Rockingham: Lizzard Racing TS Quick 8 report

ROCKINGHAM, NC - Drag racing is a sport of skill and one of luck. Then again, it can be a matter of just being in the right place at the right time. Just ask Philip Osborne of Naples, Florida. Photo:Lizzard Racing Osborne, 41, a...

ROCKINGHAM, NC - Drag racing is a sport of skill and one of luck. Then again, it can be a matter of just being in the right place at the right time. Just ask Philip Osborne of Naples, Florida.


Photo:Lizzard Racing

Osborne, 41, a self-employed boat dealership owner, scored an interesting victory in the first installment of the LIZZARD RACING Top Sportsman Quick Eight, The interesting part, is that he scored the victory without having reached the final round. During the semi-finals, the first pair of cars left before the tree was activated drawing a double disqualification. That effectively insured that the other semi-final match between Osborne and Clarence Marsh was promoted to final round status.

Osborne claimed the victory when Marsh also left before the tree was activated.

Osborne, who is in his sophomore season of Top Sportsman, was clueless to what had transpired and later found out that he was declared the champion.

"My crew didn't bother to tell me until well after everything was determined to be final," explained Osborne, who credits fellow racers Dave Thomasino and Mike Guenther with his success. "My crew busted their butts to get us here. We broke on our first qualifying run, and we basically went into the final session in the dark. It all worked out in the end."

Eliminations opened with the low qualifier Kenny Rucker repelling an upset-minded Mike Guenther, who was piloting a nitrous-injected 1937 Chevy. The classic hot rod left the line first with a .448 reaction time, but it was the sports car of Rucker storming by to secure the victory with a 6.703/204.45. Guenther lifted early and went through the motions with an 8.273/117.99.

Clarence Marsh, Jr. scored an upset as Thomas Dunford experienced problems and failed to take the tree. Marsh's late-model Corvette was not to be denied as he claimed the victory with an 8.241/113.81.

The '57 Chevy enthusiasts were rewarded with a special treat John Benoit of Montpelier, Vt.-based blistered Bill Davis in an apparent mismatch. The race was over on the starting line as Benoit, who was already at a tremendous advantage, left on Davis by a .193 margin and scored the victory with a 6.854/197.80. Davis absorbed the loss with a 8.607/132.79.

The Oldsmobile fans were treated to a treat as Osborne overcame a holeshot from Tori Cagle. Osborne's supercharged Cutlass had to play catch up as Cagle outreacted him by .07. The horsepower went to the favor Osborne and as a result, he tracked down Cagle with a 7.322/151.24. Cagle lost with a 7.516/183.34.

The semi-finals opened with one of the more interesting drag races ever contested in the sport.

Rucker and Benoit both left before the tree was activated, effectively drawing a double disqualification.

That elevated Osborne and Marsh as the final round. Marsh granted Osborne his first career LIZZARD RACING ENGINES Top Sportsman Quick Eight by also falling into the same trap and leaving before the tree was activated. Osborne soloed to victory with a 7.040/193.29.

-HC

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