NHRA Route 66 Nationals Sportsman race results from Saturday, racers heading to the Sunday Big Show!
Eliminations began on Friday morning with Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street running two rounds. After a final round of qualifying Friday morning, Comp, Top Dragster, and Top Sportsman competitors completed one round of eliminations.
A Trip to the Big Show
This setup two additional rounds of competition on Saturday morning. Those fortunate enough to find some electricity in their lane today were rewarded with a trip to the Big Show on Sunday.
As the weekend progresses, the anticipation and excitement build as racers get closer to holding the Wally on Sunday afternoon. For the racers that earned a trip to Sunday, they’ll now have to sit and wait for over 24 hours until the semifinals are contested Sunday afternoon.
Prior to Sunday’s final eliminations racers have some business to tend to on Saturday afternoon. The JEGS Allstars is run in conjunction with the Route 66 Nationals. The Allstars event includes the top points earners within each of the seven NHRA geographic divisions competing for individual and team honors.
DragChamp will post final results from the JEGS Allstars as they are available.
DragChamp pre-race Picks to Win the Route 66 Nationals
At each NHRA national event, DragChamp makes pre-race predictions as to who will win each class. We’re pretty good at it as we’ve consistently picked event winners. This week we have a number of Team DragChamp picks still alive on Sunday.
Those racers include Craig “Big Head” Anderson, Jeff Lopez, Craig Bourgeois, Justin Lamb, Jim Rod Capp, Anthony Bertozzi, and Jeff Strickland.
Route 66 Lucas Oil Sportsman Saturday Recap
Craig Bourgeois keeps on winning. After making the final round at every event he’s attended in 2019, Bourgeois is still alive heading into Sunday. Bourgeois is also the DragChamp pre-race pick to win the class.
Chicago was the first national event of the season to showcase a full 32-car Comp field. The Dallas double-divisional also included a full field. This is a great sign for a class that has struggled to field more than 16 cars for the last few seasons.
And then there were four as Justin Lamb leads the class into the semifinals. Lamb will be joined by Vic Penrod, Brett Speer, and Jeff Dona on Sunday.
Dona has been drilling the tree, averaging a .012 reaction time through four rounds. He never let go worst than .009 in the first three rounds.
Justin, the DragChamp pick to win the race, has enjoyed a fairly easy path to the semifinals. His heads up SS/AS competitor was a no show in round one, he benefited from two red-lights, and took a breakout win in round three.
The semifinal pairings are Lamb vs. Speer and Penrod vs. Dona.
The final four in Stock at the Route 66 Nationals are some of the best Stock racers in the country. The final four include Jeff Lopez, Randi Lyn Ship, Jeff Strickland, and Chris Chaney.
Randi Lyn, the 50th Gatornationals champ, is looking for her second national event Wally of the season. She’s been solid at the tree and drove the finish line like a champ.
Lopez, the DragChamp pick to win the event, has been all over the tree. He’s had two .00 lights along with two .01 reactions. He’s one of the best finish line driver’s in the sport and is almost unstoppable when he’s killing the tree.
Chris Chaney made a run at the Super Stock championship last season but has not been racing this year due to some health issues in his family. There’s no sign of rust though as he’s found plenty of win lights in Chicago.
Strickland, a former multi-class world champ, has been on point through four rounds. Outside of his .063 reaction in round one, he’s been .017 or better since.
The semifinals will be epic as Shipp and Chaney pair up along with Lopez and Strickland.
The Super Comp semifinal round includes two talented young ladies in Megan Strassweg and Allison Prose. They will be joined by DragChamp pick Craig “Big Head” Anderson and Dave Dahlem. All four are accomplished drivers.
Anderson, a winner at the 2019 Arizona Nationals, is looking to grab his second win of the season. To reach the semifinals, he had to endure an epic battle with John Labbous in round four. Anderson left second, .025 to .002, but used a dead-on 8.904 to John’s 8.928 to take the narrow .0018 (six inch) victory.
Super Comp national points leader Ray Miller III suffered a brutal loss to Allison Prose in the fourth round. Prose threw .014 total at Miller who threw away a stellar .006 light after he dumped to a 8.954 at the finish. Miller was all over the tree in the first three rounds with lights of .009, .000, and .006.
Prose dodged a bullet in round three after Mike Jirousek turned it red by -.004. Prose was right there at the tree posting a .005 reaction but ran well under the dial with a 8.844. Jirousek was 8.903 after his foul start.
Strassweg started eliminations with back-to-back .003 reactions. She missed the tree in round three but survived when Phil Smida turned it red. Megan was back in the groove posting a holeshot win over Kyle Bigley in round four.
Dahlem started eliminations by throwing an .008-pack at sportsman great Dan Fletcher. Dave was .008 at the tree before posting a dead-on 8.900. In round three Dahlem used a .020-pack to turn away Jacob Elrod to earn a fourth round bye run.
The semifinals will see Strassweg and Prose match up while Anderson will pair against Dahlem.
2018 world champion Devin Isenhower leads the Super Gas final four into Sunday. Already a winner in Super Comp this year, Isenhower is looking to validate his championship season. Joining him in the semifinals are Jim Rod Capp, Nathan Vrooman, and Randy Nygaard.
In a heavyweight battle, Isenhower took out 2018 championship runner up Aaron Kinard. After a .006 to .011 advantage at the tree, Isenhower finished the job posting a 9.910 to Kinard’s losing 9.930. Kinard looked like he dropped hard at the finish but Isenhower was above the index.
To reach the semifinals, Capp used a .006-pack to defeat Joey Shipp in round four. Capp, the Division 4 Moser Shootout winner and DragChamp pre-race pick, has been stellar at the tree and all over the 9.90 index.
Rodger Sauder claimed his spot in the Super Street final round on Saturday. His round four encounter with Jay Wilson was a two-for-one as the winner received a bye to the final round. Joining Sauder, the Division 5 champion, will be either Barney Barnhart or Wayne Christopher.
Sauder’s run to the final included some close calls. His first two opponents threw dead-on 10.90’s at him. He was able to turn both opponents back after posting great reactions and near the index runs.
Barnhart has used exceptional reaction times to reach the semifinals. He’s posted lights of .018, .013, .013, and .017. Barney was the benefactor of Division 1 ace Keith Mayers’ round one redlight. He then proceeded to win two close double breakout races before taking a .003-second win over Rocky Van Note in round four.
Wayne Christopher received a huge break in round three. Racing Ray Miller, Christopher trailed off the line .008 to .061. Fortunately, Miller took a train length at the stripe to go -.003 under the index. Christopher posted a dead-on 10.908 for the win. The win earned Christopher a bye to the semifinals.
2018 controversial runner up Lester Johnson is making another run to the finals. See our Route 66 preview for more on last year’s final round. Johnson is joined in the semifinals by Dusty Meyer, Brandon Baxter, and Allen Firestone.
Johnson survived a couple of close calls in rounds two and three. After getting out of shape in round three, opponent Mark McDonald broke out by .002. In round three, Phil Unruh fouled by -.003 to send Johnson to the semifinals.
Allen Firestone posted a perfect .000 reaction in round three. Combined with a .031 over 6.591, Firestone forced Curt Fredrich under his dial by .007. In round two, Firestone posted an .011-pack.
Two-time 2018 national event winner Dusty Meyer has been deadly in his run to the semifinals. He ran dead-on his dial in the first two rounds before posting a -.003 under lap in his round three double breakout win over Darian Boesch.
Meyer will meet Johnson in the semifinals while Firestone will meet Baxter for a spot in the final round.
Two-time 2019 national event winner Anthony Bertozzi heads to Sunday looking for his third win on the year. Bertozzi will be joined in the semifinals by Aaron Stanfield, Jim Prevo, and Jeff Strickland.
The fast dragster class continues to amaze me with the unbelievable laps they are able to produce. All four semifinalists have been teen or “0” at the tree every round. J.R. Lobner was never worst than .013 and didn’t make it out of the third round. All I can say is these guys (and girls) are good!
Bertozzi was .003 at the tree in rounds one and two before benefiting from Les Fiest’s third round redlight. Prevo has been .019 or better at the tree and posting laps all over his dial in. These two will meet in the semifinals.
Stanfield has not been worst than .015 at the tree and posted packages of .031, .012, and .041 to move advance to Sunday. Multi-time world champ Strickland hasn’t let go worst than .010. These two guys will battle on Sunday for a spot in the final.
Follow DragChamp for daily updates from the Route 66 Nationals. Final round results will be posted on Sunday afternoon.