STOCK — 40th annual United Association NHRA SuperNationals, June 11-14, Englishtown
Pires beats five-time national champ for first win
Donald Pires Jr. claimed his first national event victory by defeating multi-class ace Scotty Richardson in the final round. Pires, near lane, was second off the starting line
but ran three-thousandths over his 11.49 dial to win over Richardson’s breakout 10.671 (10.69 dial).
by Kelly Wade
I t was already apparent in the world of drag racing
that Donald Pires Jr. is good at what he does. A
four-time Jegs Allstars representative for Division 1,
Pires won the special event that singles out the
Sportsman best of the best in 2006, but claiming
victory at the United Association NHRA In the semi’s, Pires got
SuperNationals in Englishtown was an a lucky break when
accomplishment he had long been aiming for. Alan Mark fouled by
“Winning a national event is something I always .006-second.
dreamed of as a young kid when I started out
running Jr. Dragster,” said Pires, a 25-year-old racer
residing in Dighton, Mass. “You always look to goal. Once I did that, I felt a lot of pressure release. at the same time, I was just relieved to be in the
NHRA national events as the big one to win.” I felt a lot better.” final. Either way, I was going to be happy. To race
Pires drove his H/SA ’72 Nova to a first-round The good feelings continued when Pires won the somebody like Scotty Richardson was an honor, and
victory against Jerry Vignogna by running closer to semi’s after A/SA ’69 Camaro driver Alan Mark left to beat him was unimaginable. It was unreal.
his dial before picking up a win over breakout the starting line .006-second too soon. “I want to dedicate this win to my dad for all the
opponent Greg Rowe in round two, and he survived “I came down from the wheelstand, hit 2nd gear, help and support he’s given me over the years.” said
his third-round match with Ed Fernandez despite a looked up at the scoreboard, and my win light was Pires. “It was great to give the Wally to him as an
sleepy .078-second reaction, his worst of on; it was one of the best feelings of my life,” said early Father’s Day gift.”
eliminations, by clocking an 11.527 (11.52 dial) to Pires, who still had quite a challenge ahead of him if
Fernandez’s too quick .004-under 13.72. he wanted to celebrate in the winner’s circle: getting The key race: “I’d have to say the key race was
In the fourth round, which was the first round on past venerable multi-class racer and five-time world third round when I raced Ed Fernandez, and I was
Monday due to weather delays and track curfew champion Scotty Richardson. really late on the Tree,” said Pires. “I had a .078 light,
restrictions, Pires pulled up to the starting line next Pires accomplished the feat with another superb
to his Nova’s previous owner, George LaBelle, and finish-line performance to pick up his first victory in About the winning car
for the first time all weekend, Pires was off the his first final round at a national event, overcoming
starting line first, .046 to .066. His opponent broke his slower .045-second reaction at the Tree and T he winning ’72 Nova driven by Donald Pires Jr. was
out by two-thousandths, and Pires put an 11.553 running three-thousandths over his 11.49 dial to purchased from George LaBelle, his fourth-round
(11.55) on the scoreboard to seal the deal and Richardson’s .034 launch and breakout 10.671 opponent at this event. Pires and his father, Donald Sr.,
advance to the quarters, where he was again better (10.69). rebuilt the drivetrain, and Bub Whitaker of Burtonsville
off the starting line and survived a double breakout “Scotty is probably one of the best bracket racers Performance in Maryland built the 350-cid Chevy
with Donald Sabin. in the country,” said Pires. “I felt the pressure, but engine that has CP pistons and a Comp cam. Jack
“I had a feeling that it Sepanek of Sepanek Racing Transmission built the
could be my day,” said Metric 200 transmission, and the Nova has a new
Pires. “I had never gotten Strange Engineering rear end with 5.13 gears. The car
past the fifth round rides on Weld wheels with Hoosier tires.
before, so that was my Pires thanked engine builder Whitaker,
transmission specialist Sepanek, and Roy at
Richardson drove his ’69 Hoosier Tires.
Camaro off the starting line “I definitely want to thank my dad, Donald; my
with a respectable .023- mom, Virginia; my brother, Billy, and his girlfriend,
second reaction and ran Sarah; my girlfriend, Rachael; my friend, Bubba Linke;
10.710 on his 10.69 dial to and all of my friends and family for their support,”
beat David Ficacci’s said Pires.
breakout 10.081 (10.10).
40 ✦ National DRAGSTER
Event Super Stock runner-up (Top 16 of 119 qualifiers)
Donald Sabin, near lane, was 1. Sal Biondo, Maspeth, N.Y. (B/SA ’67 Shelby) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.239 (-1.311)
on the losing end of a double 2. Mike Farrell, E. Nassau, N.Y. (I/SA ’65 Coronet) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.411 (-1.189)
breakout with Pires in the 3. Evan Smith, Valrico, Fla. (H/S ’93 Mustang). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.161 (-1.139)
4. Tom Kreeber, Rensselaer, N.Y. (F/SA ’67 Barracuda) . . . . . . . . . . . 11.023 (-1.127)
Stock quarterfinals after 5. Joe Cokinos, Elmwood Park, N.J. (P/S ’96 S-10) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.530 (-1.120)
winning back-to-back A/SA 6. Jeffrey Bardekoff, Commack, N.Y. (B/SA ’64 Fury) . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.433 (-1.117)
heads-up matches in the third 7. John Shaul, Fultonham, N.Y. (A/SA ’64 Fury) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.191 (-1.109)
and fourth round. 8. Ken Kopecky, Edison, N.J. (E/SA ’71 Demon) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.908 (-1.092)
9. Gene Monahan, Brockton, Mass. (J/SA ’90 Formula) . . . . . . . . . .