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Sat, 16 Sep 2000, 11:54 AM

Over 750 Racers Go for Summit Racing Series Gold
Courtesy of NHRA Marketing

At Indianapolis Raceway Park

CLERMONT, Ind. -- For the first time in over 20 years the NHRA bracket racers will have a national championship. For the NHRA North Central Division racers it all starts this weekend at the crown jewel of NHRA Championship Drag Racing tracks, Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind. at the NHRA Summit Racing Series North Central Division Finals. Over 750 cars and motorcycles will be fighting it out on the famed quarter-mile for an invite to the NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif. in November.

The champions crowned this weekend at IRP in the four categories: Super Pro, Pro, Street, and Super Pro Bike will be given an invite to take place in the Summit Racing Series National Championship at Pomona Raceway in Pomona, Calif. along with a check for $3500. The North Central Division Summit Racing Series champions will then go against the 24 competitors from the six other NHRA divisions for a chance at the $5000 winners check in each of the four categories.

The defending North Central Division E.T. champions include Lynn Muir of Collinsville, Ill. in Super Pro, Jeff Smith of Bettendorf, Iowa in Pro, Ricky Shepherd of Riverside, Ohio in Street and Brian Poe of Cable, Ohio in Super Pro Bike.

A team championship will also be decided this weekend at IRP. Each participating track fields a team of no more than 45 drivers to compete for a team title. One point is credited to each team for every round their drivers win. In 1999, all the bragging rights went to Edgewater Sports Park in Cleves, Ohio took the team crown with 106 points. Kil-Kare Dragway in Xenia, Ohio took second with 101 points and Gateway Int'l Raceway in Madison, Ill. took third with 86 points.

"There is an electricity around the pits this weekend I have never felt before," said North Central Division Director, Jay Hullinger. "The fact that there is a national championship up for grabs for the first time in 20 years makes this the most important race of the year for most of these racers. The drivers are here to go to Pomona."

The Kendall Clash Race of Champions was held on Friday night at IRP. The Kendall Clash is a race within a race for the track champions in the Super Pro, Pro, Street, and Super Pro Bike categories from the 17 participating tracks for a chance at $3000 in purse. In Super Pro, Steve Holman of Pataskla, Ohio and his '68 Chevrolet Camaro from Pacemakers Raceway Park in Mount Vernon, Ohio beat out Lewis Hall of Portage, Mich. for the $700 winners check. Quaker City Raceway drivcer Joe Tharp Jr. of Waynesburg, Penn. drove his '70 Oldsmobile 442 to the championship in the Pro category.

The Street championship went to Jeff Seither of Fairfield, Ohio from Edgewater Sports Park in his '69 Ford Fairlane. In Super Pro Bike, U.S. 131 rider Les Lynema of Plainwell, Mich. rode his Kawasaki to the win light and a $500 payday.

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