LEICESTER, N.Y. - The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) made a stop in the 15-stop series on Aug. 18-20 at Empire Dragway.
Paige Montgomery of Alden, N.Y., extended streaks in the JR Race Cars Junior Dragster division with her fourth straight win and fifth straight final-round appearances. Other weekend performances included Tony Fabiano in Super Rod, Billy Ryan in Hot Rod, Pete D Agnolo in Super Stock and John Hayek in Stock reaching the final round both days.
Competitors entered the weekend events in the following classes: Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, Quick Rod, Super Rod, Hot Rod, Super Stock, Stock and Junior Dragster. Full results are available here: Empire Dragway Race Results; a weekend recap of Leicester action is below.
Saturday, August 19
Top Dragster: Michael Kalin from Niagara Falls, N.Y., captured Top Dragster honors when final-round opponent Travis Colangelo from Sandusky, Ohio red-lighted. Kalin had a 4.238-second run at 167.16 mph against a 4.25 dial-in. Colangelo went down the track in 4.616 seconds at 145.48 mph against a 4.59 dial-in.
Top Sportsman: Scott Wasko from Columbia Station, Ohio matched his dial-in with a 4.454-second effort at 156.20 mph to win the Top Sportsman race. Runner-up Christopher Halper from Sloan, N.Y., had the .023 to .030 advantage at the starting line. Racing against a 4.59 dial-in, Halper made a 4.460-second pass at 149.90 mph.
Quick Rod: Gary Fleenor from Port Clinton, Ohio ran a 5.704 at 138.29 mph to beat Peter Maduri from North Tonawanda, N.Y. for the Quick Rod title. Fleenor was also faster at the tree with a .023 reaction time to .044 for Maduri, whose final numbers were 5.725 secondds and 124.93 mph.
Super Rod: In a very competitive Super Rod final, Tommy Allen from West Seneca, N.Y., had an elapsed time of 6.393 seconds at 126.51 mph. Runner-up Tony Fabiano of Welland, Ontario, Canada was quick at the tree with a .006 reaction time to .032 for Allen. Fabiano raced down the strip at 6.390 seconds and 121.07 mph.
Hot Rod: Timothy Fletcher from Churchville, N.Y., held a slight advantage .008 to .013 at the start to pick up the Hot Rod title. Fletcher posted an elapsed tie at 7.001 seconds and 103.93 mph. Billy Ryan of Marion, N.Y., finished in 6.999 seconds and 110.86 mph.
Super Stock: Steve Comella from Webster, N.Y., nearly matched his 5.50 dial-in with a 5.497 run at 123.76 mph and combined it with a .032 reaction time to win in Super Stock. Pete D Agnolo of Rochester, N.Y., posted a 5.829-second run at 114.07 mph against a 5.84 dial-in, and left the line with a .035 start.
Stock: John Hayek from Lockport, N.Y., cruised to an easy win in Stock after Stephen McGrath from Rochester, N.Y., left early. Hayek had a .051 reaction time and went down the track in 10.040 seconds at 44.57 mph. McGrath finished with a 7.637 elapsed time at 76.77 mph.
Junior Dragster: Paige Montgomery from Alden, N.Y., followed up her Maryland sweep by winning on a holeshot in the Junior Dragster final. Montgomery had a .026 reaction time to .077 for runner-up Zachary Vitez from Elma, N.Y. Montgomery's pass was 7.991 seconds at 81.24 mph. Vitez had an elapsed time of 7.967 and 81.45 mph in a losing effort.
Sunday, August 20
Top Dragster: The trip up Interstate 95 was well worth it for Chris Ferguson from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who captured the Top Dragster title. Both drivers fouled at the start, but Ferguson's overall package of 4.515 seconds and 153.11 mph against a 4.50 dial-in was better than the 4.789 seconds and 143.95 mph against a 4.75 dial-in posted by runner-up Mark Romanofsky of Hilton, N.Y.
Top Sportsman: In a battle of Buckeye State drivers, Gary Wojnowski from Brunswick, Ohio won Top Sportsman on a holeshot against Rob Harvischak from Warren, Ohio. Wojnowski was .006 at the tree to .057 for Harvischak. He then ran a 4.714 elapsed time at 146.39 mph against a 4.68 dial-in. Harvischak matched his dial-in with a 4.817-second run at 145.30 mph.
Quick Rod: Canadian racer Ed Smith from LaSalle, Ontario had a good start at .011 to .027 for Quick Rod runner-up Nick Karas of Northfield, Ohio. Smith finished with a run of 5.711 seconds at 142.27 mph, while Karas ended at 5.685 seconds and 138.63 mph.
Super Rod: Patrick Nuzzo from Bristol, Conn., was quick at the tree with a .004 reaction time, while final-round opponent Tony Fabiano from Welland, Ontario, Canada, fouled out. Nuzzo ended with a 6.433 second-run at 81.20 mph. Fabiano, who was runner-up for a second straight day, went down the track in 6.389 seconds and 124.65 mph.
Hot Rod: Billy Ryan from Marion, N.Y., improved one spot from his Saturday performance to win the Hot Rod division. He blasted off the line in .008 seconds to a .054 reaction time for JJ Jablonski from Alden, NY. Ryan's elapsed time was 7.032 seconds with a speed of 107.53 mph. Jablonski was not as quick at 7.064 seconds, but had a faster speed of 113.04 mph.
Super Stock: A pair of Rochester, N.Y. drivers battled for the Super Stock crown as Pete D Agnolo scored the win. D Angolo, who was runner-up the day before matched his dial-in at 5.826 seconds and 114.10 mph, along with a .021 reaction time. Dave Ward had a 7.158 elapsed time 92.36 mph against a 7.16 dial-in with a .026 reaction time.
Stock: Jim Fix of Amherst, N.Y., denied John Hayek of Lockport, N.Y., the weekend sweep in the Stock class. Fix raced down the race in 6.844 seconds at 98.62 mph against a 6.85 dial-in, combined with a .070 reaction time. Hayek, fouled at the start, and ran an 8.92 elapsed time and 76.39 mph.
Junior Dragster: In a rematch of the Saturday final round, Paige Montgomery from Alden, N.Y., once again got the better of Zachary Vitez from Elma, N.Y. Montgomery recorded a 7.940 elapsed time at 81.29 mph against a 7.95 dial-in with a .047 reaction time. Vitex finished in 7.931 seconds at 80.85 mph with a .021 reaction time.