2011 ADRL DRAGSTOCK VIII : September 9-10 : In The Books!  Great Race!
 
 
EARWOOD TRIES TO PUT DRAGSTOCK VIII SUCCESS IN PERSPECTIVE

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – While generally pleased with fan,
racer and sponsor response to last week’s Dragstock VIII event, Rockingham Dragway owner Steve Earwood tried Wednesday to put things in perspective in the wake of Pro Stock veteran Bert Jackson’s death in a qualifying accident.


Jackson, 51, of Glen Allen, Va., succumbed to injuries suffered last Friday when his Pontiac GTO made multiple impacts with the right side guardwall while trying to qualify for the Extreme Pro Stock portion of the American Drag Racing League event.

“That’s part of it, unfortunately,” Earwood said. “When you’re dealing with high performance vehicles, whether you’re at Daytona, Le Mans, the Indy 500 or a drag race, there’s always the possibility, however remote, that
things not going to go as expected.

“Bert was a great guy and a fan favorite. The only thing you can take away from such a tragedy, like his wife said,
is that he was doing something he loved,” Earwood said. “Everybody is still a little numb, I think. It will take awhile
for us to heal.”

If not for the Jackson accident, the weekend might have been one of the track’s most successful. Almost 25,000 race fans attended the two-day event which compelled Earwood to hire extra personnel.

“I wrote checks to 156 different employees today,” Earwood said, “and, obviously, that doesn’t include the checks paid to ADRL racers in seven different classes. It pains me to go through (the payment process), but it also means that we’re continuing to succeed and continuing to impact the local economy.

“Since we’re getting into our busy season with the return of the Super Chevy Series, the All-Harley drags, the Lee’s Performance bike race and next week’s Holcomb Civil Wars, I figure I’m going to be writing a lot more of those employee checks,” Earwood said.
Taylor Heads ADRL Dragstock VIII Winners List At Rockingham Dragway
Frankie Taylor found the perfect birthday present for his wife – an American Drag Racing League (ADRL) win at Rockingham Dragway on Saturday.

The defending Pro Extreme world
champion wrapped up Dragstock VIII in thrilling fashion, going 3.622 at 210.47
miles per hour to knock off Jason Scruggs
in the finals of the ADRL’s biggest annual race.

That it came on his wife Cindy’s birthday made
it all even more special.

“This just became a very happy birthday for
my wife now,” Taylor said. “This makes her day.”
Saturday started with a special and poignant memorial service for former Extreme Pro Stock driver Bert Jackson, who was killed in a tragic race accident during qualifying on Friday at Rockingham.
 
Racers, friends and teammates paid tribute to Jackson and XPS competitors staged a grounded “missing man formation” before racing started at the historic track.

Following the touching tribute, the ADRL’s standout performers set several track records, delivering a number of memorable moments in front of an energized overflow crowd.

Joining Taylor in the winner’s circle was Stan Allen (Pro Nitrous), Dan Millen (Extreme 10.5), Billy Vose (Pro Extreme Motorcycle), Scott Hintz (Extreme Pro Stock) and Travis Harvey (Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman).

It was Taylor’s first win at the track and his Jeffers Pro Cars Corvette delivered all weekend. He was the No. 1
qualifier with a 3.597 and then beat points leader Jason Hamstra in the finals before knocking off the red-hot Scruggs, who won last month in Virginia.

“This is the biggest race to win and to get it, words can’t describe it,” said Taylor, who also credited CN Blocks for
the win. “The last couple races, Scruggs has been kicking butt, so to beat him when he’s doing that, it’s amazing.
To beat him at the Rock, it’s an honor. He’s the man.”

Stan Allen picked up his second career ADRL win, but this one will undoubtedly hold a special place in his heart.

Allen went 3.876 at 192.82 to beat a red-lighting John Decerbo in the finals and instantly knew the magnitude of
the victory.

“To win at the Rock, it’s just amazing,” Allen said. “Of all the races to win, this is the place. The competition in this class and at this race is just so intense, to get this is just phenomenal.”

Allen’s new ’68 Camaro from David Janes Race Cars is just three races old but it rounded into shape at
Rockingham, going as quick as 3.845, which came in a thrilling semifinal win against No. 1 qualifier Khalid Al-Balooshi.

“Round after round, the car just worked,” Allen said. “The car just felt good.”

It took some time for Dan Millen’s 2011 Jerry Bickel Race Cars Mustang to round into form, but everything quickly changed after a quick call to the builder after the first round of eliminations.

Millen was dynamite from that point, running a 3.867 in the semifinals before turning it up with a track-record time
of 3.855 in the finals against Chuck Ulsch.

“I had been going left for a while, so I gave Jerry Bickel a quick call and he gave me a couple things to try,” Millen said. “It’s probably something I shouldn’t have tried at that point in the race, but it worked out.
“It was great of him to do that. He’s just a great guy.”

Millen further cemented his points lead in XTF, but it took another brilliant showing against Ulsch in the finals for the second straight race.

“Anytime you race Chuck you have to be ready,” said Millen, who has now three of the past four races. “We had
it as aggressive as we could.”

Billy Vose pulled off what was arguably the biggest win of the event, as he ended Ashley Owens’ perfect mark in
PXM during 2011 with a holeshot victory. Owens went 3.999 in the finals, which served as the back-up to his new world record run of 3.964 from the semifinals, but Vose had a .018 reaction time and claimed his first win of the
year.

Owens had won every event he entered in 2011 before Saturday, but Vose put an end to that by claiming his second Dragstock victory.

“This feels great,” said Vose, who went 4.05 on the run. “We’ve had two races with the bike and there’s still a lot
we can improve on. But the great thing about this is winning for (bike owners) T.T. and Angie Jones. They’ve
done so much for this class, helping everyone out.
“I just had to do my part and I did my job on the tree.”

Scott Hintz also did his job on the tree, as his Jerry Haas Race Cars Ford was quicker off the line against John Montecalvo, making his 4.108 stand up against the defending world champion’s 4.08 in the Extreme Pro Stock finals.

After the win, an emotional Hintz dedicated the win to his former Extreme Pro Stock competitor, Bert Jackson.

“This feels great, but I’m just glad I was able to do this for Bert. He was a great friend and competitor and he
meant a lot to all of us,” Hintz said.
“This win will always hold a special place. It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever experienced. It was horrible
and very tragic, and I’m just happy to get this win in Bert’s honor.”

Hintz won for the second time in 2011 with an outstanding performance at the starting line. He posted reaction times of .002 and .003 in earlier wins, and delivered a .023 reaction time against Montecalvo in the finals.

“John’s a great competitor and you just have to go up, do the best you can do and see what happens,” Hintz
said. “We’re getting (to that elite level). We’re making some gains, but we like flying under the radar.”

Racing in Summit Racing Top Sportsman for the second time in 2011, Travis Harvey had a weekend to
remember.

Driving an ’06 GTO, Harvey, who lives less than 90 minutes from the track, put on a show in front of family and friends, knocking off Dylan Stott in the finals with a 4.247 at 146.34 mph.

“This was great from the start. I had a lot of friends and family here, and I just owe this to the team owners, Jeff Miller and John Lassiter,” Harvey said. “It was a little nerve-wracking, though. I had never raced in front of that
many people.”

In Pro Junior Dragster, Ryan Crews knocked off Shannon Bell, running 7.914 at 82.61 mph.

The ADRL returns to action on Sept. 23-24 with the Summit Racing Equipment Ohio Drags V at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. It will be the final race for ADRL competitors to qualify for the “Battle For The Belts” shootout.

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