DELMAR, Del. -- Lebanon Valley Raceway's Bill Kirpens, still has what it takes to win. Facing Numidia Raceway runner, Tom Harhart in the Street Eliminator Race of Champions final, Kirpens, of Richmond, Mass., rolled to victory behind the wheel of his Duster.
"I had a stroke about 4 months ago, and thought that maybe I wouldn't be able to drive anymore. The stroke may have affected my speech a little, but I guess I proved to myself and a lot of other people that I've still got it all upstairs," said an elated Kirpens in victory lane.
Scoring the victory in Heavy eliminator was Bob Green, of Middlesex, N.J., racing out of the Island Dragway camp. Green emerged victorious over Cecil County Raceway's, John Pinno, of Oxford, Penn. Racing for Mason-Dixon Dragway in the Motorcycle category, Jerry Heil, of Sharpesburg, Md., triumphed over Raceway Parks Ron Reagan, when the Jackson, N.J. rider couldn't run the number.
The Super Pro Race of Champions victory went to Capital Raceway runner, Terry Sinke when the Millersville, Md. native took out South Mountain Dragway representative Terry Smith, of Hanover, Penn.
Saturday's action will feature the highly regarded individual championships in Super ET, Heavy ET, Bike/Sled and Street, which will qualify four drivers for the Summit Racing NHRA National E.T Finals, to be held at the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, November 8-11 in Pomona, Calif. There they will complete for a "winner-takes-all" $5000 purse.
Saturday will also feature the High School Eliminator Challenge presented by Luzerne County Community College. Open to competitors currently enrolled in High School, or 2001 graduates, the High School Eliminator Challenge is a no-electronics eliminator. The winner of the eliminator will receive a $1000 U.S Savings Bond, NHRA/Summit Racing Series ET Gold Card, Champions Jacket and a trophy, all to be presented at the NHRA Northeast Division Championship Banquet being held January, 12, 2002. His or her school will also receive $1000, donated by the Northeast Division track operators to be used in the promotion of motorsports education.
Gates will open tomorrow at 7 a.m. with eliminations in Street Eliminator, followed by Heavy ET, Super ET and Bike/Snowmobile set to begin at 8:30 a.m.
The following is the list of racers who will be competing in the NHRA Summit Racing Series Finals High School Challenge presented by Luzerne County Community College on Saturday afternoon, as well as the results from the NHRA Summit Racing Series Northeast Division Race of Champions, held today:
High School Challenge presented by Luzerne County Community College participants: Rob Keefer, 75-80 Dragway Casie Laspata, Atco Raceway Rebecca Jones, Capital Raceway Hannah Losito, Cecil County Dragway Bob Belvick, ESTA Safety Park Melissa DeMarcky, Island Dragway Gary Skiffer, Keystone Raceway Park Joe Santangelo, Lebanon Valley Dragway Bobby Conway, Long Island Motorsports Park Kevin Fogarty, Maple Grove Raceway Jeremy Manford, Mason-Dixon Dragway Adam Werner, Numidia Raceway Ryan Rodriguez, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park Courtney Suders, South Mountain Dragway John Hurlbert, Spencer Speedway Danny Clark, U.S. 13 Dragway Super Quarterfinalists: Terry Smith, South Mountain Dragway; Ronnie Horwath, Mason-Dixon Dragway; Terry Sinke, Capital Raceway; Gene Irvin, Atco Raceway; Steve Sperone, Island Dragway Quarterfinals Smith, .501 reaction time, 11.72 dial-in, 11.718 seconds def. Horwath, .509, 9.82, 9.799 Sinke, .505, 7.76, 7.807 def. Irvin, .527, 10.19, 10.232 Sperone, .488, 10.80, 10.796 Semifinals Sinke, .519, 7.77, 7.816 def. Sperone, .530, 10.80, 10.839 Smith, .427, 11.70, 11.702 def. BYE Final Sinke, .505, 7.79, 7.835 def. Smith, .541, 11.69, 11.753 Heavy Quarterfinalists: Bob Green, Island Dragway; Brian Shaffer South Mountain Dragway; Brian Brown, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park; Steve Hoff, 75-80 Dragway; John Pinno Cecil County Dragway Quarterfinals Green, .540 reaction time, 11.32 dial-in, 11.320 seconds def. Shaffer, .583, 10.60, 10.605 Brown, .528, 12.32, 12.314 def. Hoff, .552, 11.32, 11.306 Pinno, .492, 10.14, 10.135 def. BYE Semifinals Pinno, .526, 10.13, 10.192 def. Brown, .549, 12.29, 12.340 Green, .528, 11.29, 11.317 def. BYE Final Green, .541, 11.30, 11.303 def. Pinno, .613, 10.14, 10.144 Bike/Snowmobile Semifinalists: Jerry Heil, Mason Dixon Dragway; Joe Nonemaker, South Mountain Dragway; Jimmie Miller, Capital Raceway, Bob Larish, Numidia Raceway; Ron Reagan, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park Quarterfinals Heil, .620 reaction time, 9.31 dial-in, 9.341 seconds def. Nonemaker, .551, 9.38, 9.483 Miller, .550, 8.85, 8.883 def. Larish, .468 (foul), 8.57, 8.591 Reagan, .571, 9.45, 9.442 def. BYE Semifinals Reagan, .549 reaction time, 9.45, 9.536, 139.14 def. Miller, .642, 8.854, 8.88 Heil, .560, 9.33, 9.314 def. BYE Final Heil, .641, 9.31, 9.423 def. Reagan, .570, 9.50, 9.787 Street Quarterfinalists: Tom Harhart, Numidia Raceway; Gordon Stuckey, Mason-Dixon Dragway; Bill Kirpens, Lebanon Valley Dragway; John Pehlman, Maple Grove Raceway; Carlos DeJesus, Capital Raceway Quarterfinals Harhart, .584 reaction time, 14.24 dial-in, 14.199 seconds def. Stuckey, .496 (foul), 12.49, 12.463 Kirpens, .544, 12.30, 12.318 def. Pehlman, .518, 13.76, 13.757 DeJesus, .530, 12.17, 12.176 Semifinals Harhart, .538, 14.18, 14.271 def. DeJesus, .547, 12.15, 12.232 Kirpens, .522, 12.30, 12.357 def. BYE Final Kirpens, .502, 12.36, 12.379 def. Harhart, .568, 14.28, 14.269
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