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NHRA LODRS IHRA Drag News Photos
Sun, 12 Dec 2010, 10:50 AM

Southeast Stars
By Kelly Wade
Photo copyright 2010 BME Photography






Duane Shields
There was no powershift in the Southeast Division's alcohol ranks with Duane Shields (Top Alcohol Dragster) and Mickey Ferro (Top Alcohol Funny Car) earning the region's top honors again, but Glen Treadwell reclaimed the Comp Eliminator title that had been out of his hands since 2006, Raymond Miller III nabbed the crown in Top Dragster and nearly scored in Super Comp as well, and Ronnie Davis was the season winner in the Top Sportsman category after dethroning Jerry Barker, who led the division in each of the previous three seasons.

Shields established himself as an early threat when he drove his Shortline Express A/Fuel dragster to victory at the first event of the season in Bradenton, Fla. The Boulder City, Nevada-based racer posted a premature exit at the second contest in the region, at Gainesville Raceway, but he was back on his game quickly and notched another final-round victory at the points meet in Atlanta with a defeat of Randy Meyer.

Shields stayed sharp and filled the time between the two Atlanta divisional races with a slew of national events, and when he returned to the peach state, he wheeled his rail right to the final round again, this time alongside 2002 Southeast Division champion Marty Thacker. A loss of traction ended Shields' quest for the event title, but his early successes, along with the runner-up at Atlanta Dragway, had him well in the lead for the region's championship, and he ended the season with 298 marks, well ahead of second-place Don Fiorelli.

Shields led the national points early in the season and ultimately finished 8th in the chase for the world championship with wins recorded at the Gatornationals and in Topeka.


Mickey Ferro
For the second consecutive season, Ferro was the winner of the Division 2 championship. Based in Stamford, Conn., the driver of the Ryco Hydraulics Top Alcohol Funny Car posted a stellar season, both on the national and divisional levels, finishing second in the world and by just a handful of points to habitual category dominator Frank Manzo.

Like Shields, Ferro also launched into the series on a high note and posted a win at the division's opener at Bradenton with a money-round triumph over fellow Division 2 hitter Steve Harker, but the following weekend - at the Gainesville points meet - Harker turned the tables and was victorious, relegating Ferro to runner-up and pocketing the win for himself.

One event later, perennial powerhouse Jay Payne made some noise and socked away points for the event title at the first of the two divisional races at Atlanta Dragway, but it was Ferro in the other lane in the final, and those runner-up marks sure didn't hurt. Payne stayed on his game and traveled out of the division, reeling in points for a final-round finish in Dallas and a triumph in Topeka.

The return to Atlanta was prosperous for Ferro, and he tallied another victory when he beat Alexis DeJoria in the final, and at the final race in the Southeast, Ferro knocked out Payne in the closing stanza. Though the division title was already in hand, Ferro traveled west to Las Vegas and Pomona to protect his second-place standing in the nation and in doing so bumped up his division total by claiming victory at the Las Vegas Division 7 meet.

Ferro traded his 404 marks for the gold at season's end, Payne was second with 330 points, and Harker, with 320 points, was third. DeJoria finished a respectable fourth with 203 marks.


Glen Treadwell
Photo by Auto Imagery, Inc.
The division's 2009 Comp Eliminator champ, Arnie Martel, entered the season ready to defend his title and let it be known with a win in Bradenton over Treadwell's daughter, Jenny. But the Southeastern glory had been in Papa Treadwell's possession before, both in 2003 and 2006, and he wanted it back.

His win at the second points meet in Division 2, held at Gainesville Raceway, was favorable for a couple of reasons: he enjoyed a bit of revenge for daughter Jenny's Bradenton loss when he drove his G/ED entry to victory over Martel in the final, and the achievement was good for a swift 95 point award. The solid foundation was set, and Treadwell began to build on it, picking up a couple of round wins in Atlanta before traveling out of the division, where he was runner-up in Tulsa and won Sonoma before exiting early at the event in Bowling Green.

Treadwell, of Sorrento, Fla., headed home and concluded his successful quest for the championship with a final-round performance at the second Atlanta Dragway meet, while Martel went to the semifinals at an out-of-division event in Stanton, Mich., but was unable to tally enough marks to get ahead of the points leader. Treadwell cleared 390 marks at final count, Martel finished second with 304, and Van Puckett - with the aid of a pair of semifinals showings - was third with 250 points. Jenny Treadwell was fourth in the division ahead of fifth place David Rampy.

In the national standings, division champ Treadwell was 127 marks behind series winner Al Ackerman at the conclusion of the season.


Raymond Miller III
Towards the beginning of the season, eventual Top Dragster victor Miller already looked to be chasing a double-up championship reminiscent of his win-win at the Bowling Green divisional event two years ago in Top Dragster and Super Comp. Three Southeast Division events into the year, Miller, of Spring Hill, Fla., already had 260 marks in Super Comp, and a win at the Gainesville divisional over fellow Southeast racer Angela Travis, paired with a semifinals showing at the first Atlanta event, gave the then 19-year-old racer a strong start in Top Dragster.

Though his Super Comp achievements waned on the divisional level after the first part of the season, Miller continued to score round wins in his family owned and built Miller Race Cars Top Dragster entry. Following Atlanta, Miller traveled to Division 3, where he was runner-up at the Chicago points meet to the North Central Division's James Monroe.

Buoyed by success in Bowling Green, Dylan Stott was still in it to win it, and Lauren Freer came through with a win at the second Atlanta Dragway event, but Miller stood above the rest when it was all said and done, bringing in a total of 336 marks for his first place finish. Stott, second in the region, logged 281, Freer was third with 270, Steve Cohen, on the wings of a pair of runner-ups, rang up 262 marks for fourth place, and defending Southeast champion Steven Furr logged a final-round finish at the first Atlanta event to round out the top 5 in the division with 260 points.


Ronnie Davis
Photo by Lonnie Gautreau Jr., OSI
Davis, of Suwanee, Ga., added the division title to a mantel that already held two IHRA Top Sportsman world championship trophies and a pair of IHRA division awards. When it came down to the decision at the end of the 2010 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing season, Davis got the nod by just a single point over Billy Vaughn III.

Whereas Vaughn produced nil in Bradenton and Gainesville, Davis surged into the racing season with back-to-back trips to the semifinals. But in Atlanta, Vaughn scored the win and then scored again at the out-of-division event at Bowling Green, quickly accumulating precious points. Fortunately for Davis, the rest of the year wasn't as kind to Vaughn, and Davis swept in a couple more round wins and then finished strong at Silver Dollar Raceway in Reynolds, defeating Vince Hoda.

Ultimate victor four times in the past five seasons in Division 2, defending titlist Jerry Barker raced to the final round at the division's Bradenton opener but never again matched his first presentation of the year. Barker was fourth as the season wound to a close. Jeff Pittman steadily accumulated marks and began the season with a couple of round wins over the course of two events and then was runner-up in Atlanta and went on to finish in the semifinals at Bowling Green and runner-up again at Atlanta Dragway before pulling in a couple more round wins at Silver Dollar Raceway. Pittman nabbed third place with 284 points, just 20 marks back from second-place Vaughn.

Look for the second round of coverage from the Southeast Division's championship title runs soon.

Division Two Top Alcohol Dragster Top Ten Point Standings
Pos Driver                    Points Events 
1   Duane Shields               298   8 
2   Don Fiorelli                 95   4 
3   Robin Samsel                 84   4 
4   Arthur Allen                 64   2 
4   Cherissa Griffis-Smallwood   64   2 
6   Dan Lucas                    32   1 

Division Two Top Alcohol Funny Car Top Ten Point Standings
Pos Driver            Points Events 
1   Mickey Ferro        404   6 
2   Jay Payne           330   7 
3   Steve Harker        320   6 
4   Alexis De Joria     203   5 
5   Mark Billington     161   4 
6   Melinda Green-King  117   4 
7   John Sullivan        96   3 
8   Bill Naves           32   1 

Division Two Competition Eliminator Top Ten Point Standings
Pos Driver         Points Events 
1   Glen Treadwell    390  8 
2   Arnie Martel      304  7 
3   Van Puckett       250  5 
4   Jenny Treadwell   228  6 
5   David Rampy       197  5 
6   Pat Williams      173  5 
6   Jim Kimbrough     173  5 
8   Lonnie Johnson    161  5 
9   Michael Hardee    153  4 
10  Grant Lewis       145  3 

Division Two Top Dragster Top Ten Point Standings
Pos Driver           Points Events
1 Raymond Miller III   336   8 
2 Dylan Stott          281   7 
3 Lauren Freer         270   5 
4 Steve Cohen          262   5 
5 Steve Furr           260   7 
5 Angela Travis        260   8 
7 Casey Spradlin       238   5 
8 Wayne Hofmann        187   6 
9 Anthony Montella     185   7 
10 Chad Hedgecock      175   4 

Division Two Top Sportsman Top Ten Point Standings
Pos Driver           Points Events
1   Ronnie Davis       305   8 
2   Billy Vaughn III   304   8 
3   Jeff Pittman       284   8 
4   Jerry Barker       251   5 
5   Anthony Montella   250   7 
6   Bruce Duncan       217   7 
7   Matthew Buck       187   4 
8   Jeffrey Rudisill   177   4 
9   Jeffrey Barker     174   6 
9   John Glenn         174   5 





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