Chevy racers rule Saturday at Gateway

Jeremy McCague of Chamois, MO, won not one but three drag racing classes Saturday during Gateway Motorsports Park’s annual Mid-America Chevy Dealers Chevy Show. The Mid-America Chevy Dealers Chevy Show is an all-Chevrolet drag racing and car show event, part of the Menards Chevy Series. More than 749 cars participated in the weekend of drag racing.


McCague entered his faithful black 1969 Nova in the Super Pro and Pro classes and his recently purchased 1974 Vega wagon in the 6.0 Index class and went home with three trophies and three winner’s checks. McCague defeated Ron Hendrixon of St. Louis in the Pro final, then bested Cory Landolt in the Super Pro finale, and later jumped into his other car to trailer Rod Schaeffer in the final round of 6.0 Index eliminations.


Dennis Pearson of St. Peters, MO, defeated Mark Probst of Teutopolis, IL, in the 7.0 Index final. Geoff Dugopolski of Hazelwood, MO, won the Sportsman final over Blaine Miller of Evora, Kansas.


Paul Hagen of Fenton, MO, defeated Rob Henthorn in the Camaro Trophy class. Vince Nannini of Lake Bluff, IL, defeated Troy Finner in the Midwest Top Sportsman final. Dale Poore of Columbia, MO, won the Nostalgia Trophy class. Corvette Trophy honors went to Andrew Quinn of Monticello, IA. Tim Zeuner of Imperial, MO, won the Chevy Truck Trophy class.


Lily Kinne of Canton, IL, won the Jr. Dragster Thunder final and Iowa’s Alex Schmidt won the Jr. Dragster Lightning class.

Gateway names ‘National Dragster Challenge’ winners

Six racers took home coveted NHRA “Wally” trophies Sunday night, Oct. 15, at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL, as the drag strip hosted its annual National Dragster Challenge. The race capped a busy weekend of drag racing at GMP that saw more than 750 cars and motorcycles participate in quarter-mile and eighth-mile competition.


Bert Dixon had no plans of racing his 2003 GSXR in the National Dragster Challenge at GMP until a friend persuaded him to participate. Dixon, of Florissant, MO, defeated Charles Willis Sr. of Bunker Hill, IL, in the Super Pro Motorcycle finale and took home the statuette that honors the National Hot Rod Association’s founder, Wally Parks.


Doug Hermann of Decatur, IL, defeated Steve Pearson of St. Charles, MO, in the final round of Super Pro eliminations.

Tommy Barbero of Wentzville, MO, defeated Danny Ratulowski in the final round of Pro eliminations. 


Justin Rosenbaum of LeClaire, Iowa defeated Leah Albietz of Wentzville, MO, in the Sportsman final.


Lucas DeCook of Taylor Ridge, IL, defeated Briece Begyn of Andalusia, IL, in the Jr. Dragster Thunder final. Briece was one of five Begyns competing in the Jr. Dragster classes.


Bobby Ina won the Jr. Dragster Lightning final over Luke Albietz of Wentzville, MO.


The Heads-Up MO, Street Car final was won by Gene Crain of St. Louis over Jim Hollowell of Troy, IL.


Jason Phillips of Granite City, IL, won the High School Alumni class final over Mike Ratulowski of Highland, IL,.


The overall Mopar winner was Dan Smith of Affton, MO. Smith won the Mopar Left division over Bob Pleasant of St. Peters, IL, to face Jason Mallinckrodt of Troy, MO, in the overall final. Mallinckrodt defeated Tim Schaffer of Maryland Heights, MO, in the Mopar Right final. 

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Torrence crashes but keeps point lead

Steve Torrence rode out a crash in the second round on Sunday that demolished his Top Fuel dragsters but was in the cockpit of his back-up car for the third round.


Torrence was racing Richie Crampton in the second round when the left rear tire exploded, sending the dragster into the left concrete guardwall and then across track. Torrence emerged from the wreckage unscathed – and with the round-win -- and his crew immediately started working to get the back-up car ready.


“The Lord was looking out for us today,” Torrence said. “I felt the tire go. The car went left and then right. After that first hit, though, when it knocked the front end off, I was just along for the ride.”


Less than an hour and a half later, Torrence was again on the starting line. This time he lost to Brittany Force, however, and an engine explosion put a loud exclamation point on Torrence’s day.


“I’ve said it all year long,” Torrence said. “I wouldn’t trade these Capco guys for anyone. To get the back-up car assembled and to have it run 3.72, you don’t know how incredible that is.”


Brittany went on to take the final-round win against Shawn Langdon, but Torrence will lead the Top Fuel points by 37 when the Countdown resumes at Las Vegas on Oct. 27-29.


We’ll have all the Dallas results tomorrow.    

Well, she looked pretty for a little while

On Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Tim Wilkerson’s son Daniel was gunning for the Funny Car trophy. Although his 300+ mph Funny Car wasn't sporting the Summit Racing Texas special paint scheme that he started the weekend with, the Springfield, Illinois-based racer was there as part of the celebration of the new Summit Racing facility now open in nearby Arlington.


Daniel was wheeling his way down the racetrack on quite a pass in the first round of qualifying. It was so good, in fact, that he reset his career best numbers with his 3.987-second blast at 311.13 mph. A big boom and a bunch of flames extinguished the joy he might have felt under different circumstances, and the amiable young driver was forced to sit out the remainder of qualifying as his chassis was repaired and one of his dad's Funny Car carbon fiber bodies was set up for Sunday in Dallas.


"I robbed Peter – which would be Tim – to pay Paul – which would be me – to where I have enough stuff together to run tomorrow," said Daniel, who qualified in the No. 11 position.


On Sunday he beat Courtney Force in round one and then lost to Jack Beckman after Wilkerson’s car could not launch.   



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