Rockingham: Final eliminations summary

WYATT WINS THIRD STRAIGHT IN ROCKINGHAM WHILE HONORING VIRGINIA TECH Lagana (Top Fuel), Cannon Jr. (Pro Modified), Montecalvo (Pro Stock) and Thomas (Alcohol Funny Car) also claim Ironmen at IHRA Spring Nationals ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (April 22,...


Lagana (Top Fuel), Cannon Jr. (Pro Modified), Montecalvo (Pro Stock) and Thomas (Alcohol Funny Car) also claim Ironmen at IHRA Spring Nationals

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (April 22, 2007) - Rockingham Dragway has two events on the IHRA Nitro Jam(tm) season schedule. Jack Wyatt probably wishes it was more.

Wyatt, from Corydon, Iowa, won his third national event in as many attempts at the fabled quarter-mile strip in southern North Carolina, defeating Jon Capps in the final round to capture the Knoll-Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car Ironman. Wyatt swept both events in Rockingham last season as well, winning in the spring and the fall.

It was even more special for Wyatt as he painted a tribute to the Virginia Tech shooting victims on his car for the weekend.

"We were driving down here when we heard what happened," Wyatt said. "We were listening to the coverage on XM Radio and every time we stopped at a truck stop would get updates. It's unbelievable something like that could happen. As I found out more what happened I just really knew I had to do something, and when we got here I started looking for a vinyl shop. If us winning this race helped one person I will feel good about it. If we don't get a sponsor we are going to run the Virginia Tech logo on our car for the rest of the season."

T.J. Zizzo, Lincolnshire, Ill., claimed the Knoll-Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel Ironman in Rockingham when he drove past Bobby Lagana Jr., Scarsdale, N.Y., with the Ironman on the line in Rockingham. Zizzo nosed past Litton in the points chase by slipping by Lagana in a very close final round.

"I knew it would be a driver's race today," Zizzo said. "Usually it is 90 percent crew and 10 percent driver, but today I knew I would have to be on my game. And that's what happened...I had to drive the car to win. It feels good when you are able to do that because you know you did your job."

Scott Cannon Jr., from Lyman, S.C., tore down the Torco's Pro Modified competition the morning after IHRA technical officials tore down his car. When he qualified almost a tenth faster than the rest of the field the officials were making sure everything was legit with his engine combination. He passed the thorough inspection with flying colors, then dominated the field in the elimination rounds.

Cannon Jr. drove past Kenny Lang in the final round, carding a 6.020 at 236.17 mph to top Lang's tire shaking 7.669 at 124.66.

"My crew gave me a great race car this weekend," Cannon said. "When you have as good a car as I had you just don't want to screw it up. That is the worst feeling, when the crew does a good job and the driver doesn't."

Defending Alcohol Funny Car world champion Mark Thomas, from Louisville, Ohio, found the winner's circle at Rockingham Dragway by stopping No. 1 qualifier Terry Munroe, from Beaver, Pa., in the final round. Thomas always enjoys racing at "The Rock."

"I really love it here," Thomas said. "It wouldn't bother me if we raced here every weekend. The crowd is always great and the track is always in top condition. We have won four or five times here and have been to a bunch of finals. There is something special about this place."

John Montecalvo, Center Moriches, N.Y., advanced to his second consecutive Torco's Pro Stock final round to open the season. After falling short to Robert Patrick in San Antonio, Montecalvo was able to finish the deal when he dispatched defending world champion Pete Berner, Crete, Ill., in the final round. Montecalvo also won the Ironman at the World Finals in Rockingham last season.

"This is a great facility and we love racing here," Montecalvo said. "That's two in a row for us in Rockingham and two finals in a row to open the season. We have to keep the momentum going."

The Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam(tm) will make its third stop of the season at Tulsa Raceway Park May 25 - 27 for the Skull Shine Sooner Nationals presented by Wolverine and Academy Sports + Outdoors.

-credit: ihra

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Series Drag
Drivers Mark Thomas , Robert Patrick , John Montecalvo , Jack Wyatt , Jon Capps , Kenny Lang