert needed some help from Hillary Will and Tom Conway in doing so, but he clinched his 4th straight NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Dragster National Championship this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Reichert, Owosso, Mich., had the point’s lead coming into this weekend with only Jim Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., and Duane Shields, Boulder City, Nev., within striking distance. Whiteley took out Reichert in round one to keep his hopes alive but Shields lost to Will ending his, and setting up a semifinal match up between Will and Whiteley. Will, Ypsilanti, Mich., driving for veteran racer and car owner/tuner Tom Conway ran down Whiteley at the finish line ending his chance at the title and securing the championship for Reichert.
Jimmy DeFrank, advanced to the semifinals in Super Stock which should assure him of the National Championship as well. DeFrank lost to event winner and former national champion Michael Iacono, Wading River, N.Y., who beat Bo Butner in the final for the win.
In the Top Alcohol Dragster final round Will matched up against No. 3 qualifier Michael Manners with Manners, Willis, Texas, setting the low elapsed time and top speed of the event at 5.332 seconds, 265.33 mph for the win. Will, who drove a Top Fuel dragster in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series last year, left first but lost traction almost immediately ending her day.
In Top Alcohol Funny Car it was Steve Gasparrelli taking the win over No. 1 qualifier Steve Harker, Gainesville, Ga., with a run of 5.825 seconds, 254.57 mph. Gasparrelli, West Covina, Calif., beat recent winner and last week’s Las Vegas Nationals runner-up Alexis De Joria and former national champion Tony Bartone on his way to the finals and the win for Lou Gasparrelli Racing.
Jim Perry, Niota, Tenn., took the points lead over Thomas Bayer, and unofficially the championship with a runner-up finish in Super Comp where Greg Boutte, Stockton, Calif., took the event win and the trophy.
Max Tafoya, Albuquerque, N.M., took his second win in as many weeks here in Las Vegas winning in Super Gas today and at last week’s nationals while Jerry Emmons, Pasadena, Texas, held off Les Norton in Stock Eliminator after ousting his brother Gary in the semifinals.
John Coughlin, Delaware, Ohio, needed a win to take the NHRA North Central Division Championship in Top Dragster and that’s what he did knocking out Dave Morgan in the division’s Hughes Performance Top Dragster class.
Winner’s in other classes this weekend were Ross Wilson, Upland, Calif., in Comp Eliminator over east coast hitter Sal Biondo; Gary Forkner, Temecula, Calif., won by less than two-feet against Ted Carli in Top Sportsman; former Northwest Division Champion Jeff Jackson, Wilsonville, Ore., beat Gary Thompson in Super Street; Minnesota racer Alex Barmettler was victorious in the Sportsman Motorcycle class presented by Harley Davidson; and Steve Dorn, Milwaukie, Ore., in the Screamin’ Eagle Nitro Harley class clocking in at 6.362 seconds, 220.98 mph.
This was the final race on the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional schedule. Lucas Oil racers have one last chance to earn points toward the national championships next week at Auto Club Dragway at Pomona for the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.
The following are the final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Short Line Express Market Gambler Shootout presented by Torco Fuels event at The Strip At Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER:
7) Chris Demke, Sunland, Calif., 5.395, 266.37 def. 2) Brittany Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., 5.378, 265.69
3) Michael Manners, Willis, Texas, 5.369, 263.36 def. 6) Shawn Cowie, Delta, B.C., 5.501, 263.51
5) Jim Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., 5.375, 266.37 def. 4) Bill Reichert, Owosso, Mich., 5.386, 262.08
1) Hillary Will, Ypsilanti, Mich., 5.463, 259.01 def. 8) Duane Shields, Boulder City, Nev., 5.671, 231.56
Will, 5.339, 263.98 def. Whiteley, 5.391, 264.49
Manners, 5.348, 266.21 def. Demke, 5.381, 264.29
Manners, 5.332, 265.33 def. Will, 16.506, 65.42
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR:
5) Daniel Oliver, Whittier, Calif., ’06 Monte Carlo, 5.671, 252.99 def. 4) John Lombardo Jr., Brea, Calif., ’05 Camaro, 5.651, 254.95
3) Steve Gasparrelli, W. Covina, Calif., ’08 Mustang, 5.657, 255.87 def. 6) Tony Bartone, Long Island City, N.Y., ’09 Mustang,5.697, 251.67
2) Alexis De Joria, Sacramento, Calif., ’09 Mustang, 5.733, 252.71 def. 7) Brian Thiel, Pleasant Grove, Calif., ’02 Camaro, 7.616, 124.01
1) Steve Harker, Gainesville, Ga., ’06 Monte Carlo, 5.640, 255.29 def. 8) Paul Gill, Brockton, Mass., ’08 Mustang, 5.964, 229.31
Gasparrelli, 5.647, 256.50 def. De Joria, 12.795, 69.29
Harker, 5.632, 255.77 def. Oliver, 5.660, 253.47
Gasparrelli, 5.825, 254.57 def. Harker, 9.533, 89.92
Ross Wilson, Upland, Calif., ’05 Sunfire, C/SMA, 8.306, 163.61 def. Sal Biondo, Maspeth, N.Y., ’99 Dodge, C/AA, 7.494, 181.79.
Michael Iacono, Wading River, N.Y., ’87 Camaro, GT/DA, 10.103, 131.14 def. Bo Butner, Georgetown, Ind., ’09 Cobalt, SS/CM, 9.004,
Jerry Emmons, Pasadena, Texas, ’69 Camaro, B/SA, 10.760, 117.49 def. Les Norton, South Jordan, Utah, ’65 Belvedere, A/SA, 10.421,
Greg Boutte, Stockton, Calif., dragster, 9.064, 173.56 def. Jim Perry, Niota, Tenn., dragster, 9.069, 177.46.
Max Tafoya, Albuquerque, N.M., ’03 S-10, 10.048, 159.31 def. Mike Sawyer, Acton, Mass., ’03 Cavalier, 10.042, 162.04.
Jeff Jackson, Wilsonville, Ore., ’68 Mustang, 11.059, 149.31 def. Gary Thompson, Pahrump, Nev., ’86 Corvette, 11.045, 132.18.
Alex Barmettler, Maplewood, Minn., ’78 Kawasaki, 9.561, 130.44 def. Tom Medlin, La Mirada, Calif., ’93 Suzuki, 8.634, 148.33.
Gary Forkner, Temecula, Calif., ’06 GTO, 7.459, 182.26 def. Ted Carli, Temecula, Calif., ’09 Cobalt, 7.108, 193.35.
John Coughlin, Delaware, Ohio, dragster, 6.974, 183.69 def. Dave Morgan, Concord, Calif., dragster, 7.461, 185.97.
Steve Dorn, Milwaukie, Ore., ’06 Harley, 6.362, 220.98 def. Mike Romine, Sturgis, Mich., ’07 Harley, 10.548, 81.95.