EDMONTON, Alberta (July 4, 2004) - Harold Martin in Pro Modified and Jeff Burnett in Funny Car earned their first career event wins Sunday during the Second Annual Western RV Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Northern Provincial Pipelines and...
EDMONTON, Alberta (July 4, 2004) - Harold Martin in Pro Modified and Jeff Burnett in Funny Car earned their first career event wins Sunday during the Second Annual Western RV Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Northern Provincial Pipelines and Edson Chrysler at Budweiser Motorsports Park in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Clay Millican, Drummonds, Tenn., Top Fuel and Brian Gahm, Lucasville, Ohio, were winners in their respective categories.
Millican, of Drummonds, Tenn., claimed his fifth No. 1 Top Fuel qualifying spot in five events during the Sunday morning session and met Bruce Litton in round one. Millican, with a near-perfect reaction time, 0.002, defeated Litton, who is currently second in the point standings. During that same round, Terry Capp, of Edmonton, Alberta, set the Budweiser Motorsports Park track speed record with a 319.37 mph pass, 4.751 ET, to defeat fellow Canadian Todd Paton.
Capp then went on to face Tim Cullinan in round two. Cullinan smoked the tires at 200-feet and Capp went on to another great run at 4.969 seconds to advance to the final round. Millican had a bye run in the semifinals when Chris Karamesines failed to make the round. The defending champ went on to make the quickest Top Fuel pass of the weekend at 4.575 seconds. This was an important run as it gave him lane choice versus Capp in the final. Millican took the win as Capp left early and drew the red light.
"I really wanted to win this race," said Millican. "When we lost to Bruce (Litton) here last year, the car was ready, but I just gave it away so this is definitely one race I wanted to win for my crew. We cracked the chassis before the final round and the guys, as always, really stepped it up and got the car ready."
Martin began the day qualified second in the Pro Modified class and faced Glen Kerunsky in round one. Kerunsky, of Calgary, Alberta, defeated Martin to win the first race of the season in San Antonio, Texas. Martin took the round this time running a 6.307, 225.56. He took out defending world champion Mitch Stott in round two with a track record-setting 6.223 ET and his brother Quain Stott in the semifinals. Martin met Calgary's Rick DiStefano in the final and ran a 6.818 en route to his first career win and increase lead in the point standings.
"It's really been a journey for this team," said Martin, of West Bloomfield, Mich. "This is a great feeling.
"Last season we were getting close. We still have a long way to go, but we took out some tough competitors today including the defending world champion (Mitch Stott). If you are going to be the champ, you have to beat the champ."
Number one qualifier DiStefano defeated Jason Syvertson in round one and John Scialpi in round two. He then faced former world champion Shannon Jenkins. DiStefano used a starting line advantage and 6.262 ET to defeat the "Iceman." He advanced to his second final round at this event in two years.
In Funny Car, Burnett, of Brisbane, Australia, defeated Lloyd Dyck in round and Winnipeg's Scott McVey in round two. Burnett then faced defending world champion Rob Atchison in the semifinals. It seemed Atchison would again find himself in the final round, but Burnett pulled off the upset running a 5.909 ET to take the win.
"I was worried about the round against Atchison," said Burnett. "We knew we had to step up the car to beat Rob and it was a big round for us."
In the final round, Burnett faced Terry McMillen. McMillen had the starting line advantage, but Burnett outran him with a 6.024 ET to win his first IHRA national event.
"The car has been running well and we were confident going into the final round. It feels great to get into the winners circle and hopefully we'll get there a few more times."
Number three qualifier McMillen defeated Calgary's Roger Bateman in round one with a 6.048 ET at 235.35 mph. He then defeated Danny Fillion in round two and met current points leader Mark Thomas in the semifinals. McMillen took out Thomas in a good race, ending Thomas' four-event win streak.
Defending Sunoco Pro Stock world champion Gahm, already with an event win this season, took out Tony Gillig in the first round, then Ron Miller and Pete Berner to advance to the finals against John Montecalvo. Of the three rounds, he laid down three great reaction times: 0.019, 0.020, 0.020. The final round was no different for Gahm. He used a 0.021 reaction time to defeat Montecalvo who actually had a better ET.
"This event was tough for us all weekend," said Gahm. "With the rain and only getting two qualifying sessions, this win is a good one.
"In the final round, I told my crew to get me close and I'd do the rest. My crew never gives up and their hard work paid off."
Montecalvo began the day defeating first round opponent Larry O'Brien with a 6.597 ET at 211.61 mph. He had a bye run in round two and defeated Steve Spiess in the third round with a track record-setting 6.575 ET. Spiess set the track speed record in round one with a 212.46.
The next event on the 2004 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series is the 2nd annual Motor City Nationals at Milan Dragway, Milan, Mich., July 16 - 18, 2004.