KENT, Wash. - In the final results from Pacific Raceways NHRA Lucas Oil Double-Header event, three racers scored double wins taking home trophies at both events. Alan Ellis in Comp Eliminator, Steve Downs in the RH Racecars Top Sportsman and Brian Bognuda in Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley Davidson each outlasted their competition not once but twice.
Ellis, Mapleton, Utah, ran down Jeff Lane in 6.522 seconds at 211.30 mph in the first event then came back with his '23 Ford roadster to beat Ralph Van Paepeghem on Sunday for the second. Downs, Edgewood, Wash., took the early lead in race #1 to defeat Chris Newman before facing off with Shawn Herbst, Selah, Wash., in a close one for race #2. Downs clocked in at 7.589 at 178.61 to Herbst's 7.748, 177.35. Bognuda, Weott, Calif., was better at the tree in both events and ran consistent all weekend. He beat Yakima, Wash., rider Jeff Havens for his first trophy, and Jon Jenkins, Richmond, B.C., for the second running 10.712 and 10.692 respectively.
Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car completed in a single race as did the NHRA Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Series. Chris Demke picked up his second win of the season to strengthen his tenuous lead in the most wide-open Top Alcohol Dragster points race in years, and in Alcohol Funny Car, Steve Gasparrelli conquered a deep and talented field for his latest win at Seattle, where he does better than at any other track.
In the most consistent performance of his career, Demke qualified No. 1 with a 5.32 at 267 mph and ran three straight 5.32s at 268 in eliminations for his second win in eight 2013 finals. "Over the years we've been pretty consistent, but not that consistent," he said. "No way have I ever run the same e.t. in every single round of a race until this weekend."
Demke's 5.321 covered Megan McKernan's 5.55 in the first round, and a 5.325 in the semifinals eliminated Ray Martin, who red-lighted by just one-thousandth of a second en route to a 5.39. Johnny Ahten came up with low e.t. of the meet, 5.313, in the other semifinal to take out Shawn Cowie, who had won the Northwest Nationals at this track two weeks earlier. Ahten ended a streak of 12 consecutive round-wins for Cowie, who won the 2011 SummitRacing.com Nationals in his last start before the horrific motorcycle accident that sidelined him for two years, then the Woodburn regional last month, and then the Northwest Nationals.
"Ahten ran right ahead of me, and I was plenty concerned about him after that 5.31," Demke said. "Those guys have really stepped up their program this year, and more people than I even want to think about have gotten their first win over me, so I was plenty nervous going into the final. I figured I might have to leave on him to win." He did, with a .049, and leaped ahead in the mid-range when Ahten's A/Fueler rattled the tires for a 5.320 to 5.56 win that opened his lead on reigning national champ Jim Whiteley in the national standings.
"We should have been able to run a high 5.20-something here - we just did at the national event - but we never veered to far from our original tune-up," Demke said. "It was consistent and pretty fast the way it was, and it worked - we won. We'll have the points lead going into Indy, but the championship is still a long shot if you ask me. We've left too many points on the table with runner-ups, and I still consider Whiteley the favorite."
Gasparrelli was nearly as consistent in Top Alcohol Funny Car as Demke was in Top Alcohol Dragster. The many-time Division 7 champ, who has been in five national event finals and four divisional finals at Seattle, won this one going away when Shane Westerfield struck the tires right off the starting line after cutting the best light of the entire event, .022. Gasparrelli won with a third straight .070 light and 5.6 pass, a 5.64 at 258 mph.
Westerfield, who got his first win earlier this season in Houston, paced the field in qualifying and reached the final with wins over the last two Seattle national event champs, John Evanchuk (2012) and Clint Thompson (2013). A 5.76 erased Evanchuk's close 5.79 in the first round, and only a 9.77 was necessary in the semi's when Thompson red-lighted.
Gasparrelli duplicated his 5.61 qualifying time in a first-round win over 2008 Division 7 champ Terry Ruckman, who slowed to a 6.11. In the semifinals, Gasparrelli's 5.66 was more than enough when friend Doug Gordon, who'd nipped Sean Bellemeur in the opening round, smoked the tires off the starting line.
Tommy Grimes jumped into the points lead in Top Fuel Harley taking the win over Steve Dorn. Grimes qualified No. 2 behind Dorn but recorded low elapsed time and top speed of the event in the final round running 6.193 seconds at 242.54 mph to Dorn who slowed to a 7.201 at 143.
Bill Bentz and Rod Anderson faced off in another 1 vs. 2 qualifier in Pro Dragster Harley with Bentz coming out on top at 7.447, 158.76 to Anderson, Snohomish, Wash., at 7.904, 162.57.
The remaining Harley-Davidson classes went to James Suber, Shelter Cove, Calif., who beat Nick Stute in Pro Gas and Val Smith who won both Hot Street and Street Pro. Smith, Portland, Ore., beat Charles Robbins, Puyallup, Wash., in Hot Street and was unopposed in Street Pro.
Kory Alby took out Butch Walsh in Super Stock race #1 with a near perfect reaction time of .001 seconds. Alby advanced to the final on Sunday as well only to have Puyallup, Wash., resident Jody Lang end is day with a 10.790 second pass to Alby's 11.192.
Thomas Bayer, Fontana, Calif., was looking for the double but in different classes. He took the win in Super Comp over the red-lighting Matthew Woodard, Lakewood, Calif., in the first event and advanced to the final in Top Dragster in the second but gave it away with red light start to Grace Presser who took the trophy home to Salem, Ore.
Other winners from the first event were Justin Lamb in Stock over reigning national champion Brad Burton; Randy Sides, defeated Curtis Geise in Super Gas; Brad Vinje over Marko Perlvolaris in Super Street; Andy Spiegel fell to Brian Carlquist in Top Dragster; Art Hoover ousted Fred Hoffman in Super Pro and Bernie Plourd won over Curt Moore in Pro.
The second event winners circle saw Mike Shannon in Super Comp who beat Michael Dalrymple; Dave Jung in Stock over Steve Cozakos; David Holmes knocking out Ken Mostowich in Super Gas, Steve Lowe beating Brian Oglesbee in Super Street; Craig Dion got the best of Ashley Lindsey in Super Pro and Greg Steen over Jeremy Witherboc in Pro.
The following are the final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Double-Header event at Pacific Raceways:
RACE #1 COMP ELIMINATOR Alan Ellis, Mapleton, Utah, '23 roadster, A/AA, 6.522, 211.30 def. Jeff Lane, North Bend, Wash., '10 Cobalt, C/SMA, 8.139, 164.79. SUPER STOCK Kory Alby, Coos Bay, Ore., '68 Chevelle, SS/LA, 11.578, 87.63 def. Butch Walsh, Firth, Idaho, '67 Camaro, SS/GA, 15.581, 86.03. STOCK ELIMINATOR Justin Lamb, Henderson, Nev., '70 Camaro, D/SA, 10.750, 116.90 def. Brad Burton, Snohomish, Wash., '72 Firebird, E/SA, 10.798, 118.43. SUPER COMP Thomas Bayer, Fontana, Calif., dragster, 8.897, 148.71 def. Matt Woodard, Lakewood, Calif., dragster, foul. SUPER GAS Randy Sides, Selah, Wash., '57 Corvette, 9.921, 157.98 def. Curt Geise, Auburn, Wash., '02 Firebird, 9.918, 166.44. SUPER STREET Brad Vinje, Langley, B.C., '68 Camaro, 10.891, 144.49 def. Marko Perivolaris, Petaluma, Calif., '00 S-10, 10.879, 128.04. TOP DRAGSTER Brian Carlquist, Zillah, Wash., dragster, 7.230, 182.53 def. Andy Spiegel, Acton, Calif., dragster, 18.470, 39.40. TOP SPORTSMAN Steve Downs, Edgewood, Wash., '01 S-10, 7.545, 178.35 def. Chris Newman, Lancaster, Calif., '08 Cobalt, 6.905, 202.36. SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE PRESENTED BY HARLEY DAVIDSON Brian Bognuda, Weott, Calif., '08 Kawasaki, 10.712, 118.50 def. Jeff Havens, Yakima, Wash., '95 Suzuki, 8.156, 152.19. SUPER PRO Art Hoover, Concord, Calif., dragster, 7.382, 176.10 def. Fred Hoffman, Shoreline, Wash., '67 Camaro, 10.836, 130.15. PRO Bernie Plourd, Covington, Wash., '68 Chevelle, 11.361, 114.83 def. Curt Moore, Puyallup, Wash., '72 Vega, foul. RACE #2 TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER: Round 1 3) Johnny Ahten, Santa Clarita, Calif., 5.584, 263.87 def. 9) Aaron Olivarez, Sandy, Utah, 6.065, 188.75 2) Shawn Cowie, Delta, B.C., 5.340, 268.12 def. 7) Garrett Bateman, Albany, Ore., 5.481, 259.76 1) Chris Demke, Tujunga, Calif., 5.321, 268.60 def. 8) Megan McKernan, Sierra Madre, Calif., 5.553, 263.72 4) Ray Martin, Anchorage, Alaska, 5.375, 267.80 def. 5) Duane Shields, Boulder City, Nev., 5.530, 257.09 Semifinals Ahten, 5.313, 268.76 def. Cowie, 5.428, 265.01 Demke, 5.325, 268.54 def. Martin, foul Final Demke, 5.320, 268.54 def. Ahten, 5.562, 259.11 TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR: Round 1 4) Clint Thompson, Klamath Falls, Ore., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.615, 257.73 def. 5) Jason Rupert, Yorba Linda, Calif., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.681, 255.73 1) Shane Westerfield, Anaheim, Calif., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.760, 252.95 def. 8) John Evanchuk, Edmonton, Alb., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.794, 248.98 2) Steve Gasparrelli, West Covina, Calif., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.615, 258.67 def. 7) Terry Ruckman, Grand Junction, Colo., '06 Monte Carlo, 6.117, 187.68 3) Doug Gordon, Paso Robles, Calif., '11 Mustang, 5.645, 253.90 def. 6) Sean Bellemeur, Anaheim, Calif., '02 Camaro, 5.653, 255.43 Semifinals Westerfield, 9.772, 87.73 def. Thompson, foul Gasparrelli, 5.665, 258.52 def. Gordon, 11.141, 78.17 Final Gasparrelli, 5.647, 258.67 def. Westerfield, 15.556, 70.37. COMP ELIMINATOR Alan Ellis, Mapleton, Utah, '23 roadster, A/AA, 7.294, 127.34 def. Ralph Van Paepeghem, Garden Valley, Idaho, '32 Bantam, A/EA, foul. SUPER STOCK Jody Lang, Puyallup, Wash., '81 Malibu, GT/JA, 10.790, 114.31 def. Kory Alby, Coos Bay, Ore., '68 Chevelle, SS/LA, 11.192, 113.55. STOCK ELIMINATOR Dave Jung, Surrey, B.C., '81 Malibu, K/SA, 12.070, 105.18 def. Steve Cozakos, Marysville, Wash., '69 Nova, G/SA, 11.150, 114.30. SUPER COMP Mike Shannon, Kelowna, B.C., dragster, 9.142, 136.25 def. Michael Dalrymple, Sunnyside, Wash., dragster, 9.375, 154.99. SUPER GAS Dave Holmes, Spokane, Wash., '63 Belvedere, 9.910, 148.95 def. Ken Mostowich, Calgary, Alb., '13 Corvette, 9.888, 159.82. SUPER STREET Steve Lowe, Langley, B.C., '68 Camaro, 10.927, 132.95 def. Brian Oglesbee, Veradale, Wash., '55 Chevy, 10.967, 126.39. TOP DRAGSTER Grace Presser, Salem, Ore., dragster, 7.617, 173.61 def. Thomas Bayer, Fontana, Calif., dragster, foul. TOP SPORTSMAN Steve Downs, Edgewood, Wash., '01 S-10, 7.589, 178.61 def. Shawn Herbst, Selah, Wash., '63 Corvette, 7.748, 177.35. SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE PRESENTED BY HARLEY-DAVIDSON Brian Bognuda, Weott, Calif., '80 Kawasaki, 10.692, 119.35 def. Jon Jenkins, Richmond, B.C., '84 Suzuki, 8.747, 150.95. TOP FUEL HARLEY Tommy Grimes, Clemmon, N.C., '12 Harley, 6.193, 242.54 def. Steve Dorn, Milwaukee, Ore., '06 Harley, 7.201, 143.20. PRO GAS HARLEY James Surber, Shelter Cove, Calif., '11 Buell, 7.167, 184.75 def. Nick Stute, Miwaukie, Ore., '01 Harley, 8.831, 127.20. PRO DRAGSTER HARLEY Bill Bentz, Prescott Valley, Ariz., dragster, 7.447, 158.76 def. Rod Anderson, Snohomish, Wash., dragster, 7.904, 162.57. STREET PRO HARLEY Verl Smith, Portland, Ore., dragster, 10.292, 87.75 was unopposed. HOT STREET HARLEY Verl Smith, Portland, Ore., '05 Dyna, 11.861, 111.04 def. Charles Robbins, Puyallup, Wash., '02 M2-7, broke. SUPER PRO Craig Dion, Grandview, Wash., '70 Duster, 10.562, 125.00 def. Ashley Lindsey, Puyallup, Wash., dragster, 8.894, 152.23. PRO Greg Steen, Seattle, Wash., '89 Chevy, 21.753, 86.23 def. Jeremy Witherbee, Kent, Wash., '70 Nova, foul.