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Tue, 2 Oct 2001, 01:28 PM

Race of Champions Titles Settled
Courtesy of NHRA Marketing

Racers Look to Saturday to Score Big Wins

DELMAR, Del. -- Lebanon Valley Raceway's Bill Kirpens, still has what it takes to win. Facing Numidia Raceway runner, Tom Harhart in the Street Eliminator Race of Champions final, Kirpens, of Richmond, Mass., rolled to victory behind the wheel of his Duster.

"I had a stroke about 4 months ago, and thought that maybe I wouldn't be able to drive anymore. The stroke may have affected my speech a little, but I guess I proved to myself and a lot of other people that I've still got it all upstairs," said an elated Kirpens in victory lane.

Scoring the victory in Heavy eliminator was Bob Green, of Middlesex, N.J., racing out of the Island Dragway camp. Green emerged victorious over Cecil County Raceway's, John Pinno, of Oxford, Penn. Racing for Mason-Dixon Dragway in the Motorcycle category, Jerry Heil, of Sharpesburg, Md., triumphed over Raceway Parks Ron Reagan, when the Jackson, N.J. rider couldn't run the number.

The Super Pro Race of Champions victory went to Capital Raceway runner, Terry Sinke when the Millersville, Md. native took out South Mountain Dragway representative Terry Smith, of Hanover, Penn.

Saturday's action will feature the highly regarded individual championships in Super ET, Heavy ET, Bike/Sled and Street, which will qualify four drivers for the Summit Racing NHRA National E.T Finals, to be held at the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, November 8-11 in Pomona, Calif. There they will complete for a "winner-takes-all" $5000 purse.

Saturday will also feature the High School Eliminator Challenge presented by Luzerne County Community College. Open to competitors currently enrolled in High School, or 2001 graduates, the High School Eliminator Challenge is a no-electronics eliminator. The winner of the eliminator will receive a $1000 U.S Savings Bond, NHRA/Summit Racing Series ET Gold Card, Champions Jacket and a trophy, all to be presented at the NHRA Northeast Division Championship Banquet being held January, 12, 2002. His or her school will also receive $1000, donated by the Northeast Division track operators to be used in the promotion of motorsports education.

Gates will open tomorrow at 7 a.m. with eliminations in Street Eliminator, followed by Heavy ET, Super ET and Bike/Snowmobile set to begin at 8:30 a.m.

The following is the list of racers who will be competing in the NHRA Summit Racing Series Finals High School Challenge presented by Luzerne County Community College on Saturday afternoon, as well as the results from the NHRA Summit Racing Series Northeast Division Race of Champions, held today:

High School Challenge presented by Luzerne County Community College
Rob Keefer, 75-80 Dragway
Casie Laspata, Atco Raceway
Rebecca Jones, Capital Raceway
Hannah Losito, Cecil County Dragway 
Bob Belvick, ESTA Safety Park
Melissa DeMarcky, Island Dragway
Gary Skiffer, Keystone Raceway Park
Joe Santangelo, Lebanon Valley Dragway
Bobby Conway, Long Island Motorsports Park
Kevin Fogarty, Maple Grove Raceway
Jeremy Manford, Mason-Dixon Dragway 
Adam Werner, Numidia Raceway
Ryan Rodriguez, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
Courtney Suders, South Mountain Dragway 
John Hurlbert, Spencer Speedway 
Danny Clark, U.S. 13 Dragway 

Quarterfinalists: Terry Smith, South Mountain Dragway; Ronnie Horwath,
Mason-Dixon Dragway; Terry Sinke, Capital Raceway; Gene Irvin, Atco
Raceway; Steve Sperone, Island Dragway

Smith, .501 reaction time, 11.72 dial-in, 11.718 seconds def. 
Horwath, .509, 9.82, 9.799

Sinke, .505, 7.76, 7.807  def. 
Irvin, .527, 10.19, 10.232 

Sperone, .488, 10.80, 10.796

Sinke, .519, 7.77, 7.816 def. Sperone, .530, 10.80, 10.839

Smith, .427, 11.70, 11.702 def. BYE

Sinke, .505, 7.79, 7.835 def. Smith, .541, 11.69, 11.753

Quarterfinalists: Bob Green, Island Dragway; Brian Shaffer South
Mountain Dragway; Brian Brown, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park; Steve
Hoff, 75-80 Dragway; John Pinno Cecil County Dragway

Green, .540 reaction time, 11.32 dial-in, 11.320 seconds def. 
Shaffer, .583, 10.60, 10.605

Brown, .528, 12.32, 12.314 def. 
Hoff, .552, 11.32, 11.306

Pinno, .492, 10.14, 10.135 def. BYE

Pinno, .526, 10.13, 10.192 def. Brown, .549, 12.29, 12.340

Green, .528, 11.29, 11.317 def. BYE

Green, .541, 11.30, 11.303 def. Pinno, .613, 10.14, 10.144

Semifinalists: Jerry Heil, Mason Dixon Dragway; Joe Nonemaker, South
Mountain Dragway; Jimmie Miller, Capital Raceway, Bob Larish, Numidia
Raceway; Ron Reagan, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park

Heil, .620 reaction time, 9.31 dial-in, 9.341 seconds def. 
Nonemaker, .551, 9.38, 9.483

Miller, .550, 8.85, 8.883 def. 
Larish, .468 (foul), 8.57, 8.591

Reagan, .571, 9.45, 9.442 def. BYE

Reagan, .549 reaction time, 9.45, 9.536, 139.14 def. 
Miller, .642, 8.854, 8.88

Heil, .560, 9.33, 9.314 def. BYE  

Heil, .641, 9.31, 9.423 def. Reagan, .570, 9.50, 9.787

Quarterfinalists: Tom Harhart, Numidia Raceway; Gordon Stuckey,
Mason-Dixon Dragway; Bill Kirpens, Lebanon Valley Dragway; John Pehlman,
Maple Grove Raceway; Carlos DeJesus, Capital Raceway

Harhart, .584 reaction time, 14.24 dial-in, 14.199 seconds def. 
Stuckey, .496 (foul), 12.49, 12.463

Kirpens, .544, 12.30, 12.318 def. 
Pehlman, .518, 13.76, 13.757

DeJesus, .530, 12.17, 12.176

Harhart, .538, 14.18, 14.271 def. DeJesus, .547, 12.15, 12.232

Kirpens, .522, 12.30, 12.357 def. BYE 

Kirpens, .502, 12.36, 12.379 def. Harhart, .568, 14.28, 14.269

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