Las Vegas, NV
Jonnie Lindberg and Jimmy DeFrank clinched the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series World Championship in Top Alcohol Funny Car and Super Stock respectively this past weekend at the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas. Garrett Bateman and Terry Ruckman raced to the event wins in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car as each of them scored their second career NHRA national event wins.
Lindberg locked up his second championship in as many years when Doug Gordon fell to Lindberg’s brother Johan in round one as Gordon was the last racer with a shot at catching Lindberg in the points chase. Lindberg has five wins on the season in six final rounds including four at national events: Pomona, Calif., Norwalk, Ohio, Brainerd, Minn., and the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
DeFrank won in a similar fashion as the last few competitors in contention lost in early rounds this weekend. This is DeFrank’s fifth Super Stock Championship with his last coming in 2012 and his first in 1997. DeFrank opened the season with a win in Pomona, Calif., followed by wins at Auto Club Dragway and Woodburn Dragstrip for his championship run. Both drivers were honored in a starting line presentation during Sunday morning’s pre-race ceremonies.
Bateman faced off with Joey Severance, who was recently crowned 2016 Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion, in the final round. Bateman had not beaten Severance previously but ran him down for the win with his quickest pass of eliminations at 5.277 seconds at 275.56 mph. Severance was out first and gave Bateman a run posting a 5.305 at 269.89. Bateman won this event last year for his first career national event win.
Dale Cox Jr. took the early lead on Ruckman in the funny car final but Cox, driving the Bartone Bros. entry, slowed at the 1000 foot mark and Ruckman raced by for the win and his second of the year having won the Las Vegas spring national event. Ruckman posted a lap of 5.642, 261.32 to Cox’s 5.779, 219.72.
David Rampy added another win to his resume taking home number 92 with a win over Jeff Lane in Comp Eliminator.
Lane was out first but Rampy ran him down in his familiar red Ray Skillman Chevrolet altered covering the quarter-mile in 7.368 seconds to Lane’s 8.222 in his Chevy Cobalt.
In Super Stock, Kyle Rizzoli raced to his fourth national event win but his first in Super Stock as he knocked out Ryan McClanahan in the final while Darrel Goheen grabbed his first career national event win defeating Nanette Stein in Stock Eliminator. Stein left early with a foul start as Goheen ran it out to a nice 0.023 second package on his victory lap.
Michael Miller and Tommy Phillips rounded out the Lucas Oil winners with Miller forcing Mike Hiatt to break out in Super Comp and Phillips doing the same to Kevin Moore in Super Gas. Both Miller and Phillips took holeshots with Hiatt and Moore running too fast as they tried to run them down. Miller posted a run of 9.069 at 163.93 and Phillips was 10.057 at 157.74. The win was Miller’s eighth with Phillips increasing his count to 38.
The following are the final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER
Garrett Bateman, 5.277, 275.56 def. Joey Severance, 5.305, 269.89.
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR
Terry Ruckman, Chevy Camaro, 5.642, 261.32 def. DJ Cox Jr., Camaro, 5.779, 219.72.
David Rampy, Bantam, 7.368, 169.06 def. Jeff Lane, Chevy Cobalt, 8.222, 167.63.
Kyle Rizzoli, Chevy Camaro, 9.877, 125.33 def. Ryan McClanahan, Chevy Cobalt, 8.757, 156.95.
Darrel Goheen, Chevy Camaro, 11.243, 117.74 def. Nanette Stein, Ford Thunderbird, Foul - Red Light.
Michael Miller, Dragster, 9.069, 163.93 def. Mike Hiatt, Dragster, 9.046, 170.82.
Tommy Phillips, Chevy Corvette, 10.057, 157.74 def. Kevin Moore, Chevy Roadster, 10.043, 157.25.