LUCAS OIL SERIES RACERS WHITELEY, HARKER ADD TO SEASON WIN TOTALS AT HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA GLENDORA, Calif. (June 1, 2009) -- The O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan., has been a good race for Top Alcohol Dragster racer Jim...
LUCAS OIL SERIES RACERS WHITELEY, HARKER ADD TO SEASON WIN TOTALS AT HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA
GLENDORA, Calif. (June 1, 2009) -- The O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan., has been a good race for Top Alcohol Dragster racer Jim Whiteley and Top Alcohol Funny Car pilot Steve Harker. Both racers marked their second wins of the season at Heartland Park Topeka over the weekend as well as their second wins at that event.
The Top Alcohol Dragster final between Whiteley and Tom Conway of Bixby, Okla., really came down to a battle of ace alcohol dragster tuners: Norm Grimes making the calls for Whiteley and Conway wrenching his own car. With Grimes calling the shots, Whitely wheels what is arguably the quickest and fastest blown dragster out there and Conway is among the top a-fuel crew chiefs around. With virtually identical reaction times in the final (.045 for Whiteley and .044 for Conway), Whiteley blasted a 5.361-second, 265.74 mph pass that was just enough to cover Conway's 5.369-second, 264.23 mph lap. Whiteley opened the year with a win in Pomona, Calif., and won Topeka in 2007.
Harker, who started eliminations from the No. 1 qualifier spot, beat Sean O'Bannon, Ontario, Calif., in the final round. Harker, who lives in Gainesville, Ga., outran O'Bannon with a 5.656-second, 253.47 mph pass to O'Bannon's 5.724-second, 253.37 mph effort. Harker scored his first win of the year at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway and upped his total NHRA national event wins to four with the win in Topeka. Harker was also the defending event champion. This was O'Bannon's first final-round appearance of the year at a national event.
Bruno Massel, Woodbridge, Ill., earned the win in Comp Eliminator when standout racer David Rampy, Piedmont, Ala., red-lighted in the final and Friendswood, Texas's Gary Emmons beat Lloyd Wofford, Jonesboro, Ark., for the Super Stock win. Adam Davis, Cullman, Ala., bested S.E. Buchanan of Hot Springs, Ark., in the Stock Eliminator final; Ryan Herem, Lancaster, Calif., beat Bob Fuller, Rogers, Ark., for the Super Comp win; and Tommy Phillips, Forney, Texas, recorded his 19th NHRA national event win when he ousted Rick Cates, Canyon, Texas, in the Super Gas final. Super Street competitor Tim Forshee, Wichita, Kan., took the win over Brandon Kanan of Basehor, Kan.