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Gilbertson, Atchison, Patrick, Ware take IHRA wins


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Lagana, Atchison, Patrick and Ware also take home Ironmen at the Amalie Oil North American Nationals




By Mike Perry - IHRA Communications




EPPING, N.H. (September 10, 2006) – The IHRA Knoll Gas-Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car championship points battle might not be a two-man race after all. Bob Gilbertson, who entered the Amalie Oil North American Nationals presented by New England Dodge Dealers a distant third, picked up some ground on front-running Dale Creasy Jr., and second place Jack Wyatt by defeating Paul Lee in the final in Epping, N.H.




Gilbertson blew up his ’05 Stratus in the finals, but Lee handed him the victory by leaving the starting line early and activating the red-light for the automatic disqualification. The win was the Charlotte, N.C.-resident’s first IHRA national event victory of 2006, his other coming in 1992 in Cayuga, Ontario.




“This feels really good,” said Gilbertson, who hasn’t competed at New England Dragway since 1992. He didn’t even get to finish that race due to emergency dental surgery that his son needed. That was the last race IHRA had in Nitro Funny Car prior to this year.




“People expect a lot out of us because we go over there (NHRA) and do pretty well, but it’s come down to luck a lot this year. That’s what makes drag racing unique,” added Gilbertson.




The Knoll Gas-Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel class, for the first time in five years this late in the season, is led by someone other than Clay Millican. When Doug Foley, the No. 1 qualifier, took a first-round bye run while Millican fell to Bruce Litton, the drag racing school instructor from Sewell, N.J., took a six-point lead in the class.




Bobby Lagana Jr. (Scarsdale, N.Y.) won his second career Top Fuel Ironman by defeating Chris Karamesines in the final at Epping. Lagana advanced to the finals by defeating Todd Paton in the first round and Bruce Litton in the semifinals. Litton hit the wall hard during that semifinal run and was transported to a local hospital for observation. Litton will have surgery Monday to replace a plate in his shoulder from a previous injury.




It was a big turn-around for Lagana and the Twilight Zone Top Fuel team. Two weeks ago, at the World Nationals in Norwalk, Lagana suffered a DNQ. He qualified seventh at this race and could not break the five-second barrier. But Sunday everything came together, enabling him to become the first two-time national event winner in the Top Fuel class this season.




“We’ve been thinking about Bruce, hoping he’s alright. He’s a good friend of mine,” said Lagana. “Everybody we race is our friend, and when somebody goes down, it’s so tough. It’s crazy that we compete with each other because we all love each other so much.




“Three finals, two wins in one year…two DNQs also. It’s been a crazy year. I have so many family members here this has been a great weekend.”




Robert Patrick had the crowd buzzing after the Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock final. He squared off against No. 1 qualifier Rob Mansfield, who had earlier set the IHRA world ET record at the event, and laid down a number that had never been seen before in IHRA competition. Behind the wheel of his ’07 Shelby Mustang, Patrick flirted with the 6.20s by posting a 6.315 run at 221.27 mph. Both the speed and elapsed time of Patrick’s run were new world records.




“All we were worried about today was winning this race,” said Patrick. “We knew the final could be close, so I was hoping for a good light, but didn’t want to red-light. Our engine builder was here all weekend and we kept tuning and making the motor better every run.”




Patrick was not the only record-setter to win an Ironman in Epping. Eddie Ware set a Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified ET record in the second round of eliminations by clocking a 6.035. He did not need to be that quick in the final against Harold Martin, who lit the red-light by -.02.




“This win is a major stepping stone,” said Ware. “We got our first major sponsor this year, and kind of had a bad start to the year but he stuck through it with us, so we’re thrilled to finally get this IHRA win. Hopefully we can keep this up for the rest of the season.”




Rob Atchison finally has the monkey off his back. The three-time defending Alcohol Funny Car World Champion won his first Ironman of the season by defeating Terry Munroe in the final round. Atchison posted a 5.912/244.52 pass to top Munroe’s 5.996/236.13.




“I wasn’t really worried about the points chase today, just getting our first win was the focus,” said Atchison, of London, Ontario. “We got the win, but are still battling to figure this car out. It’s just been such a tough season, we feel fortunate to be in the position we are.”




Television coverage of the Amalie Oil North American Nationals airs on SPEED:


Top Fuel, Nitro Funny Car and JEG’S Top Stock – Saturday, September 30 at 4 pm


Pro Modified, Alcohol Funny Car and Pro Stock – Saturday, November 11 at 6 pm




The next event on the 2006 eMax Drag Racing Series is the IHRA Canadian Nationals, September 22-24, at Toronto Motorsports Park, Cayuga, Ontario.






EPPING, N.H. -- Sunday's final results from the Amalie Oil North American Nationals presented by New England Dodge Dealers at New England Dragway. This is the ninth of 11 in the 2006 eMax Drag Racing Series:




Top Fuel -- Bobby Lagana Jr., 5.468 seconds, 283.25 mph def. Chris Karamesines, 8.293 seconds, 115.75 mph.




Nitro Funny Car -- Bob Gilbertson, Dodge Stratus, 4.843, 311.92 def. Paul Lee, Chevy Monte Carlo, foul.




Pro Modified -- Eddie Ware, Chevy Camaro, 7.603, 137.39 def. Harold Martin, Pontiac Grand Am, foul.




Pro Stock -- Robert Patrick, Ford Shelby GT 500, 6.315, 221.27 def. Rob Mansfield, Chevy Cobalt, 6.482, 192.96.




Alcohol Funny Car -- Rob Atchison, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.912, 244.52 def. Terry Munroe, Monte Carlo, 5.996, 236.13.




Top Stock -- Paul Mercure, Chevy Camaro, 9.453, 139.34 def. Bo Kenney, Pontiac Firebird, 9.670, 140.39.




Top Sportsman -- Dana Macleod, Chevy Cavalier, 6.892, 205.16 def. Harry Gray, Chevy Corvette, 7.474, 183.77.




Top Dragster -- Bryan Bennett, Dragster, 7.152, 182.38 def. Debby Di Genova, Dragster, 7.161, 187.76.




Quick Rod -- Jackie Rogge, Dragster, 8.938, 162.10 def. Forest Lipke, Dragster, 9.008, 169.98.




Super Rod -- Gerald Pierce, Olds Cutlass, 9.930, 150.66 def. Ryan Ondrejko, Chevy Corvette, 9.919, 138.74.




Hot Rod -- Bill Riddle, Pontiac Firebird, 10.874, 133.03 def. Phil McCarthy, Chevy Camaro, 10.853, 148.18.




Super Stock -- Jim Harrington, Chevy Camaro, 12.761, 91.69 def. Gregory Gay, Mirada, 10.957, 120.61.




Stock -- David Casey, Chevy Corvette, 10.468, 123.15 def. Mark Faul, Chevy Chevelle, 10.920, 116.33.




ET Bracket -- Dave Miller, S-10, 8.626, 151.71 def. Don Lord, Willys, 10.647, 125.66.




ET No Box -- Don Lord, '40 Willys, 10.615, 126.06 def. James Choti Jr, Chevy Camaro, foul.




ET Box -- Dave Miller, Chevy S-10 8.620, 154.97 def. Richard Desjardins, Dragster, broke.






EPPING, N.H. -- Final round-by-round results from the Amalie Oil North American Nationals presented by New England Dodge Dealers at New England Dragway, the ninth of 11 events in the 2006 eMax Drag Racing Series:










ROUND ONE -- Bobby Lagana Jr., 12.813, 109.97 def. Todd Paton, broke; Chris Karamesines, 10.493, 94.44 def. Rick Cooper, DQ'ed centerline; Bruce Litton, 5.105, 253.99 def. Clay Millican, 5.150, 229.66; Doug Foley, 12.084, 90.32 was unopposed;




SEMIFINALS -- Karamesines, 4.958, 280.54 def. Foley, 7.532, 102.32; Lagana Jr., 7.544, 251.34 def. Litton, DQ'ed outer boundry;




FINAL -- Lagana Jr., 5.468, 283.25 def. Karamesines, 8.293, 115.75.










ROUND ONE -- Andy Kelley, Pontiac Trans Am, 5.097, 265.27 def. Terry Haddock, Dodge Stratus, broke; Vincent Arcadi, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.267, 209.36 def. Jack Wyatt, Pontiac Firebird, 7.894, 106.51; Paul Lee, Monte Carlo, 5.158, 265.48 def. Dale Creasy Jr., Monte Carlo, 6.714, 134.31; Bob Gilbertson, Stratus, 4.859, 314.61 was unopposed;




SEMIFINALS -- Lee, 7.360, 116.67 def. Kelley, broke; Gilbertson, 4.841, 318.09 def. Arcadi, 5.027, 264.60;




FINAL -- Gilbertson, 4.843, 311.92 def. Lee, foul.










ROUND ONE -- Steve Bareman, Dodge Stratus, 6.253, 223.88 def. Matt Hagan, Chevy Corvette, 6.518, 226.58; Harold Martin, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.223, 227.34 def. Quain Stott, Corvette, 10.673, 82.11; Kenny Lang, Corvette, 6.117, 231.87 def. Glen Kerunsky, Chevy Bel Air, 6.893, 209.07; Eddie Ware, Chevy Camaro, 6.089, 235.84 def. John Russo, Camaro, 6.953, 224.51; Jim Halsey, Camaro, 6.726, 224.06 def. Ed Hoover, Corvette, 7.431, 152.61; Tommy D'Aprile, Corvette, 6.385, 231.36 def. Mike Castellana, Chevy Cavalier, 6.398, 228.73; Danny Rowe, Corvette, 7.166, 213.37 def. Carl Spiering, Camaro, foul; Scott Cannon, Pontiac GTO, 6.969, 228.15 def. Mike Janis, Chevy Cobalt, 7.058, 214.01;




QUARTERFINALS -- Cannon, 6.281, 228.31 def. Bareman, 6.437, 217.21; Martin, 6.298, 226.70 def. Rowe, 11.279, 68.50; D'Aprile, 6.403, 229.78 def. Lang, 6.302, 231.91; Ware, 6.035, 235.89 def. Halsey, 8.327, 108.92;




SEMIFINALS -- Martin, 6.198, 226.35 def. D'Aprile, 6.271, 230.57; Ware, 6.108, 235.19 def. Cannon, 6.371, 199.85;




FINAL -- Ware, 7.603, 137.39 def. Martin, foul.










ROUND ONE -- Brian Gahm, Ford Mustang, 6.396, 218.76 def. Jeff Dobbins, Ford Escort, 6.418, 216.06; Rob Mansfield, Chevy Cobalt, 9.203, 136.91 def. Richard Penland, Escort, foul; Dan Sweeney, Pontiac GTO, 6.430, 215.34 def. Frank Gugliotta, Escort, 6.417, 219.12; Robert Patrick, Shelby GT 500, 6.355, 217.84 def. John Bartunek, Cobalt, 15.506, 71.96; John Nobile, Escort, 8.615, 169.19 def. Rick Jones, Cobalt, foul; Pete Berner, GTO, 6.363, 218.41 def. Tony Gillig, Mustang, 6.992, 214.66; Cary Goforth, Cobalt, 6.469, 217.91 def. John Montecalvo, Cobalt, 23.178, 46.47; Steve Spiess, Cobalt, 6.383, 217.77 def. Elijah Morton, Ford ZX2, 6.463, 216.55;




QUARTERFINALS -- Mansfield, 6.345, 220.66 def. Nobile, 6.420, 217.91; Gahm, 6.410, 218.19 def. Goforth, 6.431, 217.84; Spiess, 6.379, 217.77 def. Sweeney, 6.412, 215.48; Patrick, 6.366, 217.49 def. Berner, 6.376, 216.76;




SEMIFINALS -- Patrick, 6.346, 220.33 def. Gahm, 6.409, 217.14; Mansfield, 6.344, 220.33 def. Spiess, 6.368, 219.54;




FINAL -- Patrick, 6.315, 221.27 def. Mansfield, 6.482, 192.96.










ROUND ONE -- Rob Atchison, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.864, 245.18 def. Thomas Carter, Chevy Camaro, 5.946, 237.34; Terry Munroe, Monte Carlo, 5.935, 237.30 def. Dan Roman, Pontiac Firebird, 12.492, 72.87; Mark Thomas, Monte Carlo, 5.758, 245.27 def. Frederick Tigges, Dodge Avenger, 5.778, 245.23; Neal Parker, Monte Carlo, 5.779, 241.71 def. Trevor Lebsack, Ford Mustang, 7.021, 163.14;




SEMIFINALS -- Atchison, 5.721, 249.03 def. Parker, 5.808, 241.15; Munroe, 5.940, 236.71 def. Thomas, foul;




FINAL -- Atchison, 5.912, 244.52 def. Munroe, 5.996, 236.13.






EPPING, N.H. -- Point standings (top 10) for IHRA professional categories following the Amalie Oil North American Nationals presented by New England Dodge Dealers at New England Dragway, the ninth of 11 events in the 2006 eMax Drag Racing Series -




Top Fuel




1. Doug Foley, 626; 2. Clay Millican, 620; 3. Bobby Lagana Jr., 511; 4. Rick Cooper, 500; 5. Bruce Litton, 495; 6. Chris Karamesines, 321; 7. Andrew Cowin, 281; 8. T.J. Zizzo, 260; 9. Louie Allison, 248; 10. Mitch King, 157.






Nitro Funny Car




1. Dale Creasy Jr., 603; 2. Jack Wyatt, 589; 3. Bob Gilbertson, 574; 4. Vincent Arcadi, 500; 5. Gary Densham, 401; 6. Terry Haddock, 373; 7. Paul Lee, 319; 8. Gary Cooper, 223; 9. Andy Kelley, 129; 10. Doug Kalitta, 97.






Pro Modified




1. Glen Kerunsky, 464; 2. Danny Rowe, 461; 3. Quain Stott, 449; 4. Mike Janis, 412; 5. Tommy D{Aprile, 377; 6. Carl Spiering, 361; 7. Jim Halsey, 360; 8. Mike Castellana, 357; 9. Scott Cannon, 346; 10. (tie) Steve Bareman, 332.


Kenny Lang, 332.






Pro Stock




1. Tony Gillig, 659; 2. Pete Berner, 618; 3. Frank Gugliotta, 562; 4. Robert Patrick, 555; 5. John Nobile, 503; 6. Jeff Dobbins, 432; 7. Rob Mansfield, 430; 8. Steve Spiess, 388; 9. John Montecalvo, 344; 10. Rick Jones, 279.






Alcohol Funny Car




1. Rob Atchison, 679; 2. Mark Thomas, 641; 3. Thomas Carter, 590; 4. Terry Munroe, 415; 5. Terry McMillen, 408; 6. Frederick Tigges, 390; 7. Larry Dobbs, 320; 8. Trevor Lebsack, 310; 9. Paul Noakes, 299; 10. Neal Parker, 192.

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