HEBRON, OH (Aug. 23, 2009) —VP Racing Fuels was the common denominator for four first-time class winners at the ADRL Summit Racing Equipment Ohio Drags III at National Trail Raceway Saturday outside Columbus, OH. In a remarkable turn of events, each had never before visited an ADRL victory lane and even more remarkable, each was up against their class wins leader in the final round.
Thomas “Tom Slick” Myers used VP’s C23 racing fuel to take down Shannon “Iceman” Jenkins, who leads the Pro Nitrous division with seven prior event titles, while in Flowmaster Extreme 10.5, VP’s M5 Methanol powered Spiro Pappas over eight-time race winner and defending series champion Billy Glidden. VP Import racing fuel powered Paul Gast past Scott Gray, who leads all Pro Extreme Motorcycle riders with three victories and Dean Goforth used VP to down Doug Kirk, winner of the season opener at Houston this year in the National Guard ADRL’s new Extreme Pro Stock class.
Myers, an auto mechanic from Granbury, Texas, won from the 16th and final qualifying position. He went 4.02 seconds at 183.89 mph with his ’63 split-window Corvette in the final, while Jenkins suffered traction problems early in his run and slowed to a 4.28 at 156.03 mph. Jenkins later admitted he simply misread changing track conditions and his ’68 Camaro started shaking its tires before reaching half-track, allowing Myers to overcome a holeshot and pass him by.
An emotional Myers dedicated the race win to his grandfather, who passed away just a few days before the event. He and his wife, Rebecca, have been racing with the National Guard ADRL since its inception five years ago. “I can’t believe we finally made it, especially against the level of teams we’re racing against out here,” Myers said after defeating Pat Stoken, Stan Allen and Burton Auxier in the preliminary rounds, each a member of a multi-car team, as is Jenkins. “But the ADRL has put together a great series where the little guy can shine. It’s an honor for me just to line up against someone like Shannon Jenkins, but to actually beat him in a final? Wow, I can’t even say what that means to me.”
A red-light start by Glidden handed the Flowmaster Extreme 10.5 win to Pappas, who posted an off-the-pace 4.18 pass at 148.31 mph in the final due to the turbocharger on his 2009 Pontiac GXP malfunctioning. In the semi-finals against Chuck Ulsch, however, he went 3.99 seconds at 190.11 to advance while joining Ulsch as the second member of the exclusive Mickey Thompson 3-Second Club for Flowmaster Extreme 10.5 drivers.“That was a big deal for us, to get that three-second run over with. I wish we could’ve been first, but it still feels good to know we did it,” the popular Chicago racer said. “I also wish we could’ve had a good race in the final, but it doesn’t make the win over Billy any less enjoyable. This is what we came here for.”
Glidden later explained he suffered a clutch controller failure on the line, causing him to go red. “After the burnouts I looked over and could see he was smoking pretty bad out the left side of his car, so I knew he was hurt. So I wasn’t pushing the tree or anything. I was just going to do my regular deal when this happened,” Glidden said, referring to the faulty controller. “It makes me sick, if you want to know the truth.”
Gast, from Grand Island, NY, also was the beneficiary of a red-light start, as Gray left three-thousandths too soon, tossing away a 4.30 pass against Gast’s 4.31 at 160.69 mph. “The bike ran really well all day, although it slowed down a little and made its worst run of eliminations there in the final,” the 60-year-old said in victory lane. “I knew I had a good light (.016, his best of the day), but I didn’t know he’d (Gray) gone red, so I wasn’t sure I’d won until it was over.” After setting low E.T. of the meet for the Extreme Pro Stock class with a 4.10 in the semis that sent him to his second-straight final-round appearance, Goforth ran 4.13 at 173.25 with his ’09 GXP against a redlighting Kirk, who left four-thousandths-of-a-second ahead of the go signal. “I had no idea he’d gone red until we were well on down there when I saw the win light in my lane,” said Goforth, Q16 who opened the day with a win over his son, Cary, then beat Pete Berner and points leader Brian Gahm to reach the final. “Every round is so tough out here. This is the best racing there is; I’m having a lot of fun doing this. ”