The fields have been whittled down in the bulk of the Sportsman classes at the 14th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, and racers are set to bring their A-game to the table in the quest for the coveted Wally trophy. Here’s how the late rounds look heading into Sunday at Summit Motorsports Park.
Top Alcohol Dragster
Matthew Cummings was fearsome in the quarterfinals, rocketing to low elapsed time of the event, 5.209, 276.07, to turn James Stevens away. As he did in Charlotte Four-Wide eliminations, Cummings will once again find himself surrounded by the women of Top Alcohol Dragster as he claims lane choice over Rachel Meyer while Karen Stalba (lane choice) and Jackie Fricke duke it out on the other side of the ladder.
Top Alcohol Funny Car
Sean Bellemeur (shown in featured photo) retained his chance to defend the 2019 title with a quarterfinals smashing of 2013 winner Kris Hool. Bellemeur peeled off a .040-second reaction time to his opponent’s .071 and ran low elapsed time of the event, 5.461, 268.28, to 5.563, 262.90. He’ll have lane choice over Bob McCosh in the semifinals, while 2015 runner-up DJ Cox Jr. will forfeit lane choice to No. 1 qualifier Brian Hough.
Comp Eliminator Semifinals Set Up a Tough Battle
Everyone was under the index in the quarterfinals in this category. Ronnie Bohn defeated Scott Chamness for a bye run into the final, and on the other side of the ladder, it’s going to be 2017 winner Bruno Massel taking on 2021 Gainesville champ Greg Kamplain.
Super Stock Semis Offer Potential for Double
Anthony Bertozzi will be racing in the semifinals here in Super Stock and also in Top Dragster. Bertozzi won his quarterfinals Super Stock meeting with Steve Comella by just .008-second to score a semifinals match with Bobby Rashid. Two-time Norwalk runner-up Ricky Decker (2007, 2014), ran dead-on his 9.90 dial in the quarterfinals to send Jimmy Ronzello home empty-handed.
Decker will square off with Kent Hanley, who was the lesser offender to advance from a double-breakout with Joe Santangelo.
Stock Eliminator Reaches Semifinals
He meant to be charging for a double, but Joe Santangelo’s quarterfinals exit in Super Stock allows him to put all attention on racing for another Norwalk Stock Eliminator trophy. He was the winner in the category in 2016 after scoring here in Comp in 2015. Derrick Wyche went red to send Santangelo along to the Stock semis, where he will race Katie Sepanek.
Don Belles and 2012 Norwalk Stock winner Larry Hill will be battling on the other side of the ladder.
Super Comp Ready for Semis
Chris Sullivan had a better light and ran nearly right on the 8.90 index with an 8.904 to defeat Joey Cambria in the quarterfinals. Jeremy Mason lost his chance at a double when Alison Prose was just a bit better at the finish line in their double-breakout meeting. She will take a bye into the final, while Sullivan will race 2017 world champ John Labbous Jr., who is fresh off the New England Nationals win.
Super Gas Down to Semifinals, Mason Ready to Defend
The Super Gas semis will feature defending event champion Jeremy Mason with a bye run into the final. His quarterfinals opponent, Lauren Freer, was red by just .001-second to send him ahead.
Look for four-time national event winner Jason Kenny, who had a bye in the quarterfinals, and Duane LaFleur, who won at the Lebanon Valley Division 1 race just last weekend, opposite Mason on the ladder. Jim Repka had a stellar .005-second reaction time in his quarterfinals match with LaFleur, but he gave it away at the stripe, busting out of the 9.90 index with a 9.880 to LaFleur’s dead-on 9.906
Top Dragster Semis Will Host Former Champ
Al Kenny will be seeking a repeat of his 2008 (Super Gas) and 2012 (Super Comp) Norwalk wins as he takes a well-earned bye into the final. Kenny was .006 on the tree in the quarterfinals and clocked a 6.266 on his 6.25 dial to send Pascal Lecompte home on an .018 reaction time and 6.160 on a 6.14.
Al Peavler won a sizzling family battle over Blake to advance. Al recorded a .018-second reaction time and paired it with a 6.154, 209.56 on his 6.15 dial to stomp out Blake’s .015 and 6.249, 214.01 on a 6.19.
Inaugural Summit Racing NHRA Nationals Stock Eliminator winner Anthony Bertozzi will race Peavler in the Top Dragster semis after 2018 Super Comp winner Dan Fletcher was .001-second too quick at the tree in the quarterfinals.
Top Sportsman Quarterfinals Round-Up Includes Perfect Light
Mike Badia was superior at the starting line with a .019-second reaction time to Jerry Albert’s .035 in the quarterfinals, and at the stripe Alpert handed his opponent a bye run into the final by breaking out of his 6.64 dial with a 6.636 to Badia’s 7.014 on a 7.00. On the other side of the ladder, Curt Fredrich, who was trip-zip on the tree to assist in a handy win over Belva Brinegar, will race Bob Mandell Jr., who got the nod when No. 1 qualifier Glenn Butcher broke out.
Factory Stock Showdown Field is Set
Houston winner David Barton, piloting a 2020 COPO Camaro, is the No. 1 qualifier in the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown on a 7.825-second pass at 177.79 mph. Barton had to get around a trio of Cobra Jet Mustangs to nab the pole; Chuck Watson is No. 2 with a 7.847, 177.35, Jim Betz is No. 3 courtesy of a 7.858, 177.35, and Bill Skillman is holding down the No. 4 position with his 7.872, 176.56 offering.
There were several big surprises in the DNQ column, including Kevin Skinner, a two-time winner who was runner-up at the season-opener in Gainesville.
The ladder is here.
Final eliminations at the 14th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals the will take place on Sunday, June 27, 2021, at Norwalk’s Summit Motorsports Park.