WELCOME TO "THE ROCK"  ROCKINGHAM DRAGWAY - ROCKINGHAM, N.C.
 
 
19TH ANNUAL ‘BIG JOHN’ MEMORIAL WEEKEND BRACKET RACES
Four ‘Wally” Trophies, Cash Purse, Summit Series and Track Points Up for Grabs
 
ROCKINGHAM – Four iconic “Wally” trophies like those awarded at NHRA national events and a purse that includes more than $20,000 in cash for race winners in Top Eliminator and Footbrake are among the perks expected to lure the Southeast’s top drivers to Rockingham Dragway this week (May 26-29) for the 19th annual “Big John” Memorial Weekend Bracket Nationals.
 
Celebrating the life of the late “Big John” Leviner, a popular track official, the Memorial Weekend event will crown daily champions in Top Eliminator, Footbrake and Jr. Dragster with a $7,500 payout to the Top ET champ on Sunday.
 
Nevertheless, the most unique aspect of the event is the National Dragster Challenge, a daily “Run for the Wally” in which the Top Eliminator and Footbrake winners square off in a one-run showdown for one of the trophies named for the late NHRA founder and president Wally Parks.  A fourth Wally will be awarded on Monday to the winner of the Summit Jr. Dragster Challenge.
 
With last year’s devastating storm (Tropical Storm Bonnie) now just a bad memory, track owner Steve Earwood is looking forward to a full weekend of racing for cash, trophies, NHRA Summit Series ET and Rockingham track points. 
 
“Last year, the tropical storm just ruined it for all of us,” Earwood said, “but racers are a pretty resilient group and everybody’s looking forward to a storm-free weekend to remember ‘Big John.’”
 
The only “Wally” trophy awarded a year ago went to Lumberton’s Tim Thomas, the Saturday Top Eliminator winner, who beat former track champ Eric Aman of Clinton in the lone runoff not impacted by the storm.  Thomas and Aman both are expected back this year to try and repeat.
 
The weekend activity begins on Friday (May 26) with a test-and-tune session from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.  Gates open Saturday, Sunday at Monday at 8 a.m.  Top Eliminator winners on Saturday and Monday will earn $5,000; Footbrake winners will take home $1,000 daily with free entry for the entire weekend.
 
In the Jr. Dragster class, the attractions are a $1,000 top prize on Sunday and the Monday “Run for the Wally” involving the winners and runners-up from the Saturday, Sunday and Monday races.
 
A $50 event pass is good for the weekend and includes Friday’s test-and-tune.  Also available are Saturday-Monday passes ($40), Sunday-Monday passes ($25) and Monday only passes ($15).  Children under 12 are free with a ticketed adult and parking is free in Rockingham’s main lot.
EPLING WINS BIG IN MODERN STREET HEMI SHOOTOUT
Webb’s Hot Rod Jeep Doubles Up in Newest Mopar Event at Rockingham



ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Mooresville’s Leon Epling directed his 2015 Dodge Challenger down the Rockingham Dragway quarter mile in 9.570 seconds at more than 150 miles per hour to win the featured High Horsepower Hellcat class and Jeremy Webb doubled-up at the wheel of his 2009 Jeep at the inaugural Modern Street Hemi Shootout.
 
Epling earlier turned the quickest elapsed time ever for a manual Challenger Hellcat at 9.08 seconds.
 
Mopar enthusiasts from as far away as Canada, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and Florida took part in the day-long event that featured Chrysler Corporation’s full complement of late model street hemi muscle cars.
 
Webb, from Mohrsville, Pa., won the True Street Performance title and then claimed the King of the Hill championship, collecting $5,000 from Van Drake Racing.  Other winners included George Muller, Gary Rhudy, Bill McFadden, Jon Dalton and Todd Barber. 
 
Muller won the Thitek Pro 9.50 class in his 2007 Jeep, McFadden drove his similar Scotch Plains, N.J.-based Jeep entry to victory in the Legmaker Intakes 11.50 class and Rhudy prevailed in the RK Motors 12.50 category.
 
Dalton handed Hubert’s Ron Polidora his second final round loss of the vent to win in the East Coast Motors bracket and Barber drove his Connecticut-based 2010 Dodge Charger past the 2007 Charger of Florida’s Dan Poltkin to win the Demon Performance Super Pro title.

Results from Saturday’s inaugural Modern Street Hemi Shootout at Rockingham Dragway (hometowns are North Carolina unless otherwise indicated.  Results include reaction time, track time, target time and finish line speed):
 
HIGH HORSEPOWER HELLCAT
Round 1 – Joshua Schwartz, NA, .239, 10.073, 137.60 mph, def. Tommy Haskell, Sommerville, 2016 Challenger, .322, 10.518, 133.09 mph; Jason Epling, Bean Station, Tenn., 2015 Challenger, .409, 9.618, 144.88 mph, def. Jonathan Cupo, Greensboro, 2016 Charger, .236, 9.963, 138.51 mph; Leon Epling, Mooresville, 2015 Challenger, bye.
Semifinals – J. Epling, bye; L. Epling, .705, 9.636, 149.73 mph, def. Schwartz, .334, 10.394, 138.64 mph.
FINAL – Leon Epling, Mooresville, 2015 Challenger, .296, 9.570, 151.51 mph, def. Jason Epling, Bean Station, Tenn., 2015 Challenger, no time.
 
THITEK PRO (9.500 target)
Round 2 – Chris Harrigan, Orlando, Fla., 2006 Dodge Charger, .162, 9.708, 142.39 mph, def. Jon Sipple, Mooresville, 2016 Dodge Challenger, .232, 9.718, 141.74 mph; Jason Epling, Bean Station, Tenn., 2015 Dodge Challenger, .341, 9.760, 144.58 mph, def. Ethan Stanley, Supply, 2010 Jeep SRT, no time; Brian Roberts, Charlotte, 2013 Dodge Charger, .213, 9.752, 126.30 mph, def. Marcus Hughes, Sufflolk, Va., 2006 Jeep, .207, 10.107, 138.96 mph; George Muller, NA, 2007 Jeep, bye.
Semifinals – Harrigan, .125, 9.615, 137.23 mph, def. Roberts, .275, 9.548, 130.00 mph; Muller, .475, 9.562, 135.24 mph, def. Epling, .291, 9.904, 1432.09 mph.
FINAL – George Muller, NA, 2007 Jeep, .191, 9.542, 136.93 mph, def. Chris Harrigan, Orlando, Fla., 2006 Dodge Charger, .162, 14.254, 69.39 mph.
 
TRUE STREET PERFORMANCE (10.500 target)
Round 2 – Jon Dexter, Shrewsbury, Mass., 2008 Jeep, .164, 11.034, 131.24 mph, def. Ken Kimak, Kent, Ohio, 2008 Dodge Challenger, .409, 10.811, 126.34 mph; Justin Scutter, Plainview, N.Y., 2006 Dodge Charger, .053, 10.564, 124.71 mph, def. Chris Dufresne, Pomfret, Md., 2011 Dodge Challenger, .140, 10.596, 134.07 mph; Jeremy Webb, Mohrsville, Pa., 2009 Jeep, .084, 10.562, 115.38 mph, def. Lindo Tout, Douglastown, Pa., 2015 Dodge Challenger, .549, 10.246 breakout, 139.16 mph; Ron Polidora, Hubert, 2017 Dodge Challenger, bye.
Semifinals – Webb, .048, 10.482, 128.16 mph, def. Scutter, .080, 10.477 breakout, 128.30 mph; Polidora, .182, 10.892, 107.96 mph, def. Dexter, .161, 11.974, 114.83 mph.
FINAL – Jeremy Webb, Mohrsville, Pa., 2009 Jeep, .103, 10.532, 120.43 mph, def. Ron Polidora, Hubert, 2017 Dodge Challenger, .037, 10.654, 130.30 mph.
 
LEGMAKER INTAKES (11.500 target)
Round 2 – Jason Fradenburgh, West End, 2007 Jeep SRT, .285, 11.538, 114.30 mph, def. Kevin O’Hare, New Milford, Conn., 2009 Dodge Challenger, .373, 11.575, 118.85 mph; Bill McFadden, Scotch Plains, N.J., 2007 Dodge, .141, 11.568, 103.02 mph, def. Jonathan Yacko, Ridge, N.Y., 2002 Dodge Charger, .223, 11.680, 116.11 mph; Patrick Zabst, Butner, 2007 Dodge Charger, .204, 11.604, 112.43 mph, def. Kate Tout, Douglastown, Pa., 2010 Dodge Challenger, .119, 11.837, 118.66 mph.
Semifinals – McFadden, .154, 11.591, 105.37 mph, def. Zabst, .204, 11.602, 114.39 mph; Fradenburgh, bye.
FINAL – Bill McFadden, Scotch Plains, N.J., 2007 Dodge, .205, 11.851, 100.32 mph, def. Jason Fradenburgh, West End, 2007 Jeep SRT, .516, 11.556, 113.12 mph.
 
RK MOTORS (12.500 target)
Round 2 – Silas Richardson, NA, 2014 Jeep SRT, .156, 12.655, 110.41 mph, def. Jon Dalton, Ashtabula, Ohio, 2014 Dodge Charger, .254, 12.590, 109.78 mph; Lenny Melton, Salisbury, .252, 12.915, 91.76 mph, def. Brian Carsonaro, Seagrove, .606, 13.420, 110.42 mph; Gary Rhudy, NA, 2014 Dodge Challenger, .160, 22.578, 67.48 mph, def. Jon Chapman, Apex, 2006 Jeep SRT, foul; John Govenettio, Hamburg, N.Y., 2014 Dodge Charger, .137, 12.595, 109.89 mph, def. Tom Bohannon, Wilmington, Ohio, 2009 Dodge Daytona, .184, 12.469 breakout, 101.99 mph; Gary Sanders, Eagle Springs, 2017 Dodge Challenger, .043, 12.659, 103.83 mph, def. Tray Myers, Huddleston, Va., 2013 Dodge Challenger, .195, 12.571, 108.49 mph.
Round 3 – Rhudy, .011, 12.836, 98.36 mph, def. Richardson, .371, 12.607, 110.84 mph; Sanders, .088, 12.555, 104.78 mph, def. Govenettio, .279, 12.456 breakout, 110.57 mph; Melton, bye.
Semifinals – Sanders, bye; Rhudy, .075, 12.745, 94.63 mph, def. Melton, .180, 13.099, 92.93 mph.
FINAL – Gary Rhudy, NA, 2014 Dodge Challenger, .070, 12.564, 111.12 mph, def. Gary Sanders, Eagle Springs, 2017 Dodge Challenger, .004, 12.478 breakout, 97.14 mph.
 
EAST COAST MOPARS
Round 3 – Ron Polidora, Hubert, 2017 Dodge Challenger, .437, 10.629 on a 10.600, 130.59 mph, def. Tom Bohannon, Wilmington, Ohio, 2009 Dodge Daytona, .201, 12.485 breakout on a 12.520, 105.41 mph; Jon Dalton, Ashtabula, Ohio, 2014 Dodge Charger, .186, 12.629 on a 12.590, 110.05 mph, def. Gary Rhudy, NA, 2014 Dodge Challenger, .238, 13.761 on a 13.740, 99.91 mph; Don Emry, Old Hickory, Tenn., 2005 Dodge, .239, 13.498 on a 13.450, 102.50 mph, def. Lenny Melton, Salisbury, .294, 12.502 on a 12.500, 112.65 mph; Guy Dalton, Painesville, Ohio, 20014 Dodge Ram, .206, 14.988 on a 14.955, 93.73 mph, def. Jonathan Yacko, Ridge, N.Y., 2007 Dodge Charger, .205, 12.305 breakout on a 12.410, 105.14 mph; John Govenettio, Hamburg, N.Y., 2014 Dodge Charger, .246, 12.498 on a 12.550, 110.33 mph, def. Greg Davies, Burlington, Ontario, Canada, 2006 Dodge, .188, 9.463 breakout on a 9.700, 144.98 mph; Jon Chapman, Apex, 2006 Jeep SRT, bye.
Round 4 – Polidora, .373, 10.696 on a 10.620, 130.15 mph, def. Chapman, .147, 11.994 breakout on a 12.020, 111.97 mph; J. Dalton, .188, 12.633 on a 12.550, 105.79 mph, def. Govenettio, .241, 12.526 on a 12.440, 110.62 mph; G. Dalton, .217, 15.498 on a 14. 900, 75.24 mph, def. Emry, NA, 16.880 on a 13.450, 102.87 mph.
Semifinals – Polidora, .247, 10.660 on a 10.660, 130.20 mph, def. G. Dalton, J. Dalton, bye.
FINAL – Jon Dalton, Ashtabula, Ohio, 2014 Dodge Charger, .058, 12.673 on a 12.650, 97.39 mph, def. Ron Polidora, Hubert, .195, 10.732 on a 10.660, 130.02 mph.
 
KING OF THE HILL
Round 1 – Leon Epling, Mooresville, 2015 Dodge Challenger, .307, 10.891 on a 9.490, 92.14 mph, def. George Muller, NA, 2007 Jeep, foul; Gary Rhudy, NA, 2014Dodge Challenger, .208, 13.841 on a 13.700, 93.29 mph, def. Unknown #489, .634, 8.831 on an 8.750, 156.75 mph; Jeremy Webb, Mohrsville, Pa., 2009 Jeep, .087, 10.474 on a 10.490, 123.92 mph, def. Unknown #216, .190, 12.530 breakout on a 12.550, 110.55 mph; Bill McFadden, Scotch Plains, N.J., 2007 Dodge, bye.
Semifinals – Webb, .101, 14.539 on a 14.490, 112.42 mph, def. Epling, .150, 11.088 on a 9.490, 87.63 mph; Rhudy, .080, 13.783 on a 13.760, 103.00 mph, def. McFadden, .177,  11.685 on an 11.550, 119.40 mph.
FINAL – Jeremy Webb, Mohrsville, Pa., 2009 Jeep, .082, 10.567 on a 10.490, 118.85 mph, def. Gary Rhudy, NA, 2014 Dodge Challenger, .131, 13.818 on a 13.780, 102.97 mph.
 
DEMON PERFORMANCE SUPER PRO
FINAL – Todd Barber, Orange, Conn., 2010 Dodge Challenger, .432, 8.985, 156.15 mph, def. Dan Poltkin, Palm City, Fla., 2007 Dodge Charger, .149, 9.582, 112.50 mph.
BREWER, LASELLE AMONG WINNERS IN SRI SPORTSMAN WARS
Hamlet’s Trey Sikes Doubles His Fun in Car Not Usually Competitive on the Dragstrip
 
ROCKINGHAM – Bennett’s Howard Brewer grabbed the biggest piece of the posted purse during the annual SRI Performance Spring Sportsman Wars drag racing event at Rockingham Dragway.
 
Brewer got his 1985 Ford Mustang to the finish line just .003 of a second ahead of touring sportsman veteran Kenny Underwood of Delaware, Ohio, in the final round to win the ATI Performance Products Top Door Cars title. 
Brewer’s .038 package (.035 reaction time with a track time of 6.463 against a 6.460 target) was just good enough to take down Underwood’s .041 package.  
 
Other winners included Keith Daniel of Currie, who won the Pro Tree Doorslammers title in his 1986 Mustang; Rockingham track regular Art Laselle, who rode his 1991 Dodge Daytona into the winners’ circle in the Footbrake class; and Hamlet’s Trey Sikes who doubled up at the wheel of a car usually more at home on road courses than on the dragstrip.
 
Sikes drove a 2009 BMW 335D to gold in both Network Distributors Open Comp and Trophy Eliminator.  He beat former Rockingham track champ Eric Aman of Clinton to win the Open Comp championship and Chris Johnson, son of former track champ Chip Johnson of Fayetteville, to win in Trophy.

ROCKINGHAM – Results from Sunday’s SRI Performance Spring Sportsman Wars event at Rockingham Dragway (hometowns are North Carolina unless otherwise indicated):
 
ATI Performance Products TOP DOOR CARS ELIMINATOR
Round 4 – Floyd West, Bolivia, 1983 Chevy Camaro, .002, 7.131 on a 7.110, 94.17 mph, def. Chip Johnson, Fayetteville, 1980 Chevy Malibu, .015, 6.907 breakout on a 6.910, 97.26 mph; Kenny Underwood, Delaware, Ohio, .032, 5.938 on a 5.930, 114.53 mph, def. Boyd Sauls, Four Oaks, 1972 Chevy Nova, foul (-.004); Justin Taylor, New Bern, .020, 6.533 on a 6.540, 105.40 mph, def. Chris Anderson, Delco, foul (-.001); Brent Alford, Raleigh, 1970 Chevy Nova, .009, 5.504 on a 5.450, 114.55 mph, def. Dana Goins, Red Springs, 1969 Chevy Nova, .008, 6.450 on a 6.310, 103.62 mph; Howard Brewer, Bennett, 1985 Ford Mustang, .058, 6.467 on a 6.460, 106.70 mph, def. Danny Faile, Pageland, S.C., 1990 Ford Mustang, foul (-.070); Brian Phillips, Belews Creek, 1984 Chevy S-10 truck, bye.
Round 5 – Phillips, .039, 6.265 on a 6.250, 109.08 mph, def. West, foul (-.002); Brewer, .005, 6.452 on a 6.460, 107.20 mph, def. Alford, foul (-.056); Underwood, .015, 5.935 on a 5.930, 114.70 mph, def. Taylor, .007, 6.535 breakout on a 6.540, 105.49 mph.
Semifinals – Underwood, .029, 5.957 on a 5.940, 111.63 mph, def. Phillips, .035, 6.273 on a 6.250, 109.02 mph; Brewer, bye.
FINAL – Howard Brewer, Bennett, 1985 Ford Mustang, .035, 6.463 on a 6.460, 102.54 mph, def. Kenny Underwood, Delaware, Ohio, .024, 5.947 on a 5.930, 113.70 mph.
 
NETWORK DISTRIBUTORS OPEN COMP
Round 3 – Trey Sikes, Hamlet, 2009 BMW 335D, .134, 12.545 on a 12.870, 97.17 mph, def. Ron Williams, Eagle Springs, foul (-.027); Eric Aman, Clinton, 1981 Chevy Camaro, .036, 12.607 on a 12.610, 104.87 mph, def. Richard Britt, Darlington, S.C., 1972 Ford Maverick, .119, 11.759 breakout on an 11.800, 111.79 mph; Bryan Roberts, Andrews, S.C., 1991 Pontiac Firebird, .156, 12.268 on a 12.410, 106.33 mph, def. Curtis Williams, Jacksonville, 1989 Ford Mustang, .083, 11.781 breakout on an 11.940, 103.36 mph.
Semifinals – Sikes, .108, 12.841 on a 12.870, 92.08 mph, def. Roberts, .156, 12.268 breakout on a 12.410, 106.33 mph; Aman, bye.
FINAL – Trey Sikes, Hamlet, 2009 BMW 335D, .076, 12.816 on a 12.870, 108.66 mph, def. Eric Aman, Clinton, 1981 Chevy Camaro, foul (-.062).
 
ATI Performance PRO TREE DOORSLAMMERS
Round 3 – Keith Daniel, Currie, 1986 Ford Mustang, .005, 6.888 on a 6.850, 92.64 mph, def. Jamie Carroll, Clayton, 1971 Chevy Nova, .049, 7.002 on a 6.980, 95.84 mph; Mark Soles, Delco, .047, 5.557 on a 5.550, 117.61 mph, def. Kale Hoffman, Richlands, 1970 Ford Maverick, .072, 7.397 on a 7.360, 90.16 mph; Rodney Faile, Pageland, S.C., 1967 Chevy Nova, bye.
Semifinals – Faile, .074, 6.269 on a 6.260, 107.58 mph, def. Soles, foul (-.145); Daniel, bye.
FINAL – Keith Daniel, Currie, 1986 Ford Mustang, .039, 6.853 on a 6.860, 97.35 mph, def. Rodney Faile, Pageland, S.C., 1967 Chevy Nova, .060, 6.244 breakout on a 6.260, 108.20 mph.
 
FOOTBRAKE
Round 4 – Art Laselle, Fayetteville, 1991 Dodge Daytona, .023, 5.622 on a 5.620, 121.79 mph, def. Brannigan Williams, West Columbia, S.C., 1989 Ford Mustang, .026, 6.926 breakout on a 6.940, 96.72 mph; Eric Aman, Clinton, .019, 7.982 on a 7.980, 83.69 mph, def. Lauren Edwards, Mayesvlle, 1970 Chevy Nova, .017, 6.767 on a 6.720, 99.00 mph; Mark Soles, Delco, .083, 5.554 on a 5.550, 123.25 mph, def. Ray Johnson, Godwin, 1991 Ford Mustang, .057, 6.070 on a 6.040, 112.32 mph; Darlene Wells, Asheboro, 1983 Ford Mustang, bye.
Round 5 – Laselle, .045, 5.659 on a 5.600, 11.60 mph, def. Wells, .147, 8.408 on an 8.370, 79.26 mph; Soles, .057, 5.550 on a 5.550, 123.16 mph, def. Williams, .042, 6.667 breakout on a 6.710, 101.61 mph; Aman, bye.
Semifinals – Soles, .008, 5.575 on a 5.550, 123.16 mph, def. Aman, foul (-.036); Laselle, bye.
FINAL – Art Laselle, Fayetteville, 1991 Dodge Daytona, .053, 5.650 on a 5.620, 117.95 mph, def. Mark Soles, Delco, .090, 5.581 on a 5.550, 121.32 mph.
 
TROPHY
Semifinals – Chris Johnson, Fayetteville, 1980 Chevy Malibu, .100, 16.245 on a 15.600, 56.66 mph, def. Paul Rocco, Randleman, .140, 27.724 on a 13.010, 43.84 mph; Trey Sikes, Hamlet, 2009 BMW 335D, .028, 12.691 on a 12.700, 100.91 mph, def. Gary Sanders, Eagle Springs, 2017 Dodge, .021, 12.172 breakout on a 12.220, 108.98 mph.
FINAL – Trey Sikes, Hamlet, 2009 BMW 335D, .103, 12.855 on a 12.600, 109.13 mph, def. Chris Johnson, Fayetteville, 1980 Chevy Malibu, foul (-.051).
 
 
 
 
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