CORDOVA, IL – Any question as to why the IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park was the most anticipated IHRA Dean Goforth – Cordova winnational event of the season was answered Saturday night.
With a massive crowd looking on and thousands around the world watching live via IHRA’s streaming webcast, Shawn Bowen and Dean Goforth collected big wins to highlight the return of IHRA national event drag racing to Cordova. Bowen won a thriller over Jason Rupert in Nitro Funny Car, his first with the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series, while Goforth won for the first time since 2009 in Pro Stock to lead the way at the IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park.
Mark Cox (Nitro Harley), Troy Martin (Nitro Altered) and Kat Moller (Jet Dragster) added wins in IHRA’s professional categories. In sportsman competition, Curt Fredrich (Top Sportsman), Anthony Layne (Top Dragster), Dean Mesenbring (Super Stock), Aaron Allison (Stock), Mike Eggleston (Quick Rod), Brian Folk (Super Rod) and Marc Erickson (Hot Rod) were all winners Saturday night.
Morgan grabbed the No. 14 qualifying spot for the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals on Saturday at Bandimere Speedway, but he’s hoping to make his Mustang better for final eliminations.
“We’ve got to go over everything and use just a little bit of common sense on what direction to go,” Morgan said. “That’s all we can do.”
Morgan’s best pass was 7.019 seconds at 196.16 mph, but he knows there is more in his race car. A mysterious ailment has plagued Morgan this weekend that caused his engine to briefly cut out during his qualifying passes.
DENVER, CO – Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Sr. is one of the hottest riders in Pro Stock Motorcycle, having reached the final round in each of the last two races, but he’d like to take one more step during the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals on Sunday at Bandimere Speedway.
“I would love to be back in the final,” Arana said, “and take a win.”
Arana qualified No. 9 in the thinner Denver air with a top pass of 7.251 seconds at 185.54 mph. He’ll square off against Matt Smith in the first round of eliminations Sunday after Smith qualified No. 8 with a run of 7.247 at 184.02 mph.
“We are OK with it,” Arana said. “We are still learning. I am behind a little bit on my clutch and the tune-up, but little by little I have been picking on it and it looks like it is coming around. I believe I just had a good run to get me a good day for Sunday. That’s all that counts on Sunday.”
DENVER, CO – If improvement in qualifying is any indication, ProtectTheHarvest.com/MAVTV Buell rider Adam Arana will be among the riders to beat at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals on Sunday at Bandimere Speedway.
Arana got quicker in every qualifying session, and his pass in Q4 was in the top eight.
“Improving feels great,” said Arana, who qualified No. 11. “We are definitely taking a step in the right direction. I’m only a little over two-hundredths slower than my dad and he has a fast bike, so we are moving in the right direction. It’s just taking a little time.”
DENVER, Co – Elite Motorsports Pro Stock driver Erica Enders-Stevens hopes to go 3-for-3 from the No. 3 qualifying spot when final eliminations for the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals begin on Sunday at Bandimere Speedway.
Enders-Stevens qualified No. 3 in Las Vegas … and won the race. She qualified No. 3 in Bristol … and won the race. Both times she started off eliminations by beating Larry Morgan in the first round.
Enders-Stevens qualified No. 3 here on Thunder Mountain and will race Morgan in the first round.
DENVER, CO – The thin air around Bandimere Speedway always plays tricks on NHRA Top Fuel teams, but GEICO/Lucas Oil driver Richie Crampton believes he and his Morgan Lucas Racing team are up to the task for the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals on Sunday.
“Running up here on the mountain is always tough for everybody,” Crampton said. “We’ve had our fair share of troubles here in qualifying, but so has everybody else.
“It should be a pretty standard Denver race day tomorrow, which means it’s anyone’s race. I’m confident that (crew chief) Aaron Brooks and the GEICO team are ready to go racing.”
Morrison, CO – Allen Johnson saw his bid for a fifth straight No. 1 spot at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals end on the final pass of the final qualifying session on Saturday at Bandimere Speedway, but a much more important streak remains very much alive for the “Magneti Marelli Quality Auto Parts Offered by Mopar” Dodge Dart Pro Stock driver. Johnson will start strong from the No. 2 position against Tommy Lee in the first round of Sunday eliminations as he seeks his third straight win and sixth in the last eight years at his primary sponsor Mopar’s headline event.
Johnson claimed the provisional pole during Friday’s second session with a 6.928-second elapsed time, paired with a track record speed of 198.90 mph. Johnson, as well as the rest of the Pro Stock field, was unable to improve that run on Saturday until Jason Line nudged Johnson down to the second position on the final pass of the day. The reigning king of Thunder Mountain posted a 6.966/198.41 and 6.982/197.83 in his two attempts on Saturday and feels optimistic about his chances of keeping his crown.