Joe and Kayla Mozeris made history at the Dodge//SRT Mile-High NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil with a rare father-daughter winner’s circle after Joe won in Comp eliminator and Kayla captured the Super Stock title. It was only the second time that has happened at an NHRA race following a Force family double at the 2004 NHRA U.S. Nationals, where John won in Funny Car and Ashley earned the Top Alcohol Dragster title.
While the Mozeris family celebrated what is undoubtedly the best possible result at any race, they were not alone in the Bandimere Speedway winner’s circle. After many years of trying, Dwayne Scheitlin won his first Stock eliminator title, and the rest of the champions from the event included Shannon Nicoletti (Super Comp), Darin Dolezal (Super Gas), Tim Schell (Super Street), Kari Stark (Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers), and Jimmy Lewis (Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers).
Joe Mozeris has been one of the hottest drivers in Comp this season with his Mopar-powered dragster. After a quarterfinal finish at his first event of the season, Mozeris has won his last three starts, including both the divisional and national events in Denver. In his latest win, Mozeris topped Jim Greenheck in the Comp final round with a (-.558) 7.342 to a (-.502) 7.678. Mozeris also beat Will Hatcher and David Kramer on his way to the title. [video]
A few moments before his win, Joe watched daughter Kayla win her second national event title and first in Super Stock. Kayla defeated Ed Niquette, Elisha Boyd, and Jim Thune to reach the final and then finished the job by running right on her 10.83 dial to stop Scott Burton, who was five hundredths behind at the finish line. Kayla also made her national event debut in Comp, joining her father with a round-two finish. [video]
Scheitlin went to the Stock final at the 2017 Sonoma race but finished as a runner-up to world champion Brian McClanahan. He finally got his long-awaited first win in Denver by besting Craig Maddox in Stock in a matchup of old vs. new Dodge Challengers. Scheitlin’s car was consistent throughout the event, and he did his job in the final with a .017 light and a 10.920 on his 10.89 dial, and Maddox broke out by two-hundredths. Earlier, Scheitlin had a .002 light in his win against Jay Soller. [video]
Nicoletti, of nearby Lakewood, Colo., joined the list of first-time national event winners in Super Comp thanks to a strong final-round performance against Mitch Mustard. Nicoletti grabbed a slight lead at the start and drove to a 9.557 on the altitude-adjusted 9.50 index to secure the win over Mustard’s 9.579. Nicoletti set up for the final with a perfect light on his semifinal bye run and also scored a holeshot win against Chad Webber earlier in eliminations. [video]
The Super Gas final was settled on the starting line after Jeremy Siffring fouled, sending Dolezal to victory in his second career final round. The runner-up at the infamous ’92 Phoenix race, Dolezal recorded a 10.495 on the 10.50 index for the win. Earlier, Dolezal topped Jeremy Demers with one of the best performances of the event that included a .009 light and a 10.503. [video]
Schell was a runner-up in Super Gas in Denver in 2001 and got his first win two decades later when he drove his ’75 Duster to the Super Street title. The Arvada, Colo., resident cruised to the win after Arizona’s Dave Thompson red-lighted in his ’55 Chevy. Schell was most impressive in the semifinals, where he used a .019 light and a 10.507 on the 10.50 index to stop Alec Bianco. [video]
There were 10 women entered in Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers, and the final featured two of them, with Stark taking on Betsy Peek. Driving one of the quickest cars in the class, Peek left .003-second too soon and drew a foul start, and Stark cruised to the win with a 7.391 on her 7.35 dial. Stark also had a near-perfect run in the semifinals with a .002 start and a 7.355 on a 7.35 dial to cover Ross Gregory. [video]
Lewis, the winner in Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers was by far the most experienced winner in Denver with 10 wins to go along with the 1998 Super Gas world title. Now in Top Sportsman, Lewis drove his Pontiac GXP to the final, where he stopped Duane Doffing, who left .01-second too soon in his ’55 Chevy. Lewis, who was never slower than .022 in reaction time, had a .012 in the final, and he also ran right on the number with a 6.817 in his semifinal bye run. [video]