Ledford takes Top Dragster win in Stanton STANTON, Mich. - Former IHRA Top Dragster World Champion Jeff Ledford took home his first win on the NHRA side during the Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Mid-Michigan Motorplex in ...
Ledford takes Top Dragster win in Stanton
STANTON, Mich. - Former IHRA Top Dragster World Champion Jeff Ledford took home his first win on the NHRA side during the Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Mid-Michigan Motorplex in Stanton, Mich., June 21-24. Not only was the win at his home track, but to make it sweeter, the track is owned by his parents, making it the ultimate 'home win' for the Rislone Engine Treatment backed racer.
Ledford, the 1992 IHRA Top Dragster World Champ, qualified his Rislone Engine Treatment backed dragster No. 11 with a 7.381 second pass at 169.04 mph. Racers in Top Dragster try to run as quick as possible in qualifying to make the 32 car field, then race each other on a handicaped start based on the car's dial-in or elapsed time prediction.
In Saturday's second qualifying session, it looked as if Ledford's weekend had taken a turn for the worse. Ledford hurt an engine on that pass, and was forced to go home and get a backup motor he had at his shop. The team with the help of some other racers got the engine installed in time to run the final qualifier, but a faulty kill switch ended the run prematurely, giving Ledford very limited prediction data going into round one.
"The weekend started off terrible," said Ledford. "We had put our nitrous motor in back in Chicago, but it broke a rod the first qualifier. Luckily it happened early enough in the weekend we had enough time to change hte motor. I had run the motor we put in the car earlier in the year, so we had some data on it. We got it back in the car in time to make the third qualifier, but the kill switch shook off the car, so the data we got was limited. We went into Sunday pretty green. Luckily we got a break in the first round. We struggled early but finished strong. The car just ran flawlessly on Sunday."
Ledford recieved the break he needed in round one as his opponent Dean McIlvane fouled out, giving the automatic win to Ledford. Ledford went on to run a 7.418 at 181.70 mph. In round two, Ledford ran a 7.424 on a 7.42 dial to defeat Jim Hughes' 7.267 on a 7.25 dial. Ledford's semifinal opponent was John Parkes. Ledford started his run with a stellar .004 reaction time (.000 is perfect), running a 7.458 on his 7.42 dial to Parkes' 7.495 on his 7.45 dial.
In the final, Ledford squared off with Jeff Brown. Both drivers posted great reaction times, with Brown taking a slight advantage with a .006 to Ledford's right-there .014, but it was Ledford getting to the stripe first, taking the win by a mere .006 of a second with a 7.482 on his 7.45 dial to Brown's 7.346 at on a 7.30 dial.
"I had raced Jeff the weekend before," stated Ledford. "I learned a little bit from that matchup that I was able to use to my advantage in the final. I dialed my car up and he couldn't run his dial and I was able to take him through for the win. I didn't cut my best light in the final, but I drove the finish line the best in the final. I only took six thousandths stripe. He's been pretty hot in Top Dragster this past month, and I wanted to beat him pretty bad. Living only five miles from the track made the win that much sweeter. We were very happy to get the win for Rislone as well."
The win moves him to fourth in NHRA Div. 3 standings.