Nine Sportsman drivers claimed huge victories in NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series action at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals, led by Dan Fletcher, who scored his 107th career win.
Tony Stewart scorched his way to the national event winner’s circle for the second time this season in Top Alcohol Dragster by reversing the final-round outcome of last year’s fall Las Vegas event and defeating recent Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals winner Madison Payne, 5.21 to 5.25, to retake the points lead.
U.S. Nationals champ Sean Bellemeur, who won this event back-to-back-to-back 2017-19, returned to the Maple Grove Raceway Top Alcohol Funny Car winner’s circle after last year’s runner-up, defeating Matt Gill in the final round, 5.46 to 5.51.
Steve Szupka collected career win No. 4, his third in Comp, and his second at Maple Grove Raceway when he drove his C/Dragster Automatic entry to victory in an all-Keystone State final-round bash with Mark Hopkins, who fouled in his D/A Beretta. Szupka’s first career win also came at Maple Grove in 2010.
For the 107th time in his great career, Fletcher won an NHRA national event title. Fletcher’s latest win came in Super Stock after he ran a 9.732 on his 9.71 dial to stop Michael Iacono, who wasn’t far behind with a 9.823 on his 9.80 dial.
Joe Santangelo parked Anthony Bertozzi’s ’69 Camaro in the winner’s circle in Stock following a victory against Ken Miele in the final. Santangelo was solid on both ends of the track with a .016 light and a10.625 on his 10.60 dial.
Eleven years after a runner-up at this event in his first career final-round appearance, Super Comp winner Chase Fahnestock, who lives just an hour from Maple Grove Raceway, made good the second time around, defeating first-time finalist and fellow Pennsylvania Edward McCleaft on a final-round holeshot, 8.92 to 8.91.
Keith Mayers, a popular two-time winner in Super Street with his Porsche 944, won Super Gas for the first time in his newest unique ride, a rare Ala Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio. Mayers was .006 on the Tree and ran 9.939 to edge first-time finalist Bill Trum’s 9.948.
A perfect .000 light and a 6.563 on his 6.54 dial helped Vincent Musolino secure the title in Right Trailers Top Dragster over Super Comp world champ James Glenn, who was .009-second behind at the finish line.
George Forster took on Michael Bastien in the final of Right Trailers Top Sportsman and emerged as a first-time winner thanks to a .005 light and a 7.487 on his 7.45 dial.