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Mon, 09 Mar 2020, 14:35 PM

Alex Laughlin Takes Caruso Family Pro Mod to $50,000 Victory
By Nate Van Wagnen
Photos by Roger Richards

At Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals Presented by CTech Manufacturing

Alex Laughlin and crew celebrate win.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- NHRA Pro Stock star Alex Laughlin added another milestone moment to his doorslammer drag racing career Sunday evening when he turned on the final-round win light at the inaugural Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing.

Racing at Orlando Speed World Dragway, Laughlin defeated Todd "King Tut" Tutterow in the final round, recording a 5.671-second pass at 251.53 mph to Tutterow's 6.362 at 146.21.

Laughlin hadn't even sat in the seat of Marc Caruso's Caruso Family Racing '69 Camaro before the World Doorslammer Nationals. But after a series of test runs, four rounds of qualifying and four passes in eliminations, Laughlin was cutting consistent reaction times and wheeling the roots-blown ATI Performance entry like a veteran.

"It sounds pretty crazy - let's be real, it is real crazy," Laughlin said. "We started off on the wrong foot. We struggled through every test run. Once we started qualifying, things started going our way. Once we started racing, things really started going our way."

Laughlin qualified No. 3 with a 5.66 at 251.77. He moved on past the first round of eliminations by beating Jim Whiteley's 5.738 with a 5.717 at 249.76. The Texas native caught a break in the second round when Sidnei Frigo slowed to a 10-second pass, allowing Laughlin to race on to the semifinals with a 5.825 at 248.16.

Tuner Lee White stepped up for the semifinal matchup with Michael Biehle. Laughlin won on the strength of a 5.704 at 250.64 to Biehle's 5.731.

Alex Laughlin defeated Todd Tutterow
Laughlin and Tutterow were both aggressive in the final round. Tutterow left the line first with a ..042 light to Laughlin's .045. It was an even race until Tutterow had to drive through tire shake, ultimately backfiring the supercharger downtrack. Laughlin made a clean pass down the Orlando quarter mile to take the win.

"Man, Lee White is definitely an underestimated crew chief," Laughlin said. "The dude knows what he's doing. He deserves all the credit for this. The Carusos have some of the nicest equipment money can buy in the class. Props to them, props to Lee. We just won the first-ever World Doorslammer Nationals and it's an unbelievable feeling."

In addition to racing in Pro Mod, Laughlin was also competing for $75,000 in Pro Stock. He qualified No. 9 in Pro Stock before falling to Elite Motorsports teammate Aaron Stanfield in the second round. He was the only driver competing for the double-up in both classes.

"After qualifying third, I thought we absolutely had a shot at it," Laughlin said. "The Pro Stock car was running pretty decent and this thing was running pretty decent, so I thought we had a shot at winning both - definitely a good shot at winning one, and it turns out we did."

While Laughlin didn't pull off the double-up, he did get to share the winner's circle with another one of his Elite Motorsports teammates, Jeg Coughlin Jr., who won the $75,000 Pro Stock race.

"What a day," Laughlin said. "Me and my teammate won both classes. That's rad - raaaad."

Summary of eliminations in Pro Modified at the Drag Illustrated, World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing:

Round 1:

Justin Bond, Mission BC, '68 Camaro, Right lane, (0.154) 5.733 229.59 def. Steve Matusek, Olathe
KS, '13 Mustang, (0.083) 6.493 219.65

Jose Gonzalez, Ball Ground GA, '17 Camaro, Left lane, (0.137) 5.694 252.05 def. Rick Hord, Belle
Isle FL, '16 Corvette, (0.066) 5.801 236.84

Todd Tutterow, Yadkinville NC, '20 Camaro, Right lane, (0.020) 5.705 250.83 def. Jeff Jones,
Weatherford TX, '19 Corvette, (0.071) 5.730 250.18

Chip King, Roxboro NC, '70 Charger, Left lane, (0.020) 5.739 239.36 def. Rickie Smith, King NC, '20
Camaro, (0.055) 8.014 98.97

Jason Scruggs, Tupelo MS, '20 Camaro, Left lane, (0.036) 5.671 253.66 def. Mike Janis, Lancaster
NY, '69 Camaro, (0.009) 5.758 243.28

Michael Biehle, North Vernon IN, '67 Mustang, Right lane, (0.034) 5.738 255.53 def. Steve Jackson,
Evans GA, '19 Camaro, (0.058) 5.739 248.75

Alex Laughlin, Bluff Dale TX, '69 Camaro, Right lane, (0.041) 5.717 249.76 def. Jim Whiteley, Grand
Junction CO, '63 Corvette, (0.049) 5.738 246.62

Sidnei Frigo, Sao Paulo BZ, '69 Camaro, Left lane, (0.044) 5.713 249.81 def. Brandon Snider, Atmore
AL, '16 Corvette, (0.104) 5.699 248.80

Round 2:

J Bond, Right lane, (0.129) 5.673 239.78 def. J Gonzalez, (0.045) 7.940 126.33

T Tutterow, Right lane, (0.048) 5.709 251.25 def. C King, (0.062) 10.245 84.08

M Biehle, Left lane, (0.041) 5.730 254.42 def. J Scruggs, (0.048) 6.408 171.36

A Laughlin, Left lane, (0.045) 5.825 248.16 def. S Frigo, (0.055) 10.006 85.10

Round 3:

T Tutterow, Left lane, (0.050) 5.709 252.00 def. J Bond, (0.081) 5.687 248.61

A Laughlin, Left lane, (0.051) 5.704 25.04 def. M Biehle, (0.028) 5.731 256.45

Round 4:

A Laughlin, Right lane, (0.045) 5.671 251.53 def. T Tutterow, (0.042) 6.362 146.21

 Low ET:    Justin Bond 5.623 seconds
 Top Speed: Justin Bond 272.28 MPH

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