Series spotlight - Pete Berner

Pro Stock title up for grabs; Pete Berner's weekend didn't quite turn out as expected. In what was possibly the closest drag race in IHRA Elite Motorsports Pro Stock history, Berner succumbed to eventual winner Dean Goforth in the first round by...

Pro Stock title up for grabs; Pete Berner's weekend didn't quite turn out as expected.

In what was possibly the closest drag race in IHRA Elite Motorsports Pro Stock history, Berner succumbed to eventual winner Dean Goforth in the first round by a margin of victory that didn't even register on the scoreboard, an incredible .0000 seconds at the line.

That equates to zero inches at the finish between the No. 2 qualifier and the 13th man on the charts. While the first round loss was definitely a disappointment for the two-time champ, he wasn't all that upset.

After all, that is just the kind of year it has been in IHRA Elite Motorsports Pro Stock this season.

In one of the closest championship races in the sport's long history, a race that has seen five different winners and dozens of drivers in contention for wins each weekend, it is clear that at no time has there been more parody in the class than there is right now.

"The level of competition we are seeing in IHRA Pro Stock right now is incredible. There are several teams more than capable of still making a bid for the championship," Berner said. "The top four competitors are all separated by a little more than a single round.

"It is hard to find racing that good anywhere. And with runs like the one between Dean and I, where there are literally zero inches between us at the finish line, it's no wonder the points are shaping up like they are."

Berner's first round upset and the surprising victory by 65-year-old Dean Goforth were only a few of the crazy storylines that unfolded during PartSource Championship Sunday, better known as Upset Sunday, at the Mopar Canadian Nationals in Grand Bend over the weekend.

Along with Berner, who went into the race second in points, pole sitter and points leader Frank Gugliotta and No. 3 man Cary Goforth all fell out in the first round allowing John Montecalvo, who came into the race 63 points back of the leader in fourth, to leap to second in points -- now just six markers back of Gugliotta.

In fact, the margin from first to fourth is now only 23 points. Add another 67 points and you will find Richard Freeman in fifth. Rounding out the top 10 are Jason Collins, J.R. Carr, Dean Goforth, Mark Martino and Cale Aronson.

"The tenacity of these Pro Stock teams really can't be matched. When one team raises the bar, all the others rise up to meet it and the level of competition just keeps growing," Berner said.

Of the five drivers currently in the top five, only Berner has won a championship. That leaves four very hungry drivers seeking a coveted Ironman with only four races to go.

"There are four races left in the season and no way to guess at who might come out on top at the end," Berner said. "It's an awesome thing to be a part of. I hope the fans are enjoying watching it unfold as much as we are."

-credit: ihra

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Series Drag
Drivers John Montecalvo , J.R. Carr , Richard Freeman , Mark Martin , Frank Gugliotta