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Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals Sportsman Highlights

Rachel Meyer won her third national event title of the season in Top Alcohol Dragster, and reigning champ Doug Gordon added a second win in Top Alcohol Funny Car during the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park.
23 Jun 2021
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
News
Rachel Meyer

Rachel Meyer won her third national event title of the season in Top Alcohol Dragster, and reigning champ Doug Gordon added a second win in Top Alcohol Funny Car during the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park. Meanwhile, Ross Laris padded his lead in the Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers class with his second victory of the season. Other champions included Chase Williams (Comp) and reigning champ Darian Boesch (Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers). 

Meyer, a winner in Gainesville and Charlotte and a runner-up at the season-opening regional event in Belle Rose, La., continued her strong start to the season by beating Shawn Cowie in the Top Alcohol Dragster final round. Meyer set low elapsed time and top speed of the meet during Sunday’s eliminations with a 5.143 at 282.01 mph and finished off the rout with a 5.150 in the final while Cowie slowed. 

Meyer defeated current points leader Jackie Fricke in round one and also carded wins against Matt Cummings and Jasmine Salinas, who reached the semifinals in her second event back following her accident in Gainesville. Cowie, who has been to the final round in each of the four events he has attended this season, topped Karl Brounkowski and Robin Samsel to earn a bye run into the final round. [video]

Gordon’s title defense in Top Alcohol Funny Car is off to a solid start after he drove his Beta Motorcycles entry past Nick Januik in the final round to win for the second time in four final rounds. Gordon was the quickest qualifier in the nine-car field with a 5.445 and maintained that pace in eliminations in his wins against Annie Whiteley and Shane Westerfield. Januik was also in the 5.4s with a narrow 5.478 to 5.473 holeshot win against Bob McCosh in the semifinals. With the win, Gordon is holding the top spot in the standings once again, while McCosh is second and Januik is ranked No. 5. [video]

A week before heading to Houston, Comp winner Williams earned a quarterfinal and a semifinal finish during the Division 4 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series doubleheader in Dallas. That was just a quick preview of what was to come as Williams claimed his third national event title, and second in Houston, following a final-round win against Keith Hall in Comp. Williams, in his B/DA dragster, was quick off the starting line with a .004 light and ran a (-.573) 6.727 for the win, and Hall was competitive with a (-.536) 8.554. Earlier, Williams topped reigning world champ Craig Bourgeois, who suffered a rare round-one loss via a red-light. [video]

Laris kicked off his 2021 season with a win at the “Baby Gators” Division 2 Lucas Oil Series event in Gainesville, and he’s now seized control of the points lead in Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers following a final-round win over Will Carrell in Houston. Laris, who normally runs near the 6.10 limit in his Laris Motorsports Insurance dragster, dialed a 6.10 in the final and ran a 6.122 to turn on the win light, while Carrell trailed despite a dead-on 6.783 on his 6.78 prediction. Laris got to the final following victories against Phil Dion, Dane Ward, and Mark Jones. In the quarterfinal round, Carrell defeated Holden Laris, preventing a possible father-son final round. [video]

A year after winning the championship in Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers, Boesch is off to another hot start with two wins in three final rounds. Boesch won the Division 4 Lucas Oil Series opener in Belle Rose and also earned a runner-up finish at the Division 2 race in Cecil, Ga., with his colorful supercharged Camaro. In Houston, Boesch earned the title following a double-breakout final round against David Cuadra. Boesch lit the win light with a 6.320 on his 6.33 dial, and Cuadra, the son of Pro Stock racer Fernando Cuadra, ran under his dial by .028-second. Boesch now has three national event wins to his credit, and Cuadra has appeared in three final rounds. [video]

Due to heavy rains before the event, the remainder of the Lucas Oil Series Sportsman classes, including Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, and Super Gas, were postponed and will be made up at a later date. [video]