Lucas Oil Sportsman Results from Saturday at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
BRISTOL – After a huge day of drag racing at Bristol Dragway, only a handful of racers remain in contention. Lucas Oil sportsman competitors rolled through several rounds of competition on Saturday. Those fortunate enough to survive will compete on the big stage on Sunday.
Our DragChamp picks to win have held up nicely at Thunder Valley. Out of the five sportsman classes, six of our picks are still alive. They include Jimmy Hidalgo and Tyler Bohannon in Super Stock, Jeff Longhany in Stock, Todd Ewing in Super Comp, Michelle Furr in Super Gas, and Dylan Stott in Top Sportsman.
Thunder Valley Saturday Sportsman Results
Super Stock – Fab Five
With three rounds completed on Saturday, we are down to the last five Super Stockers. And the final five is a who’s who of class racing. Check this out, Sunday’s action will include Tyler Bohannon, Jimmy Hidalgo, Ricky Decker, Joe Santangelo, and Anthony Bertozzi.
I’m not sure you could put together a tougher final five if you tried. This will be the class to watch on Sunday.
Red-hot Ricky Decker’s three round win was a two-for-one as it earned him the fourth round bye. Decker’s been to a final round at every race he’s attended this year.
Joe Santangelo has also started the year strong. He won the Virginia Nationals and was runner up at the 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte. On the divisional side, Santangelo has been in the late rounds at pretty much any race he’s attended.
Anthony Bertozzi is having an outstanding season as he continues to shine in Super Stock and Top Dragster. He won the Gatornationals and the Four-Wide Nationals earlier in the year. AB always seems to be in the mix on Sunday.
Tyler Bohannon and Jimmy Hidalgo are some of the top racers in Division 3 and Division 4 class racing respectively.
On Sunday Bohannon will race Santangelo, Bertozzi will pair up with Hidalgo, and Decker will have the bye.
Stock Eliminator – Bogan Chases 2nd Win of the Year
Only four Stock eliminator racers have a shot at glory on Sunday as the field raced down to the semifinals on Saturday. Monty Bogan, Super Stock winner at the 4-Wide Nationals, is chasing his second win of the season on Sunday. Bogan took out Southern Nationals winner Chip Johnson to reach the semifinals.
Marcus Widuch will meet Bogan on Sunday after defeating Steve Welker in round four to punch his ticket to the Sunday Big Show.
Class veteran Mike Cotten heads to Sunday looking to add yet another Wally to his collection. He defeated Roy Hill, a Pro Stock veteran and icon of the sport, in round four.
On a side note, it’s really cool for me to see Mike chasing another win. I grew up watching him race Stock in Division 4 in the early eighties. Mike drove the same green Duster then as he does today. The car, and driver, has been competitive for over four decades. Every time I see that car, I think back to Mike making rounds at the old Cajun Nationals in Baton Rouge, LA.
The Longhany family had a great outing at the 2018 Thunder Valley Nationals coming away with a win and a runner up. DragChamp pre-race pick Jeff Longhany is looking for a repeat performance on Sunday. Jeff will race Mike Cotten in the semifinals.
Super Comp – Can Bones Pull it Off?
Veteran bracket racer and former NHRA national event winner Todd “Bones” Ewing is looking to add another Wally to his collection. While Todd doesn’t compete often at national events, he always seems to hang around when he does. That’s why I picked him to win the event, read more here.
Bones will meet multi-time national event winner Lauren Freer in the semifinals on Sunday. Freer ran dead seven to the index in round four to stop Robert Houston and secure he spot in the Big Show.
David Morris has been phenomenal at Bristol. He opened eliminations with three-straight 8.90 laps. In round four, Morris stopped Chicago runner up Megan Strassweg in a double breakout race decided by .001-second. Both drivers let go .015 and raced to the finish line. At the stripe, Megan would take .001 to go 8.889 to Morris’s closer to the index 8.890.
Waiting on Morris in the semifinals on Sunday is national points leader Ray Ray Miller. Miller has been almost unstoppable in 2019 winning points races and making the late rounds at nationals. Miller is chasing his first national event win of the year on Sunday.
Super Gas – Michelle Furr calls her shot!
It’s not often sportsman racers call their shot due to the extremely competitive environment in sportsman drag racing. But recently Michelle did just that when she messaged me and said I should be picking her to win. Her confidence is fueled by two bad hot rods, her Super Gas Corvette and her Super Comp dragster. Both of which have been laying down killer laps recently.
To prove she came ready to win, Furr’s reactions during time trials were .001, .001, and .002 in her Super Comp time trials. In round one of Super Gas, she laid down another .001 light in the win. Michelle is down to the final seven on Sunday after taking out Matt Tankersley in round three.
Joining Michelle on Sunday will be Jim Perry, Skip Walls, Ray Sawyer, Rick Stroud, Tom Stalba, and Steve Furr.
Steve Furr is the defending event champion and is looking to back up his 2018 win.
Tom Stalba has started 2019 in the same manner as he ended 2018, winning! Stalba has made rounds all over the East Coast this season and picked up wins on the divisional level.
Top Sportsman – Stott leads field into Sunday
DragChamp pre-race pick Dylan Stott is heading into Sunday as the favorite. The class veteran stopped 2018 event champion Jeff Brooks in round two to advance to the quarterfinals.
Stott will face Chuck Harris on Sunday. Other racers heading to the Big Show included Cheyenne Stanley, Mike Snow, Jackie Robison, and Johnny Brooks.
Brooks will race Robison and Stanely will meet Snow in the quarterfinal round on Sunday.
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