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Rupert, Harper, Turner, Konigshofer take Texas Nationals Ironmen

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IHRA Good Vibrations Texas Nationals fueled by Sunoco @ San Antonio Raceway, 4/1-3/16


By JM Hallas

Marion, TX.,(April 2nd, 2016) Saturday it was time to start handing out the coveted IHRA Drag Racing Series 'Iroman' awards. But first, the Pro classes still had some fields to settle in qualifying for Nitro Funny Cars, Pro Mods, Pro Stocks and Nitro Motorcycles after postponement of yesterdays events.

Also looking for their first chance of an 'Ironman' for the weekend were the Sportsman racers in Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, Super Stock, Stock, Quick Rod, Hot Rod, Super Rod, NTS 11.50 index class and three Jr. Dragsters categories.

It was a good field of cars in Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, Super Stock, Stock, Hot Rod, Quick Rod, Super Rod, NTS 11.50 dial index and three classes of Jr. Dragsters. Unfortunely due to time, rapidly cooling temperatures and a light dew forming completion of those events was rescheduled until Sunday morning.

The weather condition were cool and crisp as Sportsman qualifying kicked off the days events early. By the time the rounds of Pro qualifying rolled to the line things had changed with sunny, warm conditions now the order of the day. By the time evening Pro eliminations began things had began to cool dramatically. IHRA and track crews were on top of things with the ¼ mile drag strip near Seguin ready for action throughout the evening.

Coming into the event are returning 2015 event champ and points champions, Cary Goforth(Pro Stock), 2014 event champ and 2015 points champion Jason Rupert(Nitro Funny Car) and 2015 points champ, Jay Turner(Nitro Motorcycle).

After the season opening event in Orlando, Shawn Bowen(Nitro Funny Car), former Europian champion Adam Flamholc(Pro Mods), Cary Goforth(Pro Stock) and Randall Andras(Nitro Motorcycle) come in with the early points lead.

Rupert Races to Funny Car Crown
The two-time and defending IHRA Nitro Funny Car champion, Jason Rupert(Yorba Linda, Calif.) found himself where he was in 2014, the San Antonio Raceway Winners Circle. In the finals, Rupert in his Lucas Oil, Littlefield and Rupert, Chevy Camaro overcame a slight starting line disadvantage and drover around Shawn Bowen in the Violator Challenger. Rupert edged out Bowen, the Orlando winner, by only a tenth of a second.

Rupert took out Mike McIntire jr. in round 2 after doing away with Bruce Litton in round 1. Bowen knocked out Tin Boychuck and Mark Sanders on his way to the finals.

It feels great, the thing responded. replied Rupert. We put a new blower on it, and I had to chase the tune-up on it all day. We hurt a bunch of pistons the first run, but as time went on, I was able to figure that out and step up a little bit each run. Its always good when you can do that. We did really good at the last race but shook the tires in the semis and fell behind so we needed to make up some ground right here so it was good. The competition out here is tough, and these guys are getting tougher, too. You try to stay ahead, but then all of a sudden, theres a bunch of guys that come up with some stuff so youre chasing them. Its always tough.

Nitro Funny Car Finals
Jason Rupert, 5.649 @ 255.68
Shawn Bowen, 5.759 @ 244.03

Nitro Funny Car round 2 eliminations
Jason Rupert, 5.667 @ 256.26
Mike McIntire jr., 6.308 @ 229.24(LB3A)

Shawn Bowen, 5.741 @ 235.48
Tim Boychuk, 5.920 @ 228.08

Nitro Funny Car round 1 eliminations
Tim Boychuk, 6.043 @ 206.04
Paul Romine, 5.696 @ 246.44(Red)

Jason Rupert, 5.690 @ 253.52
Bruce Litton, 5.775 @ 251.96

Mike McIntire jr., 5.727 @ 254.96
Ryan Hodgson, 5.845 @ 240.64

Shawn Bowen, 5.842 @ 246.31
Mark Sanders, 5.851 @ 242.59

Nitro Funny Cars qualifying
Jason Rupert, Littlefield and Rupert, 5.699 @ 252.81, Paul Romine, Man O' War, 5.654 @ 247.12, Mike McIntire jr., McAttack, 5.684 @ 250.42, Shawn Bowen, The Violator, 5.761 @ 238.60, Mark Sanders, Mr. Explosive, 5.769 @ 253.38, Bruce Litton, US Male, 5.856 @ 250.84, Ryan Hodgson, Ron Hodgson, 5.806 @ 222.77, Tim Boychuk, Happy Hour, 5.872 @ 246.04, Fred Farnden, Play it Loud, DNQ(Crash), Steve Nichols, DNQ(Time), Ronnie Young, Blue Max DNQ(Motor)

Harper Hauls to Pro Mod Win and New Record.
Billy Harper(Paducah, Kent.) in his Harper Industries, nitrous, Dodge Viper saved his best til last in the finals against Ruben Tetsoshvilis' turbo Camaro. Tetsoshvili was away first slightly, but shook the tires loose early, Harper, on the other hand, was hauling through the night setting a new IHRA Pro Mod ET record in the process. Harper better his own past record of 5.875 with this pass of 5.842. Ray Commisso still holds the speed side of the record books at 246.08.

Harper beat Jerico Balduf in round one and got a competition bye after Bill Lutz broke on his burnout. Tetsoshvili had a round 2 bye and got by Adam Flamholc in round 1.

It always feels great to win, but I could never do it without this crew. said Harper. Theyve done a great job. We had a lot of bugs this weekend, but they got through it and brought home a national record and a win. The cars coming around; we made a lot of changes in the winter, and were excited about how the cars running. Were having a ball here at IHRA.

Pro Modified Finals
Billy Harper, 5.842 @ 240.64 ***New IHRA ET Record
Ruben Tetsosvili, 10.255 @ 77.65

Pro Modified round 2 eliminations
Billy Harper, 6.293 @ 152.85
Bill Lutz, (Broke on burnout)

Ruben Tetsoshvili, 10.807 @ 74.90

Pro Modified round 1 eliminations
Bill Lutz, 6.111 @ 248.34

Ruben Tetsoshvili, 6.084 @ 231.01
Adam Flanholc, 6.134 @ 196.51

Billy Harper, 5.851 @ 241.03
Jerico Balduf, 6.373 @ 205.67

Pro Modifieds qualifying
Bill Lutz, 6.082 @ 240.51, Ruben Tetsoshvili, 6.167 @ 200.80, Jerico Balduf,8.752 @ 103.88, Billy Harper, 9.208 @ 94.52, Adam Flamholc, 9.805 @ 9.805

Turner Tops in Nitro Motorcycle
After being eliminated in opening event in Orlando, Jay Turner(Julian, NC.) returned to his championship ways despite a poor showing in qualifying. Turner, who clocked in seventh, found his mojo with consistent runs getting to finals where he faced number eight qualifier, Ricky House. The two put on a good side by side battle with Turner, a four-time IHRA Nitro Harley champ, eking out the victory by less than 2/100th of a second.

Turner ousted Randall Andras and Tii Tharpe while House bettered Jake Stordeur and number one qualifer, Tracy Kile.

It was a long day, but it worked out. commented Turner. We struggled and spun the tire in qualifying on the first pass. We broke some stuff in the transmission that takes a while to fix, its such a small unit. We missed the second round of qualifying, but we were still confident going into the race. It sucked we ended up having to run all of our teammates, but it is what it is. It was three good races. The transmission issue didnt fix itself completely; we just crushed it through. It kind of gave up a little in the final. It was still a good race, and we put on a good show for the fans with side-by-side passes. It feels good to get a win for the 2016 season.

Nitro Motorcycle Finals
Jay Turner, 6.467 @ 220.26
Ricky House, 6.483 @ 203.90

Nitro Motorcycle round 2 eliminations
Ricky House, 6.648 @ 190.03
Jake Stordeur, 7.903 @ 132.24

Jay Turner, 6.353 @ 224.55
Randall Andras, 6.385 @ 225.00

Nitro Motorcycle round 1 eliminations
Jay Turner, 6.375 @ 222.00
Tii Tharpe, 6.435 @ 207.09

Randall Andras, 6.558 @ 208.91
Frank Capone, 7.365 @ 136.03

Jake Stordeur, 6.763 @ 210.18
Brian Jernigan, (Red)

Ricky House, 6.680 @ 204.92
Tracy Kile, 11.061 @ 78.85

Nitro Motorcycles qualifying
Tracy Kile, 6.549 @ 218.66, Tii Tharpe, 6.666 @ 171.62, Frank Capone, 6.915 @ 155.66, Brian Jernigan, 6.981 @ 175.37, Jake Stordeur, 7.172 @ 194.97, Randall Andras, 9.215 @ 100.78, Jay Turner, 9.816 @ 93.48, Rickey House, 11.052 @ 79.09

Konigshofer King of Pro Stocks
John Konigshofer(Otterville, Ont.) hadn't faired well in San Antonio up until this weekend, but put it all together with the number one qualifying spot, then backing it up with a hole shot win the finals over Trevor Eman. Konigshofer got less than 3/100th on the tree and needed most of the to hold off Eman at the stripe for the win.

Konigshofer, in his Jon Kaase powered, Jerry Haas Chassis, Ford Mustang, got a break in round one against Larry O'Brien. Konigshofer was vulnerable, but O'Brien had been having issues all day. Konigshofer righthed the ship in round two with a decisive win over John Deflorian. Eman, in the Aruba, Ford Mustang posted wins over Matt Bertsch and JR Carr.

It was an awesome day for us; the car is strong. exclaimed Konigshofer. Jon Kaase gave us some awesome motors. We ran 6.22 (seconds) with a five this morning in real good conditions. I thought we could maybe grab the record tonight, but it wasnt there. Were really happy with the car; everyones doing their jobs, the brothers are doing their job so its working.

Pro Stock Finals
John Konigshofer, 6.255 @ 224.78(Hole shot)
Trevor Eman, 6.240 @ 223.10

Pro Stock round 2 eliminations
John Konigshofer, 6.280 @ 224.10
John Deflorian, 6.359 @ 211.27

Trevor Eman, 6.261 @ 224.33
Matt Bertsch, 6.296 @ 221.78

Pro Stock round 1 eliminations
John Deflorian, 6.389 @ 222.22
Dean Goforth, 6.417 @ 218.34

Matt Bertsch, 6.349 @ 220.91(Hole shot)
Cary Goforth, 6.330 @ 223.44

Trevor Eman, 6.288 @ 222.22
JR Carr, 6.422 @ 222.33

John Konigshofer, 7.040 @ 217.50
Larry O'Brien, 7.369 @ 190.92

Pro Stock qualifying
Jon Konigshofer, 6.225 @ 225.34, Trevor Eman, 6.230 @ 224.22, Cary Goforth, 6.322 @ 202.25, Cary Goforth, 6.322 @ 202.25, John Deflorian, 6.358 @ 222.77, Matt Bertsch, 6.393 @ 220.37, JR Carr, 6.628 @ 218.87, Larry O'Brien, 7.209 @ 189.00, Brad Waddle, DNQ(Time)

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