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Alexander Gets First Top Fuel Win

| , RacinToday.com Monday, June 25 2018

North Carolinian Blake Alexander broke into the ranks of winners Sunday when he won the Top Fuel portion of the NHRA event in Norwalk, Ohio.

Blake Alexander officially introduced himself to NHRA Nation Sunday as drag racing’s 105th different Top Fuel winner at the 12th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

A protégé of NHRA star Del Worsham, Alexander posted a 1,000-foot pass in 4.011-seconds at 297.81 mph to defeat Terry McMillen at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

“It felt really good,” said Alexander, a 29-year-old resident of Charlotte, N.C. “I got a little emotional because I’ve tried to do this my whole life. I’ve come close but have lost sponsors, thought I was never going to drive the car again. Basically, we have gone through everything to climb back to the top.”

Alexander competed in four NHRA events in 2017, scoring his first round win at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. Alexander qualified 12th this weekend and defeated three-time world champion Antron Brown, eight-time world champ Tony Schumacher and Leah Pritchett _ all of Don Schumacher Racing _ to advance into his second career final round.

Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also emerged as winners in their respective categories at the 12th of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Hagan powered to the Funny Car win with a 1,000-foot run of 4.094-seconds at 288.21 mph in his Dodge Charger R/T to trailer point-leader Courtney Force in the final. The two-time world champion from DSR earned his second victory of 2018 and first since the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.

“We just had a good solid car all weekend,” said Hagan, a 35-year-old resident of Christiansburg, Va. “We qualified well and went down the racetrack pretty much every lap. It’s been a while since we turned on four win lights but it’s a nitro Funny Car; you never know what you’re going to get.”

Hagan qualified third and defeated teammates Tommy Johnson Jr. and “Fast” Jack Beckman along with J.R. Todd en route to victory.

Force secured her first runner-up finish of the season after qualifying the Chevrolet Camaro SS in the No. 1 position. She defeated John Smith, 2013 NHRA Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon and father John Force, a 16-time Funny Car world champ, on her way to the final.

Gray defeated two-time world champion Erica Enders in the Pro Stock final for his eighth career victory and third of the season. Gray’s quarter-mile pass of 6.615-seconds at 209.62 mph in the Gray Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro SS made him the only “Factory Hot Rod” competitor to reach the winner’s circle three times in 2018.

“This was definitely a huge accomplishment,” said Gray, a 20-year-old resident of Mooresville, N.C. “We struggled a lot at the beginning of the season. We did a lot of testing and couldn’t really see where that hard work was because the results weren’t showing. It feels good to have finally turned a corner and see where all of the hard work has paid off.” 

The class point-leader, Gray defeated Chris McGaha, Matt Hartford and Drew Skillman to reach the final. Enders, meanwhile, now has four runner-up finishes this season for Elite Motorsports along with a victory in Concord, N.C. Her five final rounds are the most in the class in 2018.

Krawiec secured his third Pro Stock Motorcycle victory at Summit Motorsports Park with his quarter-mile pass of 6.923-seconds at 195.05 mph aboard his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Street Rod to defeat Jerry Savoie and his Suzuki.

“It was a good one for me,” said Krawiec, a 41-year-old native of Bayonne, N.J. “It’s been a good weekend for us. It was a struggle early-on trying to dance through the rain drops. We were trying to get a handle on a new track and understand what it is we need to do. We were able to get it done and get our bike in the winner’s circle.”

Krawiec, a four-time world champion, exited the event with a five-point lead over H-D teammate Andrew Hines, a five-time world champion, in the standings.

Savoie, the 2016 world champ, now has two final round appearances this season along with a victory at Concord, N.C.

The 2018 season will continue at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H., from July 6-8.

Final finishing order (1-16) at the 12th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. The race is the 12th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel _ 1. Blake Alexander; 2. Terry McMillen; 3. Steve Torrence; 4. Leah Pritchett; 5. Tony Schumacher; 6. Richie Crampton; 7. Clay Millican; 8. Mike Salinas; 9. Doug Kalitta; 10. Antron Brown; 11. Pat Dakin; 12. Dom Lagana; 13. Kyle Wurtzel; 14. Chris Karamesines; 15. Brittany Force; 16. Luigi Novelli.

Funny Car _1. Matt Hagan; 2. Courtney Force; 3. J.R. Todd; 4. John Force; 5. Jack Beckman; 6. Shawn Langdon; 7. Robert Hight; 8. Ron Capps; 9. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 10. Jim Campbell; 11. Dale Creasy Jr.; 12. John Smith; 13. Del Worsham; 14. Bob Tasca III; 15. Jeff Diehl; 16. Tim Wilkerson.

Pro Stock _1. Tanner Gray; 2. Erica Enders; 3. Drew Skillman; 4. Bo Butner; 5. Jason Line; 6. Jeg Coughlin Jr.; 7. Vincent Nobile; 8. Matt Hartford; 9. Greg Anderson; 10. Alex Laughlin; 11. Deric Kramer; 12. Chris McGaha; 13. John Gaydosh Jr.; 14. Wally Stroupe; 15. Charlie Westcott Jr.; 16.Kenny Delco.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _1. Eddie Krawiec; 2. Jerry Savoie; 3. LE Tonglet; 4. Angie Smith; 5. Hector Arana Jr.; 6. Angelle Sampey; 7. Andrew Hines; 8. Jim Underdahl; 9. Matt Smith; 10. Mark Paquette; 11. Scotty Pollacheck; 12. Cory Reed; 13. Ryan Oehler; 14. Steve Johnson; 15. Hector Arana; 16. Joey Gladstone.

Sunday’s final results from the 12th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals:

Top Fuel _Blake Alexander, 4.011-seconds, 297.81 mph def. Terry McMillen, 4.155-seconds, 289.20 mph.

Funny Car _ Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.094, 288.21 def. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.220, 227.54.

Pro Stock _ Tanner Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.615, 209.62 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.608, 208.30.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.923, 195.05 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 7.071, 175.39.

Pro Modified _ Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.804, 249.30 def. Jeremy Ray, Chevy Corvette, 8.987, 101.12.

Top Alcohol Dragster _ Megan Meyer, 5.320, 277.94 def. Troy Coughlin Jr., 5.369, 275.67.

Top Alcohol Funny Car _ Ray Drew, Ford Mustang, 10.160, 84.56 def. Ulf Leanders, Chevy Camaro, Foul/Red Light.

Competition Eliminator _ David Rampy, Bantam, 7.260, 172.32 def. Jim Primozic Jr., Cobalt, 7.377, 182.16.

Super Stock _ John DiBartolomeo, Chevy Camaro, 9.402, 141.71 def. Bob Marshall, Dodge Coronet, 9.432, 136.76.

Stock Eliminator _ Todd Hoven, Dodge Coronet, 10.085, 124.59 def. Dick Kincaid, Chevy II, 11.288, 114.28.

Super Comp _ Dan Fletcher, Dragster, 9.440, 119.39 def. Brian Folk, Dragster, Foul/Red Light.

Super Gas _ Tom Dimond, ’27-T Ford, 9.882, 159.32 def. Joey Shipp, Olds Cutlass, 9.876, 160.84.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com _ John Biagi, Dragster, 6.383, 208.01 def. Bobby Ray McMahan, Dragster, 6.198, 223.88.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com _ Dusty Meyer, Chevy S-10, 6.977, 194.16 def. Mark McDonald, Ford Mustang, 6.630, 206.80.

Factory Stock Showdown _ Joseph Welch, Dodge Challenger, 8.107, 168.07 def. Mark Pawuk, Challenger, 8.115, 168.58.

Final round-by-round results from the 12th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals:

TOP FUEL

ROUND ONE _ Richie Crampton, 3.802, 321.81 def. Pat Dakin, 3.834, 318.24; Mike Salinas, 3.884, 268.38 def. Luigi Novelli, 14.101, 30.94; Terry McMillen, 3.816, 324.98 def. Brittany Force, 9.389, 79.86; Clay Millican, 3.759, 332.26 def. Dom Lagana, 3.837, 323.89; Steve Torrence, 3.800, 329.99 def. Chris Karamesines, 4.052, 300.06; Tony Schumacher, 3.807, 327.66 def. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.902, 306.74; Blake Alexander, 3.802, 319.75 def. Antron Brown, 3.808, 326.71; Leah Pritchett, 3.794, 328.94 def. Doug Kalitta, 3.805, 321.73;

QUARTERFINALS _ Alexander, 3.798, 330.15 def. Schumacher, 3.779, 330.31; McMillen, 3.793, 327.11 def. Crampton, 3.810, 320.51; Pritchett, 3.788, 327.74 def. Millican, 3.817, 327.03; Torrence, 4.027, 269.89 def. Salinas, 4.001, 232.07;

SEMIFINALS _ McMillen, 3.854, 317.57 def. Torrence, 3.929, 302.96; Alexander, 3.799, 329.91 def. Pritchett, 4.185, 254.28;

FINAL _ Alexander, 4.011, 297.81 def. McMillen, 4.155, 289.20.

FUNNY CAR

ROUND ONE _ Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.998, 322.58 def. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Stratus, 4.338, 224.21; Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.994, 327.19 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.990, 323.27; Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.994, 324.51 def. John Smith, Toyota Camry, 4.373, 248.52; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.034, 315.05 def. Jeff Diehl, Camry, Foul/Red Light; John Force, Camaro, 4.066, 320.13 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.140, 311.49; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.047, 319.07 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 9.812, 93.13; J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.016, 316.01 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 5.438, 142.39; Shawn Langdon, Camry, 4.045, 318.77 def. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.847, 202.00;

QUARTERFINALS _ Todd, 4.004, 321.27 def. Capps, 9.588, 81.56; J. Force, 4.085, 319.75 def. Hight, 4.116, 308.07; Hagan, 4.010, 322.27 def. Beckman, 4.022, 321.73; C. Force, 3.971, 325.37 def. Langdon, 4.025, 315.19;

SEMIFINALS _ Hagan, 3.981, 320.58 def. Todd, 4.031, 321.50; C. Force, 4.007, 323.58 def. J. Force, 4.053, 321.27;

FINAL _ Hagan, 4.094, 288.21 def. C. Force, 4.220, 227.54.

PRO STOCK

ROUND ONE _ Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.632, 208.26 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.614, 208.78; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.607, 209.65 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.603, 209.07; Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.608, 209.04 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.648, 208.55; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.616, 208.23 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.632, 208.23; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.626, 208.42 def. John Gaydosh Jr., Camaro, 6.765, 205.66; Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.751, 207.40 def. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 6.802, 203.52; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.599, 208.94 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, Foul/Red Light; Jeg Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.588, 208.88 def. Charlie Westcott Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.848, 201.85;

QUARTERFINALS _ Butner, 6.671, 207.85 def. Nobile, 7.216, 141.86; Gray, 6.600, 209.04 def. Hartford, 15.697, 42.27; Skillman, 6.614, 209.14 def. Line, 6.625, 208.59; Enders, 6.634, 207.56 def. Coughlin, 6.737, 207.50;

SEMIFINALS _ Enders, 6.636, 207.59 def. Butner, 6.651, 208.42; Gray, 6.610, 209.30 def. Skillman, Foul/Red Light;

FINAL _ Gray, 6.615, 209.62 def. Enders, 6.608, 208.30.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

ROUND ONE _ Angie Smith, Buell, 6.932, 192.17 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.993, 190.19; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.907, 195.56 def. Mark Paquette, Buell, 6.932, 189.60; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.906, 193.85 def. Cory Reed, Buell, 6.959, 192.11; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.896, 194.60 def. Hector Arana, Buell, Foul/Red Light; Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.903, 193.29 def. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 7.066, 189.71; Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.866, 195.39 def. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.964, 193.71; Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.926, 193.32 def. Matt Smith, 6.899, 195.48; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.953, 192.69 def. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, Foul/Red Light;

QUARTERFINALS _ A. Smith, 6.972, 191.10 def. Underdahl, 7.080, 188.73; Krawiec, 6.889, 193.46 def. Sampey, 6.922, 193.35; Savoie, 6.916, 193.13 def. Hines, 6.991, 192.25; Tonglet, 6.940, 194.58 def. Arana Jr., Foul/Red Light;

SEMIFINALS _ Savoie, 7.187, 155.10 def. A. Smith, 7.627, 128.07; Krawiec, 6.865, 194.24 def. Tonglet, 6.898, 195.11;

FINAL _ Krawiec, 6.923, 195.05 def. Savoie, 7.071, 175.39.

Point standings (top -10) following the 12th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals:

Top Fuel _1. Steve Torrence, 964; 2. Clay Millican, 847; 3. Tony Schumacher, 817; 4. Doug Kalitta, 749; 5. Leah Pritchett, 736; 6. Terry McMillen, 643; 7. Antron Brown, 622; 8. Brittany Force, 594; 9. Mike Salinas, 475; 10. Scott Palmer, 471.

Funny Car _1. Courtney Force, 1,038; 2. (tie) Jack Beckman, 788; Matt Hagan, 788; 4. Robert Hight, 771; 5. J.R. Todd, 767; 6. Ron Capps, 755; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., 637; 8. John Force, 577; 9. Shawn Langdon, 537; 10. Bob Tasca III, 532.

Pro Stock _1. Tanner Gray, 882; 2. Greg Anderson, 856; 3. Erica Enders, 830; 4. Vincent Nobile, 812; 5. Drew Skillman, 751; 6. Jeg Coughlin Jr., 732; 7. Bo Butner, 717; 8. Chris McGaha, 691; 9. Deric Kramer, 659; 10. Jason Line, 628.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _1. Eddie Krawiec, 515; 2. Andrew Hines, 510; 3. LE Tonglet, 440; 4. Jerry Savoie, 389; 5. Hector Arana Jr., 377; 6. Scotty Pollacheck, 363; 7. Matt Smith, 355; 8. Angie Smith, 272; 9. Angelle Sampey, 257; 10. Hector Arana, 255.

Rickie Smith drove to victory during the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Sunday afternoon. The weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by J&A Service, was the seventh of 12 events this season.

Smith covered the quarter-mile in 5.804-seconds at 208.01 mph in his 2018 Chevrolet Camaro to defeat Jeremy Ray in the first final of his career. Smith posted his third victory this season and 14th of his career.

“This win just goes to show you the depth on our team,” Smith said. “We’ve got a really good team if I can just keep on going and not screw-up.” Ray defeated Eric Dillard, Mike Castellana and Pete Farber to reach the final.

Pro Mod racing will continue at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

Final finishing order (1-16) at the 12th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals:

Pro Modified _1. Rickie Smith; 2. Jeremy Ray; 3. Pete Farber; 4. Rick Hord; 5. Mike Castellana; 6. Chad Green; 7. Mike Janis; 8. Todd Tutterow; 9. Eric Dillard; 10. Khalid alBalooshi; 11. Danny Rowe; 12. Jose Gonzalez; 13. Harry Hruska; 14. Troy Coughlin; 15. Steven Whiteley; 16. Dan Stevenson.

Final round-by-round results from the 12th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals:

PRO MODIFIED

ROUND ONE _ Chad Green, Chevy Camaro, 5.789, 247.02 def. Harry Hruska, Camaro, 7.695, 136.11; Jeremy Ray, Chevy Corvette, 5.776, 247.70 def. Eric Dillard, Pontiac Firebird, 5.774, 256.21; Todd Tutterow, Camaro, 6.519, 240.21 def. Steven Whiteley, Camaro, Foul/Red Light; Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.784, 246.71 def. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.837, 252.52; Rick Hord, Corvette, 5.839, 219.36 def. Troy Coughlin, Ford Mustang, 11.290, 104.10; Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.699, 254.71 def. Danny Rowe, Camaro, 5.844, 251.81; Pete Farber, Dodge Daytona, 5.815, 245.94 def. Jose Gonzalez, Camaro, 6.269, 235.10; Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.763, 251.30 def. Dan Stevenson, Camaro, Foul/Red Light;

QUARTERFINALS _ Ray, 5.774, 248.20 def. Castellana, 5.792, 251.72; Hord, 5.768, 253.42 def. Green, 6.004, 197.83; Smith, 5.833, 249.07 def. Janis, 6.814, 149.81; Farber, 6.065, 209.88 def. Tutterow, 7.874, 120.91;

SEMIFINALS _ Ray, 6.433, 234.37 def. Farber, 6.571, 222.51; Smith, 5.830, 249.35 def. Hord, 9.135, 98.54;

FINAL _ Smith, 5.804, 249.30 def. Ray, 8.987, 101.12.

Point standings (top-10) following the 12th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals:

Pro Modified _1. Rickie Smith, 539; 2. Mike Janis, 521; 3. Chad Green, 389; 4. Mike Castellana, 385; 5.Khalid alBalooshi, 377; 6. Todd Tutterow, 342; 7. Jose Gonzalez, 338; 8. Steve Jackson, 336; 9. Jeremy Ray, 297; 10. Danny Rowe, 288.

 

 

| , RacinToday.com Monday, June 25 2018
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