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Mon, 25 Sep 2000, 09:26 AM

Virginia Motorsports Park Hosts NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series
Courtesy of NHRA Marketing

DINWIDDIE, Va. -- The Virginia is for Lover's Thunder Weekend, a round of the NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series, wrapped up at Virginia Motorsports Park. The event was the fifth of six in Southeast Division competition. The season will conclude Oct. 13-15 at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn.

Although there is not much mystery in the division's Federal-Mogul Dragster and Funny Car championships, with Michael Gunderson having a nearly 100-point lead over Don Fiorelli in FMD and Jay Payne seeming to be running away with the FMFC title, competitors from NHRA's Northeast Division came down to slug it out for their division's FMD title.

Blooming Glen, Pa., resident Jeanie Booz and Rich McPhillips of Phoenixville, Pa., came into the event tied with 302 points, each. This was Booz's last event from which to claim points and McPhillips has one more. The two met head-to-head in the semi-finals and Booz beat McPhillips. She went on to win the event, her third win of the season. McPhillips may go to another event, but must achieve at least a win, in order to tie Booz in points.

For the third year in a row, Super Gas competitor Dan Northrop of Doylestown, Pa., was in the winner's circle at Virginia Motorsports Park. And Lithonia, Ga., resident Joe LoCicero won in Super Stock for the second straight year.

Top qualifiers of the event, who share the $2,500 Winston Top Qualifier bonus are McPhillips in FMD; Jay Payne of Upland, Calif., in FMFC; Frank Aragona of Franklin Square, N.Y.; Bob Dodson of Beaver Dam, Va., in Super Stock; and James Waibel of Lakeland, Fla., in Stock.

Greg Kozera of Monroe, Conn., set national e.t. and speed records for Comp Eliminator in his D-Econo dragster. His record making e.t. is 7.468 seconds and the speed is 175.41 mph.

After each class except FMD, FMFC and Comp received four rounds of qualifying and time trials Friday, Saturday was a total wash-out due to rain. No cars went down the track at Virginia Motorsports Park on Saturday. On Sunday, competitors in Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street went right into eliminations. FMD, FMFC and Comp each had one qualifying pass and then began eliminations.

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