Monday, April 15, 2024

Champions Crowned at Season Finale at Atco

Atco Dragway – October 8th & 9th The Mid Atlantic .90 Association closed out its successful 2022 season at South Jersey’s Atco Dragway as part of the .90 Fall Finale. Championships were still on the line for Super Gas & Super Street as Chase Fahnestock had already clinched the Super Comp title after Race # 8 at Cecil County.

DragChamp Logo

On Saturday, One Hundred cars made the trip out for the final weekend of the series for 2022 as some hadn’t raced in over a few months due to the VMP wash-out the weekend before. In Super Comp with the championship already clinched it became a battle for 2nd through 5th as the series does honor the Top 10 with money and free entries for the following season. Steve Spaulding laid down a perfect 8.900 in qualifying to grab the #1 qualifying spot out of the 43 cars that made a qualifying attempt. As eliminations got underway, local racer Paul Kelley was marching his way through the field to find his way into his first final with the series. In the semis with temps dropping, John Martin was scheduled to run Kelley but broke in the 4th round. With the approval from both Kelley & John Bruzzo, the semis were bypassed and the finals were run. In the finals, Kelly was .003 to Bruzzo’s .039 and parlayed that hole-shot into a 8.938 to 8.917 victory and his first with the series. 

In Super Gas, George Donhauser had been having a great season with two victories, a runner-up at the Lucas Race at Numidia and points lead going into Race # 9. Donhauser padded that lead with a #1 qualifier and an additional 3 points to add to his lead. In the 3rd round of eliminations a match-up that would give Donhauser or 2nd Place Derek Clark momentum in the points chase as they matched-up with each other. Clark got the jump (.004 to .012) but took too much stripe on a double break out 9.872 to 9.888 victory for George. In the finals Sean Lang was looking for redemption from his LODRS Runner-Up and he would get that against George Stack. Lang got the victory when Stack got loose at the 400 foot mark and lifted to allow Lang to take a 10.30 to 13.71 victory. 

To round out Saturday’s action was another close points battle between 6x Champ Keith Mayers and Sean Lanigan. Dom Burgese who was sitting in 3rd place gained 3 points by laying down a 10.900 by qualifying #1. As the day progressed both Mayers and Lanigan were both lighting the win lights until round 3 when Ed McCleaft stopped him. This opened the door for Lanigan who marched his way to the finals where he matched up with local racer James Moshier and his Mustang. In the final Moshier got the jump at the green (.016 to .050) and led the race from start to finish with a 10.913 to 10.912 victory. With the runner-up it cut Mayers lead to 13 points going into Sunday.

On Sunday, with the Super Street championship on the line Lanigan knew what he had to do to have control on his own destiny. With it being random pairs, Lanigan called Mayers out to settle the championship in Round 1. With the first pair being out and championship on the line, Lanigan pushed the tree and went -.011 red handing the win to Mayers and his 7th Championship. In the finals Jay Neville would take his 2nd victory of the season and a big jump into the Top 3 in points with a victory over Kelli Barbato. Barbato had the lead at the hit (.005 to .013) but, broke out with a 10.873 to Neville’s 10.925 victory.

The next championship to be decided was Super Gas, with the implications for 2nd & 3rd being that they had to go to the finals to overtake Donhauser and George needed to lose by 2nd round for them to have a shot. John Asta made a return to Super Gas for the weekend with a perfect 9.900 to claim the #1 qualifier. The first two pairs out in Race #10 would decide the championship right off the bat. First out was Clark who matched up with James Alston, Alston would drop a 15-thoustanth package on Clark to eliminate second place in the chase, next up was Rich Price who cut an uncharacteristic .121 light to hand the win to Jason Anagnostis and with that the championship went to Donhauser. George wasn’t done just yet as he marched all the way to the final round to match up with first time finalist Alston. In a good final Donhauser got a slight jump (.033 to .037) and took the wire to wire victory with a 9.907 to 9.914 victory and his 3rd win on the season.

The last class to be completed was Super Comp, recent Pep Boys Nationals Runner-Up Tony Barrett claimed the #1 qualifier with an 8.900. With a 6 round race ahead and implications for 2nd through 4th on the line, the points Champ Chase Fahnestock took the day off to get an early jump on the off season. In the finals, 2017 MASCA Champ & D1 Champion Amanda Boicesco marched her “Relentless” dragster to the finals against Saturday Nights winner Paul Kelley. In a great final both drivers were .011 at the tree with Boicesco taking a 8.947 to 8.962 victory and jumping up to 3rd in the final points standings for the year. 

In Closing, President Rob Keister & VP Dana Leone want to thank all the acers who attended an event this year. We know with rising gas prices, racers had to pick & choose where they wanted to race this year and are glad that they choose to come race with the series. Look for information for the 2023 season along with some new programs being redeveloped for next season.

Top 10 in Points

 VP Racing Fuels Super Comp

1 Chase Fahnestock – 555

2 John Martin – 437

3 Amanda Boicesco – 420

4 Don Bangs – 415

5 Rich Leone – 339

6 Kevin Scholl – 331

7 Kathy Smulligan – 322

8 John Bruzzo – 321

9 Tony Barrett – 300

10 Ed McCleaft – 296

VP Racing Fuels Super Gas

1 George Donhauser – 500

2 Derek Clark – 423

3 Rich Price – 410

4 George Stack – 346

5 George Smith – 343

6 Sean Lang – 338

7 Rick Mattioli – 323

8 Bob Phillips – 321

9 Tom Goldman – 320

10 James Alston – 301

VP Racing Fuels Super Street

1 Keith Mayers – 490

2 Sean Lanigan – 459

3 Jay Neville – 398

4 Ed McCleaft – 367

5 Dom Burgese – 361

6 Kelli Barbato – 352

7 Scott Lang – 344

8 Dave Nahill – 335

9 Tom Muller – 305

10 James Antonette Sr. – 304

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