NORWALK, OHIO – A strong field of Canadians battled record fields and tough competition at the American Drag Racing League (ADRL) Summit Ohio Drags at Summit Raceway Park in Norwalk, Ohio September 28-29. Despite several Canucks entered in classes ranging from Extreme Pro Stock to Top Sportsman, from motorcycles to junior dragsters, only Pro Extreme Motorcycle racer Terry Schweigert was able to advance past the first round of competition.
Schwiegert actually made it all the way to the PXM finals in Norwalk where a strange situation ended what was otherwise a great weekend for the Abbotsford, BC racer. After qualifying 5th and getting through the first two rounds of the qualified 8-bike field, he accidentally staged with the rear tire and then redlighted, handing the win to Eric McKinney, who with that win locked up the class championship.
Making some serious noise in Extreme Pro Stock (XPS) was the Dodge Avenger of Larry and Wayne O’Brien, which served notice during Friday qualifying when driver Larry posted a 4.067 at 176.97 mph to officially set a new 1/8 mile world record for a naturally-aspirated Chrysler engine. During the final qualifying session on Saturday morning the Bear’s Performance Avenger took a hard right on launch, and unfortunately it happened again in the first round, effectively ending the Lakeshore, ON-based team’s promising day.
Tony Pontieri was also competing in XPS in the Jones Soda-backed Chevy Cobalt, and despite a career-best 4.13-second lap, was unable to break into what was a record field for the all-motor class that featured a 4.091-second bump spot. The race was eventually won by #14 qualifier Elijah Morton from Jacksonville, NC in a 2012 Mustang.
A pair of Canadians were among the 27 racers vying for a spot in the 16-car Top Sportsman field, the only ‘bracket’-style class that the ADRL contests. Kevin Wicke, a heavy hitter and past champion in Ontario Top Sportsman / Quick 32 racing, gave it all he had but a 4.28-second run was unable to eclipse the record bump spot of 4.21. Medicine Hat’s Don Wilk did make the field with a 4.18 in his gorgeous ’68 Camaro, but was a first round casualty after breaking out by – get this – 1/1000th of a second.
Rounding out Team Canada was Stratford, ON’s Braydon McCann, who qualified 22nd in the massive 30-car Pro Junior Dragster field. Unfortunately Braydon suffered the same fate as O’Brien and Wilk ahead of him, losing in the first round in the Fraser Asphalt Paving-sponsored BOS dragster.
The ADRL heads to Texas Motorplex in three weeks for the tenth and final race of the 2012 season.
By Graeme Jones / Managing Editor – Inside Motorcycles