POMONA – After weather washed out racing on Sunday, Sportsman winners were finally crowned Monday at the 2019 Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals.
Winners include Scott McClay (Comp), Ryan McClanahan (SS), Doug Gibson (STK), Kevin Wright (SC), Pete Zak (SG), Bart Smith (TS), and John Taylor Jr. (TD).
2019 Winternationals Sportsman Winners
McClay, Tehachapi, Calif., drove his C/ED dragster to his second national event win at the Winternationals. In the final McClay took a .026 to .066 lead over Doug Lambeck, Irvine, Calif., and his D/SMA ’07 Sunfire.
As they moved down track, Lambeck’s Pontiac got loose forcing him to lift. This allowed McClay to take the 30 foot win.
Lambeck, Team DragChamp’s pick to win the event, was appearing in his second straight final at Pomona. Lambeck was runner-up to David Rampy at the season-ending World Finals just a few months ago.
Ryan McClanahan collected his 8th NHRA national event title after defeating Rick McKinney in the Super Stock final. McClanahan, Alta Loma, Calif., drove his SS/BS ’08 Cobalt to a .0013 margin of victory.
McKinney, Richmond, BC, was brilliant at the tree in rounds 2-5 in his SS/LA ’84 Cutlass. Reeling off four straight .00 reactions to earn his way to the final round.
In the final round, Ryan took a .021 to .029 lead at the tree and converted it to the win with a .024 over 8.414 to McKinney’s .017 over 10.597.
2018 event winner Kyle Rizzoli and Team DragChamp pick Jody Lang came up just short of the final round after exiting in the semifinals.
Doug Gibson, Diamond Bar, Calif., earned his first national event Wally in his first final round. Driving his H/SA ’85 Camaro, Gibson defeated fellow first-time finalist Duane Dickens, San Clemente, Calif., in his J/SA ’66 Chevy II.
The final was won at the tree when Gibson took a .021 to .061 lead. At the finish line, Gibson posted a .032 over 10.702 to Dickens .015 over 11.525.
Prior to the final Gibson took out heavy hitters Jody Lang in round 4 and Cody Lane in the semifinals.
Dickens defeated Team DragChamp pick Leo Glasbrenner in the semifinals to reach his first NHRA national event final round.
Kevin Wright, Longmont, Colo., earned his third Winternationals title and fourth overall. Wright laid down a terrific .009-package in the final to defeat multi-time winner and Team DragChamp pick Val Torres Jr.
Wright combined a .001 reaction with a near-perfect 8.908 to defeat Torres, Chino, Calif., who posted a solid .015 reaction and a .016 over 8.916.
In the semifinals Wright defeated Richard Lash while Torres took out his father and last year’s runner-up Val Torres.
Pete Zak, Torrance, Calif., collected his second national event victory on Monday after defeating Evan Kowalski of Riverside, Calif.
Driving his ’06 Advanced roadster, Zak won the final round when Kowalski turned it red by -.004 in his ’05 Corvette. Zak was .027 at the tree and eased to a winning 10.732.
To reach the final round, Zak defeated Mike Wiblishouser in the semifinals while Kowalski stopped Randy Kersey.
Zak used a 9.904 in the first round of eliminations to earn the #1 qualifier. Zak posted a second dead-on 9.901 lap in his semifinal victory over Wiblishouser.
Bart Smith, North Las Vegas, Nev., picked up his second national event Wally on Monday after defeating multi-time winner Mike Ferderer in the final round.
Team DragChamp pick Ferderer, Buckley, Wash., grabbed a small lead at the tree .013 to .021. But at the finish line, Smith’s .016 over 6.976 edged out Ferderer’s .031 over 7.061.
To reach the final round, Smith drove his ’98 Monte Carlo past another Team DragChamp pick Ed Olpin. Ferderer and his ’06 Grand Am edged out 2018 #3 finisher Doug Crumlich in the other semifinal pairing.
A couple of out-of-division racers battled for the Top Dragster Wally. Ultimately Division 1 racer John Taylor Jr., Wyomissing, Penn., defeated Division 3’s Zach Sackman of Channahon, Ill.
Taylor, who was exceptional at the tree each round, used a .007 reaction time in the final to take a huge advantage over Sackman’s .039. Taylor almost gave it back at the finish line posting a .055 over 7.105 to edge Sackman’s .026 over 6.256 by just .0035.
In collecting his fifth national event victory, Taylor defeated 2018 world champ Paul Nero in the semifinals. Sackman defeated Trevor Ritchie in the other semifinal match-up.
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