Nick Smith, Dan Caissie, Derrick Jackson, and Garreth Sheppeard were crowned national champions during the Summit E.T. Racing Series Finals held during this weekend’s Dodge//SRT NHRA Nationals held at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Smith, in his dragster, won a battle of seven second cars in the Super Pro final over Joe Bagwell. Representing Division 4, Smith was almost perfect off the starting line and ran a 7.25 on his 7.23 dial to hold off Bagwell’s Chevy Nova. Bagwell, out of Division 2, didn’t leave empty handed as he received the Edelbrock Never Rest award after facing some moments of adversity on his trip to Las Vegas.
Division 1 driver Caissie of New England Dragway, won the National Championship for the first time when he topped veteran E.T. bracket driver Brandon Schmall in the final round. Cassie saved his best performance for last with a nearly-perfect .001 light and a 9.460 on his 9.44 dial. Schmall, of Division 5, lost despite a 9.530 on his 9.52 dial.
The Sportsman title went to Division 6 after Jackson drove to a final round win against Gary Hairfield of Division 7. In a head-up final round, Jackson pegged his 12.18 dial while Hairfield tapped the brake pedal and slowed to a 12.21 against his 12.18 prediction.
Sheppeard had the quickest bike in the field and it paid off as the Division 3 racer defeated Division 2’s Eric Crosby in the final. Crosby had a quicker reaction time, but broke out at the stripe allowing Sheppeard to turn on the win light with a 8.221 on his 8.21 dial. Sheppeard also topped the 177-mph mark, a 34-mph advantage over Crosby.
The rewards for each of the newly crowned 2021 national champions include a cash bonus of $5,000, an NHRA Gold Card which is good for free entry to 2022 events, a champion’s trophy, and a jacket.