LEXINGTON, Okla. - Aaron Tatum and John Lombardo Jr. scored wins this past weekend for the Thunder in the Heartland NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Thunder Valley Raceway Park.
Tatum, out of neighboring Oklahoma City, came out of the No. 8 and final qualifying spot to take home the Top Alcohol Dragster title beating No. 2 qualifier James Stevens, Gothenburg, Neb. Tatum clocked in at 5.801 seconds, 248.20 mph in the final while Stevens lost traction early in the run. Tatum knocked out No. 1 qualifier James Thompson in round one then laid down his best pass of the day against Randy Meyer in the semifinals; 5.471 seconds at 260.49 mph. The win is Tatum's first this season.
California racer Lombardo locked up the NHRA Central Region Top Alcohol Funny Car Championship with his second regional win in four final rounds while also jumping to second place in the NHRA Lucas Oil National Championship. Qualified No. 2, Lombardo took out Billy Davis in round one, then Kris Hool in the semifinals before meeting Scott McVey in the final. The second generation driver went straight down the track clocking in at 5.793, 257.95 for the win. McVey shook the tires and slowed to an 8.056 second pass.
Two more local racers Ronald Gibson, Norman, Okla., and Tim Wilson, Oklahoma City, took home trophies as did fellow home state racer Mike Hudson, Broken Arrow, Okla. Gibson and Larry Eidson, Mineral Wells, Texas, were dead even at the start in the Sunset Racecraft Top Dragster but Eidson suffered mechanical problems and Gibson went on to an easy win running 7.130 seconds at 184.84 mph. Wilson took the early lead in Super Street with a .023 second reaction time and never looked back, taking the win over Rustin Mayse as both drivers clocked in at 10.929 seconds. Hudson beat the red lighting Michael Nash in the Sportsman Motorcycle class presented by Harley-Davidson running 9.310, 135.80 mph.
Reigning Super Gas national champion Jeff Lopez was better at both ends of the track in his win over Raymond Miller in Super Comp as was Tom Schmidt who outlasted Trent Wilson in Orteq Top Sportsman. Lopez went 8.913 at 156.60 and Schmidt clocked in at 6.850, 203.34 mph in his '63 Corvette.
Other winner's included Shaun Vincent in Comp Eliminator over Donald Thomas; Tony Cowell with a hole shot win against Vic Penrod in Super Stock; Jacob Pit downed Thomas Marlow in Stock; and Jason Lynch was near perfect in Super Gas running 9.902 on the 9.90 dial against Chase Huffman.
The event was the last in the South Central Division but racers can travel outside the division in hopes of scoring additional points leading to national, regional, and divisional championships.
The following are the final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Thunder in the Heartland event at Thunder Valley Raceway Park:
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER: Round 1 5) Randy Meyer, Spring Hill, Kan., 5.432, 255.46 def. 4) Monroe Guest, Bixby, Okla., 5.474, 249.10 2) James Stevens, Gothenburg, Neb., 5.499, 244.56 def. 7) Michael Manners, Willis, Texas, 5.595, 249.44 3) David Brounkowski, Cypress, Texas, 5.415, 256.41 def. 6) Forrest Fair, Haughton, La., 8.517, 95.96 8) Aaron Tatum, Oklahoma City, 5.606, 258.91 def. 1) James Thompson, Vernon, Texas, 10.655, 78.32 Semifinals Tatum, 5.471, 260.49 def. Meyer, 9.032, 128.93 Stevens, 5.447, 246.03 def. D. Brounkowski, 5.418, 250.97 Final Tatum, 5.801, 248.20 def. Stevens, 8.902, 97.74 TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR: Round 1 4) Scott McVey, Winnipeg, Manit., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.649, 253.52 def. 5) Steve Griboski, Centennial, Colo., '09 Mustang, 10.687, 88.43 2) John Lombardo Jr., Brea, Calif., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.592, 260.94 def. 10) Billy Davis, Rogers, Ark., '09 Mustang, 7.625, 121.26 6) Kris Hool, Casper, Wyo., '06 Monte Carlo, 5.659, 257.73 def. 3) Kirk Williams, Glenwood, Iowa, '04 Firebird, 5.733, 224.15 1) Dale Brand, Sully, Iowa, '06 Monte Carlo, 5.588, 256.41 def. 8) Mark Billington, Prosper, Texas, '06 Monte Carlo, 5.877, 247.04 Semifinals McVey, 5.658, 251.18 def. Brand, 5.720, 255.10 Lombardo Jr., 5.613, 260.94 def. Hool, 5.674, 256.77 Final Lombardo Jr., 5.793, 257.95 def. McVey, 8.056, 93.98
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