; Shields, Harker continue late-season hot streaks
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Shields, Harker continue late-season hot streaks

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For the second-time in three weeks, Duane Shields scored a Top Alcohol Dragster victory in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, and Steve Harker continued his successful season with his fourth Top Alcohol Funny Car win of the year when competition in the Southeast Division resumed at Atlanta Dragway after a four-month break. Drivers who helped themselves by reaching the winner's circle were Arnie Martel (Comp), Hugh Meeks (Super Stock), Jack Zimmerman (Stock), Lauren Freer (Super Comp), Frank Altilio (Super Gas), William Carmichael (Super Street), Ray Miller (Top Dragster), and William Thigpen (Top Sportsman).

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									                     NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series • Race 5 • Atlanta Dragway


                     Shields, Harker continue late-season hot streaks




Duane Shields, near lane, kept himself in the Top Alcohol Dragster season title race and extended his Division 2 points lead by defeating fellow A/Fuel racer Robin Samsel
in the final round, 5.37 to 13.31.

by Kevin McKenna                                 With just a few races remaining in         and cemented his place atop the South-         national champion Bartone. In
photos by Chip Bralley                        the 2009 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing           east Division standings after dominating       qualifying, Bartone led the tough eight-
                                              Series, late-season events like this one      the class. The top qualifier with a 5.37,      car field with a 5.66, and Harker was

F   or the second-time in three weeks,
    Duane Shields scored a Top
Alcohol Dragster victory in the NHRA
                                              take on an added importance for
                                              drivers battling for divisional and
                                              national championships. Drivers who
                                                                                            Shields never ran slower than that on
                                                                                            race day. He opened eliminations with a
                                                                                            5.35, then lowered the boom on his
                                                                                                                                           just two-hundredths behind in the No.
                                                                                                                                           2 spot.
                                                                                                                                              Harker took care of business on his
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, and             helped themselves by reaching the             semifinal bye with a 5.27.                     side of the ladder with a 5.65 in round
Steve Harker continued his successful         winner’s circle were Arnie Martel                Samsel matched Shields’ pace in             one against John Sullivan and a 5.64
season with his fourth Top Alcohol            (Comp), Hugh Meeks (Super Stock),             the opening round with a 5.35 against          in the semi’s to get past Mickey Ferro,
Funny Car win of the year when                Jack Zimmerman (Stock), Lauren                Don Fiorelli, then earned a spot in the        who grabbed five-hundredths at the
competition in the Southeast Division         Freer (Super Comp), Frank Altilio             final with a 5.50 to 5.74 win against          start but couldn’t hold the lead with a
resumed at Atlanta Dragway after a            (Super Gas), William Carmichael               second-ranked Artie Allen.                     5.71 with Harker finishing first by two-
four-month break. Shields all but             (Super Street), Ray Miller (Top                                                              hundredths. Bartone missed lane
wrapped up the division title with his        Dragster), and William Thigpen (Top           Top Alcohol Funny Car: Less than               choice by a thousandth of a second
final-round victory over Robin Samsel,        Sportsman).                                   a week after his runner-up at the Mac          heading into the final after running a
and Harker claimed his fourth win in                                                        Tools U.S. Nationals, Harker reached           5.64 in his semifinal win against Jay
seven final rounds when he drove past         Top Alcohol Dragster: Shields                 another final, and this time he sealed         Payne, who was close behind with a
Tony Bartone.                                 scored his fifth victory of the season        the deal with a win over former                5.66. Harker saved his best for last
                                                                                                                                           with low elapsed time of the weekend,
                                                                                                                                           a 5.63, in the final after Bartone
                                                                                                                                           fouled.

                                                                                                                                           Comp: With Martel fighting for both
                                                                                                                                           the Division 2 title and a spot in the
                                                                                                                                           top 10 national standings, it was not a
                                                                                                                                           surprise when his teammate, Fred
                                                                                                                                           Allen, didn’t make it to the starting
                                                                                                                                           line for the final round. Martel, who
                                                                                                                                           qualified No. 3 and beat George
                                                                                                                                           Gallimore, Jenny Treadwell, and Larry
                                                                                                                                           Pritchett on his way to the final, was
                                                                                                                                           able to cruise to his second divisional
                                                                                                                                           title of the season with a coasting 16-
                                                                                                                                           second run.
                                                                                                                                               After qualifying No. 4, Allen fought
                                                                                                                                           hard to reach the final with wins
                                                                                                                                           against Danny Holt, chassis builder
Steve Harker, far lane, scored his second NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event win of the season and pulled into second place           Gary Wisecarver, low qualifier Brian
in the national standings. He ran a 5.63 in his I40 Inc. Monte Carlo beside Tony Bartone’s red-light in the Top Alcohol Funny Car final.                                   to page 76
44   ✦ National   DRAGSTER
● Division 2                                 Arnie Martel, who won Comp at the season-opening race in
   from page 44                              Bradenton, Fla., singled in the final round for his second win of
                                             the year when he elected to leave his C/SR roadster, which is
Browell, and current Division 2 points       driven by final-round opponent Fred Allen, in the pits.
leader Glen Treadwell.

Super Stock: Former national
champion Meeks made the most of his
first appearance in Division 2
competition this year with a final-
round victory over current points
leader Mike Crutchfield. Meeks
grabbed a six-hundredths lead off the
starting line and cruised to a 10.08 on
his 10.07 dial.
    Meeks earned a bye run in the
quarterfinals and then punched his
ticket to the final by stopping Andy
Fogle’s SS/GA Camaro in the semi’s.       9.930 to stop Adcock’s 9.903. Adding           a .028 start and crossed the stripe        perfect reaction times, including a .001
Crutchfield, who has not lost in the      the reaction times, Altilio crossed the        first but broke out by three-              in the final round against Steve Furr,
first round this season and won the       finish line first by less than a               thousandths.                               who currently shares the points lead
South Georgia Motorsports Park event      thousandth of a second.                            Points leader Mike De Sio suffered     with Casey Spradlin. In the final,
in April, topped former two-time             Altilio was prepared to face another        a rare first-round loss, allowing          Miller ran a 6.80 on his 6.79 dial, and
national champ Jimmy DeFrank in           tough challenge in the semifinals when         Carmichael to move into second place.      Furr matched his dial with a 7.155.
round three and then earned a bye         he was paired with former Division 2           Former Division 2 champ Griggs is             Super Comp winner Freer just
after beating Kenny Horne in a heads-     champ and U.S. Nationals winner Mike           lurking just outside the top ten           missed a chance to double after losing
up SS/DM battle in the quarterfinals.     Ruff, but that race ended early when           following his impressive performance,      to Miller in the semifinals, and Furr
                                                                                                                                    stopped Scot King in the other semi-
Stock: A -.001 red-light by Adam                                                                                                    final with a .05-over 7.16. Miller is
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