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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

NHRA Pro Stock Fun Facts

By Ariel Cordero

Don Campanello is on a very exclusive list -- winners of an NHRA Pro Stock event. Photo by Rob Potter
Don Campanello is on a very exclusive list -- winners of an NHRA Pro Stock event.
Photo by Rob Potter

This Rob Potter photo of Don Campanello posted on the Canadian Drag Racing mailing group reminded me of his final round upset at the '86 Gatornationals when he defeated the favorite Butch Leal who I think redlighted. That was Don's only NHRA win. Talking about that and going back to the beginning of PS racing, there have been several unique PS final rounds in NHRA. For example:

'72 US Nationals -- Ray Allen's '72 Vega defeated Rich Mirarcki in Bill Blanding's '72 Mimi Vega. This was the first final round not to include a Chrysler since the inception of PS. It was the first all Chevy final. Of course, the top runners were in Tulsa for the PRA race.
'73 Gatornationals Don Nicholson defeated Wayne Gapp. The first all Ford final.
'76 Gatornationals Larry Lombardo defeated Warren Johnson. This was only the second all Chevy final, almost three years after the first one.
'76 World Finals Wally Booth defeated Dave Kanners. This was the first and only all AMC final.
'77 Springnationals Richie Zul defeated Bob Glidden. Zul's only win.
'79 Mile-High Nationals -- Randy Humphrey defeated Sonny Bryant. Humphrey ended Glidden's winning streak. This was the first time two first time finalists met since the '72 US Nationals. From this race up to the '85 Southern Nationals, nobody but Shepherd, Glidden, WJ, or Iaconio won a race. That is almost six years!
'85 Southern Nationals Butch Leal defeated Bob Glidden. Leal broke the winning streak of the Fabulous Four.
'86 Gatornationals Don Campanello defeated Butch Leal. It was Campanello's only win and the first all Pontiac final.
'86 Keystone Nationals -- Don Beverley defeated Bruce Allen. It was Beverley's first win but more importantly, his car ran with a computer-controlled transmission. It read the engine revs and shifted the car. NHRA banned this kind of device later.
'88 California Nationals -- Harry Scribner defeated Don Beverley. It was Scribner's only national event win. It was the first time two underdogs met since the '79 Mile High Nationals.

That's all until the 1990 season.

Ariel Cordero
aacv@coqui.net

 

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