WHITELEYS DOUBLE UP AGAIN IN TULSA
Cummings Grabs A Double of His Own
TULSA, Okla. – In a performance even more impressive than their sweep of the Las Vegas race earlier this year, the husband-and-wife team of Jim and Annie Whiteley ran the table at the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Osage Casino event at Tulsa Raceway Park. This time, both ran low e.t. in the final, Jim a 5.34 for the Top Alcohol Dragster title and Annie a 5.67 for the win in Top Alcohol Funny Car.
Jim, who already was in a commanding position for the national championship in Top Alcohol Dragster, scored for the fifth time in seven starts this year and completed a perfect regional season with his third victory, stopping Randy Meyer in the final. Meyer, who edged him for the No. 1 qualifying spot, went up in smoke not far off the line and coasted to a 7.21 at 137 mph.
"Randy's car has been running well wherever he goes – I don't care what the conditions have been," Whiteley said. "I'm trying not to think too much about the championship at this point. Our goal was to win this race, and we did it." He had low e.t. of all three rounds of eliminations, beginning with a 5.38 against Mark Taliaferro. A 5.342 in the semifinals eliminated Texas driver James Thompson and stood for low e.t. until his even quicker 5.340 against Meyer in the final.
From the top end, Whiteley watched as his wife got the best of returning veteran Mike Bell in a close Top Alcohol Funny Car final, 5.67 to 5.75. "I was standing down there all by myself, and I have to say, I really enjoyed it," he said. "That was her first night run, and she got the job done."
Whiteley (5.78 over Scott McVey), Bell (5.77 over Bryan Brown), No. 1 qualifier Mark Billington (5.76 over Lance Van Hauen), and former Division 5 champ Kirk Williams (5.75 over Billy Davis) won the first round with remarkably similar runs. In the semi's, Whiteley defeated Williams, who won the Denver regional last weekend, in one of the best races of the weekend, 5.73 to 5.80. Bell, now driving for 15-time division champion Vern Moats, took the green and idled off the line in the other semi when Billington, who had low e.t. of the meet until the final, was unable to appear.
In the final, both drivers made their quickest and fastest runs of the weekend, and Whiteley prevailed with low e.t. of the meet, 5.67, opposite Bell's right-there 5.75. "I think people are really going to be impressed when they see the numbers that car runs before the year is over," Jim said. "She's really got a hot rod right now. The Strasburg family is doing a phenomenal job, and [crew chief] Roger [Bateman] has a lot of really good ideas. The more time Roger has to think about it, the better the car's going to run."
Slate Cummings scored the rare double of his own taking home not one but two NHRA Wally trophies this weekend. Cummings, Hammond, La., took out home state racer Jared Swinehart, Piedmont, Okla., in Super Stock with a 9.308 second lap at 135 mph then came back to face off with fellow Hammond, La., racer Jody Simoneaux in the final of Stock Eliminator. Cummings raced to a 10.867 second lap but took the win immediately when Simoneaux left early with a redlight start.
A slew of Texas racers grabbed wins this weekend led by Don Thomas in Comp out of Amarillo, Texas. Thomas drove his dragster to the win in 7.36 seconds against Clark Smiley while Danny Leibham and Rob McKinley won out of Texas in the division’s Suburban Chevrolet Top Sportsman and in Sunset Racecraft Top Dragster classes. Leibham went 192.55 mph in 7.157 seconds to down Russell Marr and McKinley clocked in at 6.073, 231.64 to defeat Jerry Holt, Collinsville, Okla.
Rounding out the weekend’s winners at Tulsa Raceway were Scooter Choate, Hubbard, Texas in Super Comp over Kyle Fickler; Rustin Mayse beating Jeff Lopez in Super Gas; Tony Jones fell to Ted Ash in Super Street; and Mike McCullah beat Chris LeBouef in the Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley Davidson class.
South Central Division racers head to Thunder Valley Raceway Park for the next NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event, Sept. 14-16.
The following are the final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Osage Casino event at Tulsa Raceway Park:
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER:
4) Alan Bradshaw, Odessa, Texas, 5.457, 252.80 def. 5) Chase Copeland, Gainesville, Texas, 5.501, 256.26
3) James Thompson, Vernon, Texas, 5.523, 254.28 def. 6) Gord Gingles, Winnipeg, Manit., 5.633, 259.61
1) Randy Meyer, Spring Hill, Kan., 5.448, 264.60 def. 8) David Brounkowski, Cypress, Texas, 5.611, 248.39
2) Jim Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., 5.390, 264.91 def. 7) Mark Taliaferro, Odessa, Texas, 5.587, 259.61
Meyer, 5.386, 264.86 def. Bradshaw, 6.200, 199.76
Whiteley, 5.344, 267.37 def. Thompson, 17.097, 67.94
Whiteley, 5.340, 265.90 def. Meyer, 7.216, 137.88
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR:
1) Mark Billington, Prosper, Texas, '05 Monte Carlo, 5.769, 240.34 def. 8) Lance Van Hauen, Reinbeck, Iowa, '12 Camaro, broke
3) Kirk Williams, Glenwood, Iowa, '04 Camaro, 5.759, 247.29 def. 6) Billy Davis, Rogers, Ark., '06 Avenger, 6.125, 189.98
4) Mike Bell, Fulton, Mo., '10 Mustang, 5.771, 248.98 def. 5) Bryan Brown, Gainesville, Texas, '06 Monte Carlo, 5.992, 219.51
2) Annie Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., '10 Mustang, 5.784, 247.97 def. 7) Scott McVey, Winnipeg, Manit., '06 Monte Carlo, 10.504, 103.25
Whiteley, 5.730, 250.83 def. Williams, 5.806, 245.14
Bell, broke def. Billington, broke
Whiteley, 5.672, 251.34 def. Bell, 5.753, 250.18
Don Thomas, Amarillo, Texas, dragster, C/ED, 7.360, 177.93 def. Clark Smiley, Denver City, Texas, '09 GXP, BB/A, 7.543, 181.98
Slate Cummings, Hammond, La., '05 Cavalier, SS/BS, 9.308, 135.39 def. Jared Swinehart, Piedmont, Okla., '92 Camaro, GT/AA, 9.596, 137.54
Slate Cummings, Hammond, La., '99 Firebird, B/SA, 10.867, 101.64 def. Jody Simoneaux, Hammond, La., '67 Chevy II, E/SA, foul
Scooter Choate, Hubbard, Texas, dragster, 8.869, 176.93 def. Kyle Fickler, Tonganoxie, Kan., dragster, 8.863, 164.89
Rustin Mayse, Grandview, Texas, '03 Corvette, 9.933, 148.89 def. Jeff Lopez, Bedford, Texas, '63 Corvette, 9.918, 157.41
Ted Ash, Topeka, Kan., '61 Corvette, 10.950, 146.19 def. Tony Jones, Gilmer, Texas, '67 Camaro, foul
Danny Leibham, Tomball, Texas, '01 Camaro, 7.157, 192.55 def. Russell Marr, Forney, Texas, '03 Cavalier, 7.307, 184.72
Rob McKinley, Conroe, Texas, dragster, 6.073, 231.64 def. Jerry Holt, Collinsville, Okla., dragster, 6.500, 197.77.
Mike McCullah, Houston, '00 Suzuki, 8.255, 156.66 def. Chris LeBouef, Lafayette, La., '09 Hayabusa, 8.367, 145.94