CREASY CLINCHES CHAMPIONSHIP IN ROCKINGHAM Millican, Wyatt, Thomas, Montecalvo and Cannon also claim Ironmen at World Finals ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (October 23, 2006) -- Jack Wyatt won the battle, but Dale Creasy Jr. won the war. Wyatt defeated...
CREASY CLINCHES CHAMPIONSHIP IN ROCKINGHAM
Millican, Wyatt, Thomas, Montecalvo and Cannon also claim Ironmen at World Finals
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (October 23, 2006) -- Jack Wyatt won the battle, but Dale Creasy Jr. won the war.
Wyatt defeated Creasy in the final round to claim the Knoll Gas-Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car Ironman at the Universal Technical Institute World Finals in Rockingham, but by advancing to the final Creasy had already put the '06 world championship away.
All Creasy had to do was not oil the track in the final and the championship was his. In the final he lit the red-light and idled down the track while Wyatt blasted to his second national event win of the season at Rockingham Dragway.
"This was a great way to end the season," Wyatt said. "Dale Creasy and the Creasy Family Racing Team deserve this championship and they are going to be great representatives for IHRA. We did everything we could this weekend, but with Dale on the other side of the ladder we had to win the race and get some help. We did what we had to do, but so did Dale."
Wyatt knocked off Bob Gilbertson (Charlotte, N.C.) in the first round before defeating Paul Lee in the final. Creasy knocked off Tim Wilkerson in the first round before dispatching Andy Kelly in the semifinals to clinch the championship...as long as he could keep the track dry in the final.
"That was the first time I was relieved when I red-lit because I knew we could shut it off," Creasy said. "We were taking a shot at the track because we knew if the car hooked up we would be okay, but we red-lit and shot it down. Then it was official."
Clay Millican (Drummonds, Tenn.) won his 50th career Top Fuel Ironman three weeks after clinching his sixth consecutive Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel world championship in Budds Creek, Md.
Millican won his 10th career Ironman at Rockingham when he defeated Rick Cooper in the final round. He defeated T.J. Zizzo in the first round of eliminations before Jim Cavaleri was a no-show against him in the semifinal. He then won a tight final round against Cooper. Millican had a .057 reaction time and posted a 4.642 in the final round against Cooper while Cooper registered a .117 reaction time and a 4.655.
"There is just something special about this place, it fits me like a glove," Millican said. "When we were coming up the return road Mike Kloeber and I were trying to figure out how much money we've won at this place. I have no idea how much it is, but it's a lot."
Mark Thomas (Louisville, Ohio) put the finishing touch on his championship weekend when he defeated Paul Noakes to claim the Alcohol Funny Car Ironman Monday. Thomas clinched his sixth career world championship in the class earlier during the event when Rob Atchison, his closest competition in the points chase, fell to Fred Tigges in the first round of eliminations.
Rockingham has been a hot and cold track for Thomas during his career. He won his first career national event at "The Rock," but let a world championship slip through his fingers there in 2004.
"This is great," Thomas said. "I love this place. I won my first event here and have a lot of history in Rockingham. It was tough here in '04, but I still love this track."
Despite clinching the world championship after the first round, Thomas wanted to close the '06 season in the Winner's Circle.
"This is the way to end the season," he said. "Even though we knew we had the title wrapped up we really wanted to win this race. That was what we were focusing on. Round-by-round...that's how we always approach things and that's how we won this championship."
Scott Cannon Jr. (Lyman, S.C.) ended the season on a positive note when he claimed the Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified Ironman in Rockingham. Cannon has had one of the quickest and most consistent Pro Mod cars on the IHRA circuit this season, but small things always prevented him from taking home the trophy. That changed at the World Finals.
"I was starting to wonder if I was ever going to win one of these," Cannon said while holding the Ironman. "We've had a great car all year, but little things always did us in. This is a great way to end the season."
Cannon defeated Tommy D'Aprile in the first round, Danny Rowe in the quarterfinals and Josh Hernandez, who set the Pro Mod world record with a 5.990 earlier during the event, in the semifinals. He then took the win when Ray Commisso lit the red-light against him in the final round.
John Montecalvo (Center Moriches, N.Y.) won for the first time since winning the Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway during the 2004 season. He took home the '06 World Finals Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock Ironman when he knocked off Rob Mansfield in the final.
"It's been awhile, but this feels great," Montecalvo said. "Rob has such a strong car and Jeff is one of the best drivers in the business. I did not have a tough road, that's for sure."
Montecalvo won with a 6.370 in the final round against a tire-shaking Mansfield.
The Universal Technical Institute World Finals, the last event on the 2006 IHRA eMax Drag Racing Series, airs on SPEED Monday, October 30, at 5 p.m. and Saturday, December 2 at 6 p.m.