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The Freedom Racing Engines Hot August Nights are in the books and if a race name can be found that that is more fitting I do not know how. With the temps in the 90’s and the humidity mirroring that number, the weather made for a sticky weekend Aug. 26-28 at Gateway Motorsports Park.
The action on track was equally hot and the drivers were ready for battle early on. PRO Gas started off as usual. Competition just keeps getting tighter and that was proven when Rob Davis unloaded, running .014 over to take just the fifth spot. Jerry Wilson took the point running dead on 0 to lead Phil Stamps, Kenny Robinson, Bob Perkins, and Davis into race day.
Semifinal pairings had Gary Wildy lined up with Hillyer but a red light sealed his fate and the other side paired up Bob Sarkasian and Wilson with Sarkasion advancing when Wilson slowed.
The final was all Hillyer as he took the tree and led Sarkasian to the stripe.
Pro Comp was up next and Ohio native Verne Griffith laid down a dead on 7 lap on his A/C index only to find Adam Satterfield besting that effort running dead on 5 to take his D/C Bantam to the point followed by Tim Reis, Nigel Robbins, and Chris Nowack.
Semifinal pairings had Gary Leever advancing over Satterfield to meet Shane Bowman who rode the bye to the final.
The final was all Leever as he took the tree pushing Bowman under to take the win.
PRO 7.5 drivers showed the same qualifying efforts as the rest and it was going to take a near perfect lap to reach the top. Darrell Wathen wasted no time getting there as he busted out a 7.505 to take the lead into race day with Justin Shaffer nipping at his heels running dead on 7 to take second. David Shaffer took third followed by Jarrod Bradshaw and Kerry Millet.
Semifinal pairings rolled up with Kerry Millet drilling the tree and advancing over “Boom Boom” Leonard meeting David Shaffer who rode the bye into the final.
Shaffer took a narrow starting line advantage and was able to carry it across the stripe taking the win.
PRO 7.0 was last on the list and we literally saved the best for the end. Longtime NDRL racer Gordon Horn blazed a path to the top with a .003 lap barely taking the lead over Cory Millet’s .004. Steve Walczak, Robbie Freels, and Billy Smith rounded out the top 5.
Semifinal pairings had Millet killing the tree and advancing over Walczak and Horn taking the bye into the final.
Horn left first with Millet right on his heels but Millet was on him running .016 over to push Horn under by .001 to take the win.
The next event on the NDRL-IAM championship series will be at US 131 Motorsports Park, Martin, Mich., for the Scottrods Hotrod Nationals on September 9-10.