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Tue, 07 Mar 2017, 19:59 PM

IHRA Summit Sportsman National Championship at State Capitol Raceway Final-Round Recap
Courtesy of IHRA Communications

PORT ALLEN, La. - After two weeks off, the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit Sportsman National Championship moved to State Capital Raceway outside Baton Rouge for the third of 15 weekends of racing that comprise the inaugural IHRA Summit Sportsman National Championship.

Competitors entered the weekend events in the following classes: Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, Super Stock, Stock, Quick Rod, Super Rod, Hot Rod and Junior Dragster. Full results are available: here; a weekend recap is below:

Saturday Top Dragster Final
Saturday, March 4, 2017:
Top Dragster: Jake Levatino from LaPlace, La., the No. 28 qualifier, defeated Chase Murray from Orange, Texas with a 7.251-second pass at 180.39 mph and a .029 reaction time using a 6.31 dial-in. Murray posted a 6.317-second effort at 216.45 mph and a .039 reaction time with a 6.31 dial-in in a losing effort.

Top Sportsman: Marty Blair from Spicewood, Texas took out Ricky Vedros from Belle Rose, La. in the Top Sportsman final. Blair, who qualified seventh, used a .022 reaction time and a 7.40 dial-in to post a 7.636-second pass at 169.93 mph and defeat Vedros' 8.960-second pass at 103.94 mph with a .073 reaction time and 7.27 dial-in.

Quick Rod: The Quick Rod final was a duel between the No. 2 and No. 7 qualifiers with the lower-qualified driver turning on the win light. Britt Cummings from Hammond, La., defeated Shannon Brinkley from Highlands, Texas. Cummings had a .039 reaction time and reached the finish line in 8.901 seconds at 164.17 mph. Brinkley had a brilliant .014 reaction time, but his 8.895-second effort at 170.64 was not enough to get the win.

Super Rod: No. 1 qualifier Keith Raftery from Lake Charles, La., defeated No. 4 qualifier Van Arnold from Houston in the Super Rod final. Raftery's excellent .005 reaction time coupled with his 11.209-second pass at 97.55 mph won the race, but the win light came on immediately when Arnold left the starting line.011 seconds early ending his chances of victory.

Hot Rod: Two Texas drivers squared off in the Hot Rod final with No. 11 qualifier Chris Haralson from Azle taking out No. 5 qualifier Ray Dew from League City. Haralson used a .020 reaction time and a 10.899-second pass at 136.88 mph to turn on the win light. Runner-up Dew's ..032 reaction and 10.873-second effort at 143.01 mph weren't enough to get the win.

Saturday Hot Rod Winner
Chris Haralson
Super Stock: Drivers representing two very different regions of the United States squared off in the Super Stock final. It was Slate Cummings from Hammond, La., versus Jerry Hatch from Luber, Maine. Cummings got the win using a .041 reaction time and 9.17 dial in to post a 9.172-second pass at 140.38 mph. The Maine driver had a .032 reaction time and 9.47 dial in and posted a 9.488-second effort at 138.20 mph.

Stock: Florence, Miss. Driver Wes Neely, the No. 14 qualifier, defeated No. 1 qualifier Sam Pourciau from Walker, La., in the Stock final. Neely used a .028 reaction time and 11.58 dial-in on his way to the winner's circle with an 11.611-second run at 107.68 mph. The top qualifier had a ..028 reaction time and a 10.16 dial-in and raced to the finish line in 10.135 seconds at 130.62 mph.

Junior Dragster: No. 10 qualifier Payton Simoneaux from Napoleonville, La., defeated No. 2 qualifier Matthew Murdock from Orange, Texas in the Junior Dragster final. Simoneaux used a .009 reaction and a 8.93 dial-in to record a 8.950-second pass at 92.92 mph and take the trophy. Murdock left the starting line .055 before the green light and was eliminated but posted a 7.975-second effort at 80.86 mph with a 8.97 dial-in.

Mike Dunn interview.
Sunday, March 5, 2017:
The March 5 race was rained out and rescheduled for June when the IHRA Summit Sportsman National Championship is scheduled to return to State Capital Raceway. That weekend will be a triple header June 1-4, 2017.

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