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NHRA Summit Series Final at Las Vegas | Pacific Division 7

NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Racing Series
Pacific Division 7
November 7, 2021

NHRA Summit Series Final at Las Vegas

by Kirk Walton / Photos by Bob Johnson Photography

The final NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Sportsman Motorcycle race was held at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on November 5th through 7th, 2021. This was race #7 in the NHRA Pacific Division. This race usually draws a huge field of competitors. This year was no exception with 611 entries of cars and motorcycles. The motorcycle class usually has it’s biggest field of the season at this race and this year was no exception. Thirty-three bikes showed up (no sleds this year) for the weekend. This races usually attracts others from the other divisions around North America to either one last shot at points or just one last race for the season. The weather was great all weekend with highs in the low 80’s and just light winds. We had the usual Pacific Division riders from Nevada, California, Arizona and Utah. We also had out of division racers from Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas and Alabama! So it was a fun and diverse field of bikes.





Friday qualifying was shuffled around a bit with Friday getting two qualifying runs instead of the single one originally scheduled. Anthony Vanetta of Reno, NV took the top spot in the first round with a nice .002 reaction time. With Donnie Durenberger, Dayton, MN with a .003 and Beau Drexler with a .004 for the top three.

In the second round of qualifying there was no change with the top three. We did have a crash when Dani Fredericks, Stansbury Park, UT spun out her Suzuki GSX-R 1000 on the line and got thrown on the track. Dani was ok but did hurt her knee. We want to wish Dani the best for a speedy recovery!

NHRA Dani Fredericks
Dani Fredericks

In the final session on Saturday, Marle Woolison, Tucson, AZ earned a new nickname from the D7 announcing crew when she went .000 on the tree and was named “Little Miss Perfect”! So she earned the first round bye. The rest of the top ten:

  1. 7130 Marle Woolison, Tucson AZ, ’81 GPZ 0.000
  2. 74 Anthony Vanetti, Reno NV, ’00 GSXR 0.002
  3. 53 Donnie Durenberger, Dayton MN, ’83 KZ 0.003
  4. 73 Kahea Woods, North Las Vegas NV, ’95 Suzuki 0.003
  5. E533 Beau Drexler, Ellis KS, ’90 ZX9 0.004
  6. 71 Tom Medlin, La Mirada CA, ’93 GSXR 0.006
  7. 7769 Michael Pinkston, Magna UT, ’12 ZX14R 0.008
  8. 72 Larry Mota, Orem UT, ’19 ZX14 0.010
  9. 706X Eric Jaquith, Queen Creek AZ, ’06 Hayabusa 0.010
  10. 788 Rick Newport, Bluffdale UT, ’95 GSXR 0.012
NHRA Marle Woolison
Marle Woolison

NHRA Summit Series – Sunday

First Round

Mitch Lippen, Cave Creek, AZ defeated Reggie Mackay, Lemon Grove, CA
Dial: 9.08 – 0.063 9.388 126.70  / Dial: 10.00 – 0.202 10.206 133.80

Lonnie Woodruff, Clearfield, UT won on the competition bye. Dani Fredericks, Stansbury Park, UT
Dial: 9.11 – 0.698 11.918  / No Time

Terry Turner, Bakersfield, CA lost to Ray Myers, Fresno, CA
Dial: 8.94 – 0.018 8.990 132.15 / Dial: 8.61 – 0.044 8.626 153.77

Harvey Deane, Pelham, AL lost to Eric Jaquith, Queen Creek, AZ
Dial: 8.35 – 0.133 8.567 149.28 / Dial: 9.76 0.052 9.768 125.00

Rick Newport, Bluffdale, UT defeated Tom Patterson, Tucson, AZ
Dial: 8.12 – 0.016 8.093 158.04 / Dial: 9.13 – 0.058 9.086 142.09

Tom Medlin, La Mirada, CA defeated Eric Danielson, Las Vegas, NV
Dial: 8.28 – 0.024 8.294 161.02 / Dial: 8.64 – 0.052 8.624 149.66

Kirk Walton, Salt Lake City, UT lost to Beau Drexler, Ellis, KS
Dial: 10.30 – 0.013 10.565 135.50 / Dial: 8.54 – 0.196 8.567 148.44

Gary Oaks, Las Vegas, NV defeated Ron Alves, Colusa, CA
Dial: 8.80 – 0.009 8.779 151.85 / Dial: 8.23 – 0.042 8.163 162.55

Anthony Vanetti, Reno, NV lost to Leo Shaver, Las Vegas, NV
Dial: 8.00 – 0.023 8.055 162.70 / Dial: 8.91 – 0.020 8.930 151.90

Jeff Durfey, West Jordan, UT was defeated by Donnie Durenberger, Dayton, MN
Dial: 9.19 – 0.036 9.199 143.00 /  Dial: 10.14 – 0.011 10.141 124.12

Justin Perea, Las Vegas, NV was defeated by Clayton Howey, Hanford, CA
Dial: 7.80 – 0.271 8.098 182.50 / Dial: 8.71 – 0.099 8.734 142.75

Michael Pinkston, Magna, UT was defeated by Ben Congdon, Maricopa, AZ
Dial: 8.83 – 0.010 8.915 155.79 / Dial: 9.28 – 0.036 9.317 144.27

Kahea Woods, North Las Vegas beat Brian Howey, Lemmore, CA
Dial: 8.74 – 0.039 8.843 137.26 / Dial: 9.67 – 0.344 9.774 142.55

Mathew Fredericks, Stansbury Park, UT lost to Bill Homuth, Hampshire, IL
Dial: 9.42 –  -0.045 9.409 136.12 / Dial: 9.42 – 0.153 9.419 135.08

Gary Stoffer, Gardnerville, NV defeated Jeremy Bates, Vineyard, UT
Dial: 8.90 – 0.067 8.870 148.27 / Dial: 9.49 – 0.057 9.455 138.47

Larry Mota, Orem, UT lost to Dave Wheeler, Murray, UT
Dial: 9.05 – 0.006 9.032 140.21 / Dial: 8.88 – 0.088 8.880 149.50

Marlene Woolison, Tucson, AZ Bye
Dial: 9.99 – 0.022 10.030 128.82

The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Pacific Division points race was over after the first round and Kahea Woods is your 2021 champion. With losses to Jeremy Bates and Larry Mota, Woods was crowned champ by 10 points over Bates and 23 over Mota. Click here for the full season point standings.

NHRA Kahea Woods

Second Round

Tom Medlin beat Mitch Lippen when Lippen brokeout due to a nice .004 light for Medlin vs. Lippen’s .048. Medlin runs 8.929 at 148.66 on the 8.29 dial. Lippen ran 9.043 at 146.70mph on a 9.08 dial. Lippen was on Larry Mota’s dragbike.

Dave Wheeler won on a redlight by Lonnie Woodruff (-.028).

Ray Myers won when Beau Drexler broke out by -.001. Myers had a .045 reaction to Drexler’s .066. Myers ran 8.622 at 155.27 on the 8.61. Drexler ran 8.549 at 152.61 on the 8.55.

Gary Oaks was a little behind at the start (.088 vs. .077) against Ben Congdon but Congdon took too much stripe and broke out by -.007 running 9.273 at 146.27 on the 9.28. Oaks also broke out but only by -.001 running 8.779 149.10 on the 8.78.

Gary Stoffer had a nice .015 light vs. Kahea Woods’ better .005 but took the win with a 8.884 at 147.62 (8.87) to Woods 8.824 at 150.60 (8.74).

Bill Homuth was having problems with the bike launching all weekend and couldn’t get it figured out this round. His light was .860 to Eric Jaquith’s .033. Jaquith cruised to a 9.822 at 123.78 (9.77) to Homuth’s 9.446 137.04 (9.39).

Donnie Durenberger used his reaction time advantage (031 vs .084) against Clayton Howey for the win. Durenberger ran 10.183 at 118.47 on the 10.11 to Howey’s 8.721 at 148.14 breakout on the the 8.74.

Rick Newport won when Marle Woolison broke out. She had the advantage off the line (.002 vs. .028) but ran -.018 under her dial of 10.01, running 9.992 at 130.27 to Newport’s 8.161 at 163.69 on the 8.10.

Leo Shaver had the bye run and ran .071 8.903 at 144.43 on the 8.92

Third Round

The third round saw two Las Vegas locals going at it but it was over quickly when Gary Oak redlighted by -.006, he ran it out to a 8.749 at 150.03 on the 8.77 dial. Shaver also ran it out with a .013 light and a 8.909 at 142.76 on the 8.91.

Dave Wheeler also won by a red light when Gary Stoffer had the -.042. Stoffer ran it out to a 8.893 at 141.94 on the 8.87. Wheeler ran it out too with a 8.821 at 152 on the 8.87 dial.

One more red light pair with Ray Myers winning over Eric Jaquith. Jaquith had a -.022 red and ran it out to a 9.731 at 136.03 on the 9.77. Myers had a .087 and ran right on his dial at 8.611 at 151.92.

Rick Newport had a competition bye when Tom Medlin couldn’t make the call. He ran 8.166 at 163.28 on the 8.10 with a .104 light.

Donnie Durenberger had the ladder bye and ran .020 on the reaction time with a 10.081 at 127.22 on the 10.12.

Quarterfinals

Ray Myers runs dead on again for the second straight race, running another 8.611 at 155.76 with a .030 light to Leo Shaver’s breakout time of 8.905 at 148.07 with a .049 light on the 8.91 dial in time.

Rick Newport won by a redlight by Donnie Durenberger (-.002). Newport ran 8.265 at 162.53 on the 8.16. Durenberger ran 10.146 at 119.01 on the 10.07 dial.

Dave Wheeler had the bye run with a .023 light and a 8.892 at 148.46 on the 8.84.

Semi-finals

Dave Wheeler had a great light of .008 to Ray Myers .162 to force Myers to breakout. Wheeler ran 8.902 at 134.32 off the gas while Myers ran 8.582 at 153.63 on the 8.60 dial in time.

Rick Newport had the bye and ran it out to a 8.134 at 164.81 on the 8.16 dial.

Final

In the final it was going to be two riders from not only Utah but just a few miles apart in Salt Lake county. It turned out to be a great final. Dave Wheeler got a small reaction time advantage with a .012 to Rick Newport’s .022. Wheeler ran dead on with a 8.827 at 149.66 on his 8.82. Newport was close with a 8.134 at 164.79 on the 8.12. The margin of victory was .0173. This was “Wheels” first Lucas Oil Divisional win and his first “Wally”.

NHRA Dave "Wheels" Wheeler

Wheeler said afterwards, “I definitely would like to thank my wife Liz of course and I want to thank everybody in the motorcycle class. A special thanks to Mike Pinkston because the bike would not be what it is today without him. I would not have been bracket racing without you sir [Kirk Walton]. I very much appreciate it.”

2021 Champion Kahea Woods also wanted to thank some people for his season. “All the Glory to God. Grace is God giving me what I don’t deserve. Mercy is God sparing me from what I do deserve. I am blessed to have won the Division 7 Motorcycle Championship. With a year that started off as, “we are not going to chase this thing” to, “let’s not let this slip away”.

We started off the year Helping out Chris Bostick with his PSM, but as Chris’s plans changed so did ours, so with nothing to do over the summer, Eddie Sharron had a bright idea and said “lets remodel the trailer” ha-ha in the middle of summer in Vegas. Well after that was all done. Eddie had another bright idea “let go to Phoenix” to test out the new trailer. Well, that’s when thing went sideways and we ended up doing ok, with a win and a runner-up. That tied us with my buddy Jeremy (Bates) for the points lead. Well then comes the Vegas double.

NHRA Dave "Wheels" Wheeler

Enter Larry Mota, that has already won the first race in Vegas back in March. Well, we got another blessing and won the first race of the weekend and Larry won the second. Well, none of us were planning on going to Tucson until Larry won, then he decided to go to Tucson. Well crap guess we got to go, so we drug Jeremy Bates with us. It’s a good thing we did as he stopped Larry in the final for the win…. phew.

Now it’s a knife fight in Vegas with 22 points between first and third. On to Vegas, the final race. Jeremy Bates and Larry Mota need to go 4 rounds to pass me, mind you the two of them are incredible racers and really nice guys as well. At the end of the day, we came out on top.

This year may have not been my best moment as a person, but my buddy Richard Trimmer reminded me of something on Sunday. Love! Love your brother just as Christ loved me. Thanks buddy!

To all the people and companies that support us thank you. And special thanks to teammates Rick Newport and Larry Mota.

  • Ernie Soliz / Torco USA
  • Laurie Dunlap / Web Camshafts
  • Bill & Tim Robinson / Robinson Industries
  • Dave Conforti / Worldwide Bearings
  • Rick Canning / CP-Carrillo
  • Rick Primeau / Primo Customs
  • Bradley Grothus / Grothus Dragbikes
  • David Liguori / Liguori Drag Racing
  • George Babor / BPM Racing Engines
  • Kelcey Gordon / NJK Leathers
  • Rick Milinazzo / DragStat
  • Mike Judson / Mickey Thompson Tires
  • Racers For Christ

Thanks to all the hard work by the NHRA Pacific Division crew, the D7 tracks and staff for a great season. Hopefully we can have an even better 2022.

Video of the final from the starting line

Special thanks to DragRaceCentral.com for keeping us all up to date with the round by round action, click here for coverage.

For those on NHRA.tv, there is coverage available under the “Sportsman” category.

Check out the season photo galleries by Bob Johnson at  https://bobjohnson.zenfolio.com/

– Kirk Walton
SMC #7151

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