MOHNTON, Pa. -- Robin Samsel and Paul Noakes each earned their first NHRA National event win this weekend at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
Qualified No. 3, Samsel ran 5.40's in the first three rounds of eliminations to advance to his first ever NHRA national event final round. The Marion, Ind., racer went 5.470 and 5.449 in rounds one and two against Doug Foley and Richard Bourke then knocked out Rich McPhillips with a 5.499 in his semifinal match up. Samsel took the early lead over Brandon Booher in the final which proved to be the difference as he crossed the finish line ahead of Booher at 5.568 seconds, 248.25 mph to Booher's 5.512, 258.71.
Noakes also took the win on a hole shot as his 5.612 second final round pass at 258.12 beat Mickey Ferro's quicker 5.599 at 258.52 mph. Noakes qualified No. 2 and took out Todd Veney, Fred Tigges and John Fiorini on his way to this, his second final round of his career. He lost to Frank Manzo in the final here at Maple Grove last year.
Dan Fletcher took home his 86th national event win while Sal Biondo bagged his 17th win but his first in Stock Eliminator. The win was Fletcher's 45th in Super Stock running 10.575, 112.20 in his '69 Camaro in defeating Tom Sheehan who left early with a foul start. Biondo ended his slump in Stock Eliminator having settled for 15 runner-up finishes before sealing the deal against Don Pires Jr. in his '10 Cobra Jet Mustang at 9.839 seconds, 123.94 mph to Pires' 11.607, 99.36 mph.
Patrick Myers, Dover, Pa., and Charlie Kenopic, Renfrew, Ont., each scored their first NHRA national event win in Super Comp and Super Gas respectively. Myers, in his first final round ever, had to run down New Jersey racer Tom Stalba with an 8.908 second lap at 169.38 mph. Stalba had the early lead but could not hold on running 8.935, 167.57. This was Kenopic's second final round as he earned the win in 9.926 mph over Iggie Boicesco, 9.954, 163.26.
In Comp eliminator it was Russell Joly who took home the trophy for the second time in his career running 7.407 at 165.66 mph. He defeated Calvin Hill who broke and could not stage the car for the final round.
The following are the final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway:
Top Alcohol Dragster
Top Alcohol Funny Car