NHRA Division 5 racer Kris Whitfield covers his mid-season results and discusses his plans for the remainder of the year.
It’s been a bit since we last visited, but we are back for twice the blog action for October! Since the August blog came late and our racing had a slight lull through early September we decided to hold off until October and spread out all the action that will transpire as we wrap up 2019. Keep an eye out later in the month for another update!
As October has officially started, it’s safe to say we have fully converted into the “late season push” mindset. Our local Bandimere series racing has concluded for the season and we will turn our attention to the remaining races on the NHRA schedule. I’ll break this blog down into 2 parts: the first to recap our Bandimere season, and the second to summarize our NHRA situation.
Bandimere Season Recap
To start out, it hurts to say but our 2019 racing season has officially concluded at our home track Bandimere Speedway. What happened to the summer?! It flew by before it felt like it ever got here… Nevertheless, we still got in plenty of racing. Our focus for the year was on our Super class racing, so our Super Pro efforts took a bit of a back seat.
The last weekend of September was set to be the finale of the Super Series and coming into the final event I carried an almost untouchable lead in the Super Comp category. In Super Gas, despite a very strong season, I held second place coming into the final race with the leader being virtually untouchable.
To say we were blessed with good racing weather for the final race would be an overstatement, as 15-25 mph winds with 40 mph gusts plagued an otherwise beautiful fall day. We made do, and ended up winning the day in Super Gas, solidifying the 2nd place finish, and if nothing else made the final points look a little more respectable.
A mechanical failure ended my day in Super Comp 2nd round, but my points lead held and the season championship was claimed. For those counting at home, that’s our 17th championship at Bandimere Speedway, a mark which we are very proud of.
NHRA Points Racing
With the local points series concluding we set our sights of the NHRA points chases. For those following on social media, you know my story and that it was never my intention to chase NHRA points this year, but our double at the Bandimere divisional forced the hand a little bit.
It’s not every year you get to start out with the division points lead in two classes in that fashion. We had two divisional events recently; one being a partial rain-out in Earlville, IA followed by Great Bend, KS (which is where Earlville would be concluded).
I was carrying an entry into R3 of Super Gas in the Earlville race, but despite my high spirits and abundance of confidence I dropped that opportunity in R4. The rest of the weekend in Great Bend is hardly worth reporting.
For some reason that is one track that has never been kind to me. However, one good thing came from the event, as Great Bend was the conclusion of the JEGS Allstars series for Division 5.
I am thrilled to announce that we will be headed for Chicago next July for the Allstars event as the Super Gas representative!
Looking forward, we will be busy preparing for several remaining events on the NHRA tour. Currently sitting #1 in points divisionally for Super Gas, we will look to lock that position in at the Phoenix or Las Vegas divisional races (I have a 30-pt score to still improve on out of division).
Also, we are entered in the Las Vegas national and sizing up an opportunity to go to Pomona if the national points shape up well at all during the last couple division races. Hopefully that’s a situation we are forced to navigate!
As always, thank you for following along, and we look forward to seeing many of you out west very soon!
About the Author: Born and raised in Colorado, Kris Whitfield began racing juniors at age 8 and currently pilots a 2004 Undercover dragster and a ’27 T Super Gas roadster. He has 16 track championships as well as 2 NHRA national event wins. With seven years experience working race-operations at Bandimere Speedway and with a life spent in the sportsman pits, Kris offers DragChamp readers a unique and relatable perspective.
For the 2019 season, Kris will represent sponsors Go Fast Energy, Phantom Racing Graphics, DJ Safety, DMP Awnings, Nationwide Productions, Armed Forces Racing, NGK, Precision Specialties, Premier Diversified Insurance, and This is Bracket Racing Elite.