Gray, the son of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock regular Johnny Gray, proved that the apple doesn't fall far from the Christmas Tree as he powered his B/A Dodge Stratus though five rounds to earn his first win. Bryant's opponents did some of the heavy lifting for him in his six rounds of work prior to hoisting the Wally, mostly with starting-line miscues, but the New Orleans racer proved more than up to the task when called to battle, posting a .018 light and a 10.20 on a 10.18 light in the quarterfinals and a solid effort at both ends in the final round.
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series • Race 1 • Texas Motorplex, Dallas Surprise winners, early finish add flavor to season opener Malcolm Wahle (inset) scored his first win in Top Alcohol Dragster when he drove his entry, far lane, to a final-round 5.35 to defeat Daniel Kracht’s 5.56. by Phil Burgess weeks earlier at the Jegs NHRA Cajun championship runner-up, followed his Gray needed to spend .04-second in photos by Robert Grice SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, La. win at the O’Reilly NHRA Spring Competition Index Control penalties to Nationals presented by Pennzoil in reach the final, running a (-.54) 7.01 in Top Alcohol Dragster: Second-year N HRA’s Division 4 kicked off its 2009 season as usual at Texas Motorplex, but there weren’t many “as Top Alcohol Dragster racer Wahle, whose first season concluded with three Houston by driving his I40 Inc.- sponsored Monte Carlo to his third consecutive final of the season. Harker the quarterfinals to beat Pete Carbery in a heads-up B/A match, then defeated Adam Hickey in the semi’s usual” things about the event’s outcome. straight DNQs in Division 4 qualified No. 1 at 5.62 and never looked and Chase Williams in the final, where For starters, the race was finished competition, obviously has made a major back, blasting out back-to-back 5.63s in a .002 light and a (-.46) 7.05 held off a day ahead of schedule, in the early turnaround for 2009; the Claremore, the first two rounds before lowering the Williams’ quicker-but-later (-.47) 7.52 hours of Sunday morning after Okla., racer scored his first win in boom in the final. for the win. Gray trails points leader weather forecasts began to call for impressive style from the No. 2 spot. Kebin Kinsley did all he could in the Chris McGaha, who has run two heavy winds in the area Sunday After qualifying with a 5.37, he final by leaving first, but his 5.76, 250.64 Division 7 meets already, by just 18 afternoon. Division 4 Director Craig reeled off passes of 5.39, 5.33, and a couldn’t hold back Harker’s impressive points. Hutchinson and Motorplex officials final-round 5.35 to defeat Daniel Kracht, low e.t./top speed charge of 5.58, 256.75 huddled and decided it was wiser to who slowed to a 5.56 in the title bout. Super Stock: Bryant’s opponents complete the race when they could. His 5.33 was just a tick away from the Comp: Gray, the son of NHRA Full did some of the heavy lifting for him Steve Harker defended his event title, low e.t. set by No. 1 qualifier Kimmelyn Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock in his six rounds of work prior to but the winner’s list was Buff-Pesz, who fell on a regular Johnny Gray, proved that the hoisting the Wally, mostly with dotted with others earning red-light in round one. apple doesn’t fall far from the starting-line miscues, but the New their first victories, Christmas Tree as he powered his B/A Orleans racer proved more than up to including Malcolm Wahle in Top Alcohol Funny Car: Dodge Stratus though five rounds to the task when called to battle, posting Top Alcohol Dragster and Harker, last year’s national earn his first win. to page 72 Shane Gray in Comp. That trio was joined in the winner’s circle by Michael Bryant (Super Stock), Sam Lusco (Stock), David Warren (Super Comp), Rick Prudhomme (Super Gas), Alfred Johnson (Super Street), Chris Gulitti (Top Sportsman), Jerry Holt (Top Dragster), and Benji Gibson (Sportsman Motorcycle). Although this was the division’s first official Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event, racers in Super Street, Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, and Sportsman Motorcycle were actually competing in their second points- earning event as their classes are Shane Gray (inset), the son of NHRA Pro Stock racer Johnny Gray, scored his first win when he powered his B/A Dodge Stratus, far allowed to count points earned three lane, past Chase Williams in the final, (-.46) 7.05 to (-.47) 7.52 for the win. 24 ✦ National DRAGSTER ● Division 4 from page 24 a .018 light and a 10.20 on a 10.18 light in the quarterfinals and a solid effort at both ends in the final round. Division terror Gary Emmons provided the formidable opposition in the title bout, but Bryant was up to the task, leaving off the multiple national event winner and posting a 10.188 on a 10.18 dial in his M&B Trucking GT/FA ’91 Calais to fend off Emmons’ better- (Above) Steve Harker, far lane, drove around Kebin Kinsley’s but-later 9.824 (9.82 dial) by .005-second. final-round holeshot to repeat his 2008 win at this event. Harker ran low e.t. and top speed at 5.58, 256.75 to beat Stock: Foul starts bookended Lusco’s Kinsley’s 5.76, 250.6. (Left) The winners of the opening race six-round run to the roses in Stock, and of Division 4’s 2009 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series were the Houma, La., driver and his H/SA congratulated in the Texas Motorplex winner’s circle by ’96 Dodge truck filled in the blanks in Division 4 Director Craig Hutchinson, top row far right. the middle with solid driving at both (Above left) Michael Bryant, far lane, posted a 10.188 in the ends of the track. Super Stock final with his GT/FA ’91 Calais to nip Lucas- The final was over before it began as backed hitter Gary Emmons’ 9.824 (9.82 dial) by fellow Louisianan Jody Simoneaux left .005-second. .009-second too soon in his Napoleonville-based, Moser Engineering- backed F/SA ’67 Chevy to hand the win Corvette against the ’58 ’Vette of three years. Guilitti and his low-seven- advantage, allowed him to eke out a to Lusco. The two finalists sit 1-2 in the former champ Jimmy Lewis. Lewis second, Spring, Texas-based ’98 Firebird close win over Larry Eidson, who was points standings. ran closer to the magic number with capitalized on a series of opponent right there with a solid 6.922 on a a 9.902, but Prudhomme put the bite mistakes, including two red-lights, a late 6.92 target. Super Comp: With his victory in on him at the starting line, .018 to light, and a deep-stage violation, to win Dallas, Warren closed to within 15 .045, to seal the win. four of the five rounds. Sportsman Motorcycle: Gibson points of the division lead behind two Vasil John was the last to commit a made his 2009 debut in the Sportsman other drivers who have run two out-of- Super Street: Johnson’s victory was mistake as he rolled his ’07 GTO too Motorcycle presented by Harley-Davidson division races already. Along the way to truly one of those where he and his car deep in the final, triggering a foul and class a winning one as he rode his the final, Warren knocked off reigning worked together to get the trophy. On allowing Gulitti to race to an easy win Euless, Texas-based ’05 Hayabusa division champ Travis Prudhomme with the two occasions where he got beaten with a nonetheless solid 7.17 (7.16) on through the 31-bike field to claim the a solid off the line, his the solo. win. Gibson’s final-round clash with .010/8.903 and Benbrook, regular class winner Jerry Pomilla was a only ventured Texas-quartered Top Dragster: Holt kicked off his 2009 nail-biter as Pomilla got off the line first, below the 8.90 Show Time
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