Wednesday, May 01, 2013

World Champions Rule the Day at IHRA Richmond Pro-Am

Washington, Carty, Chapman seek double opportunity when race is finished in July

RICHMOND, Va. (May 1, 2013) – IHRA’s Division 1 has always been known as the place where champions race.

While other divisions boast bigger fields and claim more competitiveness, the reality is that one of the biggest clusters of IHRA World Champions lies right in the heart of the Patriots Division. And at Richmond Dragway, those champions showed their stuff.

Current IHRA Top Dragster World Champion Wesley Washington Jr. took the win on Saturday

Over half a dozen former or current IHRA World Champions made a splash during the Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL event at Richmond Dragway over the weekend, with three taking home Ironman trophies and a few more still waiting for the opportunity with day two of the event rescheduled to the Pro-Am at Maryland International Raceway in July.

Reigning Top Dragster World Champion Wesley Washington Jr. was one of those drivers making noise at Richmond Dragway, joining former IHRA champs Gianni Cantusci and Keith Mayers in the winner’s circle on Saturday. Another five past world champions were remaining in the semifinals and finals of day two, an event that was washed out despite a valiant effort by Johnny Davis and his crew and will be made up at the Maryland International Raceway Pro-Am the weekend of July 12-14 on that Friday.

The rest of Saturday’s winners were Mark Payne (Top Sportsman), Gil Carty (Stock), John Dustin (Quick Rod) and Larry Chapman (Super Rod).

Washington went five rounds on Saturday, eliminating some heavy hitters including Tommy Cable, Ken Batchelor, Chris Cepelka and David Cullison before meeting Brett Nesbitt in the finals of Top Dragster. In the final, however, Nesbitt’s dragster simply failed to launch after the light turned green and Washington was able to cruise to victory.

Gianni Cantusci won Super Stock on Saturday in Richmond

Washington was also one of three drivers with an opportunity a double-up when the event is finished in Maryland, joining Gil Carty and Larry Chapman in Stock and Super Rod respectively.

Carty survived six grueling rounds in Stock behind the wheel of his ’97 Camaro, meeting Bill Bricker in the finals on Saturday. Carty dominated his opponent on the tree and easily crossed the finish line first with a 6.798, 90.25 on a 6.73 dial to take the win.

Chapman went five rounds in his ’95 Thunderbird in Super Rod and took home the Ironman when final round opponent Marvin Napier lit the red light by seven thousandths of a second.

Other winners from Richmond included Mark Payne who won in Top Sportsman when final round opponent Don Rudd went red, Cantusci who won in a close double-breakout against Brian Martel in Stock, John Dustin who took Quick Rod in an incredibly close contest with Chad Traylor and Mayers who took the Hot Rod Ironman when Mike Moore broke out.

Despite a valiant effort by the Richmond Dragway crew, day two of the Richmond Pro-Am was called with just two rounds to go in all of the classes except Quick Rod. Quick Rod whittled its competition down to the finals with Tommy Cable and Brett Nesbitt set to square off for the win.

Larry Chapman will attempt to double up in Super Rod when the race is completed in July

Also remaining in competition set to be finished on Friday at the Maryland Pro-Am are Mike Koontz, Grayson Murphy and Charlie Gilbert in Top Sportsman, Chad Traylor, David Cullison and Wesley Washington Jr. in Top Dragster, Jim Reynolds, Michael Crumpler and Pete D’Agnolo in Super Stock, Chris Bowman, Gil Carty and Jeff Gardiner in Stock, Larry Chapman, Gerald Pierce and Kevin O’Brien in Super Rod and Jake Milstead, John Dustin and Chris Dean in Hot Rod.

Patriots Division racers head to Pittsburgh Raceway Park for their next IHRA Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour event May 31-June 2 during a Nitro Jam/Pro-Am double-header.

The following are the final round results from the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL double-header at Richmond Dragway:


The following are Saturday's final results from the Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL, Patriot Division 1 day one at Richmond Dragway:

TOP SPORTSMAN - Mark Payne, Waynesboro, Va., '06 Cavalier, 4.723, 150.25  def. Don Rudd, Glen Allen, Va., '09 Camaro, foul.

TOP DRAGSTER - Wesley Washington Jr., King George, Va., dragster, 4.636, 128.39  def. Brett Nesbitt, Burlington, N.C., dragster, broke.

SUPER STOCK - Gianni Cantusci, Stittsville, Ont., '00 Firebird, GT/HA, 6.395, 105.86  def. Brian Martel, Fredericksburg, Va., '08 Cobalt, GT/BA, 5.920, 111.19.

STOCK ELIMINATOR - Gil Carty, Wytheville, Va., '97 Camaro, G/CM, 6.798, 90.25  def. Bill Bricker, White Plains, Md., '85 Camaro, H/CM, 6.674, 101.24.

QUICK ROD - John Dustin, Rockville, Md., dragster, 5.701, 117.59  def. Chad Traylor, King William, Va., dragster, 5.699, 132.43.

SUPER ROD - Larry Chapman, Willow Springs, N.C., '95 Thunderbird, 6.414, 122.58  def. Marvin Napier, Monrovia, Md., '27 roadster, foul.

HOT ROD - Keith Mayers, Middletown, Del., '85 Porsche 944, 7.014, 122.52  def. Mike Moore, Pelzer, S.C., '93 Mustang, 6.974, 108.30.