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Dennis Meade Claims Wed. Night Top Gun

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


NTR - JEGS Wednesday Night Results


September 30, 2015

Under cooler than expected, or appreciated, weather the final event in the 2015 NTR - JEGS Wednesday Night series ran to completion.  With three of the six track championships basically determined before competition began, three battles went down to this final event and two had basic championship runoffs in eliminations determine the title.  While six worthy racers graced the winner circle for their efforts in eliminations on this night, it was the year long progression of championships won that highlighted the end of the year.  And after all of the runoff runs were complete, it was two class champion Dennis Meade that will reign as Top Gun champion for the 2015 season.  Event winners tonight were Shawn Pitts (Big Dawg), Paul King (CoughlinCars.com Street), Joe Wolfe (Superior Exteriors Truck), Nathan Sherrick (Country Pride Restaurant Sport Compact), Cardino Fornataro (Dennis' Vinyl Designs High School), and Tom Whiteman (K & C Yamaha Motorcycle).

While Meade had run away with the titles in both Big Dawg and Street coming into the night, the battles for second place in the points were not determined until the final passes of the night.  In Big Dawg, Pitts and his 2000 Camaro from London, Ohio squared off with Cameron Groff and his Columbus, Ohio based 1981 Cutlass.  By getting to the final round, Pitts moved into the second spot behind Meade in the class and looked to finish his Wednesday Night season on a higher note.  He was able to do that when he forced a breakout in the final round race with Groff.  Pitts ran a 12.016 on his 12.00 to defeat the 10.927 on a 10.94 from Groff.

The same story played out in Street as King and his 1978 Malibu from Granville, Ohio went into the final round looking to take the second spot in the standings.  The racer that stood in his way was Andy McPeck and his 2008 300C from Nashport, Ohio.  Both King and McPeck had great finishes to the 2015 season and were looking to get the final momentum into the off season.  King would get that momentum and second place as he won a double breakout final round against McPeck.  A 11.615 on a 11.64 from King covered the 13.894 on a 13.94 from McPeck.

With Scott Congrove claiming the Truck championship after last week, second place finisher Mike Rehl and his 1991 S-10 from Newark, Ohio looked to get the final win of the season.  To do so, he would have to defeat another 1991 S-10 of Wolfe from Thornville, Ohio.  Wolfe, who has now finished the season in four final rounds in the last five events, finally was able to crack the runner up plateau and notched the win with a on the dial 10.724 on his 10.72 dial in.  Rehl settled for runner up with a 11.510 on his 11.53 predicted time.

The championship in Sport Compact came down to a gigantic semifinal matchup between incoming leader Chad Sheets and second place Sherrick.  The winner of the race would be the champion.  Despite a better reaction time by Sheets, he was unable to get close enough to the dial in to hold off the 2005 Cobalt of Sherrick.  With championship in hand, the Lancaster, Ohio racer went up against the 2012 Si of Commerical Point, Ohio's Matt Levier.  With a better reaction time in the final round contest, Sherrick was able to stay ahead of Levier and score his fifth win of the year with a 16.918 on his 16.58 dial in.  Levier ran a 15.649 on his 14.90 dial in to get the runner up spot.

By making it to the final round tonight, Fornataro and his 1984 S-10 from Newark, Ohio claimed the High School championship for 2015.  In the final round, the new champion would race the 2003 Mustang of Maggie Turley from Baltimore, Ohio.  Fornataro completed his championship season with another victory as he used a better reaction time to get around Turley at the stripe.  His 12.765 on a 12.45 defeated the 17.577 on a 17.11 from Turley.

In one of the better races of the night, Marshall Hutchinson Jr. was able to defeat Bob Burt in the Motorcycle semifinals by seven thousandths of a second to defend his championship from last season.  In the final round, Hutchinson and his 1980 Kawasaki from Columbus, Ohio went up against the 1976 Kawasaki of Whiteman from Reynoldsburg, Ohio.  Whiteman spoiled the party of Hutchinson with a great .011 reaction time and 9.760 on a 9.76 dial in to get the win over the 9.911 on a 9.98 from Hutchinson.

In the Championship Top Gun runoff, five racers went towards the NTR Wednesday Night Gold Card and Top Gun title.  For Truck champion Congrove and High School champion Fornataro, their chances at the title went by the wayside after breaking out in their single pass, no scoreboard attempts.  Sherrick then posted a number for those to beat, gathering a .172 total package.  Hutchinson Jr. was next to tackle the track and got inside the time of Sherrick, but his .151 total package left room for two-class champion Meade to try to get within.  Meade brought his Big Dawg winning 1978 Camaro to the line and claimed the Top Gun title with a .030 reaction time and a 10.573 on his 10.57 dial in for a total package of .033.  Meade, not knowing if that was good enough for the title, then made a run in his Street entry that was a total package of .043 to complete the Wednesday Night season. 

Congrats to all of the 2015 Wednesday Night Track Champions and to Dennis Meade for his 2015 NTR - JEGS Wednesday Night Top Gun Title.


September 23, 2015

With only one event left in the 2015 season after tonight, those at the top of the points needed to make their presence felt if they wanted to end the season as champion.  Going into the final event of the season, those in the points would love to either be far enough ahead of the competition or close enough to the top to make things interesting.  After the racing tonight, several racers have done just that.  Winners here at the next to last event included Mitch Williams (Big Dawg), Dennis Meade (CoughlinCars.com Street), Scott Congrove (Superior Exteriors Truck), Chad Sheets (Country Pride Restaurant Sport Compact), Cardino Fornataro (Dennis' Vinyl Designs High School), and Bruce McCormick (K & C Yamaha Motorcycle).

The final round of Big Dawg had one racer looking for a win to change his year going up against a racer looking to secure himself near the top of the standings.  Williams and his 1970 Duster from Hebron, Ohio was not where he wanted to be in the points, but advanced to the final round tonight.  Facing him in that final round was the 1991 S-10 of Heath, Ohio's Mike Rehl.  Rehl, who with the final round appearance moved into the second spot in the points, was looking to extend his lead over those close to him.  However, it was Williams with the better reaction time in the final round race that forced Rehl to breakout.  Williams ran a 12.457 on his 12.45 to win over the 11.823 on a 11.90 from Rehl.  Despite a quarterfinal round loss to Rehl, Dennis Meade looks secure in a Big Dawg championship as he leads Rehl by 86 points.

The top two in the Street points chase would square off in the final round of racing tonight with a 22 point swing hanging in the balance.  Meade took his 1985 Camaro from Newark, Ohio to the starting line against the 2000 Camaro of London, Ohio's Shawn Pitts.  With 51 points separating Pitts from the points leader Meade, this crucial final round could be the last chance he would have to begin running down Meade for the Street title.  However, Meade was quite up to the challenge.  Using a .016 to .033 advantage off the line, Meade won the double breakout final round to extend his lead to 62 points.  Meade's 11.137 on a 11.15 was closer than the 11.990 on a 12.02 for Pitts.

The racing in Truck eliminator tonight might have pushed the championship leader over the top.  Following a round one loss by his closest pursuer Mike Rehl, Congrove and his 1985 S-10 from Lancaster, Ohio was able to advance through the rest of the field to the final round of racing.  There he would meet the 1991 S-10 of Joe Wolfe from Thornville, Ohio.  This matchup was the third such final round meeting in the last four events and like the previous two it went to Congrove.  In this matchup, Wolfe made it easy as he left the starting line with a -.003 foul start.  Congrove won the race and extended his points lead to 66 markers with a 10.820 on his 10.77 dial in.

Like in Street, the top two in the Sport Compact field worked their way through the field and matched up in the final round.  But in this class, whoever won the final round would leave with a 11 point lead heading into the finale.  Sheets and his 2003 Outlander from Columbus, Ohio went up against the 2005 Cobalt of Nathan Sherrick from Lancaster, Ohio.  With the points lead on the line, Sheets used a great .034 reaction time to get the starting line edge and used it to score the critical double breakout win.  His 18.726 on a 18.73 got the nod over the 16.736 on a 16.79 from Sherrick.  The finale next week will determine the Sport Compact title.

The final in the High School class would also be vital in the championship chase.  With incoming points leader Dustin Eveland away on training with the Air Force, the number two man in the points needed to score the win to have a easier chance at the title next week.  Fornataro and his 1984 Longbed truck from Newark, Ohio went up against Blaine Rager and his 1980 Camaro from Thurston, Ohio in that final round.  A win by Fornataro would close the gap to one round entering the final event.  He scored that win when Rager lit the red light in the final round race.  Fornataro ran a 12.427 on his 12.50 to secure the win.

Incoming Motorcycle points leader Marshall Hutchinson Jr. scored a vital round win over second place in the points Bob Burt on his way to the final round here tonight.  Riding his 1980 Kawasaki from Columbus, Ohio, Hutchinson went up against the 2001 Kawasaki of Bruce McCormick from Columbus, Ohio.  A win by McCormick tonight would push him around Burt into second place and make all three racers in the running for the points title next week.  That indeed was the case as McCormick made up the slight starting line edge gained by Hutchinson and won with a dead on the dial 10.290 on his 10.29.  Hutchinson ran a 9.787 on his 9.67 dial.  Hutchinson Jr. leads by 12 over McCormick and 22 over Burt going into the finale.

The final Wednesday Night event is scheduled for September 30th.


September 9, 2015

Only two events are scheduled for both the Wednesday Night Summer Series points and in general on Wednesdays.  And when the weather people called for rain all evening, it appeared that the event tonight would be in trouble.  However, the racers that arrived here today were not deterred, and a great night of racing was held on the track.  Points battles will be intense for the final two events as some racers made moves that pushed them either ahead of the field or closer to the top spot at the end of the night.  Winners tonight included Dennis Meade (Big Dawg), Paul King (CoughlinCars.com Street), Scott Congrove (Superior Exteriors Truck), Nathan Sherrick (Country Pride Restaurant Sport Compact), Dustin Eveland (Dennis' Vinyl Designs High School), and Marshall Hutchinson Jr. (K & C Yamaha Motorcycle).

After a big semifinal race that might play a major role in the Big Dawg championship chase, Meade and his 1978 Camaro from Newark, Ohio was looking to extend his points lead in the final round.  Waiting for him in the final round was the 1986 S-10 of Chris Wright from Newark, Ohio.  Meade had the handicap advantage off the dial ins and had a great .009 reaction time off  the line.  But it would be Wright that would end the race quickly as he left the line with the red light glowing in his lane.  Meade ran a 11.055 on his 11.08 to complete the win.  With the win, and defeat of Shawn Pitts in the semifinals, Meade now holds a 87 point lead with two races to go.

While it might be a little bit of a long shot entering the event, tonight's win by King and his Granville, Ohio based 1978 Malibu in Street brings him back into the points battle.  With the top two in points both defeated in the second round, King squared off with the 1981 Camaro of Mitch Bailey from Thornville, Ohio in the final round.  Both drivers were nearly identical in dial in and made King's .012 reaction time even more important.  It became very vital as both drivers were off the same amount of their dial in at the stripe.  King's 11.813 on his 11.77 dial in won the race over the 11.793 on a 11.75 from Bailey.  The first win of the year for King pushed him into third place and 65 points behind leader Dennis Meade.

Incoming points leader Congrove was able to extend his points lead just a bit here tonight in Truck.  Driving his 1985 S-10 from Lancaster, Ohio, Congrove went up against the 1991 S-10 of Joe Wolfe from Thornville, Ohio in the final round looking to claim even more points towards his total.  Congrove was wasting little time on the track in the final round as he posted a fantastic .009 reaction time to get the edge over Wolfe.  That, along with a 10.888 on a 10.88 dial in pass, easily forced Wolfe to breakout at the finish line trying to stay ahead.  Wolfe ran a 10.736 on his 10.75 dial in doing just that.  The win pushed Congrove's lead to 33 markers over Mike Rehl, who lost to Wolfe in the semifinals.

An intense final round matchup in Sport Compact could be looked back at the end of the year as vital to the championship chase of Sherrick.  With newborn baby and mom in the pits cheering him on, Sherrick and his 2005 Cobalt from Lancaster, Ohio went up against incoming points leader Chad Sheets and his 2003 Outlander from Columbus, Ohio.  A win by Sherrick in the final round would allow him to tie Sheets in the points lead entering the final two events.  Sheets was better off the starting line in the final round race, but was quicker against his dial than Sherrick in the double breakout race.  A 16.874 on his 16.90 for Sherrick won over the 18.712 on a 18.74 from Sheets.  Both are tied at 235 points entering the final two events.

It was a bittersweet moment in the High School class as Eveland was participating in his final NTR event before heading out to the Air Force in mid September.  In true champion form, Eveland took his 1985 S-10 from Zanesville, Ohio to the only place that they both deserved to be, in the winner circle.  In the final round, Eveland went up against Cardino Fornataro and his 1984 S-10 from Newark, Ohio.  A repeat of last week's final round race, both drivers took their time staging for the race.  After Fornataro relented and staged, it was Eveland with a .013 reaction time that would force Fornataro to breakout at the stripe.  Eveland's 12.056 on a 12.02 dial won over the 12.534 on a 12.55 for Fornataro.  Eveland leads Fornataro by 33 points and will see if that is enough to claim the title once again.

In Motorcycle, whoever won the final round race would be the points leader entering the final two events of the season.  Hutchinson Jr. and his 1980 Kawasaki from Columbus, Ohio went up against the 2001 Honda from Bob Burt from Columbus, Ohio.  Did the pressure of the final round battle and points lead get to any of the riders?  That is probably not the case, but it was Burt that left the starting line too soon with a -.004 red light.  That made the 10.881 on a 10.95 dial in pass of Hutchinson Jr. the automatic winner.  The win puts Hutchinson Jr. 11 points ahead of Burt with two to go.

After a week off due to the JEGS Northern SPORTSNationals, the Wednesday Night Series returns to the track on September 24th.


September 2, 2015

The points battles continue to get intense and interesting as the final month of the NTR - JEGS Wednesday Night Series began prior to the Labor Day Weekend.  With only three events left after tonight, everyone near the top of the standings continues to go after valuable points each and every time they line up in eliminations.  At the end of the night, six different winners had written their own script and found themselves at the top of the mountain.  Those six winners were Todd Smith (Big Dawg), Andy McPeck (CoughlinCars.com Street), Mike Rehl (Superior Exteriors Truck), Chris Chase (Country Pride Restaurant Sport Compact), Dustin Eveland (Dennis' Vinyl Designs High School), and Bob Burt (K & C Yamaha Motorcycle).

Defending Truck champion from 2014, Smith and his 1985 S-10 from Baltimore, Ohio would tell you that this season hasn't gone according to plan.  Here tonight, Smith showed his skills from last year were not lost on him as he went up against the 1970 Camaro of Hebron, Ohio's Scott Weisend.  After defeating points leader Dennis Meade in the semifinals, Smith left the starting line with a great .003 reaction time that expanded the handicapped head start that Weisend gave him.  Smith completed the victory with a 10.511 on his 10.45 dial in.  Weisend closed the points gap, but settled for runner up with a 10.433 on his 10.39 dial in.

The Street final round wouldn't have any effect on the top of the points, but showed the depth of the class.  McPeck entered his first final round of the year with his 2008 Chrysler 300C.  Hailing from Nashport, Ohio, McPeck squared off with Baltimore, Ohio's George Butler Jr. and his 1981 Cutlass.  Driving one of the quicker entries in the class, Butler Jr. is use to having to wait out a significant head start.  But in the final round tonight, he was just a tick too early leaving the starting line.  His -.006 reaction time made McPeck the winner.  McPeck ran a 14.060 on his 14.00 to claim victory.

Number one and two in the points squared off in the Truck final round looking to pick up momentum for the final push.  Rehl and his 1991 S-10 from Newark, Ohio went up against the 1985 S-10 model of Lancaster, Ohio's Scott Congrove.  Both are former Truck track champions and are looking to reclaim the throne in 2015.  They both left the starting line nearly equal as Congrove's .020 had a slight edge over the .026 of Rehl.  However, the truck of Rehl was closer to the dial in at the stripe to claim the win.  His 11.933 on a 11.92 got the win over the 10.871 on a 10.84 from Congrove.

Past Wednesday Night Top Gun champion Chase might not repeat that in 2015, but he is still playing a role in the chase for the Sport Compact championship.  After stopping Nathan Sherrick in the early rounds and giving Chad Sheets a chance to take the points lead, Chase and his Columbus, Ohio based 2007 Civic returned the favor for Sherrick by defeating Sheets and his 2003 Outlander from Columbus, Ohio.  Using a better leave off the green, Chase was able to drive around Sheets for the win.  He posted a 15.916 on his 15.70 dial in to get past the 18.724 on a 18.53 from Sheets.

Like in Truck, the final in High School had the top two in the points battle for the win.  Eveland and his 1985 S-10 from Zanesville, Ohio went up against the 1984 S-10 of Cardino Fornataro from Newark, Ohio.  Eveland, who is going into the Air Force later in the month knows that his drag racing days will be tempered in a bit and was looking to have success and fun on the track on this night.  It seemed to work as he had a nice .038 reaction time and easily stayed ahead of Fornataro at the stripe.  A 12.198 on a 12.05 from Eveland won the race and points that went it.  Fornataro ran a 12.716 on his 12.50.

Burt was able to ride his 2001 Honda from Columbus, Ohio past Marshall Hutchinson Jr. in the early rounds to give him a chance to jump into a three way tie for the top spot in the points.  All he needed to do was defeat Mark Piccirillo and his 2008 Suzuki from Mount Vernon, Ohio to do so.  The final round became a performance race as both riders had .041 reaction times.  But it was Burt that was able to get closer to the dial in for the win.  His 10.777 on a 10.69 dial in won over the 9.813 on a 9.60 from Piccirillo.


August 26, 2015

After the scheduled early August break in the 2015 season, the Wednesday Night racers took to the track with unexpected changes from when the season began.  With the two rainouts from earlier races not having makeup dates left on the schedule, every points racer knows now that each event will count towards the championship chase.  The lack of that cushion made each race for those at the top of the standings so much more vital than previously thought.  A large gathering of racers also led to tough competition and some great racing that saw six winners truly earn their wins here tonight.  Those successful in reaching the ultimate goal were John Malaby (Big Dawg), Dennis Meade (CoughlinCars.com Street), Scott Congrove (Superior Exteriors Truck), Nathan Sherrick (Country Pride Restaurant Sport Compact), Cardino Fornataro (Dennis' Vinyl Designs High School), and Bob Burt (K & C Yamaha Motorcycle).

Malaby and his Etna, Ohio based 1996 Cavalier was here tonight preparing for the JEGS ET Summit Series weekend and looked to be very successful in that.  Malaby would go up against Dustin Eveland and his 1985 S-10 from Zanesville, Ohio in the final round of Big Dawg action.  The reaction times off the start would prove to be the difference in the final round encounter, with Malaby's .020 light getting the advantage over Eveland.  He would use that edge to drive around Eveland in the lights for the holeshot win.  Malaby's 9.604 on a 9.58 dial in bettered the 12.084 on a 12.07 from Eveland for the victory.  A rare first round red light by points leader Dennis Meade allowed Mike Rehl to close in on his points lead here tonight.  Meade now leads by 34.

While things didn't go according to plan in Big Dawg, Meade was able to follow the script in the Street eliminator division.  He took his Newark, Ohio based 1985 Camaro to the finals here tonight, going up against Mike Handschuh and his 1964 Nova from Columbus, Ohio.  Showing how they both reached the final round with great driving, Meade and Handschuh both left the starting line with fantastic reaction times.  Meade's .004 was slightly ahead of the .017 light from Handschuh and that might have forced Handschuh to breakout at the stripe trying to stay ahead.  Meade took the win with a 11.117 on his 11.08 dial in, while Handschuh ran a 14.176 on his 14.19 dial in.  The win by Meade allowed him to get around Shawn Pitts for the top spot in the points by 40 markers.

Another racer that took his victory tonight and turned it into the points lead was Congrove in Truck eliminator.  The Lancaster, Ohio runner was able to advance his 1985 S-10 to the final round of competition to go up against the 1991 S-10 model of Thornville, Ohio's Joe Wolfe.  Another fantastic reaction time in a final round tonight was put on the boards by Congrove as he was .001 off the line, but it would not matter as Wolfe left the starting line too soon with a -.012 foul start.  Congrove picked up his third win of the year, and second straight in the series with a 10.818 on his 10.76 dial in.  The win pushes Congrove into a 22 point lead over Mike Rehl, who lost to Wolfe in the opening round.

The point battles continued to tighten in the Sport Compact division as Sherrick and his 2005 Cobalt from Lancaster, Ohio continues to make a move up the field.  Coming off two wins in a row, Sherrick made his third straight final round and went up against the 2015 Audi S3 of Justin Hinderer from Granville, Ohio.  In easily the quickest car in the Sport Compact field, Hinderer had to wait through several long handicap head starts in the eliminations.  The final would be no different, with Sherrick gaining the advantage off the line.  Both racers kept their foot in it down at the finish line, but it was Sherrick that would be closer to the dial in on the double breakout.  His 17.063 on a 17.10 was closer than the 12.322 on a 12.37 from Hinderer.  With the third straight win in the class, Sherrick now moves into a tie for the top spot with Chad Sheets.

With incoming points leader Dustin Eveland losing via the red light in the opening round, those chasing him in the points were able to close the gap.  Fornataro and his 1984 S-10 from Newark, Ohio and Blaine Rager and his 1980 Camaro from Thurston, Ohio squared off in the final round looking to close in even more.  The number two and three racers in the points would battle it out for the chance to chop more into Eveland's lead.  Rager was better off the starting line with a .052 to the .090 from  Fornataro, however it was the truck of Fornataro that was dialed in perfectly on this pass.  His 12.500 on a 12.50 dial in squeaked past the 13.681 on a 13.64 from Rager by three thousandths of a second for the win.  Fornataro now moves to within 11 points of Eveland for the top spot, with Rager just 22 behind in third.

The top three in the points standings for Motorcycle were the three remaining in the semifinals of the class here tonight, and like in High School, when Bruce McCormick was defeated there it allowed second and third to close in the gap just a little bit more.  Third place Burt and his 2001 Honda from Columbus, Ohio went up against second place Marshall Hutchinson Jr. and his 1980 Kawasaki from Columbus, Ohio in that final round matchup.  Burt was prepared and ready for the finals as he cut a great .010 reaction time to get an edge that would allow him to force Hutchinson Jr. into a breakout pass.  Burt's 10.680 on a 10.67 dial in secured the win over the 10.817 on a 10.88 from Hutchinson Jr.  The runner up finish allowed Hutchinson Jr. to move to within 11 points of McCormick, while Burt closed the gap to 33.

The next Wednesday Night event is scheduled for September 2nd. 


July 15, 2015

It has been a while since the NTR - JEGS Wednesday Night Series has been to the track, but the racers showed that they definitely had not lost a beat.  A large gathering of racers came to the track and showed their great driving skills throughout.  A couple of defending champions were able to score wins to take the top spot in the points standings, while others made significant moves in their plans to claim the title for this season.  Winners for tonight were Dennis Meade (Big Dawg), Shawn Pitts (CoughlinCars.com Street), Scott Congrove (Superior Exteriors Truck), Nathan Sherrick (Sport Compact), Blaine Rager (Dennis' Vinyl Designs High School), and Bruce McCormick (K & C Yamaha Motorcycle).

Meade, the defending Big Dawg champion, took his trusty 1978 Camaro from Newark, Ohio to the starting line for the final round tonight against the 1970 Duster of Hebron, Ohio's Mitch Williams.  The race was a classic final round matchup that showed a holeshot win for Meade on the scoreboard, but it didn't tell the whole story.  Meade left the starting line with a .004 reaction time against the great .024 light from Williams.  The scoreboards showed a 11.009 on the 10.99 from Meade scoring the win over the 12.460 on a 12.46 for Williams, giving Meade a one thousandth of a second margin of victory.  The win allowed Meade to break a tie with Chris Wright, who he defeated in round one, to hold the points lead by himself.

Repeating the performance of Meade in a defending track champion winning in his class, Pitts drove his 2000 Camaro to the final round of Street eliminator.  The London, Ohio racer would up against the 1978 Malibu of Paul King from Granville, Ohio.  Both former track champions were looking towards gaining the valuable points to continue their climb up the standings, but it would be the starting line that won it for Pitts.  He gained a starting line advantage that forced King to breakout trying to get back ahead.  Pitts ran a 12.366 on his 12.27 dial in to win the race over the 11.634 on a 11.66 from King.  With his victory, Pitts moved into the points lead by 3 markers over Dennis Meade.

Congrove was the winner in Truck with his Lancaster, Ohio based 1985 S-10.  Congrove would go up against the 1991 S-10 of veteran racer Mike Rehl from Newark, Ohio.  In a class dominated by S-10 vehicles, these two racers went after it looking for success on the track.  The final would be a copy of the Street final round, with Congrove getting the light off the line and forcing Rehl to breakout trying to stay out in front.  Congrove won the event with a 10.741 on his 10.71 dial in, while Rehl settled for runner up with a 11.947 on his 11.95.  The win by Congrove allowed him to move to within 21 points of Rehl at the top of the points.

The top two in the points for Sport Compact would go head to head in the final round here tonight.  Sherrick and his 2005 Cobalt out of Lancaster, Ohio ran against defending champion Chad Sheets and his Columbus, Ohio based 2003 Outlander.  Sheets and Sherrick ran off in the last points event here in Sport Compact, with Sherrick coming out on top.  Here tonight it was the same thing.  Sherrick was able to get the better reaction time after having to spot Sheets in the handicap head start.  He was then able to drive around Sheets before the stripe to gain win number two of the year.  His 17.069 on a 16.98 won the event over the 18.651 on a 18.53 from Sheets.  The win pushed Sherrick to within 22 points of Sheets.

After incoming points leader Dustin Eveland was defeated in the semifinals by Cardino Fornataro, the racers in the High School final round were able to cut into his points lead.  Fornataro and his Newark, Ohio based 1984 S-10 squared off with the 1980 Camaro of Rager from Thurston, Ohio.  The final round showed the growing driving prowess of Rager as he used a .003 reaction time to gained the edge off the green that Fornataro would not be able to overcome.  Rager's 13.717 on a 13.59 dial in secured his first win of the year.  Fornataro ran a 12.426 on his 12.38 predicted time.  Both are now within 33 points of Eveland for the top spot.

Like in Sport Compact, the finalist in Motorcycle were the top two in the points battling it out.  McCormick, who entered with the points lead aboard his 2001 Kawasaki from Columbus, Ohio, would square off with the defending champion Marshall Hutchinson Jr. and his 1980 Kawasaki from Columbus, Ohio.  The battle between the Street Motorcycle and the Super Pro Motorcycle found the Super Pro version of Hutchinson Jr. getting the edge off the line, but he was unable to slow the bike down enough to get inside his dial in.  McCormick scored the win and the points with a 10.539 on his 10.49 dial in.  Hutchinson Jr. ran a tough 10.917 on his 10.92 dial in.  The McCormick win puts him 22 points ahead of Hutchinson Jr.

The Wednesday Night series returns, hopefully, on July 31st.


June 24, 2015

Points Race #4 of the 2015 Wednesday Night season was once again delayed by rain last week, but the racers came out in force tonight to take advantage of the great weather that was here.  The one-third mark in the scheduled season chase for a championship means that it is starting to get serious for those chasing the end of the year titles.  Once again, the night produced one individual scoring two class wins as Dustin Eveland picked up wins in the Dennis' Vinyl Designs High School and Superior Exteriors Truck division.  Also winning here tonight were Chris Wright (Big Dawg), Richard McMahan (CoughlinCars.com Street), Nathan Sherrick (Sport Compact), and Marshall Hutchinson Jr. (K & C Yamaha Motorcycle).

Eveland's first win of the night came in the High School class.  The Zanesville, Ohio runner would take his 1985 S-10 to the line to go up against the 1987 S-10 of Baltimore, Ohio's Kyler Smith.  The top two finishers in the past two years in the High School division continued their long battle here tonight, but it was the defending champion that stayed out in front.  With a better reaction time off the line, Eveland was able to stay ahead of Smith throughout the run and score the victory with a 12.398 on a 12.24 dial in.  Smith finished with a 12.173 on his 12.08 predicted time.  With the win, Eveland extended his lead over the field in the points.

Eveland then returned to the track later on in the Truck final round with the same 1985 S-10.  In that final round, Eveland would go up against the 1984 S-10 of Cardino Fornataro from Newark, Ohio.  The two young drivers had quite the staging battle in the final round matchup, with neither driver making a move to the stage beam for well over a minute.  Finally Fornataro went in and the race was ready to go.  However, Fornataro left the starting line too soon with a -.010 reaction time and handed the win to Eveland.  Eveland finished his double with a 12.257 on his 12.22 dial in.  With neither Eveland or Fornataro in the points, Mike Rehl still heads up the points sheet but lost some of his lead to Mark Swartz's semifinal finish.

During time trials, Wright and his 1986 S-10 from Newark, Ohio experienced a throttle cable issue that forced him into eliminations with no time trials.  It apparently wasn't too much of an issue as he advanced to the final round in Big Dawg.  There, he would race the 1970 Camaro from Hebron, Ohio of Scott Weisend.  Both drivers were basically even off the starting line in the final round race, Weisend holding a .042 to .044 advantage.  However, it was Wright that was able to post a great 10.444 on his 10.44 dial in to secure the win.  Weisend ran a 10.371 on his 10.31 to finish as runner up.  With the win, Wright moves into a tie for the top spot in the points with Dennis Meade.

The Street final round was a classic matchup between two great drivers.  McMahan and his Newark, Ohio based 1993 Camaro would square off with the 1985 Camaro of Dennis Meade, also from Newark, Ohio.  These drivers have a lot of experience in final round matchups and it showed in the race down the track tonight.  McMahan had a great .029 light in the final round, but it was overshadowed by the perfect .000 reaction time of Meade.  As the two drivers went to the stripe, it was the better dialed McMahan that scored the win by four thousandths of a second.  His 13.386 on a 13.38 scored the win light over the 11.339 on a 11.30 from Meade.  Despite the runner up finish, Meade did leave the night the new Street points leader.

Defending track champion in Sport Compact Chad Sheets was able to make the final round of competition for the third time this points season with his 2003 Outlander from Columbus, Ohio.  Waiting for him in the finals on this night was the 2005 Cobalt of Sherrick from Lancaster, Ohio.  Like the Street final round, this final round was determined by the better dial in than the leaving off the starting line.  Sheets, like McMahan in Street had a .029 reaction time, but it gave him the advantage off the start.  However, it was Sherrick that was able to hit the dial in for the win.  His 16.987 on a 16.98 dial in won Sherrick's first points event of the season over the 18.718 on a 18.62 for Sheets.  The win pushes Sherrick into the second spot in the points.

Motorcycle found the points leader going up against the defending champion in the final round of action.  Hutchinson Jr. and his 1980 Kawasaki from Columbus, Ohio is looking to defend his title. Waiting for him in the finals was the current points leader Bruce McCormick and his 2001 Kawasaki from Columbus, Ohio.  Hutchinson Jr., who moved into second place in the points after the night, used a starting line advantage to extend his head start over McCormick and score the win.  A 10.874 on a 10.83 was victorious over the 10.516 on a 10.47 from McCormick.

After a week off for the Fourth of July weekend, the Wednesday Night series returns to the track on July 8th.


June 10, 2015

After a week delay, the third NTR - JEGS Wednesday Night event ran under a beautiful night here.  This was an important event for many points racers on different aspects of the standings.  Those that started well in the opening two events would be looking towards keeping the momentum going, while those at the bottom of the standings were focused on getting back into the race before those at the top got too far away.  For the defending Wednesday Night Top Gun Shawn Pitts, the night found himself in the winner circle for both Big Dawg and CoughlinCars.com Street.  Other winners were Scott Congrove (Superior Exteriors Truck), Trevor Trost (Sport Compact), Dustin Eveland (Dennis' Vinyl Designs High School), and Bruce McCormick (K & C Yamaha Motorcycle).

The first of two victories here for Pitts was in the Big Dawg division of racing.  There it would be Pitts and his 2000 Camaro from London, Ohio going up against Dustin Eveland and his 1985 S-10 from Zanesville, Ohio.  Both Eveland and Pitts would find themselves in two final rounds for the night and looking to double up.  It was a classic final round race that saw two thousandths of a second determine the winner.  Eveland had the starting line advantage with a .003 light to the .016 from Pitts.  However, at the stripe it was a double breakout win for Pitts.  His 12.266 on a 12.27 dial in was just a tick closer than the 12.294 on a 12.30 from Eveland.  The win allowed Pitts to move into second place behind points leader Dennis Meade.

Pitts then returned for the Street final round matchup with the 1970 Duster of Mitch Williams from Hebron, Ohio.  Two great drivers came to the starting line in the final round, one looking for the double up while the other was looking to stop him.  Add in that both were looking towards gaining the points to get back near the top of the points and it was an interesting battle.  Pitts had the slight edge at the green light, and used it to force Williams to breakout by more than him.  Pitts completed the double with a 12.258 on his 12.26 dial in.  Williams ran a 12.521 on his 12.55 dial in.  His second straight win in the class, Pitts extended his slight lead at the top of the points.

While Eveland was stopped in the Big Dawg final round, he was able to secure the High School win earlier in the night.  Using the same 1985 S-10, Eveland went up against the Thurston, Ohio based 1980 Camaro of Blaine Rager in the final round.  The final pass was over before Eveland left the starting line as Rager left too soon with a heartbreaking -.003 red light start.  Eveland secured the win with a lifting 12.419 on his 12.30 dial in.  Rager posted a 13.621 on his 13.69.  The win allowed Eveland to go around Cardino Fornataro, who Eveland defeated in round one, for the top spot in the points.

Former Track Champion Congrove returned to the winner circle for the first time this season in Truck.  With his Lancaster, Ohio based 1985 S-10, Congrove would go up against the 1986 S-10 from Columbus, Ohio of Gary Preston.  Both finalists had defeated important racers in the opening round as Congrove stopped points leader Mike Rehl and Preston got past defending champion Todd Smith.  In the final round, it would be the dreaded red light that spelled defeat for Preston.  Congrove would have been tough after a great .006 reaction time and a 10.779 on a 10.73 pass for the win.  The victory moved Congrove into second place behind Rehl in the points.

Points took a backseat for the night in the Sport Compact division as two non-points racers squared off for the win.  Trost and his 2000 Civic from Hebron, Ohio would battle the 2009 Legacy of Brett Dozmati from Amanda, Ohio.  After defeating incoming points leader Chad Sheets in the second round of racing, Trost was able to get the advantage off the line in the final with Dozmati.  That advantage allowed Trost to force Dozmati to breakout at the finish line trying to stay ahead.  Trost ran a 14.753 on his 14.30 to win over the 17.814 on a 17.83 from Dozmati.  Sheets still leads the standings over Chris Chase.

With his final round appearance, McCormick and his 2001 Kawasaki from Columbus, Ohio was able to move into the points lead for the first time this season.  Waiting for McCormick in the final round was the 1981 Hondamatic of Pops Luzader from Columbus, Ohio.  Luzader would get an over eight second advantage off of the dial ins for the final round, and actually improved on that with the slightly better light.  However, the Hondamatic would not go into second gear right off the bat during the run and slowed Luzader down.  McCormick was able to ride around and secure the win with a 10.633 on his 10.31 dial in.  Luzader finished with a 21.256 on a 18.54 dial in.

The next Wednesday Night event is scheduled for June 17th.


May 27, 2015

A lot of weather predictions of doom and gloom for the night might have turned away some racers, but those fearless souls of the Wednesday Night series turned out to the track tonight and were greeted with great weather during the second of twelve points events on the Summer Series trail. In the six classes of competition two of the champions from last week was able to secure a second win, while two defending track champions returned from stumbles in their classes last week to claim wins. Visiting the winner circle on this night were Dennis Meade (Big Dawg), Shawn Pitts (CoughlinCars.com Street), Mike Rehl (Superior Exteriors Truck), Chad Sheets (Sport Compact), Cardino Fornataro (Dennis' Vinyl Designs High School), and Bob Burt (K & C Yamaha Motorcycle).

Meade was successful in winning a class for the second time in as many weeks, but tonight he took his defending Big Dawg championship winning 1978 Camaro Z-28 from Newark, Ohio to the win there. Racing Meade in the final round was the 1974 Duster of Terry McGee from Newark, Ohio. Meade was more than ready for the always tough McGee as he used a .005 reaction time to get an advantage off the start that would force McGee to breakout. Meade stopped the clocks with a 11.037 on his 11.02 dial in for the win.  McGee ran a 13.894 on his 13.91 to settle for runner up.

Rehl was able to advance to two final rounds on this night, capturing the first of these final round runs in the Truck class. The 1991 S-10 that Rehl drove here from Newark, Ohio would be matched up with the 1986 S-10 of Mark Swartz from Reynoldsburg, Ohio in the final. Rehl would follow the same script as Meade for the Truck win by gaining a starting line edge that would carry him to the event win. Rehl however used his to win on a holeshot.  His 12.222 on a 12.19 was just enough to defeat the 11.015 on a 10.99 from Swartz.

Rehl then came back for the Street final round and went up against Pitts and his 2000 Camaro out of London, Ohio.  The defending Street and overall Top Gun champion was looking to improve on his first week's less than stellar performance and did that the perfection.  With a .024 reaction time, Pitts was the better of the two off the line and stayed ahead of the charging Rehl for the win.  Pitts posted a 12.358 on his 12.31 dial in to win over the slightly too quick 12.192 on a 12.20 from Rehl and stop his attempt at the double for the night.

Like Rehl who won his second Truck points event of the season, Sheets was able to keep his record unblemished in the Sport Compact division during the points season.  Sheets and his 2003 Outlander from Columbus, Ohio was up against the 2004 CTS of John Sherrick from Lancaster, Ohio in the final round of racing.  Sheets showed why he was the champion from last season as he cut a great .004 reaction time in the final round matchup that would keep him out in front all the way to the stripe.  Sheets ran a 18.501 on his 18.38 dial in to win the event over the 15.363 on a 15.40 for Sherrick.

After losing a painful final round matchup last week, Fornataro and his 1984 S-10 from Newark, Ohio was looking to get that one extra round that escaped him.  He pushed his way to the final round where he would go up against the 2005 Dakota truck of Derrick Wyche from Lewis Center, Ohio.  Fornataro, who had to wait over six seconds at the line due to the dial ins, was able to successfully do that and earned a slight advantage at the green.  He was then able to drive around Wyche near the finish line for the win.  Fornataro's 12.417 on a 12.40 won the event over Wyche's 18.529 on a 18.48 dial in.

And in Motorcycle, Burt and his 2001 Honda from Columbus, Ohio would matchup with the 2001 Kawasaki of Bruce McCormick from Columbus, Ohio.  McCormick, who was running his Ram truck in Street and Truck as well, did a good job all night switching between the two completely different machines but it might of caught up to him just a bit in the final round.  Burt won that final on the holeshot that he gained off the line.  His 10.724 on a 10.64 dial in pass was enough to get around the closer 10.341 on a 10.31 from McCormick.

The next Wednesday Night event is set for next Wednesday, June 3rd.


May 20, 2015

The opening race of the 2015 NTR - JEGS Wednesday Night series felt a lot more like the Halloween Hootout than the Memorial Day Week of action. The cool temperatures brought with it interesting racing action on the track. Power was the order of the day as several cars made very quick runs for their setup prior to the opening round of eliminations.  When the race, and the brief rain, finally came to a conclusion, it was several track champions from last season that scored wins for the night.  Winning on opening night was Larry Berry (Big Dawg), Dennis Meade (CoughlinCars.com Street), Mike Rehl (Superior Exteriors Truck), Chad Sheets (Sport Compact), Dustin Eveland (Dennis' Vinyl Designs High School), and Marshall Hutchinson Jr. (K & C Yamaha Motorcycle).

Berry and his 1967 Mustang from Baltimore, Ohio was running very well throughout the night to make the Big Dawg final round. After defeating defending champion Dennis Meade in the semifinals, Berry was scheduled to run the 1955 International truck of Karla Eveland from Zanesville, Ohio. However, Eveland's mount was sidelined with mechanical breakage after her semifinal bye run. Berry completed the event win by running a 10.864 on his 10.86 dial in on the solo pass.

While Meade was unable to secure the Big Dawg win, he was able to take his new 1985 Camaro to the Street final round. There he would go up against Dustin Eveland who was looking to win his second class of the night. It was not to be for the 1985 S-10 of Eveland as the Newark, Ohio racer Meade used a great .007 reaction time to force Eveland to breakout at the stripe. Meade posted a 11.214 on his 11.20 dial in to win the race over the 12.018 on a 12.10 from Eveland.

The brief rain sprinkle that fell late in the night definitely helped out Rehl and his 1991 S-10 from Newark, Ohio. As the rain fell and the tractor was fired up, Rehl's mount was unresponsive to starting. After a few minutes to dry the track, Rehl's truck was eventually started to race defending champion Todd Smith and his 1985 S-10 from Baltimore, Ohio. Both driver were close to one another off the starting line, with Rehl gaining the slight edge. He would use that edge to stay ahead of Smith throughout. His 12.406 on a 12.37 scored the opening win over the 10.418 on a 10.32 from Smith.

A couple of former champions in the Sport Compact class went against one another in the final round.  Sheets and his 2003 Outlander from Columbus, Ohio would go up against the 1994 Civic of Chris Chase from Columbus, Ohio in the final.  Sheets was the better of the two off the line with a nice .050 reaction time, but really wouldn't need it. Problems off the line for Chase slowed him down considerably from his dial in and made the job easy for Sheets.  His 18.867 on a 18.47 run easily out ran the 18.047 on a 15.37 for Chase.

The best race of not only the final rounds, but all night came in the High School final between Eveland's 1985 S-10 and Cardino Fornataro's 1984 S-10 from Newark, Ohio. The two were close in dial in for the final round, and off the start Eveland would gain three hundrenths of a second.  He would need every last one of those at the stripe as his 12.130 on a 12.10 squeaked past the 12.400 on a 12.40 from Fornataro.  The total margin of victory in the final round for Eveland was two ten-thousandths of a second.

In the Motorcycle class, Hutchinson and his 1980 Kawasaki from Columbus, Ohio picked up the win running a 9.844 on a 9.75 dial in.

The next NTR-JEGS Wednesday Night event, #2 in the Summer Series Points, is set for May 27th.


May 13, 2015

Big Dawg
W: Mike Rehl ('91 S-10) - 12.599, 107.90 (12.39 dial).
R/U: Tony Hanson ('85 Camaro) - 10.408, 117.02 (10.21 dial).
Semi's: Chris Castle.

CoughlinCars.com Street
W: Baylee Kibbey ('83 Camaro) - 15.240, 91.42 (15.15 dial).
R/U: Shane Ross ('14 Mustang) - 12.773, 110.79 (12.80 dial).
Semi's: Chris Castle.

Superior Exteriors Truck
W: John Koenig ('08 Aspen) - 16.375, 82.26 (16.30 dial).
R/U: Mike Rehl ('91 S-10) - 12.554, 107.66 (12.39 dial).
Semi's: Mark Swartz.

Sport Compact
W: Nathan Sherrick ('05 Cobalt) - 17.207, 77.02 (16.84 dial).
R/U: Terri Wilgus ('10 Elantra) - 17.914, 77.97 (17.76 dial).
Semi's: Grant Hartley.

Dennis Vinyl Designs High School
W: Blaine Rager ('80 Camaro) - 13.774, 92.45 (13.78 dial).
R/U: Dustin Eveland ('39 Chevy) - 13.428, 93.12 (13.50 dial).
Semi's: Cardino Fornataro.

K & C Yamaha Motorcycle
W: Bruce McCormick ('01 Kawasaki) - 10.549, 125.53 (10.51 dial).
R/U: Bob Burt ('00 Honda) - 10.733, 123.50 (10.65 dial).
Semi's: Pops Luzader.


May 6, 2015

Big Dawg
W: Dave Ramsey ('69 Camaro) - 10.635, 119.16 (10.58 dial).
R/U: Laura Trainer ('74 Challenger) - 12.046, 110.29 (11.95 dial).
Semi's: Mike Nutt; Terry McGee.

CoughlinCars.com Street
W: Shane Ross ('14 Mustang) - 13.079, 108.65 (13.00 dial).
R/U: Nathan Sherrick ('05 Cobalt) - 16.985, 75.54 (17.00 dial).
Semi's: Tim Porter; Eddie Watkins.

Superior Exteriors Truck
W: Scott Congrove ('85 S-10) - 10.742, 123.11 (10.70 dial).
R/U: Billy Hoskinson ('88 S-10) - foul.
Semi's: Mark Swartz; Gary Preston.

Sport Compact
W: Nathan Sherrick ('05 Cobalt) - 17.330, 65.64 (16.86 dial).
R/U: Jeff Knackstadt ('93 Del Sol) - 12.998, 121.96 (12.40 dial).

Dennis’ Vinyl Designs High School
W: Kyler Smith ('87 S-10) - 12.054, 111.26 (12.12 dial).
R/U: Derrick Wyche ('05 Dakota) - foul.

K & C Yamaha Motorcycle
W: Marshall Hutchinson Jr. ('06 Suzuki) - 10.295, 136.39 (10.00 dial).
R/U: Kevin McCauley ('01 Honda) - foul.
Semi's: Rick Bodnar Jr.; Pops Luzader.


April 29, 2015

Big Dawg
W: Brett Tanzillo ('78 Camaro) - 10.154, 133.16 (10.03 dial).
R/U: Dennis Meade ('78 Camaro Z-28) - foul.
Semi's: Jeff Ronan; Joseph Patete.

CoughlinCars.com Street
W: Dennis Meade ('85 Camaro) - 11.260, 115.06 (11.25 dial).
R/U: Baylee Kibbey ('83 Camaro) - 15.343, 87.77 (15.30 dial).
Semi's: Shane Ross.

Superior Exteriors Truck
W: Alan Kennedy ('67 F-100) - 10.162, 128.91 (10.17 dial).
R/U: Todd Smith ('85 S-10) - foul.
Semi's: Mark Swartz.

Sport Compact
W: Terri Wilgus ('10 Elantra) - 17.996, 77.77 (17.81 dial).
R/U: John Meyers ('09 G37) - 13.636, 101.13 (13.70 dial).
Semi's: Jeff Knackstedt.

Dennis’ Vinyl Designs High School
W: Kyler Smith ('87 S-10) - 12.037, 111.25 (12.10 dial).
R/U: Cardino Fornataro ('84 S-10) - foul.
Semi's: Derrick Wyche; Blaine Rager.

K & C Yamaha Motorcycle
W: Kevin McCauley ('01 Honda) - 13.340, 113.89 (12.50 dial).
R/U: Pops Luzader ('01 Hondamatic) - broke.