Lucas Oil sportsman winners crowned at the Dodge NHRA Nationals at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
LAS VEGAS – Vernon Rowland lead the sportsman class champions at the Dodge NHRA Nationals at LVMS. Rowland defeated Dan Fletcher in the Super Comp final to earn his third national event victory of the season. The win came in his fourth final round appearance of 2019.
Other winners on the day included Cody Lane (Comp), Jason DeForrest (SS), Craig Maddox (STK), and Ray Miller III (SC).
2019 Dodge NHRA Nationals Sportsman Champions
Cody Lane defeated Tony Mandella to claim his sixth national event title on Sunday. Lane, driving his B/SMA Cobalt, used a .021 to .060 advantage at the tree to secure the event win in his seventh national event final round appearance.
Lane’s -.0504 under 8.136 lap outdistanced Mandella’s -.447 under 8.033 effort by a little more than a car length at the finish line. Mandella was appearing in his 10th national event final.
The win was Lane’s second on the season. He also won Stock at the Arizona Nationals early in the year.
Jason DeForrest, appearing in his seventh national event final, won for the fourth time after defeating first-time finalist Matt Alvey. Alvey left first with a -.006 red-light start handing the automatic win to DeForrest. Jason followed with a -.002 red-light of his own and cruised to a 9.081 on his 9.09 dial-in.
This was Jason’s second final round of the season as he was also runner up at the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd a couple of months earlier.
Craig Maddox drove to his first national event victory on Sunday after defeating three-time 2019 finalist Chris Knudsen. Maddox took the win after Knudsen turned it red by -.012. Like the Super Stock final, both finalist left early as Maddox was also -.021. He claimed the win since Knudsen was the slower car and fouled first.
For more on runner up Chris Knudsen, click here to see his racer spotlight article on DragChamp.
Vernon Rowland’s dream season continued at LVMS after claiming his third national event victory of the season. After winning Super Comp at Houston, Vernon won Super Gas at Brainerd, and was runner up in Super Gas at St. Louis.
For his latest victory, Rowland took down sportsman class great, Dan Fletcher in the Super Comp final. After a .011 to .012 start, Vernon posted a perfect 9.050 lap in the final to Fletcher’s 9.073 to take the wire-to-wire victory.
By the way, his .011 light in the final was his worst of eliminations. In seven rounds of eliminations he posted five .00 reactions and two .011 lights!
Like Rowland, Ray Miller III has enjoyed a wildly successful season in both Super Gas and Super Comp. He currently leads the national standings in Super Comp and is third Super Gas.
To earn his seventh national event win, Miller had to overcome an .008 package by final round opponent Evan Kowalski. In one of the best finals I’ve seen in a while, Miller was .001 at the tree to Kowalski’s .002. At the finish line, Miller was 10.053 (10.05 index) to Kowalski’s 10.056.
A four pack beats an eight pack in the final round! Too bad Miller had already reached his national event quota so the win didn’t count towards his national championship total.
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