Maple Grove Raceway’s Scott Smith lost to eventual champion Jeff Hefler in the first round of the Summit Sportsman class eliminator Sunday during the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona, Calif.
Smith (Birdsboro, Pa.) punched his ticket to California by winning the Street championship at the NHRA Northeast Division Summit E.T. Finals back in September at Numidia Dragway. His first-place finish helped Team Maple Grove claim its 13th team title.
The annual race at Pomona brings together the bracket racing champions from all seven NHRA divisions to compete for a national championship.
In his race, Smith and his 1980 Malibu went 11.972 seconds at 108.59 mph and broke out by .028 under his dial-in.
On the other hand, Hefler (Fort Worth, Texas), driving a ’65 Impala, had the advantage off the starting line and grabbed the win with a pass of 12.231 at 112.14 that was .041 over.
Maple Grove Raceway, boosted by Scott Smith’s Street Eliminator championship, won the team title in the NHRA Northeast Division Summit Racing E.T. Finals Saturday at Numidia Dragway.
It’s the 13th championship for Team Maple Grove, an unprecedented amount.
Smith is now eligible to race against other NHRA division champs at the final Nationals race of the season in November at Pomona, Calif.
Also helping the cause were semifinal finishes by Gary Simpers in Pro and Joe Stuebner in Top Bike.
Denny Renninger has a big fan club in Victory Lane.
Denny Renninger saved his best for last. The Leesport, Pa., racer was the Pro class winner Sunday as Maple Grove Raceway presented its annual National Dragster Challenge.
Even though the Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail E.T. Series wrapped up its season on Labor Day weekend, several racers returned to The Grove for a chance to win a prestigious Wally trophy that features the likeness of NHRA founder Wally Parks. For just about any drag racer, earning one can be considered a career highlight.
Wallys were also handed out to Derrick Fox (Super), Tom Harhart (Street) and John Lippincott (Top Bike).
The Race 4 Ronald’s House charity race was also held, and nearly 60 drivers took part. The annual event put together by Denny Parisan from County Corvette of West Chester, Pa., benefits the Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia.
Another charity event kicked off the weekend. The Humane Society of Berks County held its annual Walk for the Animals and Walktoberfest on Saturday, drawing thousands of animal lovers and their dogs. More >
Maple Grove Raceway will open the fall portion of its 2013 schedule with a couple of very different events this weekend.
On Saturday, the track will be silent as there is no racing scheduled. However, there will be plenty of action around the strip as the Humane Society of Berks County presents its annual Walk for the Animals and “Walktoberfest.”
Sunday will feature drag racing with the NHRA National Dragster Challenge E.T. bracket race, along with the Race 4 Ronald’s House charity race.
Gates will open Saturday at 10 a.m. with the Walk and “Walktoberfest” beginning at 11 and lasting through the afternoon. Events include a dog walk around the perimeter of Maple Grove’s racetrack, live bands, pet adoptions, vendors and dog contests. More >
Maple Grove Raceway had an influx of Jr. Dragsters on Sunday for its annual Jr. Dragster Challenge. The young racers were split into age groups and had the chance to compete for a miniature Wally Parks Trophy.
A non-points E.T. Bracket Race was also held.
Results from the Jr. Dragster Challenge finals: More >
The field has been set for the Money Trail E.T. Shootout that will be held during the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals on Oct. 5-6:
- Gold Rush Trailers Super Eliminator: Mike Daniels, Don Mattson, Nick Daniels, Jack Grater.
- Ciccarone Racing Products Pro Eliminator: Paul Thimm Jr., Jeff Allebach, Curt Rubendall, Gary Simpers.
- P.C. Richard & Son Street Eliminator: Adam Werner, Dave Sciarretta, Dawn Helman, Joe McLaughlin.
- Ray’s Yamaha Top Bike: Allen Heilner, Joe Stuebner, Cory Stuebner, Bob Bechtel.
The winner receives the golf cart and the runner-up gets a 32-inch HD TV.
D&G Golf Carts, Awesome Vinyl, Potty Queen and P.C. Richard & Son sponsor the race.
Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail E.T. Series members in the Super, Pro, Street and Top Bike categories were eligible. At each Money Trail event, the winners, runner-ups and semifinalists in those classes had their names entered into a special drawing box for each eliminator. The drawing was held at the season finale on Aug. 31.
All 16 names will then be placed into another drawing for qualifying positions at the event. The 16 racers will be placed onto a standard NHRA Sportsman ladder.