Bailey, Pittman, Vancil, Brand, and Wilson win IHRA Grand Bend
Rain Delays Sportsman Eliminators
By summitracing.com and
GRAND BEND Ont. - Sunday, Midnight - The coach and horses just turned into a pumpkin and mice. There is a strict midnight curfew here, no engines fired between now and 8:00 A.M. Monday.
Despite rain and fog and a few unfortunate incidents, Professional eliminations are completed and all Sportsman eliminators are through at least two rounds. Stock, Hot Rod, Super Stock, and Top Sportsman have completed three rounds.
There are 87 cars left in competition, which will resume at 10:00 AM Monday.
Bailey, Pittman, Vancil, Brand and Wilson Chase The Rain Away In Grand Bend With Impressive Wins
By Bobby Bennett, Jr., www.competitionplus.com
GRAND BEND, Ont. - The only word that can accurately describe fans and competitors attending the IHRA Mopar Performance Parts Canadian Nationals presented by Castrol in Grand Bend, Ont., would be determined as tens of thousands braved rain at the Grand Bend Motorplex, third stop on the Summit Championship Drag Racing Series.
Persistent rain and unseasonable temperatures made the event a challenge for the various
crew chiefs. When the event concluded late Sunday night, Top Fuel racer Jim Bailey headlined a list of professional winners including Alan Pittman (Mopar Performance Pro Modified), Doug Vancil (Screamin' Eagle Nitro Harley-Davidson), Dale Brand (Funny Car) and Gene Wilson (Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock).
Bailey completed an emotional victory for the Bobby Rex Racing team, who destroyed their car at Grand Bend last year in an accident that seriously injured driver Doug Foxworth. Bailey, the eight time IHRA Top Fuel winner from Hiram, Ohio bested new points leader Bruce Litton, by leaving first and outrunning him with a 4.914/286.16 pass.
"With the way the weather was constantly changing, the cars that would run 4.90s were the most dangerous," explained Bailey. "The quicker cars left no margin for error, and they knew that we'd go down the track every time. They were running on the edge and it worked to our advantage today. I feel happy for the Foxworth family as well as Bobby Rex. With a little luck and some sponsorship, we can take this to the next level."
Bailey began eliminations as the fifth quickest qualifier and beat four-time World Champion Shirley Muldowney and Clay Millican to reach the finals.
On the other side of the ladder, Litton knows a thing or two about adversity. Earlier in the year, his Indianapolis-based shop burned to the ground. Not only did the Wix Filters-sponsored driver reach the finals by defeating Jim Head and defending World Champion, he also established a new world record with a 4.656 elapsed time.
Pittman, 40, of Pelzer, S.C., may not have been the quickest, but compensated with a consistency few could rival, earning the top qualifying spot and keeping rival and points leader Mike Janis honest.
He felt that some might have felt that he fell out of contention. The truth known, he never left.
"We never left, but there are plenty of tough cars out there and they will take the ball and run with it from time to time," explained Pittman. "Sometimes we are fortunate to be on the winning end of that domination. It comes and goes and you have to roll with the punches."
The driver of Ken and Sylvia Westbrook's supercharged 1941 Willys used a 6.332, 6.295, and a 6.299 to defeat Ronnie Hood, Carl Moyer and Mike Janis.
He completed the textbook Pro Modified final round by defeating the number two qualifier Quain Stott. Pittman used an incredible .418 reaction time and a 6.244, 222.11 to defeat the LeeBoy Paving Equipment-sponsored driver.
Vancil, of Albuquerque, N.M., retained his Screamin' Eagle Nitro Harley points lead in impressive fashion by knocking off Steve Stordeur in the final round. In his third consecutive final round, The Vance & Hines-sponsored rider was not deterred by a quicker reaction time from Stordeur as he stormed by for a 6.551, 204.35.
"I guess seeing the people close to me in the points falling early provided me with a sense of security," explained Vancil. We knew we needed to go round and if we could get the points, that would be a bonus."
Vancil was the top rider of the class from the start of qualifying, earning pole position with a 6.456, 215.46. He then used a barrage a 6.4-second runs to reach the final round, defeating Bob Malloy and Mark Conner.
Stordeur earned his way to the final round by defeating Mike Romine and World Champion Jay Turner.
Brand, whose last win came in Darlington two years ago, scored his second national event by defeating newly christened points leader John Vouros in the Funny Car final. The 42-year old driver from Sully, Iowa used a holeshot to defeat the CompetitionPlus.com-sponsored Vouros in the finals.
"We've been working our way up through the ranks for the last couple of yeas," explained Brand. "Me and my son have been working our hearts out. It paid off tonight."
Brand began eliminations from the sixth position and systematically defeated Doug Weaver, Jimmy Rector and Mark Thomas to reach the finals.
Vouros, the former Top Dragster driver in his rookie Funny Car season, knocked off Mike Etter, Terry Munroe and Laurie Cannister to earn his berth in the final round.
Wilson, 27, of Canton, Ga., continued his undefeated streak by defeating Angelo Alesci. The son of television fisherman Orlando Wilson claimed his third consecutive victory in as many races by pushing Charlie Hunt's Mercury Cougar to a convincing clean sweep victory.
He recalled back to the Holley Spring Nationals when he confided that he didn't have a 6.5-second run in their car. Things have changed three races later.
"We have a .50 and then some," explained Wilson. "My crewchief Gary Henry is certainly doing his homework and we've gotten some help from Holley along the way. I can't say enough about those two. They are awesome and a large reason that I am here today."
Wilson, who has wins in Rockingham and Dinwiddie already in 2001, established himself as the man to beat by securing the pole with a 6.597, 209.01. He used the performance advantage to knock off Anthony Paone, Elijah Morton and Ron Miller to make it to the final round.
Alesci spearheaded the Chevrolet effort into the final round by advancing from the second qualifying position to the finals via wins over Wally Stroupe, John Konigshofer and Tom Lee.
The next race on the IHRA Summit Drag Racing Series is the Amalie Oil Summer Nationals in Cordova, IL, June 14-16.
GRAND BEND, Ont. -- Sunday's final results from the Second annual Mopar Performance Parts Nationals presented by Castrol at Grand Bend Motorplex. The $1.6 million race is the third of 11 events in the IHRA Summit Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel -- Jim Bailey, 4.914 seconds, 286.16 mph def. Bruce Litton, 9.026 seconds, 88.11 mph.
Screamin' Eagle Nitro Harley -- Doug Vancil, 6.551, 204.35 def. Steve Stordeur, 6.633, 209.93.
Mopar Pro Modified -- Alan Pittman, Willys, 6.244, 222.11 def. Quain Stott, Chevy Corvette, 6.385, 219.78.
Funny Car -- Dale Brand, Pontiac Firebird, 5.880, 234.61 def. John Vouros, Firebird, 5.853, 236.96.
Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock -- Gene Wilson, Mercury Cougar, 6.618, 208.76 def. Angelo Alesci, Chevy Cavalier, 6.638, 208.23.
GRAND BEND, Ont. -- Final round-by-round results from the Second annual Mopar Performance Parts Nationals presented by Castrol at Grand Bend Motorplex, the third of 11 events in the IHRA Summit Drag Racing Series:
ROUND ONE -- Jim Bailey, 4.939, 274.05 def. Shirley Muldowney, 11.859, 74.82; Paul Romine, 5.125, 240.12 def. Louie Allison, 5.856, 143.70; Bruce Litton, 4.697, 306.64 def. Jim Head, 4.690, 303.64; Clay Millican, 4.713, 318.92 def. Roger Dean, 5.296, 281.33;
SEMIFINALS -- Bailey, 5.025, 261.47 def. Millican, 6.737, 120.51; Litton, 4.656, 315.23 def. Romine, 10.396, 81.54;
FINAL -- Bailey, 4.914, 286.16 def. Litton, 9.026, 88.11.
NITRO FUEL HARLEY: ROUND ONE -- Doug Vancil, 6.477, 205.62 def. Bob Malloy, 7.728, 169.42; Mark Conner, 7.398, 162.74 def. Ray Price, 7.789, 196.85; Jay Turner, 6.546, 209.25 def. Jack Romine, broke; Steve Stordeur, 6.507, 203.20 def. Mike Romine, 8.937, 91.32;
SEMIFINALS -- Vancil, 6.490, 209.88 def. Conner, broke; Stordeur, 6.620, 202.42 def. Turner, 7.904, 119.18;
FINAL -- Vancil, 6.551, 204.35 def. Stordeur, 6.633, 209.93.
ROUND ONE -- Carl Moyer, Chevy Bel Air, 6.341, 220.04 def. Steve Cossis, Chevy Corvette, 11.691, 71.52; Todd Howard, Bel Air, 20.836, 51.15 def. Mitch Stott, Corvette, foul; Paul Athey, Mercury, 7.989, 106.39 def. Steve Vick, Chevy Camaro, broke; Al Billes, Studebaker, 6.263, 224.32 def. Ed Hoover, Corvette, 9.094, 100.01; Mike Janis, Corvette, 6.196, 227.44 def. Chip King, Dodge Avenger, foul; Troy Critchley, Willys, 7.157, 150.90 def. Shannon Jenkins, Camaro, foul; Quain Stott, Corvette, 7.299, 212.96 def. Harold Martin, Pontiac Firebird, broke; Alan Pittman, Willys, 6.332, 221.18 def. Ronnie Hood, Corvette, 6.511, 219.67;
QUARTERFINALS -- Q. Stott, 6.607, 220.75 def. Howard, 21.551, 33.68; Critchley, 6.292, 220.15 def. Athey, broke; Pittman, 6.295, 221.13 def. Moyer, 6.372, 219.03; Janis, 6.207, 226.24 def. Billes, 6.641, 179.31;
SEMIFINALS -- Q. Stott, 6.313, 221.51 def. Critchley, 6.309, 221.18; Pittman, 6.299, 222.00 def. Janis, 7.631, 127.73;
FINAL -- Pittman, 6.244, 222.11 def. Q. Stott, 6.385, 219.78.
ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR:
ROUND ONE -- Dale Brand, Pontiac Firebird, 5.888, 234.49 def. Doug Weaver, Dodge Avenger, 9.201, 96.75; Jimmy Rector, Chevy Camaro, 5.996, 232.31 def. Steve Ruda, Avenger, 6.475, 184.38; Mark Thomas, Avenger, 5.889, 235.78 def. Larry Dobbs, Chevy Corvette, 14.760, 44.86; Laurie Cannister, Camaro, 5.899, 234.00 def. Dan Roman, Firebird, 6.490, 204.87; Terry McMillen, Avenger, 6.095, 229.94 def. Paul Noakes, Ford Mustang, foul; Paul Zgoda, Oldsmobile Achieva, 6.097, 232.31 def. Herb Rodgers, Mustang, 6.182, 224.49; Terry Munroe, Firebird, 9.596, 82.04 def. Rob Atchison, Firebird, broke; John Vouros, Firebird, 5.902, 231.24 def. Mike Etter, Firebird, 6.173, 203.16;
QUARTERFINALS -- Brand, 5.948, 233.46 def. Rector, 5.976, 234.61; Cannister, 5.883, 234.07 def. Zgoda, 6.169, 230.71; Vouros, 5.960, 232.13 def. Munroe, 6.052, 232.97; Thomas, 14.834, 79.83 def. McMillen, broke;
SEMIFINALS -- Brand, 5.859, 235.10 def. Thomas, 6.097, 234.61; Vouros, 5.884, 235.97 def. Cannister, 5.916, 237.40;
FINAL -- Brand, 5.880, 234.61 def. Vouros, 5.853, 236.96.
ROUND ONE -- Elijah Morton, Ford Probe, 6.757, 207.51 def. Dwayne Rice, Pontiac Firebird, 6.834, 204.68; John Konigshofer, Probe, 6.659, 210.08 def. Brian Gahm, Ford Mustang, 8.743, 104.43; Tom Lee, Mustang, 6.618, 209.25 def. Ed Machacek, Firebird, 6.745, 206.51; Ron Miller, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.639, 208.28 def. Jerry Yeoman, Firebird, 6.628, 207.85; Bob Holzer, Firebird, 6.714, 207.46 def. Carl Baker, Mercury Cougar, broke; John Montecalvo, Chevy Cavalier, 6.667, 207.94 def. Chris Holbrook, Mustang, 6.822, 204.49; Angelo Alesci, Cavalier, 6.613, 209.01 def. Wally Stroupe, Grand Am, 6.769, 204.35; Gene Wilson, Cougar, 6.585, 209.69 def. Anthony Paone, Chevy Camaro, foul;
QUARTERFINALS -- Miller, 6.628, 208.52 def. Holzer, broke; Lee, 6.650, 208.62 def. Montecalvo, broke; Alesci, 6.612, 208.62 def. Konigshofer, 6.839, 195.10; Wilson, 6.587, 209.88 def. Morton, 23.289, 28.90;
SEMIFINALS -- Alesci, 6.644, 208.52 def. Lee, 6.651, 194.00; Wilson, 6.587, 209.88 def. Miller, foul;
FINAL -- Wilson, 6.618, 208.76 def. Alesci, 6.638, 208.23.
GRAND BEND, Ont. -- Point standings (top 10) for IHRA professional categories following the Second annual Mopar Performance Parts Nationals presented by Castrol at Grand Bend Motorplex, the third of 11 events in the IHRA Summit Drag Racing Series:
1. Bruce Litton, 349; 2. Paul Romine, 327; 3. Clay Millican, 301; 4. Jim Bailey, 285; 5. Jim Head, 249; 6. Louie Allison, 231; 7. Roger Dean, 164; 8. Shirley Muldowney, 118; 9. Tracy Howard, 74; 10. Steve Smith, 67.
1. Doug Vancil, 396; 2. Steve Stordeur, 286; 3. Tony Mattioli, 264; 4. Jay Turner, 246; 5. (tie) Johnny Mancuso, 242; Mike Romine, 242; 7. Bob Malloy, 240; 8. Bill Furr, 164; 9. Mark Conner, 148; 10. Ray Price, 122.
1. Alan Pittman, 394; 2. Mike Janis, 372; 3. Quain Stott, 299; 4. Mitch Stott, 288; 5. Ronnie Hood, 258; 6. Paul Athey, 211; 7. Troy Critchley, 202; 8. Al Billes, 180; 9. Chip King, 179; 10. Todd Howard, 175.
1. John Vouros, 318; 2. Dale Brand, 310; 3. Mark Thomas, 306; 4. Jimmy Rector, 296; 5. Laurie Cannister, 248; 6. Bob Newberry, 211; 7. Terry McMillen, 208; 8. Monty Todd, 179; 9. Philip Hooper, 147; 10. Terry Munroe, 141.
1. Gene Wilson, 446; 2. Tom Lee, 368; 3. Ron Miller, 308; 4. Angelo Alesci, 278; 5. Dwayne Rice, 231; 6. John Konigshofer, 205; 7. John Montecalvo, 197; 8. Jason Collins, 188; 9. Elijah Morton, 169; 10. Brian Gahm, 152.
Results provided by the FastNews Network,
courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment