CONCORD, N.C. – Anthony Bertozzi collected his 21st NHRA national event win with his Top Dragster victory at the 2018 NHRA Carolina Nationals hosted by zMAX Dragway to lead a host of sportsman winners including Art Hodges (Competition Eliminator), Herbie Null Jr. (Super Stock), Terry Taylor (Stock Eliminator), Corey Manuel (Super Comp), Joe Fisher (Super Gas), and Ronnie Proctor (Top Sportsman).
Art Hodges earned his first NHRA national event victory in a battle of first time finalist when he defeated Danny Holt. Hodges turned a holeshot into an easy win after posting a .561 under the index pass to secure his first Wally.
Herbie Null Jr. collected his fifth national event victory after defeating Joe Lisa in the final round. Null had the reaction time advantage and ran closer to his dial in for the win.
Terry Taylor won his first NHRA national event in his second final round appearance when Team DragChamp racer Anthony Fetch spun the tires at the launch. Taylor would have been tough to beat in the final as he posted his second straight perfect reaction time. Fetch left with a .027 reaction time but ran well off the dial when his car spun hard at the hit. Taylor had three .00 reaction times during eliminations.
Fetch almost pulled out the victory for Team DragChamp for the second time. Fetch was one of three DragChamp picks to win Stock Eliminator at the Carolina Nationals. At Reading last month, Fetch was also picked to win the event and once again found the final round but came up one round short. Anthony is a talented racer and his last two national event efforts proves this point as he made back-to-back final rounds and he posted a semifinal finish in Super Comp at the Carolina Nationals. There’s a reason I’ve picked him twice now, he’s pretty good. To see my pre-event picks for the Carolina Nationals, click here.
Corey Manuel also won his first NHRA national event after taking down Super Class star Tom Stalba in the final round. Manuel finally added a NHRA national event Wally to his extensive trophy collection. In the final round, Manuel’s .040 package forced Stalba to run under the index after he posted a .045 reaction. Manuel averaged an impressive .012 reaction time throughout eliminations while also running three 8.89’s. Manuel’s win marked the fifth consecutive national event that at least one of the DragChamp pre-event picks has posted a victory.
Joe Fisher of Racing RV’s fame and sponsor of the NHRA Top Sportsman and Top Dragster series collected his second national event Wally in his third final round appearance after defeating Phil Smida in the final round. After an even start, Smida took .028 at the stripe to go -.015 under the index handing the win to Fisher’s safe 9.912. To collect his second Wally, Fisher defeated a who’s who of Super Gas racers including Super Comp finalist Tom Stabla, Jim Perry, Super Comp champ Corey Manual, and George Caheely prior to taking down accomplished Super racer Smida.
With his final round victory at the Carolina Nationals, Ronnie Proctor assumed the national points lead in Top Sportsman. Proctor entered the race trailing Doug Crumlich and JR Lobner in the championship chase. After Lobner won the second round, he passed Crumlich for the lead but his lead was short-lived as he fell in the third round. Meanwhile, Proctor’s win in the third round gave him a bye to the final round which essentially boosted him past Crumlich and Lobner. Proctor extended his lead when he defeated first time finalist Jackie Robison in the final round after Robison ran two-tenths over his dial. Proctor now has two national event victories, both coming this year, in six final round appearances.
Anthony Bertozzi rounded out the sportsman champions with a victory in Top Dragster. The win, his 21st in NHRA national event competition, came at the expense of J.B. Strassweg who was appearing in his third final round. Bertozzi, a Team DragChamp selection in Super Stock, grabbed the holeshot at the tree and held on for the win after both racers ran .02 over their respective dial ins. Bertozzi now has 21 wins in 35 final round appearances.
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series final round results from the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway are listed below:
Art Hodges, 7.249, 187.31 defeated Danny Holt, 8.171, 164.99
Herbie Null Jr., 9.799, 129.10 defeated Joe Lisa, 10.292, 130.29
Terry Taylor, 11.128, 105.87 defeated Anthony Fetch, 11.105, 111.00
Corey Manuel, 8.930, 173.63 defeated Tom Stalba, 8.894, 168.07
Joe Fisher, 9.912, 169.38 defeated Phil Smida, 9.885, 153.75
Ronnie Proctor, 6.662, 194.35 defeated Jackie Robison, 6.896, 198.38
Anthony Bertozzi, 6.030, 224.21 defeated J.B. Strassweg, 6.093, 217.35
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Gary Don Free