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Big Paydays, Family Success Highlight IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular at US131

MARTIN, MI — Four drivers raced to $5,000 victories, while a couple of families had weekends to remember at the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit Sportsman Spectacular event at US131 Motorsports Park.

John Linnaberry from Taylor, Mich., and Jason Ford from Beaver Creek, Ontario, Canada earned $5,000 top prizes for the Top and Mod divisions on Moser Engineering Saturday. David Sherbondy from Laporte, Ind., and Maverick Green from Grand Haven, Mich., captured the $5,000 wins during Battle Born Batteries Sunday.

Linnaberry had the fast reaction time of .004 coupled with a 5.811-second elapsed time at 111.28 mph against a 5.80 dial-in. His final-round opponent, Tom Aretakis Jr. from Ray, Mich., had 6.453 run at 105.49 mph against a 6.45 dial-in with a .017 reaction time.

Ford won on a holeshot with a .009 reaction time to deny Green in Saturday’s final. Ford’s winning pass was 6.382 seconds at 103.64 mph against a 6.37 dial-in. Green came off the line in .043 and then ran 5.863 seconds at 118.58. mph against a 5.84 dial-in.

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Lancaster Dragway at NYIRP Features Full Schedule

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — New owners, new excitement, same great racing.

Lancaster Dragway at New York International Raceway Park, the former Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway, can continue to be a facility that’s beloved by locals. Veteran drag racers Mike Swinarski and Vito Antonicelli and his wife, Sylvia, recently purchased the upstate New York track, located just 15 miles outside Buffalo, earlier this year.

One of the first orders of business was signing a new sanctioning agreement with the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA). With a full schedule of events, the facility features an 1/8-mile drag strip and a 5/8-mile paved oval, which was originally a 1/2-mile dirt track.

The track hosts some of the top racing events in Western New York. The oval features the 31st annual U.S. Open in September with a variety from Late Models to TQ Midgets on the program. The Buffalo Street Outlaws are held at the drag strip in addition to the IHRA Summit SuperSeries, the largest and most prestigious bracket racing program in drag racing.

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Canadian Showplace Signs Multi-Year Renewal

WEST PALM BEACH, FL — Eastbound Dragway, a true showplace in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, has entered into a multi-year sanctioning agreement with the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA).

The 1/8-mile dragway is part of Eastbound International Speedway and Concert Park, a state-of-the-art, 55-acre Motorsport Park. In addition to drag racing, the complex features NASCAR and INEX-sanctioned racing on a 3/8-mile asphalt track, Monster Trucks, motocross and a world-class musical entertainment venue.

Located 1,200 miles northeast of Maine in Avondale NL, the picturesque community is named for the meeting of the waters. At Eastbound, there is often the meeting of the racers who compete in everything from dragsters and stock cars to motorcycles and snowmobiles.

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World Champion Beard, Hometown Driver Powell Headline IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular Winners at Keystone

NEW ALEXANDRIA, PA — Three-time International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) World Champion Michael Beard returned to the winners circle Saturday at the IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular event at Keystone Raceway Park.

Beard from Galloway, Ohio flexed his Mopar muscle, driving his 1980 Plymouth Volare to the Mod division victory. He won on a holeshot with a .019 reaction time to best JT Harrold from Pittsburgh.

Beard posted a 6.604-second pass at 101.10 mph against a 6.61 dial-in. Harrold in a 1971 Chevy Nova went 6.524 at 104.80 against a 6.53 dial-in.

Hometown driver Matt Powell doubled up by winning the Moser Engineering Sunday $5,000-to-win top prize for the Top division and also winning the Motorcycle class. AJ Casini captured the $5,000-to-win prize for the Top division for Battle Born Batteries Sunday.

Powell drove his Oldsmobile Cutlass to the Top victory when final-round opponent Nick Bowman from Delmont, Pa., red-lighted. Powell had a 7.298 elapsed time at 93.44 mph against a 7.31 dial-in. Bowman, looking to repeat after his 2018 win at Keystone, had a 7.947-second pass in his Plymouth Duster after his foul.

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Soucek’s Big Day Highlights IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular at Dragway 42

WEST SALEM, OH — Joe Soucek Jr. doubled up on final-round appearances in the Top and Mod divisions at the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit Sportsman Spectacular at Dragway 42.

During Moser Engineering Saturday, Soucek captured the $5,000-to-win prize for winning the Mod division and finished runner-up to Bob Lykins in the $5,000-to-win Top division. Rain forced the stoppage of Battle Born Batteries Sunday with the prize money split in the Top and Mod divisions.

Soucek, a Rittman, Ohio racer, had a winning package Saturday with a 6.609-second pass at 102.23 mph against a 6.60 dial-in and a .008 reaction time. Runner-up A.J. Buchanan from Vickery, Ohio finished with a 6.327 elapsed time at 107.99 against a 6.33 dial-in and a .0274 reaction time.

Lykins, from Fairborn, Ohio, scored the Top win when Soucek red-lighted by just -.003 of a second. Lykins’ final run included a 6.482 elapsed time at 102.69 against a 6.49 dial-in. Soucek’s foul cost him as he matched his 6.60 dial-in at 102.48 mph.

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Michigan Track Undergoes Renovation, Joins IHRA Family

WEST PALM BEACH, FL — Lapeer International Dragway underwent a complete ground-up renovation in 2018 and the improvements keep coming.

Among those, the track has entered into a sanctioning agreement with the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) and will participate in the IHRA Summit SuperSeries program, the largest and most prestigious program in bracket racing.

Located in rural Northeastern Michigan, just 15 minutes outside the city of Lapeer, the 1/4-mile track is also relatively close to the major metropolitan areas of Flint and Detroit.

Track owner Bill Jennings, who bought the track prior to the 2018 season, spent over $2.5 million in renovations to the over half-century old track. It included tearing up the old racing surface and replacing it with concrete through the eighth-mile and asphalt for the other eighth-mile.

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Historic Delaware Track Gets Off to Another Strong Start

WEST PALM BEACH, FL — US 13 Dragway recently kicked off its season in a big way. After renewing its commitment to the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) with a new sanctioning agreement, the Delmar, Delaware track enjoyed a big crowd over a sunny weekend.

The historic facility, which opened in 1963, features a quarter-mile drag strip and a half-mile clay oval known as Delaware International Speedway.  For track owner Charlie Cathell, being a part of the IHRA and the Summit SuperSeries makes sense.

The 76-year-old Cathell was one of the earliest supporters of bracket racing. The IHRA Summit SuperSeries program with track champions qualifying for the IHRA Summit World Finals in Memphis is similar to a program ran decades ago at his dirt track.

“A bracket program was something we had initially in the 70s,” he said. “We were also affiliated with a dirt organization where they had a program if you qualified at your local dirt track, you went to their version of the world finals at Syracuse. It was something good to offer the local racers.

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