VP POWERS ADRL CHAMPIONS AT ENNIS
ENNIS, TX (Oct. 24, 2009) — VP Racing Fuels was the common denominator among four of the newest ADRL World Champions crowned at Texas Motorplex Saturday in the championship-deciding Speedtech Battle for the Belts—a unique eight-car playoff for the top points earners in each class . Khalid Al-Balooshi, who made 28-hour, round-trip flights from Qatar in the Middle East to compete in each of 10 ADRL events, took the Pro Nitrous title, along with Chicago racer Spiro Pappas, who prevailed from an eighth-place start in Flowmaster Extreme 10.5. Ocala, FL’s Scott Gray made a championship run in Pro Extreme Motorcycle from the number-one position while Matt Hartford from Phoenix, AZ, scored the Extreme Pro Stock title in his final appearance in the class.
Al-Balooshi beat his Al-Anabi Racing teammate, Burton Auxier of Dixie, West Virginia, in the final round when Auxier left four-thousandths of a second too soon. He previously beat Stan Allen in the opening round and another Al-Anabi teammate, Mike Castellana, whose car would not start with a faulty battery in the semi-finals.
As the eighth-place starter, Pappas actually had to win four times for his Speedtech Battle for the Belts triumph, since numbers seven and eight initially raced to earn a berth against the second-place qualifier while number one in each class received a first-round bye. So, Pappas opened with a win over Jake Carlton to reach Gary White, then got past Jeff Naiser before leading stripe-to-stripe over Chuck Ulsch, the quickest and fastest record holder for the class. “It’s been a long, tough road to get here, but my guys never gave up and it was all worth it,” Pappas said. “This took a real team effort.”
As the top points earner in Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Gray had the free pass from round one to the semis where he edged Travis Davis thanks to taking a starting-line advantage. Gray won the final with another holeshot performance, leaving .022 ahead of Ashley Owens and finishing just eight thousandths ahead. “Wow, that was a close one, but we’ll take it. Without a doubt, this is a huge, huge win for us,” Gray said.
Hartford, who is leaving the Billy Dingman crew for other racing opportunities next year, started third and took out Dean Goforth in round one before he and Doug Kirk both ran exactly the same times in the semis, but Kirk left a single thousandth too soon to turn on the read light off the start.
“What a way to go out,” Hartford said. “I want to thank Billy Dingman and all my crew for giving me a great car all year and hope they get to repeat again next season.”