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NHRA Midwest Nationals Sportsman video highlights

Joe Arrowsmith, Robert Cruzen, and Ryan Montford were among the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series winners crowned at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway.
26 Oct 2021
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
NHRA Midwest Nationals

Joe Arrowsmith, Robert Cruzen, and Ryan Montford were among the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series winners crowned on Sunday at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway. Arrowsmith won in Comp, Cruzen earned the Super Stock title, and Montford won for the second time in Stock. The winners also included Nick Isenhower, who backed up his recent Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals victory with a season win in Super Comp. World champ Jeremy Mason also scored in Super Gas, and Larry Demers earned the Wally in Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers.

Arrowsmith is now solidly in the Top 10 in Comp after winning his third race of the season. After doubling up at the Division 6 event in Acton, Mont., Arrowsmith won his first national event in St. Louis after stopping Brett Speer in the final. Arrowsmith, in his F/AA GTO, made his best run of eliminations in the final with a (-.574) 7.844 to secure the win after Speer fouled by a hundredth of a second. Arrowsmith earlier scored wins against Pro Stock driver Rodger Brogdon and Todd Frantz. [video]

Cruzen found the winner’s circle at a national event for the first time since the 2017 NHRA Finals in Pomona when he defeated championship contender Ricky Decker in the Super Stock final round. Cruzen drove his GT/EA Cobalt to a 9.239 on his 9.20 dial in the final round to stop Decker, who was also three-hundredths over his 9.70 prediction. Cruzen was locked on to the Christmas Tree during eliminations with a string of reaction times between .002 and .023 to close out the victory. His best run came in round three with a .012-second package to defeat Mike Lund. [video]

Montford collected his third career win and first since taking back-to-back wins in Denver in 2015-16. Driving the Omaha Track Camaro, Montford got a free pass in the Stock final round after Wes Neely fouled. Montford earlier defeated Bill Feist and Bruce Kastle’s unique Mercury Cougar. Montford also took out two-time world champion Jeff Strickland on his way to the final. Montford also has a win and a runner-up finish this year at Lucas Oil Series divisional events, which has helped him battle for a spot in the Top 10. [video]

Isenhower carried the momentum of his recent win at the U.S. Nationals to St. Louis, where he extended his winning streak to an impressive 14 rounds. Isenhower capped off the weekend with a narrow 8.933 to 8.943 victory against Vernon Rowland in the Super Comp final round. Isenhower also tallied wins against Don Higgins, Scott Wright, and Bob Prose. Like Arrowsmith and Montford, Isenhower is also battling for a Top 10 finish. [video]

Three months after winning the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk and the JEGS SPORTSnationals in Columbus, Mason put together another solid drive to win his third national event of the season and second in Super Gas. Mason gave up the finish line in the final round against Jason McClure, and it proved to be the right call as McClure broke out with a 9.883 while Mason was safe at 9.917. Mason had a similar race in the semifinals, where he defeated John Sikish, 9.907 to a 9.872 breakout. Mason is now primed for another Top 10 showing in the Super Gas class. [video]

Demers is now a four-time NHRA national event champion after driving his ’07 Chevy Cobalt to a final-round win over Curt Fredrich in Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers. In a rematch of the 2019 Brainerd final, Demers once again prevailed with a 6.898 on his 6.87 dial, and Fredrich wasn’t far behind with a 6.587 on his 6.54 dial. Demers was previously a runner-up at the Division 5 event in Earlville, Iowa. For Fredrich, the loss wasn’t all bad because he’s now one of the leading contenders for the Top Sportsman world championship. [video]