Heartland Park Junior summary

McCLURE WINS TWICE AT HEARTLAND PARK JUNIOR DRAG SERIES TOPEKA, Kan. (July 23, 2005) - Austin McClure of Topeka, Kan. drove his junior dragster to victory lane twice this weekend during rounds four and five of the Heartland Park Topeka Junior...

McCLURE WINS TWICE AT HEARTLAND PARK JUNIOR DRAG SERIES

TOPEKA, Kan. (July 23, 2005) - Austin McClure of Topeka, Kan. drove his junior dragster to victory lane twice this weekend during rounds four and five of the Heartland Park Topeka Junior Drag Race Series Presented by Sunoco Race Fuels, contested Friday and Saturday, July 22 and 23.

On Friday night, McClure took home the trophy in Junior Dragster "C" (8-9 year olds) with a win in the final round over current point's leader Shelbie Epperson (Silver Lake, Kan.). Epperson left early in the finals, giving the win to McClure with his 13.345-second elapsed time at 48.39 MPH. Epperson's final round was 13.012 seconds at 48.81 MPH.

Saturday morning's conditions were less than ideal, with air temperatures hovering in mid-90's and the track temperature approaching 130 degrees. But McClure was up to the task again, winning the "C" category over Elijah Thorpe (Topeka, Kan.) Thorpe's dragster broke during the final round, giving the win light to McClure, who drove to a 13.221-second pass at 47.86 MPH.

The current points leader in Junior Dragster "B" (10-12 year olds), Gabriel Hinkle of Kansas City, Kan., maintained his lead after winning Friday's race and making the semifinal round on Saturday. Hinkle won Friday's race over Jacob Novacek (Wichita, Kan.), going 8.975-seconds at 71.85 MPH against Novacek's 9.235-second E.T. at 67.92 MPH.

Daniel Gilbert (Lone Jack, Mo.) drove to victory on Saturday in the "B" class, taking out Colt Chase (Rantoul, Kan.) in the final pairing. Gilbert went 8.973-seconds at 71.25 MPH, while Chase finished with a 9.504-second E.T. at 64.99 MPH.

The state of Missouri can claim two winners in the Junior Dragster "A" (13-17 year olds) category, with Michelle Cobb (Odessa, Mo.) and Katrina Billings (Kansas City, Mo.) standing atop the field on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Cobb went 8.070-seconds at 78.52 MPH to win Friday's final over Curtis Mertens (Kingman, Kan.) after Mertens went 8.018-seconds at 81.36 MPH.

Billings captured the final race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon, going 7.925-seconds at 80.59 MPH to defeat Dani Culp (Zenda, Kan.), who finished her day with a pass of 8.017-seconds at 79.52 MPH.

This weekend's racing action was the final series event before junior drag racers head to Denver, Colo. next weekend for the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Junior Drag Racing Western Conference Finals, the crowning event for junior racers in four of NHRA's seven racing divisions. Racers from all over the western United States will compete for savings bonds and a coveted NHRA "Wally" trophy, in addition to bragging rights for the year.

The Heartland Park Topeka Junior Drag Race Series Presented by Sunoco Race Fuels will continue with round six on Saturday, August 13, and conclude with race seven on Saturday, Oct. 15

Heartland Park Topeka, a multi-purpose racing facility located in Topeka, Kan. annually hosts NHRA POWERade drag racing, Championship OFF-Road Racing (CORR), and the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in addition to many other events throughout the race season.

-hpt-

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