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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Millican, Hoover, Rector, Price, and Baker
Win at Red River

By Larry Sullivan, Summit FastNews

SHREVEPORT, La. - Despite persistent rain and threatening skies, IHRA Top Fuel World champion Clay Millican won the Top Fuel title at the 5th Annual IHRA K&N Nationals presented by Dodge at Red River Raceway.

Millican, of Drummonds, Tenn. defeated Paul Romine of Indianapolis with a run of 4.804 seconds, 308.71 mph to 6.990/131.86 as Romine smoked the tires at half-track. This earned the Werner Enterprises team their second win of the 2002 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series.

"I'm the lucky guy that gets to drive this Mike Kloeber prepared dragster," said an animated Millican. "I don't worry about anything until Mike tells me to worry.

"This is a great win for the Werner team and we are using this win to launch our second straight championship quest; we're on our way."

The K&N Filters Nationals marked Romine's first final round appearance since the CARQUEST Autumn Nationals at Rockingham last fall. The three-time IHRA Top Fuel champion has not won an IHRA national event in over a year, his last victory at the inaugural ACDelco Nationals last year.

Following two rounds of the Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series, Millican leads Bruce Litton by 63 points and Romine by 65 in the chase for the $200,000 IHRA Top Fuel championship.

The surprise of the Top Fuel field was the emergence of Don Reed as a competitive threat. Reed recorded his best ever IHRA Top Fuel finish, going to the semis. The Kokomo, Indiana resident defeated Louie Allison in the first round before falling to World Champion Millican.

Reed quickly acknowledged the role veteran crew chief/tuner Jimmy Walsh has played in the improved performance of the team. Walsh, a friend of Reed, joined the team as "an unpaid helper and consultant" three weeks ago, following his release by the Joe Amato NHRA Top Fuel organization, a team he led to five NHRA World championships.

"Jimmy's been a good friend of mine for years and been good enough to help our team until he lands another full-time opportunity," said Reed. "We ran a 5.10 at Richmond last month and made a few changes with Jimmy's guidance. We ran a 4.84 in qualifying and I believe we could have gone 4.75. Regardless, it's the best performance the team has run.

"My crew worked their tails off; we work together every day and it's great to see things coming together. We're going to go and get ready for Cordova."

"Somebody asked me what the difference between this team running a 4.80 lap and a 5.20 lap is," said Walsh. "Don and his team were so close to running well; my role is to bring all the elements together and give them the best opportunity to perform well.

"I want to tell everybody IHRA national event tracks are among the best prepared in drag racing," added Walsh. "It makes our job easier when we race on the quality racetracks Bill Bader, Jim Weinert and his team provide us. There is a misconception that IHRA tracks are second-rate; I'm here to tell you they're not."

IHRA's most competitive class, Pro Modified featured the first all-nitrous final since the CARQUEST Empire Nationals last July. It also marked the first final round appearance for Martin since 1990. The Red River Pro Modified and an electronic fuel injected engine. Martin's opponent, Ed Hoover, stunned Rockingham winner Al Billes in the semis on a holeshot from which the Canadian never recovered.

Both Hoover and Martin launched hard and straight, with Martin getting out of the groove at 1000 feet, giving the win to Hoover.

"I told Paul (car owner Trussell) that we needed to make a change. We changed some settings in the suspension and it responded well. We failed to qualify the first race of the season, but this win puts us right in the thick of the championship," said Hoover.

"The car hit a bump in the right hand lane at the top end and the car started to dance and the wheels spin," said Martin. "I saw Ed in the other lane and decided it was better to lift then crash."

The win vaults Hoover into second place in the Pro Modified championship, 68 points behind Al Billes.

The first round of Screamin' Eagle Nitro Harley-Davidson eliminations was the most competitive in recent history, featuring four side by side passes, including a new IHRA world elapsed-time record of 6.378 seconds by Steve Stordeur of Goshen, Ohio.

Another Romine, Mike Romine, surprised Stordeur in the quarters, with the Sturgis, MI native advancing to his first Nitro-Harley final since Rockingham last fall. His opponent; 64 year-old Ray Price, currently celebrating his long motorcycle drag racing career with the "Ray Price 65th Birthday Tour." Qualifying seventh in the field Saturday, Price broke an input shaft, which had to be flown from Raleigh, NC overnight. The shaft arrived for eliminations and Price dispatched Mark Conner and IHRA World Champion Doug Vancil on his way to the final.

Price defeated Romine in the final, resetting the world-elapsed time record Stordeur held for only two hours at 6.365 seconds at 224.21 miles per hour.

"My motor quit at 1100 feet," said Romine. "I still don't know what happened."

"I've been racing for a long time; I think I know where I need to be," said Price. "This team is the best bunch of guys I've had and work well together. They're excited about their jobs, work their butts off. What more can you ask for?"

In search of her first IHRA Funny Car victory, Laurie Cannister's "Girl Power" Camaro shattered the Red River track record with laps of 5.831 and 5.775 seconds, taking the pole position. In round one, Cannister earned a bye run, but holed the engine with a connecting rod on the burnout for that bye run. Unable to make the run, Cannister became a second-round loser, the disappointment evident.

"I feel bad for my crew who gave me a great car all weekend," said a philosophical Cannister. "We will rebound and get back into the action at Cordova; we will get that first win soon."

The ultra-competitive Alcohol Funny Car class is capable of producing many different winners, including Cannister, five-time world champion Mark Thomas, Dale Brand, Jimmy Rector and the ever-improving Terry McMillen. In the first round, Brand defeated McMillen and current points leader and Rockingham winner Jimmy Rector defeated Thomas.

In the final, Brand red lit, giving Rector an easy win.

We didn't run well, but we won," said Rector, who has won the first two event of the 2002 season. "I shook the tires the first round but had good lights and that's why we're here."

Carl Baker had never won a national event in five years of IHRA Pro Stock competition, his only professional win coming at the Sunoco Pro Stock Shootout at Norwalk in August 2001. The team struggled early this year and had not advanced beyond the first round. Facing John Montecalvo in the K&N Nationals Pro Stock, final, Baker won his first race, when Montecalvo red lit.

"This couldn't come at a better time for the Summit team," exclaimed a jubilant Baker. "Everything came together this weekend; we qualified number one and won the race; that's what you're supposed to do at this level of competition. IHRA Sunoco Pro Stock is tough and a win is hard to come by."

Baker, of N. Ridgeville, Ohio became a "five-year overnight sensation", winning his first Sunoco Pro Stock title at Red River, defeating Montecalvo 6.591/212.03 to 6.629/210.14.

The next race in the Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series is the Amalie Oil Nationals in Cordova, IL, May 17-19.

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Saturday's final results from the fifth annual K&N Filters Nationals presented by Your Local Dodge Dealers at Red River Raceway. The $1.1 million race is the third of 12 in the Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Clay Millican, 4.804 seconds, 308.71 mph def. Paul Romine, 6.990 seconds, 131.86 mph.

Pro Modified -- Ed Hoover, Chevy Corvette, 6.295, 223.43 def. Harold Martin, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.640, 176.88.

Nitro Harley -- Ray Price, 6.365, 224.21 def. Mike Romine, 6.614, 195.03.

Funny Car -- Jimmy Rector, Chevy Camaro, 5.944, 237.05 def. Dale Brand, Pontiac Firebird, foul.

Pro Stock -- Carl Baker, Mercury Cougar, 6.591, 212.03 def. John Montecalvo, Chevy Cavalier, foul.

Top Stock -- Mike Adams, Chevy Camaro, 10.119, 128.04 def. Monty Bogan, Chevy Corvette, 10.236, 130.86.

Top Sportsman -- Monte Weaver, Chevy Corvette, 7.508, 182.60 def. Ronnie Davis, Corvette, 7.295, 189.66.

Top Dragster -- Christy Rice, 7.596, 178.17 def. Ernie Hillard, foul.

Modified -- Tony Stephenson, Dragster, 7.593, 175.91 def. Michael Lyons, Dragster, 7.257, 181.01.

Quick Rod -- Matt Levatino, 8.905, 167.55 def. Benny Smith Jr, 8.896, 165.40.

Super Rod -- Lamar Swindoll, Chevy Monza, 9.916, 148.18 def. Gary Risk, Buick Regal, 9.915, 144.55.

Hot Rod -- Mike Gilbert, Chevy Camaro, 10.908, 137.58 def. Luke Bogacki, Chevy Nova, 10.892, 122.00.

Super Stock -- Sid Bonnecarrere, Dodge Dart, 9.101, 138.56 def. Slate Cummings, Chevy Camaro, 9.956, 134.36.

Stock -- Rusty Hall, Ford Mustang, 25.326, 33.42 def. Gary Slaton, Chevy Camaro, 10.937, 120.74.

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Final round-by-round results from the Fifth annual K&N Filters Nationals presented by Your Local Dodge Dealers at Red River Raceway, the 3rd of 12 events in the Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series: TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE -- Donald Reed, 4.919, 296.50 def. Louie Allison, 10.338, 87.94; Bruce Litton, 4.963, 275.22 def. Josh Starcher, 5.347, 193.99; Paul Romine, 4.837, 292.65 def. Jim Head, 5.097, 252.99; Clay Millican, 5.009, 218.19 def. Roger Dean, broke; SEMIFINALS -- Millican, 4.757, 305.77 def. Reed, 5.300, 197.36; Romine, 4.894, 281.42 def. Litton, 12.856, 73.87; FINAL -- Millican, 4.804, 308.71 def. Romine, 6.990, 131.86.

PRO MODIFIED:

ROUND ONE -- Mike Janis, Chevy Corvette, 13.775, 99.76 was unopposed; Quain Stott, Corvette, 14.224, 82.46 def. Tim Savell, Chevy Lumina, broke; Ed Hoover, Corvette, 6.359, 223.02 def. Alan Pittman, Willys, 6.367, 221.45; Mitch Stott, Corvette, 6.357, 225.79 def. Mike Castellana, Willys, 12.107, 78.18; Danny McVay, Chevy Beretta, 11.665, 108.27 def. Shannon Jenkins, Chevy Camaro, foul; Al Billes, Studebaker, 6.251, 226.39 def. Chuck Nuytten, Corvette, 7.062, 157.21; Harold Martin, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.468, 217.88 def. Paul Athey, Corvette, 12.599, 68.01; QUARTERFINALS -- M. Stott, 6.283, 227.15 was unopposed; Martin, 6.814, 201.19 def. McVay, 10.153, 124.81; Hoover, 6.289, 223.14 def. Janis, 6.307, 226.73; Billes, 6.328, 224.17 def. Q. Stott, 13.544, 61.64; SEMIFINALS -- Hoover, 6.260, 223.73 def. Billes, 12.539, 95.52; Martin, 6.589, 214.45 def. M. Stott, 10.394, 85.79; FINAL -- Hoover, 6.295, 223.43 def. Martin, 6.640, 176.88.

NITRO HARLEY:

ROUND ONE -- Steve Stordeur, 6.378, 216.55 def. Jay Turner, 6.474, 210.34; Mike Romine, 6.467, 212.49 def. Mark Cox, 6.580, 205.19; Ray Price, 6.370, 207.43 def. Mark Conner, 6.522, 214.89; Doug Vancil, 6.450, 217.25 def. Johnny Mancuso, 6.429, 215.68; QUARTERFINALS -- Romine, 7.021, 207.11 def. Stordeur, 7.014, 208.94; Price, 6.428, 205.60 def. Vancil, 7.508, 134.30; SEMIFINALS -- Price, 6.365, 224.21 def. Romine, 6.614, 195.03.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE -- Laurie Cannister, Chevy Camaro, 5.818, 242.84 def. Chris Foster, Dodge Avenger, 6.077, 231.00; Jimmy Rector, Camaro, 6.192, 236.51 def. Tony Bogolo, Avenger, 6.249, 231.12; Dale Brand, Pontiac Firebird, 6.055, 239.87 def. Ronnie Midyette, Camaro, 6.026, 233.03; Terry McMillen, Avenger, 5.929, 239.31 def. Terry Munroe, Firebird, 6.032, 234.37; Mark Thomas, Avenger, 5.835, 239.53 def. Rob Atchison, Firebird, 6.129, 229.70; QUARTERFINALS -- Cannister, 99.900, no speed was unopposed; Brand, 5.950, 237.38 def. McMillen, foul; Rector, 5.991, 236.30 def. Thomas, 5.930, 236.71; SEMIFINALS -- Brand, 5.851, 235.68 was unopposed; Rector, broke, was unopposed; FINAL -- Rector, 5.944, 237.05 def. Brand, foul.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE -- John Bartunek, Grand Am, 6.600, 209.30 def. Hank Hill, Ford Probe, foul; Doug Kirk, Chevy Cavalier, 6.603, 211.20 def. Steve Spiess, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.592, 210.31; Brian Gahm, Ford Mustang, 6.577, 212.33 def. Tim Nabors, Cavalier, 9.787, 93.95; Rick Jones, Dodge Neon R/T, 6.598, 210.54 def. Ron Miller, Cavalier, 6.619, 209.92; Elijah Morton, Mustang, 6.590, 209.98 def. Jerry Yeoman, Grand Am, 13.822, 60.13; Richard Penland, Grand Am, 7.740, 166.46 def. Chris Holbrook, Mercury Cougar, 8.494, 186.87; John Montecalvo, Cavalier, 6.595, 210.83 def. Dwayne Rice, Grand Am, 6.645, 210.41; Carl Baker, Cougar, 6.706, 208.52 def. Jason Collins, Cougar, foul; QUARTERFINALS -- Baker, 6.608, 210.67 def. Bartunek, 6.641, 209.98; Montecalvo, 6.634, 205.26 def. Kirk, 6.643, 210.70; Jones, 6.640, 210.54 def. Morton, foul; Gahm, 6.611, 211.76 def. Penland, 6.752, 207.18; SEMIFINALS -- Montecalvo, 6.619, 209.69 def. Gahm, 6.682, 209.92; Baker, 6.598, 211.23 def. Jones, 10.239, 88.20; FINAL -- Baker, 6.591, 212.03 def. Montecalvo, foul.

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Unofficial point standings (top 10) for IHRA professional categories following the Fifth annual K&N Filters Nationals presented by Your Local Dodge Dealers at Red River Raceway, the third of 12 events in the

Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel

1. Clay Millican, 257; 2. Bruce Litton, 194; 3. Paul Romine, 192; 4. Donald Reed, 143; 5. Jim Head, 128; 6. Louie Allison, 121; 7. Roger Dean, 120; 8. Josh Starcher, 61; 9. Grant Flowers, 59; 10. Steve Smith, 25.

Pro Modified

1. Al Billes, 188; 2. Ed Hoover, 120; 3. Shannon Jenkins, 119; 4. Harold Martin, 98; 5. Mitch Stott, 87; 6. Mike Janis, 79; 7. Tommy Gray, 69; 8. Steve Salvadore, 63; 9. Quain Stott, 62; 10. (tie) Tim McAmis, 56; Alan Pittman, 56.

Nitro Harley

1. Ray Price, 215; 2. Doug Vancil, 194; 3. Steve Stordeur, 162; 4. Mike Romine, 152; 5. Jay Turner, 138; 6. Johnny Mancuso, 116; 7. Mark Conner, 115; 8. Mark Cox, 113; 9. Mark Revels, 20;

Funny Car

1. Jimmy Rector, 210; 2. Dale Brand, 150; 3. Mark Thomas, 144; 4. Laurie Cannister, 95; 5. Rob Atchison, 83; 6. Terry McMillen, 80; 7. Ronnie Midyette, 79; 8. John Vouros, 52; 9. Terry Munroe, 51; 10. Paul Lee, 49.

Pro Stock

1. Brian Gahm, 158; 2. Carl Baker, 150; 3. Ron Miller, 144; 4. John Montecalvo, 124; 5. Chris Holbrook, 105; 6. John Bartunek, 90; 7. Doug Kirk, 86; 8. (tie) Jason Collins, 82; Hank Hill, 82; 10. Rick Jones, 75.

Results provided by the FastNews Network,
courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment
http://www.summitracing.com/

 

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