NORWALK, OH – Allen Johnson drove the Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart to the quarterfinal round of competition after taking out Chris McGaha in the first round of eliminations at the 11th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
Johnson came into raceday in the No. 9 spot and had a first round matchup against Chris McGaha. When Johnson reacted at the launch with a strong .022-second reaction time, his win light was already turned on in his lane because McGaha turned on the red light by .012-seconds. Despite the red light, Johnson still crossed the finish line at Summit Motorsports Park first with a 6.627-second pass at 209.43 mph over McGaha’s 6.670, 208.91.
Beckman also won two Sundays ago in Englishtown, and his Norwalk win was the ninth in a row overall for Mopar Funny Cars from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), as well as their 11th in 12 races to date on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. In addition, the win meant that a Mopar Funny Car or Top Fuel dragster has claimed a win in a total of 13 consecutive races, dating to 2016.
With the conclusion of the Norwalk event, the current season has reached its halfway point and the end of a grueling four-race stretch.
Beckman turned in a pass of 4.073 seconds at 311.85 mph from the left lane in the final round, then provided some fireworks with an explosion just past the finish line. Beckman’s lap bettered Robert Hight’s 6.673 at 98.53, as Hight smoked the tires when the light turned green. Beckman’s reaction time was .060, while Hight was .053 on the Christmas Tree.
Consistent, plodding Beckman with Chandler’s Infinite Hero team get last laugh at Norwalk with third straight final, second event title
NORWALK, OH – Jack Beckman and Terry Chandler’s Infinite Hero Funny Car team doubled-up on Sunday by winning the NHRA Summit Nationals title then added a undesired starring role in the highlight video when their engine let loose in a fireball just passed the finish line.
“We were planning to bring out a new car anyway to test here tomorrow so we’ll just go back to the pit and strip whatever’s left off this one,” said co-crew chief Neal Strausbaugh who collaborated with Dean Antonelli and John Medlen to send Beckman down the track four times Sunday with less than stellar times in the ever-changing weather conditions that included 4.060, 4.078, 4.074 and 4.073 in the championship round.
NORWALK, OH – Although he didn’t match his winning effort from 2014 at this track, Top Dragster driver Mike Coughlin represented his decorated racing family well Sunday by reaching the third of five rounds in his competitive eliminator class.
Coughlin, the 2007 and 2009 D3 Top Sportsman champ, was anxious to add a Top Dragster trophy from Norwalk to the Top Sportsman one he captured here three years ago, but he ultimately fell a little short. Nevertheless, he was pleased with the performance of his JEGS.com dragster and the work put in by his crew.
“This class is so tough and that makes it exciting, especially as the rounds tick by,” said Coughlin, who won the season-opening Winternationals in February in Pomona, Calif. “My guys — Tony Collier, Ryan Micke andGreg Cody continue to give me a perfect car every round of every race and I’m having a blast.
NORWALK, OH – After finishing as runner-up at the last Pro Stock Motorcycle tour stop in Englishtown, N.J., Hector Arana Jr. was hoping to take his Lucas Oil Racing TV Buell one step further at this weekend’s 11th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
Instead, he ended his day in the semifinals, a respectable result that lifted him to within 11 points of a top-three perch in the Mello Yello championship points.
“Not a bad race at all,” Arana said. “We’re going rounds, we’re running fast, the bike is very consistent and we’re right there where we want to be in relation to the field. We need to keep working hard and find that little bit extra and we’ll be up there challenging for the top spot.”
NORWALK, OH – Auto Club of Southern California driver Robert Hight put together another strong performance with his Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car, but fell short of his first victory of 2017 in the final round of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals on Sunday at Summit Motorsports Park.
Hight had the quickest car in two of the first three rounds of eliminations, carrying over a steady performance from qualifying, where he ended up with the second-quickest elapsed time.
But an issue with the clutch caused Hight’s Auto Club car to shake and get sideways in the final round, and he had to lift the throttle before falling short of what would have been his first victory of the season and first at Norwalk.
NORWALK, OH – Local hero Jeg Coughlin Jr. bowed out of the Pro Stock action a little earlier than expected Sunday, giving away a quarterfinal contest to part-timer John Gaydosh when his JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro shook its rear tires so hard just off the starting line that Coughlin had to give up the run.
In the end, it was Gaydosh winning with a 6.695 at 207.18 mph, a considerably slower elapsed time than Coughlin had posted in a first-round victory over Alex Laughlin when he went 6.676 at 209.26 mph.
” Hard to say what happened at this point,” Coughlin said. “We ran that 6.56 in Round 1 and that was third quickest out of the 16 cars running that session, so we came back up for E2 full of confidence. We just didn’t make the right decisions. I think the guys were trying to be conservative. Nothing against John Gaydosh but we had him covered from a performance standpoint by a good bit.