Rick Santos made the long haul from California to Oklahoma's Thunder Valley Raceway Park with one goal in mind. To win a fourth straight NHRA Federal-Mogul Dragster National Championship. Santos clinched his championship, but not before setting both ends of the track record in qualifying on the pole with a 5.421 second, 260.19 mph pass.
Santos watched from the cockpit of his Oakwood Homes dragster as Jay Meyer red lighted in the semi-finals, handing the championship to Santos. Meyer was in a must win situation going into this weekend's final South Central Federal-Mogul Drag Racing event. Santos preceded to out run Troy Buff in his semi-final match-up but was qualified when he bypassed the scales.
"We were here to win the championship" voiced Santos. "We didn't want to mess with the division four points, so we let the division four racers decide that."
Meyer has nothing to complain about capturing the NHRA South Central Division Federal-Mogul Dragster Championship with four divisional wins to go along with his three national event wins. "We're thrilled with the way our year has gone. We couldn't ask for anything more," expressed Meyer. "We just run our race every time we go out. We don't beat ourselves and it's been successful for us. Rick's has the better car right now, he and his team deserve the championship."
Rick Santos and Randy Fleming qualified number one in Federal-Mogul Dragster and Federal-Mogul Funny Car respectively and took home their share of the $2500 Winston Top Qualifier money. Santos and Fleming each received a check for $1000 while Comp. Eliminator driver Larry Pritchett and Super Stock pilot Bob Dennis took home $200 a piece, while Stock racer Bob Dennis received $100 for their number one qualifying efforts.
The DeFrank family was at Thunder Valley this weekend in hopes of gaining ground on Peter Biondo for the Super Stock national championship. Jimmy DeFrank took out Vic Penrod in the Super Stock final and made a big jump in the points standings to join his brother Tony in the top five for the national championship chase. With the season nearing the end the chase is definitely heating up in the DeFrank, Biondo battle.
The local media took to the Thunder Valley quarter mile on Friday
for the second annual Media Challenge. Defending champion Rick Murean of
the Norman Transcript fell to radio DJ Cisco "The Kidd" of The Wild in the
final round. Cisco was teamed up with Federal-Mogul Dragster driver Troy
Buff for the win over Murean and Super Comp/Super Gas driver Shannon
Brinkley. Shelly Howard and Frank Kohutek joined Buff and Brinkley as
driving coaches for the event.
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