Joe Santangelo and Monty Bogan claim their second national event wins of the year at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
BRISTOL – Some familiar names graced the winners circle at the 2019 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Joe Santangelo and Monty Bogan cashed for the second time this season after winning Super Stock and Stock respectively.
Ray Sawyer won Super Gas, his seventh national event victory, while Todd “Bones” Ewing collected his eighth Wally after winning Super Comp. The lone first time winner was Johnny Brooks who brought home the Top Sportsman championship.
Bones was the DragChamp pre-race pick to win and brought us home a winner. Our national event sportsman preview articles showcase our picks for each national event. See all of our picks for Bristol here.
NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Sportsman Final Race Results
Super Stock – Santangelo rides hot-streak
Joe Santangelo picked up his second national event win in his third final round of the season at Bristol Dragway. In addition to his national event success, Santangelo has been stellar on the Lucas Oil divisional level as well.
To claim his second win of the season, Santangelo had to stop another red-hot racer in Ricky Decker. Like Santangelo, Decker has been on fire making the finals in four-straight races.
In the final round, Decker grabbed a slight lead at the start, .016 to .024, but couldn’t run the number at the top end. Santangelo was able to hang a wheel on Decker to take the win. Joe’s .012 over 10.282 eclipsed Decker’s .025 over 9.985 by just .005-second.
Decker stopped two-time 2019 national event winner Anthony Bertozzi in the semifinals. Santangelo defeated Tyler Bohannon in round four to earn a bye to the final round.
Stock Eliminator – Bogan goes off…again
Like Santangelo in Super Stock, Monty Bogan claimed his second event win of the season. After just missing the double at the 4-Wide Nationals last month in Charlotte, Bogan raced to the finals once again in Bristol. This time he took down class veteran Mike Cotton to claim the Stock win.
After both drivers nailed the tree in the final, Bogan survived the double breakout race by .001-second. Bogan’s -.006 under 11.094 was just enough to edge out Cotten’s -.007 under 11.173.
In the semifinals, Bogan defeated Marcus Widuch while Cotton took down DragChamp pick Jeff Longhany.
Super Comp – Lucky 13 for Bones
Todd “Bones” Ewing took a parade lap to collect his eighth national event win in his thirteenth career final. Ewing took the free pass to the winners circle after opponent Ray Miller Jr. was unable to make the final round.
To earn his spot in the final round, Bones survived a virtual dead-heat against Lauren Freer in the semifinals. Freer’s .008 initiated 8.928 came up .0004 short against Ewing’s .014 reaction and 8.922 ET.
After defeating David Morris in the semifinals, Miller’s engine failed leaving him unable to make the call for the final round. The final was Miller’s third of his career.
Super Gas – Sawyer wins lucky number 7
Former Super Gas world champion Ray Sawyer drove his ’02 Camaro to the Super Gas win in Bristol. To capture his seventh national event win, Sawyer defeated two-time 2019 national event finalist Michelle Furr in the final round.
Sawyer controlled the final round race from the start after grabbing a .007 to .028 advantage on the tree. As they raced down track, Sawyer eased to a 9.927 to hand Furr her second runner up of the year. Furr posted and off-the-gas 9.929 in the final.
Sawyer won several close races on Sunday including his semifinal battle with Tom Stalba. The race was decided by .0097-second after both drivers posted dead-on 9.90 ET’s. Sawyer’s .030 light and 9.906 was just enough to take down Stalba’s .041 initiated 9.904.
Michelle Furr defeated a red-lighting Steve Furr, no relation, in the semifinals. Steve, the 2018 event champion, came up one round short of making back-to-back finals at the Thunder Valley Nationals.
Michelle was the DragChamp pre-race pick in Super Gas and came up just short of being the second pick to win on the day.
Top Sportsman – First time is a charm for Brooks
Johnny Brooks drove his cool ’67 Chevy II to the Top Sportsman winners circle after defeating DragChamp pick Dylan Stott in the final round. Racing at his hometown track, Brooks got it done in his first national event final round appearance.
Although he had one of the slower cars in the fast doorcar class, Brooks had no problem navigating through the 22-car field. In the final round, Brooks grabbed a slim lead off the line, .019 to .021, but claimed the win after his .013 over 7.953 eclipsed Stott’s .024 over 6.714.
Even with a huge MPH difference, Brooks showed his driving skills on the big end when he snugged it up taking .013 stripe.
Brooks was in the right place at the right time at Bristol Dragway. He benefited from a red-light in round one and a bye run in the semifinals. Between those runs, both of Brooks’ opponents encountered problems on the track forcing them to slow considerably.
Dylan Stott defeated Cheyenne Stanley in the semifinals to reach his fourth final round. On the opposite side of the ladder, Brooks had a bye run in the semifinals.
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