HomeSanctionsAHDRAAHDRA ST. Louis Wrap Up

AHDRA ST. Louis Wrap Up

ROMINE AND VANCIL LEAVE GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY WITH TWO-POINT SPREAD FOR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE.

Photos by Matt Polito www.dragbikephotos.com

AHDRA held its first national points meet at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, IL on September 3rd and 4th, and provided onlookers with some of the best two-wheeled action of the season.

The Surdyke Midwest Nationals presented by Drag Specialties brought forth over 200 competitors, many of them in tight contention for national championship titles.

None would prove to be tighter than the Screamin’ Eagle Top Fuel competition that left Mike Romine of Sturgis, MI, and Doug Vancil of Albuquerque with only two points separating them from the national championship and with only a pair of events left in the 2005 series.

Romine and Vancil qualified third and fourth respectively at Gateway Raceway and both made their way through the full field of Nitro Harleys to meet in the final on Sunday. Romine got out of the gate first with a .072 reaction and in a good race to the finish; he beat Vancil with a 6.619 at 212.53 mph. Vancil’s final score was a .105, 6.651 at 209.65 mph.

Romine also netted the top speed of the event with a 219.54 mph blast during Saturday’s qualifying session, while #5 qualifier Jay Turner of Whitsett, NC, landed the low E.T. of the weekend with a 6.539.


Top Fuel Final

Although Romine and Vancil head up the #1 and #2 spots in the standings, there is still a third contender for the championship bid, and he’s a force to be reckoned with.

Mike Lehman of W. Palm Beach, FL, qualified #1 at the St. Louis outing with a 6.631 best lap. Vancil ended Lehman’s chance for the event win when they met in the semifinal round, but Lehman is still mathematically in the points race (#3 position) and good performances from him at AHDRA’s final two races could rattle this leader board.

Lehman has another “catch the leader” contest under way in the JIMS Pro Fuel category.

He qualified second in the field at Gateway with a 6.889 best, while fellow double-class rider Jay Turner grabbed the pole with a 6.661 best.

Chris Streeter of Cleveland, OH, ran a 6.900 in qualifying for the third spot and sent Lehman to the trailer in Sunday’s semifinal round of eliminations, thereby setting up a final matchup with Turner.

Streeter’s 7.083 at 191.40 mph didn’t hold off the 6.788 charge from Turner at 206.92 mph for the win, but Streeter held on to the top spot in the national standings. Lehman is in the #2 seat and needs to make up an 85-point margin to catch Streeter’s lead.


Pro Fuel Final

In S & S Pro Stock, Paul Smith of Uniontown, OH, and Mark Collier of Roanoke Rapids, NC, made up the entire field at Gateway. Smith was the #1 qualifier of the pair with 7.686 at 171.42 mph numbers to a troubled 9.733 best qualifying lap from Collier.

Collier had more trouble in Sunday’s final round giving Smith the win with a 7.680 at 174.44 mph, his best marks of the weekend on the Jon Miller tuned-Thiels Wheels bike.

Dale Raudenbush of Old Zionsville, PA, leads the S & S Pro Stock standings, and reportedly left the bike out of competition at Gateway due to mechanical problems. Whether Raudenbush and the Old Glory team get the bike back on the track or not, it will not hamper their spot in the standings, which is solidly in place for the 2005 championship.

In S&S Pro Gas, another who can be deemed solidly in place, prior to this season’s finale, is Mike Lozano of San Antonio, TX, who recorded another win for the ’05 season after defeating Fred Collis of Clearwater, FL, in the final at Gateway.

Lozano, the #1 qualifier, ran the best E.T. of the meet in this final with a 7.564 at 173.85 mph to a 7.615 at 177.98 mph from Collis. Collis recorded the top speed of the event with a 178.19 mph pass in the semifinal round of eliminations.


Pro Gas Final

In Kresto Pro Drag competition, it was all Schmidt and Breckenridge at Gateway, and it appears the two will battle until the end for the championship title.
Phil Schmidt of Orangevale, CA, was the #1 qualifier with his one and only lap in Saturday’s qualifying session. His 7.276 at 180.60 mph was good enough for that top spot and would ultimately be the quickest and fastest numbers of the weekend.

John Breckenridge of Sultan, WA, was the #2 qualifier with a 7.643 best. Despite the holeshot advantage in the final with Schmidt on Sunday, the .078, 7.838 at 175.23 mph was not enough to catch Schmidt’s .172, 7.471 at 175.23 mph winning pass.

Schmidt is out front in the points standings, and fewer than 80 points in front of Breckenridge.

Mark Venia of Oregon, OH, led the Samson Pro Modified qualifying field at Gateway after an 8.224 best of the day. Junior Pippin of Conyers, GA, was the #2 after an 8.267 pass.

The pair made their way through the field on Sunday for the final round. Pippin regained championship form, laying down his best numbers of the day at 8.206 at 157.47 mph_ good enough to defeat Venia, who ran an 8.234 at 155.92 mph.

Pippin has a very comfortable seat on top of the championship standings, while Canadian Doug Ainsworth makes up the #2 spot. Ainsworth did not compete at Gateway and will need a stellar showing at the final two events for any hope of interrupting Pippin’s plans for a back-to-back championship title.

Travis Lummus of Asheville, NC, has mathematically captured the G2 Street Pro Championship, but it hasn’t slowed the stamina of newcomer Zach Johnson, another North Carolina native.

Johnson landed the top qualifying spot at Gateway with an 8.960 at 151.43 mph, his first official 8-second numbers of his young career and the quickest and fastest numbers recorded from the field over the weekend.

Lummus came as close as it gets to matching Johnson’s qualifying numbers with an 8.962 for the #2 qualifying spot.

Paired for a sure side-by-side race in Sunday’s final, Lummus was off the line first with a .141 reaction to a slower .168 start from Johnson, but the race for the win light ended early for Lummus at half track when his bike slowed to a coast and Johnson grabbed another impressive number at 8.999, 150.72 mph for the win_his third of the season, moving him up to the #2 spot in the national standings.


Street Pro Final

In Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod racing, Jamie McNaughton and Larry Edmondson Jr. are #1 and #2 respectively in the points standings and made up the final round pairing.

McNaughton, of Milwaukee, was the #1 qualifier and Edmondson, of Battleground, IN, grabbed the #2 spot before the final-round pairing that netted McNaughton another win with a 9.526 at 140.42 mph over a nearly identical 9.529 at 136.77 mph finish for Edmondson. McNaughton’s points lead is substantial; barring any problems at the final two meets, he has the early advantage for the championship title.

Michael Ray of Memphis was the S&S 124 Challenge #1 qualifier and Joe Sternotti of Blackwood, NJ, grabbed the #2 position before the two went head to head in Sunday’s final round. Sternotti left too soon, drawing the red light foul and following it with a one- wheel stand that_remarkably_he wrestled safely back to the surface. Meanwhile, Ray had a slow ride to the win light with an 11.639 at 83.77 mph.

Sternotti has a slight lead in the national standings, in which the best 10 races of 13 in the points series are accumulated. With the Gateway meet marking the 11th race of the season, racers now begin dropping their lowest scored events to achieve their points totals.

With the current best of ten numbers in Dragmasters Hot Street racing, Mike Roberts has the commanding lead in championship marks. Roberts, of Akron, OH, was the #1 qualifier at Gateway, but he had problems in Sunday’s opening round and ended his day quickly, marking a rare occurrence for this top contender.

Meanwhile, the #3 qualifier, Bruce Croneberger of Cressona, PA, and Dan Norlin (#4 qualifier) of Aurora, CO, marched ahead in the field_minus Roberts_to meet in the final on Sunday. In a good race to the stripe, Croneberger got there first with a 10.207 at 129.78 mph to a 10.215 at 131.63 mph from Norlin.
Blake Holliday of N. Springfield, PA, made his way to the final in the Rucker Performance Super Gas field, racing against a 9.70 index. His opponent in the final was Jim Kinney of Perry, MI, who came up short of the win with a 9.814 to a closer-to-the- number 9.759 from Holliday.

Holliday is currently second in the national standings behind leader Brett DeGood of Mountain Top, PA.

While Blake sits in the #2 position in the Super Gas standings, his talented spouse, Julia, currently has a seat at the top of the leader board in the S & S Super Sport points series, despite a loss in St. Louis to Mike Harrison of Uniontown, OH.

If Julia can hold off tough competition from Greg Krenik, currently in second place, and reigning champion Dave Hope in the #3 spot, she will take the championship title_a feat that has been achieved by only one other female in AHDRA competition. Karen Wagner of Escondido, CA, was the first female to take a championship title in 2003. Coincidentally, it too was in the Super Sport class.

For the first time, Gateway International Raceway boasted a husband-wife pairing on the starting line for the #1 qualifier rider’s introductions. Eleanor Walker of Brandon, MS, was the #1 qualifier in Performance Corner Super Eliminator racing, joining her husband, Charlie Walker, who had achieved the same qualifying honors in the Super Sport field.

Although neither made it to the winner’s circle, both were proud_and deservedly so_to be standing side-by-side on the starting line for the opening ceremony festivities that also marked a 60th birthday celebration for Eleanor.

It was Dennis Copley of Mogadore, OH, and Greg Kuypers of Bradenton, FL, who made it to the Performance Corner Super Eliminator final against a 10.90 index. Kuypers had the holeshot advantage, but Copley had the better number with a 10.918 win light to a 10.961 from Kuypers.

Kuypers has the #2 spot in national points standings behind the “set to repeat” reigning champ, Donnie Huffman of Lakeland, FL.

Huffman had a memorable weekend of racing at Gateway with a #1 qualifying spot in Syn3 ET_winning the rounds needed in the process of elimination that began with over 50 contestants, which resulted in seven rounds of competition on Sunday.

Huffman made it to that seventh and final round and defeated Ohio racer Don Stratton Jr. for the win.

He went on to take another winning trophy and check from the inaugural national event at Gateway_this time in GMA X-Mod racing, a class that was run as exhibition in St. Louis for possible consideration as a new class. Bill Gardner of GMA stepped up to sponsor the trial run in St. Louis and Huffman kindly obliged during his double victory winner’s circle celebration.

In the SEP 11.50 index field, Dan DeGood of Mountain Top, PA, scored the magic number with a perfect 11.50 in Saturday’s second qualifying session, before the “young gun” from Florida, Bill Rowe Jr., answered with an 11.50 of his own in the third and final qualifying round. The MPH breaks the tie, and DeGood came away with the top qualifying honors.

While things started out “perfectly” for DeGood and Rowe, they loaded the trailers early after Bill Draffin and Clay Wilwert grabbed the semifinal win lights from the pair.

Draffin, of Tampa, FL, came away with a near-perfect number himself in the final_an 11.507 for the win over Wilwert’s 11.472.

The SEP points standings move this report back to Donnie Huffman. He’s the leader in this category as well as the Super Eliminator category. Bill Rowe Jr. makes up the #2 spot in SEP standings, and Wayne Pugh is still in the running with the #3 seat in the championship lineup.

With the leader boards changing rapidly with every round of racing, there’s plenty of high-paced and thrilling competition ahead in the final two events of the 2005 Screamin’ Eagle Performance Parts Championship Series.

The series heads to Rockingham, NC, on October 15th and 16th for the Screamin’ Eagle Performance Parts Nationals presented by Drag Specialties. This will be followed by the grand finale at the JIMS Las Vegas Nationals presented by Barnett Clutches on November 12th and 13th at The Strip-Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

For more information on the AHDRA Screamin’ Eagle Performance Parts national points series, please contact 336-924-2095 or visit www.ahdra.com.

Photos by Matt Polito www.dragbikephotos.com

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