Motorsports

Sportsman Racing Recap: NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte

 

The sixth race of 24 in NHRA’s 2018 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series took place at zMAX Dragway near the motorsports hotbed of Charlotte, NC.

Smack-dab in the middle of three in a row, the action was hot. Catch up on the results in the professional classes here.

The Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Sportsman racing was just as riveting as what was going on in the Pro classes, and here’s how it went down in Charlotte.

Megan-Meyer,-Top-Alcohol-Dragster

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Megan Meyer – Top Alcohol Dragster

Megan Meyer scored one for Olathe, KS and for event sponsor NGK Spark Plugs with her victory over Dan Page in the Top Alcohol Dragster final. Meyer, the #1 qualifier at the event, left first with a .049-second reaction time to a .067, and she extended the lead at each increment on the racetrack. The final numbers were 5.192, 276.29 to 5.250, 276.97. It was Meyer’s third NHRA national event trophy.

Annie-Whiteley,-Top-Alcohol-Funny-Car

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Annie Whiteley – Top Alcohol Funny Car

The final round of Top Alcohol Funny Car pitted Grand Junction, CO’s Annie Whiteley against Whiteford, MD’s D.J. Cox. The pair were 1-1 in previous elimination rounds, and Whiteley tipped the odds in her favor with a 5.467-second win at 267.59 mph over Cox’s tire-shaking 6.296, 177.77. Whiteley, who earned her fifth national event trophy, showed great speed in her Chevrolet Camaro-bodied alcohol-fueled Funny Car; she recorded a 272.56 mph during the event that would stand as top speed of the meet.

Frank-Aragona,-Competition-Eliminator

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Frank Aragona – Competition Eliminator

Competition Eliminator points leader and top-qualifier Frank Aragona scored his second national event win on the season and 11th of his career with a final-round defeat of Al Ackerman. Aragon, who also won in Charlotte at the fall race in 2017, wheeled his E/DA rail to a 7.379 at 172.83 mph on the 7.96 index to negate Ackerman’s 7.983, 151.39 on an 8.40. It was Comp Eliminator trophy #10 for Aragona, who hails from Freehold, NJ.

Anthony-Bertozzi,-Super-Stock

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Anthony Bertozzi – Super Stock

Veteran Sportsman racer Anthony Bertozzi returned home to Ashland, VA, with the 19th national event trophy of his career following a win over red-lighting Bryan Worner, who missed the tree by just .004-second. Bertozzi, driving his SS/AS ’98 Grand Am, put a 9.411 (8.89 dial), 110.71 on the scoreboard. Worner’s official time was 10.285 (10.10) at 103.46 mph.

Thomas-Fletcher,-Stock-Eliminator

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Thomas Fletcher – Stock Eliminator

If the name looks familiar, that’s because Thomas Fletcher’s dad, Dan, has a monumental amount of national event victories on his scorecard (he scored #100 in Chicago last year). The younger Fletch, of Churchville, NY, got it done in Charlotte driving his FS/F ’15 Camaro, notching a victory over James Williamson, whose .114-second reaction time did not help his cause. Fletcher was .043 at the tree and clocked a 10.228 on his 10.21 dial to defeat Williamson’s breakout 11.485 (11.51).

Jonathan-Anderson,-Super-Comp

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Jonathan Anderson – Super Comp

A double-breakout in Super Comp sent Jonathan Anderson, of Williamson, GA, to the winner’s circle for the second time in his career. Anderson took a .003-second advantage at the starting line and turned an 8.891-mph pass on the 8.90 index into victory over Sherman Adcock’s 8.880, 166.91.

Ken-Griffiths,-Super-Gas

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Ken Griffiths – Super Gas

A .005-second red-light start for Steve Furr was the decider in the Super Gas final. Eden Prairie, MN’s Ken Griffiths went on to score his first national event win with a 9.884, 152.68 in his ’10 Corvette on the 9.90 index.

Holden-Laris,-Top-Dragster

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Holden Laris – Top Dragster

The road to the Top Dragster final was not exactly easy street for Raceland, LA’s Holden Laris, but mastery of the starting line contributed to a well-paved path. Laris opened eliminations with a .031-second reaction time but in later rounds clocked a .011, .007, and near-perfect .001 before using a .015 in the final, along with a 6.235 on his 6.21 dial at 208.71 mph, to defeat Larry Roberts’ 6.104 (6.08), 221.13. It was victory #2 for Laris.

Don-O'Neal,-Top-Sportsman

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Don O’Neal – Top Sportsman

He’s been at this racing deal a long time, but believe it or not, the Top Sportsman win in Charlotte was Don O’Neal’s first triumph at an NHRA national event. The Evansville, IN-based driver dialed a 6.89 and clocked a 6.903 at 193.29 to beat #1 qualifier Sandy Wilkins’ 6.627 (6.59) at 208.14.

Arthur-Kohn,-Factory-Stock-Showdown

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Arthur Kohn – Factory Stock Showdown

The SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown hosted a first-time winner in Charlotte when COPO Camaro campaigner Arthur “Archie” Kohn drove to a killer 8.087 at 168.56 mph to knock out former Showdown champ and fellow COPO driver Dave Barton’s 8.036, 167.84. Kohn had a rather large and immediate advantage as the two left the starting line, Kohn with a stellar .008-second reaction time to Barton’s uncharacteristic .070. In addition to the win being his first in the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown, it was also Kohn’s first trophy earned at a national event.

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