VETERANS & NEW WINNERS AT EMOTIONAL ADRL EVENT
CECIL, GA (Apr. 25, 2010) — Despite racing with heavy hearts after losing one of their own to a freak early-morning accident, American Drag Racing League competitors still managed to turn in thrilling, record-setting performances at the ADRL Hardee’s Georgia Drags VI Saturday at South Georgia Motorsports Park (SGMP). Veterans Jason Scruggs and Mike Castellana led the way with wins in Pro Extreme and Pro Nitrous and Ashley Owens absolutely dominated the Pro Extreme Motorcycle class from start to finish all weekend long. Extreme 10.5 and Extreme Pro Stock produced first-time winners in Todd Moyer and Steven Boone, respectively.
Raceday sadly opened with an accident in the pit area of Pro Nitrous racer Blake Housley that critically injured team co-owner Mike Walker, who was pronounced dead shortly afterward at Memorial Hospital of Adel at nearby Adel, Georgia. In a moving pre-race ceremony before packed grandstands, ADRL President and CEO Kenny Nowling dedicated the Georgia Drags to Walker’s memory and Scruggs later donated the fourth ADRL Minuteman trophy of his career to the Walker family in victory lane.
“Mike was a great guy, someone who loved racing, loved being out here and loved his family,” the former back-to-back class champion pointed out immediately upon exiting his car after defeating Quain Stott in the Pro Extreme final. “I really felt like Mike was riding with me today and just feel like his family deserves this win after all they’ve been through today.” Scruggs who used VP's M1 Methanol to qualify his supercharged ’68 Camaro fourth, won the final with a 3.71 ET over the SGMP eighth mile at 206.57 mph, while Stott’s 1963 Corvette finished in 3.75 seconds at 205.54 mph.
Castellana’s route to victory lane took him through Terry Housley, Johnny Pilcher and Randy Weatherford before reaching nitrous racing legend Charles Carpenter in the final, after Carpenter took out Steve Vick, Terry Murphy and John DeFlorian Jr. with his iconic 1955 Chevy BelAir. Castellana’s C23-powered ’69 Camaro moved first in the final, though, as the Westbury, New York, racer left with a stellar .009 reaction time, then ran an unchallenged 3.93 seconds at 193.52 mph after Carpenter’s car lost traction soon after the start.
Owens also remained consistent—consistently quick—as he reset the Pro Extreme Motorcycle elapsed time record an unprecedented-in-drag-racing five consecutive times, including each time he came to the line during four rounds of eliminations. Using VP Import race fuel, he eventually lowered the mark to an unreal 4.09 seconds after a 175.25-mph win over good friend Travis Davis, who managed “only” 4.20 at 169.74 mph in the final round. Decatur, Alabama-based Owens, aboard his brand-new Fast by Gast Suzuki, also left Valdosta with a new class speed record after going 177.81 mph in his semi-final win over Nikie Corley.
Despite being a veteran of Extreme 10.5 racing, Moyer made it to his career-first final at SGMP and made it count with a victory over Gary White, who the previous day joined Moyer and two other drivers so far in the elite, five-member Mickey Thompson Three-Second Club for the class. White ran 3.99 seconds at 182.45 mph in his turbocharged, six-cylinder Team Titan Scion to earn the number-one starting position in the eight-car field for the Hardee’s Georgia Drags VI. Using VP's M5 Methanol in the final, Moyer left with a solid starting-line advantage and cruised to the win in 4.02 seconds at 195.36 mph, while White struggled with transmission issues to a 4.94 finish.
Boone, from Weaverville, North Carolina, thanked last-minute backers just for getting him to South Georgia. “Honestly, two or three weeks ago we weren’t even sure we could afford to be here and to be standing here right now with this trophy in my hand is really kind of unbelievable,” Boone said. Powered by VP's Q16 racing fuel, the 15th-place qualifier had a relatively easy time in the opening two rounds when both Brian Gahm and Cale Aronson faltered, but Boone got the job done on the starting line in the semis and final rounds, earning holeshot victories over Doug Kirk and Pete Berner, respectively.
In his closing remarks from the winner’s circle, Nowling told fans and racers: “This is without a doubt the toughest event we’ve ever had to get through with the ADRL and you have all been part of it and made it one of our most memorable. Our hearts and prayers go out to Mike Walker’s family and to see the way they responded to such unexpected adversity should serve as an inspiration to us all.”