Lucas Oil sportsman class winners were crowned at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals on Sunday at Maple Grove Raceway.
READING, PA – The Lucas Oil sportsman classes raced to completion on Sunday at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals. Competing at Maple Grove Raceway, veteran racers and new faces graced the sportsman winners circle.
Joe Santangelo led the way earning his 16th national event win in Stock. Joining him in the winners circle were Herbie Null Jr. (SS), Ed Alessi (SG), and first time winners Kyle Bigely (SC) and Christopher Piston (COMP).
2019 Lucas Oil Sportsman Champions from the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals
Christopher Piston drove his F/DA dragster to the win at Maple Grove Raceway defeating two-time and reigning event champion Tom Martino in the final round.
Piston used a huge .011 to .132 advantage at the tree to out pace Martino at the stripe. His -.503 under 8.117 was well in front of Martino’s -.477 under 8.193.
The win was Piston’s first in NHRA national event competition!
Herbie Null Jr. claimed his second national event win at Maple Grove Raceway when he defeated Summit Racing Equipment Nationals winner John DiBartolomeo in the final round.
In the final Null used a 12-pack to claim his latest victory. Null’s .012 reaction and dead zero 9.700 proved too much for DiBartolomeo. Johnny D, appearing in his second consecutive final round, was .029 and .011 above in the loss.
In the semifinals, Null defeated good friend and traveling companion Bryan Worner. Worner was -.003 red to advance Null to his 10th final. DragChamp pre-race pick to win Michael Iacono left -.001 too soon in his semifinal match with DiBartolomeo.
Joe Santangelo continued his amazing season by winning the Stock Eliminator title in Anthony Bertozzi’s Camaro. Santangelo defeated multi-time national event winner Randi Lyn Shipp in the final round.
In the final round, Santangelo grabbed a small .022 to .035 lead at the tree to take control of the race. At the stripe, he jammed the brakes to go 10.385 on his 10.38 dial-in. That sent Shipp flying through the traps with a -.058 under 10.662 breakout.
The final round was Santangelo’s 25th while Shipp was appearing in her 12th NHRA national event final round.
2018 Division 1 Super Comp champion Kyle Bigley captured his first NHRA national event win at the famed Maple Grove facility. In a repeat of the NHRA New England Nationals final from earlier this summer, Bigley reversed the outcome to take down Ken Moses in the final.
Bigley, appearing in his second NHRA national event final, fell behind at the tree .020 to .009. But he drove the stripe beautifully taking .004 to claim the 8.925 to 8.940 victory.
In six rounds of competition over three days, Bigley posted reactions that varied between .007 and .020.
Moses continued his successful season with yet another final round appearance. Earlier in the season, Moses doubled-up at the NHRA New England Nationals winning Top Dragster and Super Comp.
Ed Alessi Jr. drove his Pontiac Catalina to the Super Gas win over first-time finalist Jake Barbato. Alessi, who also won the Super Gas title in 2001, claimed his second win in his fourth final round appearance.
Driving what has to be one of the largest race cars in the class, Alessi was near perfect at the tree with a .001 reaction in the final round. That combined with a 9.937 locked out Barbato after he missed the tree posting a .048 light.
Alessi also posted a total of three .00x lights during the six-round race. He was .009 in round three and .000 in round four.
For more NHRA drag race results, click here.