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Mon, 22 Jul 2013, 09:17 AM

Kile, Maier, Gallen Sweep In Thrilling Fashion At Mopar Nitro Jam National
Courtesy of IHRA Communications
Photo copyright 2013 BME Photography

Elrod Back In Grand Bend Winner's Circle, Latino Repeats In Pro Mod

GRAND BEND, Ontario --

Ike Maier Winner's Circle
(July 21, 2013) - Prior to this weekend's IHRA national event at the Grand Bend Motorplex neither Tracy Kile nor Ike Maier had ever won an IHRA Ironman in their respective class.

That all changed over the weekend.

During a thrilling three days of racing at the famed Grand Bend Motorplex in western Ontario Maier, piloting the "Nitro Warrior" Top Fuel Dragster, and Kile, driving a Jay Turner powered Nitro Harley, both claimed their first and second career Ironmen in exciting fashion during championship Sunday at the Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals presented by Parts Canada.

Maier, a former IHRA winner in Pro Modified, picked up his first career Ironmen in Top Fuel Saturday and Sunday in Grand Bend, besting Bobby Lagana Jr. both nights. On Sunday Maier ran a quick 4.969 seconds at 277.77 miles per hour in the final, a feat that was made even more impressive considering Maier is a regular on the NHRA circuit and isn't acclimated to running the full drag racing distance of a quarter-mile.

"To be honest this was pretty new to us. We had not run a full quarter-mile pass in a long time entering Edmonton a few weeks ago and here and we were just trying to get used to the distance," Maier said. "We added more fuel and had to put together a completely different setup, but boy did it feel good to run the quarter-mile again. I am so used to lifting at 1,000 feet and that extra 300 feet, it is tough, but it is fun. You are running wide open and the car is still carrying so much speed, but you learn to work around it.

"This IHRA deal is really nice racing. I love it."

Joining Maier and Kile in Sunday's pro winners circle were Peter Gallen in AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car, Mike Hilsabeck in Nostalgia Fuel Altered and Eric Latino in the PMRA Pro Modified Invitational.

Sportsman winners during Day 2 of the Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL Division 3 doubleheader were Fred Sommer (Top Sportsman), Bill Moloughney (Top Dragster), Franco Cantusci (Super Stock), Stephen McGrath (Stock), Ken Hebert Jr. (Quick Rod), Jacob Elrod (Super Rod) and Roy Lister (Hot Rod).

Other sportsman winners from Sunday's Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals were Top ET winner Will Steckly, Mod ET winner Will Steckly, Junior Dragster winner Tyler Donahue and Harley Destroyers winner Pete Thomson.

Ike Maier
Maier put himself on the radar at IHRA's Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals two weeks ago in Edmonton as the Tottenham, Ontario native came just a few miles per hour shy of setting the track speed record in his first pass. While he didn't turn that speed into a win at the western Canadian event, Maier more than made up for it with a pair of wins in Grand Bend.

"This is very exciting. I have won a bunch of races here, but never in a Top Fuel car. The car is running pretty good. I had to lift a couple of times, but for the most part we were able to run it hard and put on a show for these great fans," Maier said. "It wasn't always pretty, but as they say it is not how you win, it is how many you win and we got two this weekend."

In Sunday's final Maier's 4.969 held up to Lagana's 5.124, 259.46 pass to take the win. In the consolation run Bruce Litton defeated Kyle Wurtzel with both lifting midway through the run.

Tracy Kile
Tracy Kile was Sunday's other big winner as the Asheville, North Carolina native won his very first career Nitro Harley win on Saturday and followed it up with a second win Sunday. Both wins came against Kile's bike owner and tuner Jay Turner with the pair saving the best for last in Sunday's final elimination. In that final Kile ran a 6.512, 211.10 to Turner's 6.691, 213.23 in a tremendous side-by-side pass to give Kile the win.

"It is about time! The bike has been running good all year long, but I just haven't been able to get it done with the trophy on the line," Kile said. "Jay tunes both bikes, so ultimately he has control over the deal, so I guess he cut me some slack this weekend!

"The great thing about having to run Jay all the time is that you get to prove yourself. As they say if you want to be the best you have to beat the best and it feels awesome to do it against Jay. That was a big goal for me this year was getting an Ironman and I am so excited to accomplish that."

In the consolation run Jake Stordeur defeated Rob Brown.

Peter Gallen
Peter Gallen won for the seventh time in 2013 in AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car, sweeping a Nitro Jam weekend for the fourth fifth time in his career as he held off Mike Minick and the "Chi-Town Hustler" team. Minick had low elapsed time of the weekend entering Sunday's final, but in the money round Minick went -.201 red and Gallen powered to a 5.778, 248.29 in the "Poverty Stricken" '77 Monza in picking up the win and setting the bench mark for the weekend.

In the consolation round Rick Krafft defeated Mike McIntire.

Mike Hilsabeck
Mike Hilsabeck wrapped up Nitro Jam competition with a close win over Ron Hope in Fuel Altered. Hilsabeck drove the "Arizona Thunder" to a 6.581, 212.49 in the win, edging Ron Hope's "Rat Trap" by just two thousandths at the line to get the win. Hope ran a 6.553, 209.88 in the runner-up effort.

Ron Maroney won the consolation pairing against Kyle Hough. Maroney also failed to back up his numbers from Saturday night as the Arizona native ran the quickest and fastest Fuel Altered pass in IHRA history at 5.935 seconds at 236.13.

Eric Latino
Eric Latino won the Pro Modified Racing Association Invitational on Sunday, defeating three-time PMRA champion Bruce Boland in the final. Latino won his second Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals in row in easy fashion as Boland broke on his burnout allowing the Ontario native to take a nice leisurely stroll to the Ironman.

Latino qualified No. 2 on the charts and defeated Steve Legare, Kenny Lang and Boland on his way to the win.

Jacob Elrod
In sportsman competition Harrod, Ohio native Jacob Elrod returned to the track where he won three races in one day one year ago, once again claiming a win in Super Rod to give him four Sunday wins in four years at Grand Bend. Elrod drove his Corvette roadster to a win over Dave Klomps as Elrod ran one one thousandth off of the 9.90 dial while Klomps broke out by that same margin.

In Top Sportsman Fred Sommer won via red light over Steve Corriveau while Bill Moloughney produced a very close win over Tony Positano in the Top Dragster final. In the Stock categories Franco Cantusci won over a red-lighting Robert Becker in Super Stock and Stephen McGrath continued his hot streak in Stock with a win over Doug Box.

Finally Ken Hebert Jr. used a .001 reaction time to help propel him to a win over Vince Gregoire in Quick Rod and Roy Lister took the win light over a red-lighting Chris Black in Hot Rod.

Next up for the IHRA Nitro Jam series is a trip to U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan for the CarSafe Northern Nitro Jam presented by Perry Harley-Davidson August 9-10.

GRAND BEND, Ontario -- Sunday's final results from the Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals Day Three at Grand Bend Motorplex. The race is the sixth of eight in the 2013 Nitro Jam Series:

TOP FUEL Ike Maier, Tottenham, Ont., 4.969 seconds, 277.77 mph def. Bobby Lagana Jr., Scarsdale, N.Y., 5.124 seconds, 259.46 mph.

PROSTALGIA NITRO FUNNY CAR Peter Gallen, Broomall, Pa., '77 Monza, 5.778, 248.29 def. Mike Minick, Justice, Ill., '73 Charger, foul.

NITRO HARLEY Tracy Kile, Asheville, N.C., 6.512, 211.10 def. Jay Turner, Julian, N.C., 6.691, 213.23.

NOSTALGIA FUEL ALTERED Mike Hilsabeck, Phoenix, Ariz., '23 roadster, 6.581, 212.49 def. Ron Hope, Franklin, Tenn., '33 Bantam, 6.553, 209.88.

PMRA PRO MOD Eric Latino, Pt. Perry, Ont., '69 Camaro, 10.558, 87.07 def. Bruce Boland, Stoney Creek, Ont., '53 Corvette, broke.

TOP SPORTSMAN Fred Sommer, Fisher, Ill., '89 Cavalier, 7.807, 172.14 def. Steve Corriveau, Fonthill, Ont., '67 Nova, foul.

TOP DRAGSTER Bill Moloughney, Shawville, Quebec, dragster, 6.610, 204.32 def. Tony Positano, Toronto, Ont., dragster, 6.699, 201.67.

QUICK ROD Ken Hebert Jr., Tecumseh, Ont., dragster, 8.936, 147.54 def. Vince Gregoire, Lake View, N.Y., dragster, 8.930, 154.05.

SUPER ROD Jacob Elrod, Lima, Ohio, '92 Corvette, 9.901, 155.29 def. Dave Klomps, Hensall, Ont., '02 Corvette, 9.899, 158.41.

HOT ROD Roy Lister, Welland, Ont., '68 Camaro, 11.782, 100.92 def. Chris Black, Fenelton, Pa., '88 S-10, foul.

SUPER STOCK Franco Cantusci, Stittsville, Ont., '85 Camaro, GT/JA, 11.358, 92.08 def. Robert Becker, Port Colborne, Ont., '87 Camaro, GT/DA, foul.

STOCK ELIMINATOR Stephen McGrath, Rochester, N.Y., '73 Dart, H/SA, 11.621, 109.37 def. Doug Box, London, Ont., '69 Camaro, B/SA, 10.563, 123.52.

HARLEY DESTROYERS Pete Thomson, Burlington, Ont., '06 V-Rod, 9.378, 135.41 def. Chris Fox, Owen Sound, Ont., '06 Destroyer, 14.298, 54.24.

ET FINAL Will Steckly, Milverton, Ont., '80 Charger, 8.954, 149.08 def. Ed McCleaft, Shinglehouse, Pa., dragster, 7.633, 175.37.

NO BOX ET Will Steckly, Milverton, Ont., '80 Charger, 8.951, 136.88 def. Tim Ferguson, Amherstburg, Ont., '67 Nova, 10.374, 126.85.

BOX ET Ed McCleaft, Shinglehouse, Pa., dragster, 7.650, 175.32 def. K.C. Kovacs, Windham Centre, Ont., dragster, foul.

JUNIOR DRAGSTER Tyler Donahue, Dorchester, Ont., dragster, 11.857, 53.78 def. Ryan Paquette, Strathroy, Ont., dragster, 7.954, 81.17.

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