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NHRA Carolina Nationals Sportsman champion highlights

Shawn Cowie and Andy Bohl earned titles in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car, respectively, during the NHRA Carolina Nationals, but the big stars of the event were John Labbous Jr. and Todd Ewing, who both nearly doubled.
26 Sep 2017
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Todd Ewing

Shawn Cowie and Andy Bohl earned titles in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car, respectively, during the NHRA Carolina Nationals, but the big stars of the event were John Labbous Jr. and Todd Ewing, who both nearly doubled. Labbous drove to a win in Super Comp and a runner-up finish in Super Gas, and Ewing scored a victory in the Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs class and was a runner-up in Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs. Other champions from the event were Frank Aragona Jr. (Comp), Nick Chiles (Super Stock), Kenneth Stott (Stock), Dean Mathauser (Super Gas), and Jerry Albert (Top Sportsman).

Labbous, who was a double winner at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte last April, ran his streak at zMAX Dragway to an incredible 23-1 after driving partner Anthony Bertozzi’s dragster to a pair of finals. Labbous won the Super Comp title after opponent Amanda Boicesco encountered a problem and ran nearly a second under the index with a 7.974. [Watch video]

Labbous lost his shot for a second double when Mathauser defeated him in the double-breakout Super Gas final, 9.895 to 9.882. Mathauser, in his vintage GTO, worked his way to the final with wins against past world champ Iggie Boicesco and perennial contender Mike Sawyer. [Watch video]

Ewing, a six-time national event winner in Super Stock and Super Comp, added a Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs title to his résumé when he stopped Barry Brown in the final. Ewing, driving Top Fuel champ Shawn Langdon’s dragster, won the final with a .008 light and a 7.226 on his 7.20 dial. [Watch video]

Moments earlier, Ewing raced in the Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs final and lost to former Division 3 champ Albert. In that bout, Albert ran right on his dial with a 6.890, while Ewing broke out by a thousandth of a second. It was the third national event victory for Albert, who also survived close races against Jeff Brooks, Todd Atkinson, and Donnie Gibbs to reach the final. [Watch video]

Cowie claimed his ninth career victory and his third this season when he drove past Corey Michalek in the Top Alcohol Dragster final. Cowie, the No. 4 qualifier, was extremely consistent on race day with runs of 5.288, 5.293, 5.297, and a 5.295 in the final to beat Michalek’s competitive 5.399. With the win, Cowie is just 11 points behind reigning champ Joey Severance in the battle for the national championship. [Watch video]

Bohl bounced back from a string of frustrating early losses to claim his fifth career national event win in Top Alcohol Funny Car. Racing against points leader John Lombardo Jr. in the final, Bohl won with a 5.556, 268.60 mph after Lombardo fell off the pace with a 5.786, 267.91. Earlier, Bohl drove to wins over Marie Ferriolo, Phil Burkart Jr., and Sweden’s Ulf Leanders. Lombardo had the quickest and fastest car at the event with a 5.473, 270.05. [Watch video]

The battle for the 2017 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Comp championship figures to be a two-horse race between former champions David Rampy and Aragona, and they met in the zMAX Comp final. Aragona managed to hold on for his fifth win of the season after driving his E/DA to a (-.532) 7.38 to beat Rampy’s slowing (-.376) 7.35. Despite the loss, Rampy remains the points leader, although Aragona has closed to within 12 points with a national and a divisional event left to claim. [Watch video]

First-time finalist Chiles accomplished a previously unheard-of feat when he handed former world champ Byron Worner his first loss in a Super Stock final. Worner, previously 5-0 with the money on the line, lost the double-breakout battle when he ran .012-second under his dial. Chiles was just .008-under his dial behind the wheel of his SS/BS Cobalt. In the semifinal round, Chiles was perfect on the starting line with a .000 light in his heads-up SS/BS battle against John DiBartolomeo’s Camaro. Chiles had a second .000 light in his third-round win over Epping champ Marty Rinehart. [Watch video]

There was also a first-time winner in Stock after Stott drove past Mickey Whaley in an all-Camaro final. Stott grabbed a three-hundredths advantage at the start and held on to win with an 11.673 on his 11.66 dial. Whaley, seeking his sixth national event title, broke out by two-thousandths with a 10.688. [Watch video]