Manners, Bateman finish strong at Thunder Valley event by ProQuest


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									                     Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series • Race 6 • Thunder Valley Motorsports Park

                     Manners, Bateman finish strong at Thunder Valley event
by Kevin McKenna
photos by Robert Grice and
Matt Levonis

A   dditional championships were
    decided as the South Central
Division Lucas Oil Series reached a
conclusion with its annual season
finale at Thunder Valley Raceway
Park in Noble, Okla. On an historic
note, the Nobile event was possibly
the first race in history to be
contested at three different
distances as Alcohol cars ran on a
1,000-foot course, Top Dragster and
Top Sportsman raced on an eighth-
mile, and everything else ran a full
   Mike Manners (Top Alcohol
Dragster) and Roger Bateman (Top
Alcohol Funny Car) will be
remembered as the first 1,000-foot
alcohol winners. They were crowned
along with Scott Benham (Comp),
Jonathan Womack (Super Stock),
Slate Cummings (Stock), Billy
Torrence (Super Comp), Rustin Mayse
(Super Gas), Greg Parson (Super
Street), Mark Grame (Top Dragster),
Greg Tucker (Top Sportsman), and
Larry Eperjesi (Sportsman
Motorcycle).                                                                        Division 4 Director Craig Hutchinson, back row left, congratulated the 11 individual
                                                                                    champions who were crowned during the final South Central Division Lucas Oil Drag
Top Alcohol Dragster: Former Top                                                    Racing Series event of 2008.
Dragster standout Manners                  round one and then defeated
maintained his perfect record in Top       Division 7’s Chris Demke in the          leader Bateman got the best of Steve       Benham downed Clark Smiley, Ernest
Alcohol Dragster competition as he         semifinals, 4.44 to 4.54. Lewis, the     Harker, who had already secured the        Watson, Division 2 champ David
won for the second time in two starts.     No. 5 qualifier, reached the final for   Division 4 title. Harker and Bateman       Eaton, and Joey Tanksley to reach the
Racing to 1,000 feet for the first time,   the first time this year at a Division   were the top two qualifiers in the         final, losing five-hundredths to
Manners qualified No. 1 with a 4.67        4 event with wins over Diana Harker      eight-car field, and Bateman made          Competition Index Control violations
and then made his way to the final,        and Artie Allen. Surprisingly, Aaron     three straight 4.7-second runs at the      along the way.
where he won with a 4.45 after             Tatum did not qualify for the event,     1,000-foot distance, including a 4.76 in      Self, in his F/EA Bantam, took
Brandon Lewis shook hard and shut          but after posting three wins and a       the final that held off Harker’s 4.82.     a huge eight-hundredths CIC hit in
off to a 7.15.                             runner-up finish, he locked up the          Earlier, Bateman downed Kebin           his round-one win over Charles
   Manners won a coasting                                     Division 4 Top        Kinsley and Kirk Williams to reach his     Watson and lost three more in
battle against Del Cox Jr. in                                 Alcohol Dragster      third straight final round, and Harker     round three as he ran a 7.98 to
                                                              title.                stopped former Top Alcohol Dragster        defeat Rodger Brogdon, who was
    Former Top Dragster racer                                                       driver Lee Callaway and defeated Bob       likely competing in one of his last
Mike Manners (right) claimed                                 Top Alcohol            Alberty to advance.                        Comp events as he prepares to
his second straight title since                              Funny Car: A pair                                                 return to Pro Stock. Craig
         moving to Top Alcohol                               of soon-to-be          Comp: Benham kept his slim national        Bourgeois, in the midst of the
   Dragster. (Below) Manners,                                division champions     championship hopes intact with a           best season of his career, needed
    far lane, drove his injected                             squared off in the     pressure-packed win, wheeling his          to reach the final round to keep
     nitro entry to a 4.45 in the                            Top Alcohol Funny      E/SM Pontiac to a final-round win          his national championship hopes
  final to stop Brandon Lewis,                               Car final as           over low qualifier Kevin Self, who         alive but now can finish no better
                    who slowed.                              Division 5 points      fouled. Beginning from the No. 6 spot,     than second after losing early to
                                                                                                                               Greg Porter.

                                                                                                                               Super Stock: Former Super Gas
                                                                                                                               national champion Womack
                                                                                                                               displayed his versatility, driving his
                                                                                                                               SS/BS Cavalier to the win in Super
                                                                                                                               Stock. A runner-up at the season-
                                                                                                                               opening event in Belle Rose, La.,
                                                                                                                               Womack suffered four straight
                                                                                                                               round-one losses before stopping
                                                                                                                               Gary Emmons in the final with an
                                                                                                                               8.91 on his 8.90 dial. Emmons
                                                                                                                               trailed with a .03-over 10.37.
                                                                                                                                  Earlier, Womack defeated former
                                                                                                                               Super Comp national champion Gary
                                                                                                                                                               to page 63
 40   ✦ National   DRAGSTER
● Division 4
   from page 40

Stinnett and Emmons’ brother,
Jerry. He is currently ranked third
in the Division 4 standings behind
Jerry Emmons and Bryan Chaney.
Gary Emmons defeated Chaney in
round three and then stopped Joe
Teuton’s SS/AH Barracuda in the
semifinals on the strength of a .013-
second package.

Stock: Making just his second start
of the year in Stock, Cummings
turned on the win light in the final                                       Canadian Roger Bateman (left) won his thir
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