CHANDLER, Ariz. -- The Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series event at Firebird Int'l Raceway was full of suspense at Sunday's eliminations. One national championship was decided, numerous divisional championships were resolved, and one national championship opportunity is intact after a big weekend at the World Series of Drag Racing in Chandler, Ariz. Bruce Bowler of Denver, Colo. and Bucky Austin of Fife, Wash. took the event honors in Federal-Mogul Dragster and Funny Car, respectively.
Bowler drove his Phoenix Motorsports Apparel Federal-Mogul Dragster to his biggest win of the year. The win clinched the NHRA West Central Division Federal-Mogul Dragster Championship. With the win at Firebird Int'l Raceway, Bowler took the division five Federal-Mogul Dragster title by 16 points over Billy Bybee of McLean, Texas. Bybee made the trip from Texas to block Bowler, but was taken out in the semifinals by the hottest driver on the Federal-Mogul Dragster circuit for the last two months, Gary Ormsby Jr. or Granite Bay, Calif. Bowler's win also moves him into eighth place in the national points standing with only next week's NHRA World Finals in Pomona, Calif. left to claim.
"We torched the heads on every run today, but it's worth it," said an ecstatic Bowler. "Bybee has given our team a run all year and it's been a blast. I give my son Scott, my crew chief, all the credit-he did what it took to win."
In Federal-Mogul Funny Car, John Weaver of Hanford, Calif. secured the Pacific Division Federal-Mogul Funny Car championship with his runner-up finish to event winner Bucky Austin of Fife, Wash. Weaver actually clinched the Division 7 Federal-Mogul Funny Car Championship after Larry Miner of Lodi, Calif. and Doug Gordon of Paso Robles, Calif. lost in the first round. Austin collected his first divisional win of the year to go along with his national event win at the Prolong Super Lubricants Nationals in Seattle. In the final round, Austin took the advantage at the starting line and was being caught until Weaver accidentally hit the parachutes at half-track and slowed to give the win to Austin.
"We found some problems with the clutch after yesterday's qualifying and I think we fixed it," said Austin with a smile. "Its been an up and down year for us. I think we have worked some kinks out and we will hit it hard at Pomona."
Peter Biondo of Mt. Laurel, N.J. was awarded the Federal-Mogul Super Stock National Championship after John Schiess of North Hills, Calif. and defending Super Stock national champion, Jimmy DeFrank of Tarzana, Calif. lost in the first round. Jim DeFrank and Sons racing teammates, Schiess and DeFrank were in striking distance going into Sunday's eliminations but both couldn't get the win light in the first round and made Biondo's long drive from N.J. worth it. Biondo and the other six Federal-Mogul National Champions will be honored on Monday, November 13 at B.B. Kings Restaurant in Universal City, Calif.
Other Pacific Division Federal-Mogul Champions that were decided this weekend were: Andy Manna Jr. of Covina, Calif. in Competition Eliminator; Jimmy DeFrank of Tarzana, Calif. inSuper Stock; Steve Wann of Modesto, Calif. in Stock; Kyle Seipel of Napa, Calif. in Super Comp; Bob Herr in Super Gas; Ron Fitzhugh in Super Street; Mike Fields Sr. of Sacramento, Calif. in Pro Sportsman Motorcycle; and Mike MacBriar of Napa, Calif. in Super Eliminator.
The following are Sunday's final results from the NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series event at Firebird International Raceway:
FEDERAL-MOGUL DRAGSTER Round One 1) Gary Ormsby Jr., Granite Bay, Calif., 5.521 seconds, 256.21 mph def. 8) John Shoemaker, Sacramento, Calif., 5.629, 248.29 2) Bruce Bowler, Denver, Colo., 5.497, 255.53 def. 7) Mike Strasburg, Lindon, Utah, 5.619, 252.90 6) Dale Carlson, Olympia, Wash., 5.543, 255.05 def. 3) David Hirata, Lowell, Ind., 5.861, 225.18 4) Billy Bybee, McLean, Texas, 5.677, 251.81 vs. 5) Brandon Henkelman, San Jose, Calif., 10.059, 80.94 Semifinals Ormsby Jr., 5.502, 255.48 def. Bybee, 5.604, 254.23 Bowler, 5.592, 246.93 (.478 r/t) def. Carlson, 5.588, 254.90 (.494 r/t) Final Bowler, 5.506, 258.12 def. Ormsby Jr., 5.532, 255.39 FEDERAL-MOGUL FUNNY CAR Round One 8) Bucky Austin, Fife, Wash., '00 Camaro, 5.744 second, 248.25 def. 1) Larry Miner, Lodi, Calif., '00 Dodge Avenger, 5.843, 251.25 7) Bernie Harrington, Apple Valley, Calif., '00 Avenger, 5.821, 243.59 def. 2) Steve Gasparrelli, West Covina, Calif., '99 Firebird, 7.141, 132.58 3) John Weaver, Hanford, Calif., '00 Chevrolet Camaro, 5.950, 241.07 def. 6) Rod Alexander, Simi Valley, Calif., '97 Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.002, 229.08 4) Roger Bateman, Calgary, Alb., Canada, '97 Pontiac Firebird, 5.908, 242.32 def. 5) Doug Gordon, Paso Robles, Calif., '00 Camaro, 6.008, 246.39 Semifinals Austin, 5.723, 248.80 def. Bateman, 10.540, 82.79 (red light) Weaver, 5.811, 248.80 def. Harrington, 6.314, 228.00 Finals Austin, 5.774, 248.43 def. Weaver, 8.039, 88.90 COMP ELIMINATOR Andy Manna Jr., Covina, Calif., '90 Pontiac Trans Am, D/EA, 8.527 seconds, 142.19 mph def. Joey Tanksley, Greenwell Springs, La., '91 Dragster, B/ED, 11.204, 75.41 SUPER STOCK Don Kennedy, Mesa, Ariz., '92 Pontiac Trans Am, GT/CA, 10.145 seconds, 131.68 mph def. Gary Swensen, West Valley City, Utah, '67 Chevrolet Camaro, SS/H, 10.200, 128.41 STOCK ELIMINATOR Steve Wann, Modesto, Calif., '70 Plymouth Barracuda, B/SA, 10.895 seconds, 114.49 mph def. Chad Loge, Livermore, Calif., '79 Volare, K/SA, 11.907, 108.97 SUPER COMP Jon Brazeau, St. George, Utah, '57 Chevrolet, 8.981, 159.49 def. Ed Richardson, Bradenton, Fla., '00 Dragster, 8.991, 157.01 SUPER GAS Greg Carrillo, Phoenix, Ariz., '34 Chevrolet Roadster, 9.998, 148.14 def. Larry Scarth, Manhattan Beach, Calif., '34 Chevrolet Roadster, 9.962, 141.80 SUPER STREET Billy Dillander, Mesa, Ariz., '68 Plymouth Barracuda, 11.087, 115.91 def. Tony Hulon, Mesa, Ariz., '68 Chevrolet Camaro, 10.969, 118.28 PRO SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE Buddy Robinson, Colorado Springs, Colo., '00 Kawasaki, 9.200, 135.32 def. Joe Smith, Tucson, Ariz., '84 Kawasaki, 10.447, 124.68 SUPER ELIMINATOR Larry Winter, Garden Grove, Calif., '99 Dragster, 7.974, 172.45 def. Mike MacBriar, Napa, Calif., '96 Dragster, 7.990, 167.09 (Foul-red light)
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