Kernersville Driver Overcomes 12-Car Head Start to win at Rockingham Dragway

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – With racers from 10 states looking for a windfall Saturday, Josh Sperle of Kernersville kept the big money in the Carolinas by driving his Chevy El Camino to victory over Thursday winner Sarah Boyce of New Derry, Pa., on the final day of the PINKS All Out Festival at Rockingham Dragway.

Sperle earned a shot at the biggest share of the $30,000 purse by first winning group one of two in the 9-10 second class. He then got a free ride to the overall final when Mike Mackey of Algonquin, Ill., was unable to make repairs to the brakes on his 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass after they failed on his winning run in group two.

Boyce, who won Thursday’s 11-12 second bracket in her yellow 1989 Ford Mustang, got a 12-carlength head start for the money, but couldn’t hold off the black El Camino.

Other winners on the final day were Doug Kistler of Emmaus, Pa., in the 10-11 second class; Logan “L’il Ruthless” Poppel of Odum, Ga., in PINKS Cycle; Terry Chavis of Maxton, N.C., in PINKS ATV; and Kevin Carpenter of Monroe, N.C., in PINKS Quick 16.

Final round results from Saturday’s PINKS All Out Festival at Rockingham Dragway:

10-11 Second Bracket –
Doug Kistler, Emmaus, Pa., 1984 Pontiac Trans Am, def. Chris Newman, Floyd, Va., 1976 Chevy Corvette.
9 Second Bracket (group one) –
Josh Sperle, Kernersville, N.C., 1970 Chevy El Camino, def. Terry Marshpond, Amelia, Va., 1970 Ford Mustang.
9-Second Bracket (group 2) –
Mike Mackey, Algonquin, Ill., 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass, def. John Justice, Huntsville, N.C., 1967 Ford Falcon.
Quick 16 –
Kevin Carpenter, Monroe, N.C., 1968 Chevy Camaro, def. Dale McSwain, Norwood, N.C., 2015 Chevy Camaro.
Cycle – Logan Poppel, Odum, Ga., Suzuki, def. Andrew Ritchey, Claysburg, Pa., Kawasaki.
ATV – Terry Chavis, Maxton, N.C., 2015 Banshee, def. James McCallum, Rowland, N.C., 2000 Raptor.
Records Could Fall When Pro Modified Series Returns September 10-12

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – With the PDRA Pro Modified series accelerating to its mid-point this week at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park outside Martin, Mich., work already is underway at Rockingham Dragway in anticipation of the September 10-12 return of Dragstock XII, the event that forever changed the performance landscape in professional drag racing.

It was the success of the original Dragstock that led to the launch of a full series of events for Pro Mods at an eighth-mile distance that irked some racing purists but proved to be perfect for the powerful-but-erratic short wheelbase cars that have caught the attention of the racing public like nothing since the Funny Cars of the 1960s.

“It’s a great show,” said Rockingham owner Steve Earwood. “It may be a straight track but these cars never go straight. They run right on the ragged edge every run and I think that’s what appeals to our fans. It’s amazing how much racing can really occur in three and a half seconds – but it does.”

As the eighth of 10 events in the series, Dragstock once again will play a major role in determining Pro Modified season champions in the Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous and Pro Boost classes as well as in Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman.

“The Pro Mod cars remind me an awful lot of the Funny Cars of the 1970s in the fact that they’re outlaws who kind of built a reputation on their own before they were reluctantly embraced by the NHRA,” Earwood said. “That’s the same thing that happened with the Funny Cars. The fans loved them before the establishment did.”

Another attraction of the class is its diversity. No other racing series has more diversity in drivers, in vehicles or in technology.

By way of illustration, in just the two years it has been in existence, the PDRA already has had a woman winner in Lizzy Musi of Mooresville, N.C., an African-American winner in Travis Harvey of Elon, N.C., and a winner of Arabic descent in Mustafa Buhumaid of Dubai, the current point leader in Pro Extreme.

As for the cars, they include everything from a 1955 Chevy Nomad wagon to a 2010 Nissan 350 ZX; a 1953 Studebaker to a 2000 Viper; a 1941 Willys to a 1970 Plymouth Duster; a 1957 Chevy Bel Air to a 2015 Cadillac CTS; a 1967 Mustang to a 1969 Chevelle although the vehicles of preference remain 1969 Camaros and 1963 Corvettes.

And power? The choices are equally outrageous. There are supercharged engines, nitrous oxide-injected engines and turbocharged engines. There are engines that displace as much a 903 cubic inches constructed by some of the biggest names in drag racing including Reher-Morrison, Sonny Leonard and Pat Musi.

Somehow, though, the series has remained uniquely competitive. Through this year’s first five races, only one Pro Mod driver in the three primary categories has won more than one race. That’s Jason Scruggs of Saltillo, Miss., who won back-to-back Pro Extreme races at Shreveport, La., and Madison, Ill. (St. Louis).

“We take great pride in our track prep and I think it shows in the fact that Frankie Taylor ran 3.485 at The Rock a year ago,” Earwood said. “No one’s ever run quicker.”

He could have added, “yet,” because if conditions are right in September, all the PDRA records could be in jeopardy including those set previously at Rockingham.

Track owner Steve Earwood and Dieffenbach GM Super Store General Manager Jeff Dieffenbach have confirmed that the Rockingham General Motors dealership has renewed its sponsorship of the Classic Rock Super Chevy Show presented by Richmond County Tourism, which returns to Rockingham Dragway Oct. 9-11.

The sport’s largest all-Chevy event, the Dieffenbach GM Superstore Super Chevy Show will feature bowtie action both on and off the track with a car show, swap meet and Chevrolet product displays along with a full slate of drag races.

The Dieffenbach GM Superstore, located at 1209 E. Broad Avenue in Rockingham, is a one-stop source for everything branded with the Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac and Buick logos as well as for service on all makes and models. Dieffenbach technicians are trained and equipped to handle everything from oil changes to tire rotations to brakes, batteries and multi-point vehicle inspections.

“The Dieffenbach GM Superstore is where you can get one of those Camaro 2LT coupes with the 6.2 liter V8,” Earwood said. “That’s one fast hot rod and you can bring it out to The Rock and shake it down whenever you want and maybe even bring it to the big race in the fall. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Jeff Dieffenbach and his crew at the dealership”.
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