JEGS Summer Fall Fling - Complete Results
The sun rose above National Trail Raceway on the first day of the inaugural Summer Fling, illuminating the prominent black and yellow of JEGS Performance branding across the facility. The air was thick with both humidity and excitement for an installment of the Fling franchise in a new region of the country.
The early half of the day saw Bob Brockmeyer of Compulink giving the timing system a “freshen up” to be sure the Fling Racers would get an even playing field for this week's racing. TruStart, his “Worst Red” invention, would also be implemented during the event as is at all Fling events. Once Brockmeyer’s work was complete and the National Trail Raceway staff concluded their track prep, racers were given the opportunity to make as many runs as time allowed during the Law Chevrolet and Buick Test and Tune between rounds of the American/Race Tech Super Tuesday Dragster Shootout.
As is tradition with this shootout format at the Fling events, the two finalists would earn a dragster chassis valued at $16,000 — with the winner having their choice of builder. The randomly selected 32-car field consisted of a balance of past event winners, Fling regulars, and local racers.
Third round put competitors on a ladder with Donovan Williams and Jim Glenn staging up first, which ended quickly after Williams’s redlight by just sixth thousandths. Jeff Serra advanced past Troy Coughlin Jr. using a .014 advantage on the tree and taking .014 at the stripe. Vinny DiMino earned a place in the semifinals after he was nine thousandths ahead of Josh Gnandt on the starting line. Sean Parker rounded out the quarterfinals using a .005 reaction over Scott Taylor.
Although he ran “dead-on” three, DiMino was locked out by Parker’s .033 advantage on the tree in the semifinals. Four thousandths separated Glenn and Serra, but Glenn took five thousandths too much to run 4.735 on the 4.74 dial.
The track lights gleamed off the racing surface as the finalists rolled up to the line for bragging rights and their choice of dragster. The shootout winner was determined at the tree by the .006 red of Serra, and so Parker selected the American dragster.
Blue skies greeted racers for Fuel Systems Technology Wednesday on the second day of the JEGS Performance Summer Fling presented by Optima Batteries at National Trail Raceway. A “warm-up” purse of $15,000 would be up for contention, and every driver on property received a time run beginning at 8:15 a.m.
An even 230 racers staged up for the first round, exactly 115 door cars and 115 dragsters. The Fling Fun Zone was ready for water balloon action complete with a water slide, bounce house, and tent for racers and their families to escape the heat. The weather also had plans for water activities as a rain cell passed through during the buyback round, delaying racing for much of the afternoon.
Late into the day the dark clouds passed overhead to clear the way for the setting sun. The returning cars had several rounds to work through into the night before they were set on a ladder. Just past 9 a.m., the 10 remaining drivers were Bailey Ferraro, Michael Shoop, Tracy Sons, Brandon Prest, Jeff Serra, Garrett Griffith, William Roberts, Michael Needham, and Cory Gulitti in two entries.
Sons ended Gulitti’s hopes of putting two entries into the quarterfinals after posting up an .011 package taking .002 at the stripe. Serra had the two-thousandths advantage on the tree and took just one-thousandth too much to break out .001 against the .013 package of Ferraro. Needham took one-thousandth at the stripe to be “dead-on” four, advancing past Prest. Griffith was .010 total taking .004 to lock out Shoop’s .010 bulb for the bye run in the next round. Gulitti returned in his second entry to face Roberts and the round ended on the starting line by way of a double redlight. With TruStart in effect, the .004 red of Roberts in the door car would advance past the .011 red of Gulitti’s American dragster.
Door cars would outnumber dragsters 3-2 in the quarters with the second generation Camaro of Roberts and the trucks of Sons and Griffith. One-thousandth separated Sons and Needham, but it was the .008 stripe “dead-on” four of Needham that carried him into the semifinals. Ferraro’s .006 total was .025 better than Roberts’s light, granting him the bye in the semis and a place in the final round. Griffith threw down a .009 in his bye run and would be the last remaining door car, facing Needham at three cars.
Griffith ensured there would be a door car versus dragster final with a .016 package over Needham, while Ferraro had a free look at the track before matching up with Griffith. The recent success of both drivers — Ferraro with a 5K win several weeks ago and Griffith doubling up with two 10Ks last weeked — would make for some “young gun” on “young gun” crime.
Both drivers ran 15 thousandths above their dial but it was the starting line advantage of Griffith with the .008 reaction that secured him the win over Ferraro for the $15,000 big check.
The action and racer appreciation prizes continued into American Race Cars Thursday at the JEGS Performance Summer Fling presented by Optima Batteries at National Trail Raceway with a $25,000 check awaiting the last driver standing.
The previous days saw Sean Parker win the American dragster in the Super Tuesday Shootout over Jeff Serra and Garrett Griffith securing $15,000 on Fuel Systems Technology Wednesday after defeating Bailey Ferraro in the final.
With the pace of the Thursday event Peter Biondo and the Fling team determined that time would allow them to put on a race for those out of competition after the second round. The SERVPRO 48-Car 10K Shootout filled up within 30 minutes and soon after the 24 door cars and 24 dragsters were called to roll into the lanes in conjunction with the 25K American Race Cars event.
Despite the heat, both the racers and track staff wasted no daylight through the afternoon. The ladder was set for the 25K event at 13 cars — Pete D’Agnolo, Andre Nunez, Tim Kelley, Joe Barush, Jeff Serra, Eric Aman, Bob Payton, Scott Tate, Brandon Prest, Christopher Northup, Jeremy McCormick, Aaron Vail, and Bob Kolibsky Jr.
Aman turned it one-thousandth red to Payton, Nunez broke on the line against Kelley, Prest was red by .001 to Tate, and McCormick was eight thousandths red against Northup. Kolibsky Jr. used a .013 advantage on the tree to advance past Vail, and Barush was .004 taking .005 at the stripe to knock out Serra. D’Agnolo had a free look at the tree on his bye run and posted a .022 bulb.
In the quarterfinals Kelley moved to the semifinals after the .018 breakout of Northup. One thousandth separated Tate and Kolibsky Jr. and the three thousandths breakout of Tate advanced Kolibsky Jr. Payton turned it one thousandth red to D’Agnolo, and Barush cut a .003 light on his single run.
An unexpected cell popped up, dropping half an inch of rain within the hour onto the racing surface. Biondo and the Fling team made the decision to postpone on-track activities until Friday morning.
Friday morning will begin with a New Entry Time Run at 8:00 a.m. Racing will resume at 8:20 a.m. with the quarterfinals of the SERVPRO 10K Shootout. The semifinals of Thursday’s 25K will go down at 8:30 a.m. At 8:45 a.m., all racers on property are eligible to participate in a Run For The Money Time Run.
A fast-paced slate of racing was in store for ATI Performance Products 100K Friday at the JEGS Performance Summer Fling presented by Optima Batteries at National Trail Raceway. After an unexpected cell moved through and rained out on-track activities Thursday evening, a revised schedule was released postponing the quarterfinals of the SERVPRO 10K Shootout and semifinals of the American Race Cars 25K Thursday event to Friday morning.
The remaining racers in Thursday’s main event were the match-ups of Joe Barush and Bob Kolibsky Jr., and Pete D’Agnolo versus Tim Kelley. Kolibsky Jr. and Barush staged up first in the semifinals and by way of the lesser double breakout Kolibsky Jr. secured an opportunity to take the American Race Cars 25K big check home. D’Agnolo used a .005 light against Kelly to move his ‘79 Malibu into the second door car versus dragster final of the weekend.
With the 100K event still on deck, it was a “gas and go” situation for the finalists. D’Agnolo ran it down to be “dead-on” eight against the two-thousandths breakout of Kolibsky Jr. to become the second door car winner of the weekend, earning himself $25,000 on his birthday.
The six remaining in the SERVPRO 10K Shootout dwindled down to Josh Luedke, Todd Knight, and Chad Six. Luedke was .011 total to lock Knight out of competition, and Six enjoyed a solo shot at the track. In the final, Six had a .007 advantage on the line and took .006 to be dead on 3.
As the sun sank down behind the trees the Brodix Best Package Runoff was contested after round 5 of the ATI 100K. The 1-run shootout included the best door car package versus the best dragster package where the winner would be awarded aluminum SR20 cylinder heads. Kyle Cultrera qualified with a perfect run on the dragster side to race against Josh Sullivan who put down the best door car package after being .002 total earlier in the week. The redlight of Sullivan awarded Cultrera the SR20 heads.
The ATI Performance Products 100K eliminations continued. The quarterfinals lineup included Joe Barush, Tristyn Strouse, Joe Talmadge, Kevin Brannon, Jeg Coughlin Jr., and Jeff Serra in two entries.
Serra used his first entry to eliminate Strouse after being .012 and dead-on four. A double breakout decided the pair of Coughlin Jr. and Brannon with Brannon having the lesser of the two quick runs being just one thousandth under. Barush took his single run before Serra returned to knock out Talmadge using a .007 advantage on the tree.
Four drivers returned — Kevin Brannon, Joe Barush, and Serra in two entries. The key was that according to reaction time, Serra had each entry on separate sides of the ladder. If he managed to win both entries, he would face himself in the final.
The first pairing was Barush and Serra in his first entry, in which Serra was .003 taking .009 to be .014 above for the win. Then came Brannon in the ‘80 Monza, the last door car remaining. If Serra defeated Brannon, the race was concluded. If Brannon won, however, he would have to race Serra a second time to secure the $100,000 main event check.
Serra continued to execute, being .011 upfront and taking .003 to be dead-on three. A driver carrying two entries to the final round was a Fling first, and the staff appropriately awarded Serra the Todd’s Extreme Paint MVP Award. He was presented with a custom-painted Impact Vapor helmet and $1,000.
The final day had arrived for the JEGS Performance Summer Fling presented by Optima Batteries at National Trail Raceway. FuelTech 25K Saturday would crown the last winner, the Kyle Seipel Never Give Up Award and the Todd Barton Best Appearing Car.
The night prior, Jeff Serra made history as the first driver to carry two entries into the final round at a Fling event during ATI Performance Products 100K Friday. The staff awarded him the Todd’s Extreme Paint MVP Award in the winner’s circle and he was presented with a custom-painted Impact Vapor helmet and $1,000.
The Kyle Seipel Never Give Up Award was also presented in Friday night’s victory lane to a racer who was on the Fling Team’s radar early in the week. Jon Talmadge (better known as Vega Jon) suffered issues with his motorhome on the way to the track and mechanical problems between rounds.
He overcame adversity from several past accidents to partially regain the mobility to race his green ‘70 Nova. "The 'never quit thing' is a goal for me,” Talmadge said. “I wasn't going to make it to Columbus. I wasn't going to make it. So I made it." His appearance in sixth round of the 100K event solidified the Fling Team’s decision to present him with the honor of receiving the first award in memory of the late Fling promoter Kyle Seipel.
For the last opportunity to take home an inaugural Summer Fling big check on Saturday, 260 drivers staged up for the first round of eliminations — 130 door cars and 130 dragsters. Meanwhile, the Fling Team visited the pit of Jacob and Kelly Meinert, the owners of a newly-built 2021 American Race Cars dragster to deliver the Todd Barton Design Best Appearing trophy and $500.
A slight breeze carried eliminations into the afternoon and it had become time for the ladder round of the FuelTech 25K which included Wes May, Jeg Coughlin Jr., Nick Hastings, Josh Baker, Jack Ostrowski, Rick Huffman, Jason Lynch, Troy Williams Jr., Chris Bear, Cameron Adkins, and Jesse York.
The field thinned to six cars at round seven. Lynch used a two thousandths advantage on the starting line and ran it down to a dead-on zero for the win over May, and Bear eliminated the ‘67 Nova Wagon of Coughlin Jr. with a .013 package. Despite York’s .006 bulb and .002 stripe he was locked out by the .003 package of Baker.
By way of a .002 light Baker earned the bye run in the semis, letting go .006 on his single. Bear and Lynch faced off to secure a spot in the final round and Bear let go .004 ahead of Lynch and took .008 to advance.
The last main event of the weekend saw Baker light up the scoreboard over Bear. Baker was .004 taking .001 to be .016 above the dial, reflecting his stellar performances throughout the day.