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Bayer wins again to lead Sportsman winners at Flav-R-Pac Northwest Nationals

Sonoma winner Thomas Bayer struck for the second straight weekend in Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers to lead the list of champions at the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals
03 Aug 2022
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor
News
Thomas Bayer

In addition to the Camping World Drag Racing Series action taking place at Pacific Raceways, 10 champions were also crowned in Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series competition at the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals.

No driver traveled further to the event than Jackie Fricke, last year’s Top Alcohol Dragster world championship runner-up, who trekked from her New Jersey hometown to collect her seventh career win after low qualifier and local favorite Kim Parker smoked the tires in the final round.

Longtime bracket racer Jake Guadagnolo became just the second driver of an automatic-transmission-equipped Top Alcohol Funny Car to win a national event when he took a close final-round contest from Brian Hough’s traditional planetary-equipped Camaro, 5.566 to 5.567. Mick Snyder (Chicago 2004) is the only other driver to win in the class with an automatic trans.

Ryan Priddy scored his second win of the season in Comp, following up his spring win in Las Vegas with another score in the MountainView Performance A/AA Camaro after final-round opponent Bruce Schmiedl let fly .018-second too soon and red-light.

A quarter-century after winning the first of six Lucas Oil Series divisional events, Rod Stults broke through for his first national event win. Stults faced a tough opponent in the Super Stock final when he drew Kyle Rizzoli but managed to pull off the win with a solid .014 light. Rizzoli was also a finalist a week earlier in Sonoma.

A week after winning the Super Stock title in Sonoma, Jody Lang scored again when he drove his venerable L/SA Malibu wagon to the Stock win at his home event in Seattle. The final was a battle of world champions, and Lang got the best of Ryan McClanahan, who red-lighted by five-thousandths.

Dylan Hough, whose father, Brian, was runner-up in Top Alcohol Funny Car, upheld family honor with his first career national event win in Super Comp. Hough, runner-up at the SpringNationals in Houston in 2020, went the distance this time, defeating James Glenn in the final round, 8.914 to 8.935.

Randy Sides made the two-plus-hour trek from Central Washington pay off with his first career win in Super Gas. Sides, who dedicated the win to his father, was .088 on the Tree in the final but was a winner before he ever let fly as opponent Rodney Lee left five-hundredths too soon and fouled out.

Eight years after his son, Kyle, drove the car to victory at the 2014 Northwest Nationals, Tony Hopkins parked the family ’55 Chevy in the Super Street winner’s circle again after David Wakefield fouled in the all-Washington state final round.

One week after winning in Sonoma, Thomas Bayer returned to the winner’s circle in Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers and took over the lead in the world championship battle. Bayer completed the mini-sweep of the Western Swing events with a close double-breakout win over Clinton Geise, who lost in spite of an almost perfect .002 light.

Shawn Herbst was a runner-up the last time that the Camping World NHRA Series visited Seattle in 2019 and three years later, he broke through for his first win in Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers. Herbst won the final after opponent Joe Mellof red-lighted in his Pontiac GXP.