Great Lakes Division 3 report

Final eliminations took place at the NHRA Division 3 Winston Drag Racing Series event at Great Lakes Dragaway. Like yesterday, the weather was sunny and somewhat cool. Temperatures were in the upper 60's to low 70's. Strong winds blew across...

Final eliminations took place at the NHRA Division 3 Winston Drag Racing Series event at Great Lakes Dragaway. Like yesterday, the weather was sunny and somewhat cool. Temperatures were in the upper 60's to low 70's. Strong winds blew across the track all day.

In Top Alcohol Dragster, the eliminations played out pretty much according to script. Shaun Bowen and Chuck Baird, the number one and two qualifiers each made it through their sides of the ladder to gain berths in the final. Bowen had runs of 5.95/234 and 6.00/233 while Baird had runs of 5.84 (a track record)/240 and 5.95/239. In the final, young Shaun Bowen seemed a bit anxious allowing the car to roll through the staging lights giving Baird a red light victory. Baird, either not knowing Bowen had fouled or wanting to give the audience a show, ran a 5.82/240 to reset the track TAD elapsed time record that he had set in the first round of elimination today.

Top Alcohol Funny Car eliminations deviated from the script. Tony Schumacher beat Roy Kadek in his first round run with a 6.22/218 while Tim Wilkerson, last year's Division 3 TAFC champion was upset by Donnie Frantz who ran a 6.14. Wilkerson, who had a burst panel pop at the top end, ran a 6.50. In the semi-final, Schumacher easily beat Frantz with a 6.15/228 when Frantz had to get out of the throttle early. On the other side of the ladder, John Powell easily beat Kim Fritts 6.09/229 to 7.15. Bob Gottschalk upset Denny (not Tom as I said in my previous post) Prochaska 6.31/221 to 7.52 even though Gottschalk shook and had to get out of the throttle and then back in it. In the semi-final, Powell threw away an excellent 6.09/229 when he fouled with a red light; Gottschalk could only muster a 6.34/221 but was awarded the victory nevertheless. The final was the best of the alcohol runs with Gottschalk edging out Schumacher 6.18/226 to 6.20/227.

In Competition Eliminator, Doug Engels took out number one qualifier Ron Krisher. The staging for this match was longer than normal as the NHRA officials doubled checked Engels index. When the tree did light, Krisher was over anxious and fouled with a red light. Engels continued on to the final round where he met Dave Billingsly, the number two qualifier. The final saw Billingsly (-0.57) take out Engles (-0.47). Billingsly was last year's Competition Eliminator victor at the U.S. Nationals.

Maybe I'll make the Division 3 point meet at U.S. 131 Dragway in Martin, Mich, but for sure I'll be at the U.S. National in Indianapolis Labor Day weekend. Reports will follow....

-- Phil _____________________________________________________________ Philip Gravel Lisle, Illinois pgravel@mcs.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Tim Wilkerson , John Powell