BROWNSBURG, Ind. – Local Indiana racer Devin Isenhower captured the biggest win of his young career when he outlasted the 119-car Super Gas field at the 64th Annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals on Labor Day. Isenhower was a favorite to win INDY with his strong performances throughout the year. He was the only racer to be selected to win in two classes in DragChamp.com’s Top 5 Picks from their INDY Sportsman Preview.
Isenhower defeated Super Gas veteran and fellow Indiana racer, Steve Hoyt in the final after posting a dead-on 9.907. Hoyt slowed after getting loose just after half track. With the win, Isenhower is now leading the national points chase and is in great shape to pick up his first national championship in November.
Isenhower was glued to the tree over four-days of eliminations averaging a spectacular .012 light. In addition, Isenhower’s ’67 Camaro roadster was dialed in as he was setup dead on the index in four of the seven rounds.
After collected red-light victories in the first two rounds on Friday, Isenhower laid down .022 total against Janice Swan in round three to take the win. Swan’s .030 light left her no chance against Devin’s .022 package.
In the fourth round on Saturday morning, Isenhower drilled the tree with a near-perfect .001 light although it was somewhat wasted as his opponent Leo Zynda III turned it red by -.008. Isenhower posted a 9.863 lap for the win.
After waiting around 24 hours, Isenhower squared off against Division 4 hitter Jackson Collier in a battle of Camaro roadsters in round five. Isenhower pulled out another great .005 light to lead Collier’s .014 light. At the finish line both racers found the brake pedal as Isenhower pulled off the win after posting a 9.921 to Collier’s losing 9.928. Isenhower would have been dead .90 had he stayed in it leaving Collier nothing to work with.
This was the second straight year that Collier lost a close race in the fifth round at INDY. He’s a talented racer and will surely find more success at INDY in the future.
After another lengthy delay from the fifth round on Sunday morning until the semifinals on Monday afternoon, Isenhower left first with a solid .018 light against Division 1 hitter Charlie Kenopic, the 2018 Virginia Nationals winner. Isenhower was once again setup to go dead .90 but turned Kenopic loose when he couldn’t catch him forcing Kenopic to post a 9.878 breakout run. Isenhower dropped .02-second to go 9.920 and move into his first NHRA national event final round.
Steve Hoyt made his way to the final round on the strength of great reactions — he averaged an .018 light — and a deadly consistent ’63 Corvette roadster. Hoyt runs 170 mph and unlike most Super Gas competitors, he typically runs it out-the-back-door in eliminations. With a killer hot rod and a solid reactions, Hoyt made his mark on the class during his run to the final.
Hoyt began eliminations with a double-breakout win over Bill Trum when Trum posted a -.057 under 9.843 pass to Hoyt’s 9.893. In the second round, Hoyt took the easy win after Mike Keenan missed the tree and ran .065 over the index. Hoyt was .008 at the tree and was setup on a .90 before he slowed to take the easy win.
Hoyt was fortunate to escape his third round encounter with Division 2 hitter Michelle Furr. Furr left first, .010 to .017, and controlled the race down track until she slowed .03-second to give up the stripe by .005-second. Hoyt posted an all-out 9.908 for the win as Furr slowed .03 to post a losing 9.920.
Hoyt won another close race in round four after his .015 package was just enough to take down Tim Tiry’s .025 package. Hoyt’s .003 light and 9.912 was just better than Tiry’s .017 light and 9.908 E.T. Hoyt won another double-breakout race in round 5 after Jeff Reed posted a 9.865 to Hoyt’s winning 9.892.
In the semifinals Hoyt paired against Joey Shipp who was looking for the INDY double as he was in the semi’s in both Super Gas and Stock. Unfortunately Shipp would lose in both entries in the semifinals. Shipp had been spectacular in Super Gas averaging a .015 light and posting four 9.90s and one 9.910 in the first five rounds. In the semifinal, Shipp was stellar at the tree again taking the lead with a .010 to Hoyt’s .029, Hoyt’s worst light of eliminations to that point. At the stripe it was all Hoyt as he posted a perfect 9.900 (all-out by the way) to take the .008 win and move into the final round. Shipp did tap the brakes at the finish and may have had a chance to take the stripe but it was not to be as Hoyt posted the perfect run for the win.
The final round was an interesting result after four days of tough competition. Isenhower got the jump off the line, as he had done all race, taking a .017 to .038 lead as they rolled down track. Not long after they came off the throttle stops, Hoyt’s car made a move to the centerline forcing him to lift. Isenhower saw him fall back and slowed at the stripe to post an almost breaking out 9.907 pass to collect his first win. Hoyt slowed to a 10.271 after getting loose.
Although Isenhower almost gave it back in the final, he proved he is a force to be reckoned with in the Super classes after posting a win in Super Gas and a fifth round finish in Super Comp. Isenhower also took over the national points lead in Super Gas with his U.S. Nationals victory setting him up to chase the championship as the year winds down.
DragChamp also wants to send a special thank you to Devin as he made us look good-by picking him to win the race.
Congratulations on your U.S. Nationals victory Devin!
For all your sportsman drag racing news, updates, and results visit DragChamp.com daily.