Budds Creek President's Cup Nationals preview

IHRA Heads to Maryland International Raceway for the 14th Annual Torco Race Fuels President's Cup Nationals With only two races remaining on the 2005 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series schedule, championship races are coming down to the wire and...

IHRA Heads to Maryland International Raceway for the 14th Annual Torco Race Fuels President's Cup Nationals

With only two races remaining on the 2005 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series schedule, championship races are coming down to the wire and clear favorites are taking hold. IHRA heads to Budds Creek, Md. and Maryland International Raceway for the 14th Annual Torco Race Fuels President's Cup Nationals, taking one step further in settling some of these questions.

In Top Fuel, Clay Millican (Drummonds, Tenn.) is winning the war on his way to a fifth consecutive world championship. He holds a nearly 200 point lead over Doug Foley (Sewell, N.J.), who most recently won at the Amalie Oil North American Nationals at New England Dragway. Millican has won seven national events this year while Foley has taken home two Ironmen. Rounding out the top five are Bruce Litton (Indianapolis, Ind.) in third, Rick Cooper (Boise, Idaho) in fourth, and Louie Allison (Denver, Colo.) in fifth.

In Torco Pro Modfied, Mike Castellana (Westbury, N.Y.) continues to be the dark horse favorite to win his first championship. Castellana did just enough at New England to keep Shannon Jenkins (Tuscaloosa, Ala.), his closest competition, at bay. Carl Spiering (Jordan Station, Ont.) continues his strong showing for 2005, and currently resides in third. Rounding out the top five are Jim Halsey (Street, Md.) in fourth and defending world champion Mike Janis (Lancaster, N.Y.) Steve Bareman (Holland, Mich.), taking over for Al Billes in the Jim Oddy Summit entry, reset the IHRA world speed record at New England Dragway when he clocked a pass at 236.46 mph.

In Funny Car, Jim Sickles (Caledonia, N.Y.) has climbed back into the championship race as he won his third Ironman of the year at New England. Heading into Budds Creek, Sickles is only 66 points behind the defending two-time back to back world champion Rob Atchison (London, Ont.). Sickles had one of the most consistent cars in the field, firing 5.70s all weekend and resetting the IHRA world speed record at 248.75 mph. Fred Tigges (Holbrook, Mass.) also had a hand in rewriting the Funny Car record book when he set the ET record at 5.702. Rounding out the top five are Mark Thomas (Louisville, Ohio), Thomas Carter (Cuero, Texas), and Terry McMillen (Elkhart, Ind.)

In Torco Pro Stock, the excitement builds on its way to MIR as IHRA and Torco Race Fuels gets ready to host the Torco Pro Stock Showdown. This $52,000 total purse, $20,000 to win shootout pits the top eight qualifiers all battling it out for supremacy. It is not a coincidence that the racers vying for the Torco Pro Stock Showdown are also the same ones who have been fighting for the championship all year. Steve Spiess (Manhattan, Ill.) appears to have his first title well in hand as his lead of 287 points seems almost insurmountable at this point. Spiess also set the ET record when he clocked a pass at 6.380 seconds when he was paired with Brian Gahm (Lucasville, Ohio) during qualifying, although he was the second racer to hit that mark as Gahm clocked a 6.395 in a holeshot win. Thus Gahm became the first member in the Lenco 6.30s Club. With his win at New England Dragway, Frank Gugliotta (Mt. Airy, Md.) comes back to his home turf second in the points. Gugliotta also ran in the 6.30s, and became the first Torco Pro Stock racer in the recently unveiled Sonny's 220 MPH club when he set the world record at 220.26 mph. Spiess also joined the club when he ran 220.04 mph during the first round of eliminations. Rounding out the top five in points are Robert Patrick (Fredericksburg, Va.) in third, Rick Jones (Galesburg, Ill.) in fourth, and Dan Seamon (Belleville, Ohio) in fifth.

-ihra-

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Series Drag
Drivers Mike Janis , Mark Thomas , Clay Millican , Bruce Litton , Robert Patrick , Louie Allison , Shannon Jenkins , Al Billes , Jim Sickles , Doug Foley , Jim Halsey , Steve Spiess , Frank Gugliotta , Terry McMillen