Lawson Claims First National Event Title; Dale Creasy Jr.'s replacement driver captures Nitro Funny Car title at IHRA World Finals Rockingham, NC (Oct. 19, 2008) -- Two-time defending IHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion Dale Creasy Jr. saw...
Lawson Claims First National Event Title; Dale Creasy Jr.'s replacement driver captures Nitro Funny Car title at IHRA World Finals
Rockingham, NC (Oct. 19, 2008) -- Two-time defending IHRA Nitro Funny Car world champion Dale Creasy Jr. saw his season end due to injuries sustained in an accident at the June Rocky Mountain Nationals in Edmonton. John Lawson, who drove the Creasy Family Motorsports #2 car at select races last season, slid into the top car's seat to finish out the year. He ended the season with a flourish, claiming the Ironman at the season-ending IHRA World Finals in Rockingham.
Lawson tool a solo pass to the championship when Jack Wyatt, the other finalist, could not answer the call for the final round.
Earlier in the event Terry Haddock (Woodville, Wash.) clinched his first career Nitro Funny Car world championship by knocking off his closest competition, Matt Hagan, in the first round of eliminations.
"It really hasn't sunk in yet," Haddock said of the championship. "I'll probably be crying like a baby later. But I've been doing this for a long time and my dream has come true. It feels awesome."
Tim Boychuk (Edmonton, Alb.) won his second consecutive Top Fuel national event championship, knocking off Mike Strasburg in the final round. Like Lawson, Boychuck is also a replacement driver. He stepped in behind the wheel of the Paton Family Motorsports entry when Todd Paton, the previous driver, surrendered the driving duties.
He defeated Bobby Lagana Jr. in the semifinals before posting a 4.853/273.05 pass in the final round to stop a tire-shaking Strasburg.
Earlier in the day rookie Spencer Massey clinched his first career Top Fuel world championship when he knocked off Haddock in the first round. Haddock was making his first career Top Fuel start, but Massey posted a 4.748 at 307.16 to secure the round win and the championship.
"This is unbelievable," Massey said. "I really have to thank Mitch King for giving me this opportunity. I didn't even know I was going to be driving a Top Fuel car this season until I got my license six days before the season started, so this is really surprising."
Defending Pro Modified world champion Scott Cannon Jr. struggled most of the IHRA season, but he ended things in style. He was the first alternate into the Sunday eliminations field, but parlayed that into an Ironman when he defeated Burton Auxier in the final round. Cannon posted sub-six second runs in three of the four elimination rounds to claim the event championship. In the final against Auxier his 5.979 at 238.01 easily defeated auxier's tire-shaking 10.697.
Kenny Lang watched Mike Castellana fall in the first round of eliminations, ending any chance he had to catch Lang in the championship points chase. It was Lang's first career world championship.
Laurie Cannister (Johnstown, Ohio) put the exclamation point on her dominant season by defeating Dr. Tom Carter to claim her eighth Alcohol Funny Car Ironman of the season. Cannister headed to Rockingham with the world championship already in her pocket, but she still drove past Dale Brand and Neal Parker before knocking off Carter in the final with a 5.856 at 242.23 mph.
John Montecalvo (Center Moriches, N.Y.) defeated Spring Nationals champion Elijah Morton in the Pro Stock final to win the IHRA World Finals title. Montecalvo has another score to settle. Monday he will square off with Pete Berner, the 2008 World Champion, in the final of the IHRA Pro Stock Showdown. The winner will collect the $50,000 first prize while the runner-up will claim $20,000.