Thursday, June 13, 2024

Ellis & McKague Score Big at I-57 Dragstrip’s Inaugural 5/7 Event

Benton, IL: Just three weeks removed from final round finishes at the 8th annual JEGS Summer Door Car Shootout, Donnie Ellis and Jeremy McKague revisited the I-57 Dragstrip Winner’s Circle at last weekend’s inaugural 5/7 event.

The 5/7, which featured a unique structure that crammed two big events into a single day of competition, saw a great field of door cars and dragsters converge on the Southern Illinois facility for one huge day of competition.  As the field narrowed to the final four cars In the opening $5,000-to-win event, only one dragster remained.  That machine belonged to former I-57 Dragstrip track champion, Rod Richards.  Richards fell in the semi-final frame to McKague, who was at the wheel of his Vega station wagon.  Brian Whitworth dispatched Zac Fulcher in the other semi-final matchup.

In the final round, Whitworth matched his 6.31 dial-in behind the wheel of his gorgeous S10, but couldn’t match McKague on the tree, handing the win to the Chamois, MO backed runner.  McKague, who is the most decorated participant in JEGS Summer Door Car Shootout history with 6 final round appearances in the 8 year history of the event, continued his mastery of the I-57 Dragstrip 1/8th mile with another $5,000 payday.

57 Race WC Jeremy McKague

57 Race RU Brian Whitworth

The second event of the day saw another repeat winner left standing when the smoke cleared.  Longtime I-57 competitor Donnie Ellis has been having the season of his career.  After a runner-up finish on opening night at I-57 Dragstrip, Ellis scored a $5,000 triumph on day 1 of the JEGS Summer Door Car Shootout.  He followed up that performance with another Super Pro victory at the facility a week ago.  Ellis kept the momentum rolling on Saturday, scoring the richest win of his career: a $7,000 triumph over longtime friend Jack Camden, Jr.  The all Ellis Trucking final round was essentially over at the start, when Camden left the line with a tardy .045 reaction time.  Chris Runnels was the lone semi-finalist, while Ray Young and Brian Garner advanced to the quarterfinal round.

57 Race Winner Donnie Ellis and Jack Ellis

In addition to the on-track action, I-57 Dragstrip played host to a large spectator crowd.  All spectators were greeted with prizes courtesy of JEGS, Auto Meter, and I-57 Dragstrip.  In addition, 6 spectators left the facility with cash prizes, including a grand prize winner of $557!

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