Summit Motorsports Park Wins!

By Jay Hullinger & photos by Kevin Pepera

Summit Motorsports Park scores come from behind Team Championship at NHRA Summit Racing Series North Central Division Finals
Nick Hastings, Sportsman Champion, basks in the glory with his teammates in the winner's circle
In dramatic come from behind fashion Summit Motorsports Park scored the Team Championship at the 37th annual NHRA Summit Racing Series North Central Division Finals at Lucas Oil Raceway at IndianapolisSummit Motorsports Park had two winners that will go to Pomona for the Summit Racing Series National Championships including Craig Adams in Super Pro Motorcycle and Nick Hastings in Sportsman.  They will be joined by Super Pro winner Adam Cline of Beech Bend Raceway Park and Kip Norup the Pro ET winner racing for Byron Dragway.

Milan Dragway held the team point lead after the first round of competition on Saturday with Byron Dragway and National Trail tied for second, defending team champion Beech Bend fourth and Mid-Michigan Motorplex and Summit Motorsports Park tied for fifth.  Byron then jumped into the lead with a strong showing in Pro ET and after round four of Super Pro they held a nine point lead over a surging Gateway Motorsports Park and at that stage Summit Motorsports Park was still tied with Beech Bend in fifth place, 12 points off of the lead.
Credit goes to Team Summit’s Super Pro Motorcycle riders as they had five of the seven quarter-finalists in the category scoring some big time points for the team.  Rick Poole, the 2010 Division Champion was runner-up in Super Pro Motorcycle and Chris Bear the Super Pro runner-up contributed valuable round points to help secure the track’s second team championship.
In the Super Pro final Bear was .002 from perfect with a .001 to .029 starting line advantage, but his .001 under 4.739 break out turned on the win light for Cline who was 5.730 on his 5.72 dial-in.  Cline wheeled his ’78 Malibu prepared by he and his grand paw Trance Baker at Baker’s Collision Center to the eight round Super Pro win.
In the semi-final round Cline took out 1994 Super Pro champion Bill Curtis and Bear got around Gary May to lock up the championship for his Summit Motorsports Park team.  Jason Phillips and Dirk Sutton racing for Gateway, Andy Wroblewski running for Osceola Dragway and Jason Betz on the Muncie Dragway team were quarter-finalists.A tradition started at Norwalk, an ice water bath, to celebrate a Champion's victory!
There were 251 Pro ET competitors in round one with an all Ford final round as Norup drove his ’97 T-Bird to the win over Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis’ Allyn Neff.  Norup held a .032 to .043 reaction time advantage at the start and took the stripe with a 6.284 on his 6.26 dial-in.  Norup ousted Mike Tewell from Crossroads Dragway and Neff moved on to the final with a semi-final round win over Team Muncie’s Royce Osborne.
Quarter-finalists included Bob Savage from Pacemakers Dragway Park, Lucas Walker representing the new Beacon Dragway, Luke Sexton racing for Lyons Raceway Park and Brian Cireddu who contributed to Team Summit’s team championship.
Hastings, a former Jr. Dragster Eastern Conference champion and two-time VP Race of Champions winner (2009 & 2010) edged Jim Harness, Jr. from Bunker Hill Dragstrip for the Sportsman title and a trip to Pomona.  Hastings had taken out Shawn Morgan, Harness’ team mate from Bunker Hill in the semi-final round.
Jacob Murphy fell to Hastings in the quarter-final round as did Terry McGee to Harness.  McGee racing for National Trail Raceway was making his 37th straight Division 3 ET Finals appearance.
Adams becomes the third Super Pro Motorcycle Division Champion racing out of Summit Motorsports Park joining his brother Kevin Adams the 2011 champion and Poole the 2010 champion.  A .001 foul by Poole in the final handed the win to teammate Craig Adams who was .009 on the tree.  Poole defeated Kevin Adams in the semi-final round in a double breakout affair and Craig Adams had a perfect reaction time as Kevin Hoskins of Kil-Kare Dragway was .003 red.
Craig Adams opened the semi-final round by taking out Joe Novak of Milan Dragway, Hoskins defeated Summit’s Perry Paugh and in an unavoidable teammate match Kevin Adams took out Ed James who broke out with an 8.458 on his 8.47 dial-in.
Mike Ratalowski representing Gateway Motorsports Park and a graduate this year from Triad High School in Troy, Ill. captured the Division 3 High School championship contested as part of the event.  Ratalowski is currently a freshman at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.  The final was a double breakout with Ratalowski taking the win in his ’97 Camaro with a 15.783 on his 15.87 against Kieffer Simpson from host track Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.  Both semi-finalists Kyler Smith and Dustin Eveland were racing for National Trail Raceway.
Coles County Dragway USA track operator Rod Viehland emerged as winner of the Track Manager race with Clayton Bruss an event worker at Great Lakes Dragaway runner-up in his first racing experience.
Judging for the National DRAGSTER Team Spirit Award was more difficult and closer than ever with Crossroads Dragway selected as the winner.  Track operators Randy and Tami Peters were decked out as Pirates leading the charge of the Team from Terre Haute, Indiana.
Best Appearing awards were presented Sunday with Will Crawford’s ’12 Diamond dragster from Milan Dragway chosen in Super Pro; Mike Nagai’s ’02 Cavalier from Tri-State Dragway was the Pro ET winner; Chad Eaton’s ’85 Monte Carlo SS from Crossroads Dragway was picked in Sportsman and the Kawasaki ridden by Bob Foster receiving the Best Appearing Bike award.  Tyler Schmitt’s team from Osceola Dragway was chosen as the Best Appearing Team and Dominic Locilento, Jr.’s ’12 M&M Dragster from Team Summit Motorsports Park was recognized as the Best Engineered Entry.
A total of 755 entries made first round call at the event that produced not one, but two perfect runs during its packed 3-days of racing under near perfect conditions.  Wayne Adams who won the VP Racing Fuels Race of Champions representing Tri-State Dragway recorded the first perfect run during the semi-final round of Friday’s featured race and Duffy Baldauf racing for Muncie Dragway recorded his perfect run during Saturday morning’s Dialing for Dollars round in the Sportsman bracket.

2013 Team Points
  Team Hometown Pts
1 Summit Motorsports Park Norwalk, OH 56
2 Byron Dragway Byron, IL 53
3 Bunker Hill Dragstrip Bunker Hill, IN 42
4 Gateway Motorsports Park Madison, IL 41
5 Beech Bend Raceway Park Bowling Green, KY        39
6 Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis             Clermont, IN 38
7 Milan Dragway Milan, MI 37
  Mid-Michigan Moorplex Stanton, MI 37
9 National Trail Raceway Columbus, OH 36
10 Crossroads Dragway Terre Haute, IN 32
  Tri-State Dragway Hamilton, OH 32
12 Muncie Dragway Muncie, IN 31
13 Route 66 Raceway Joilet, IL 29
  Kil-Kare Dragway Xenia, OH 29
15 Ohio Valley Dragway Louisville, KY 27
  Edgewater Sports Park Cleves, OH 27
17 Pacemakers Dragway Park Mt Vernon, OH 25
18 Lyons Raceway Park Lyons, IN 24
19 Coles County Dragway USA Charleston, IL 19
20 Central Illinois Dragway Havana, IL 16
21 Osceola Dragway Osceola, IN 15
22 Beacon Dragway Paducah, KY 10
23 Great Lakes Dragway Union Grove, WI 9
24 Chandler Motorsports Park Chandler, IN 8

For complete round-by-round results coverage of the event go to DragRaceCentral.

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