Morrison, CO – When the 39th Annual NHRA Mile-High Nationals wrapped up recently at Bandimere Speedway, two first time finalist met in the Super Comp final round. David Hutchens of Lakewood, Colorado picked up his first Wally in taking the win over Bill Percival of Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Hutchens averaged an outstanding .012 reaction time throughout the event and won several races by less than two feet at the finish line.
Hutchens run to the championship started with red-light win in round one over Kendra Larson. Hutchens wasted a great run as he was .004 at the tree and dead-on 9 at the finish, he would have been a handful for Larson if she had not fouled. The round two matchup with the always tough D5 runner, Jeremy Demers, ended in a seven “thou” win for Hutchens as he parlayed a .025 reaction time advantage into a close finish line win when both drivers missed the dial.
Utah racer Cody Perkins gave Hutchens a tough race in the third round. After a killer .002 light, Hutchens squeaked out another super close finish when he took the stripe by just .005 (about 14 inches). Although Hutchens had a .026 reaction time advantage, he once again couldn’t run the number on the top end giving Perkins a shot at the win. Perkins just missed as he killed six hundreds at the top end to go one above.
The win over Perkins earned Hutchens a bye to the semi’s. In the semi’s, Hutchens won another super tight race, this time over Butch Kleewein. Although Hutchens had another solid reaction time (.017), he left second by a bunch as Kleewein was .005 at the start. Hutchens won the double breakout affair by just .002 as Kleewein took .014 stripe and needed to take .012 or less. This was a close race as neither driver lifted. The win moved Hutchens into his first national event final.
Bill Percival was stellar on the tree all weekend averaging a .017 light. That average included four double “0” lights and back-to-back triple zero lights! Percival won a relatively easy round one match with Fred Jaramillo after he parlayed a .022 reaction time advantage with an off the gas .03 over run to take the win.
In the second round, Percival was .004 at the tree and left second to Scott Hyre’s .003 light. Percival drove the finish line well as he killed .05 to go .01 above the dial for a winning .014 package. Hyre left Percival plenty of room when he could only produce a .03 over the dial run on the big end.
Percival found himself in a big hole in the third round when Jeffery Shockey drilled him at the tree .035 to .070. Luckily for Percival, Shockey was unable to get close to the dial. Shockey’s .09 over run left Percival with plenty of room to kill the .05 he was holding and still take the win light.
Percival’s fourth round opponent was none other than reigning Super Comp world champ, Austin Williams. In what would be the first of back-to-back perfect lights, Percival took a .024 advantage at the tree and drove the finish line well to pick up the win. With both driver’s holding about .05, the finish line turned into a brakefest with Percival expertly picking up the Champ’s drop to kill .07 and go .02 above for the win.
With his second perfect light, Percival took a huge .031 lead against Shannon Nicoletti in the semi’s. At the finish line, Percival gave up the stripe to go .035 above while Nicoletti took about five feet of stripe, breaking out .017.
The Final Round
The final round saw more great reactions for both competitors as Hutchens and Percival threw down a pair of double “0” lights. Hutchens grabbed the slight lead with his .002 to .005 reaction advantage although the reaction times didn’t really matter in this race as both driver’s were way under the index. The weather and/or the track must have changed dramatically between the semi’s and the final as Percival looked to be on a .12 under pass in the final while Hutchens was .05 under himself. While Percival was able to back up to Hutchens a little, he still took .037 at the stripe which resulted in a 9.413 on the 9.50 index allowing Hutchens’ all out 9.453 pass to capture the win.
Congratulations to Dave Hutchens on his well-earned National Event win!