Kyle Rizzoli and Brandon Miller joined the list of 2023 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series world champions during last weekend’s NHRA Nevada Nationals in Las Vegas.
Rizzoli, the championship leader for most of the season, wrapped up the title in Stock, while Miller claimed the No. 1 spot in Right Trailers Top Sportsman. They join Julie Nataas (Top Alcohol Dragster) and Doug Gordon (Top Alcohol Funny Car, who wrapped up their respective titles two weeks earlier during the Texas NHRA FallNationals in Dallas.
Rizzoli, a consistent Top 10 finisher in both Super Stock and Stock, finally broke through for his first title with a monster season that currently includes two wins and four runner-up finishes among eight scored events. Rizzoli established himself as a firm contender for the title with a runner-up finish at the Division 7 Lucas Oil Series event in Phoenix followed by back-to-back national event wins in Pomona and Las Vegas. He followed that performance with another final round at the Division 7 race in Las Vegas.
Rizzoli, the son of longtime Top Alcohol Dragster racer Jim Rizzoli, currently sits at 699 points, well ahead of second-ranked Jeff Strickland, who has a competitive 633-point score. Rizzoli is also the No. 2 ranked driver in Super Stock following a win at last week’s NHRA Nevada Nationals and is mathematically in contention for a second title. In order to do so, Rizzoli would need to win the In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals in Pomona and hope that current leader Brad Burton does not improve.
Miller did not attend the Las Vegas event, but he was able to clinch the Right Trailers Top Sportsman title when his closest pursuers were unable to overtake his 655-point score. Miller, who made several appearances this season in his family-owned Dodge Pro Stock entry, got off to a hot start in Top Sportsman by winning his first three starts, including the Division 1 Lucas Oil Series events at Cecil County Dragway and Maple Grove Raceway as well as the NHRA four-wide event in Charlotte. Miller also drove his six-second Chevy S-10 to victories at the Lucas Oil Series races in Richmond and Rockingham as well as runner-up finishes at his home event, the NHRA New England Nationals and the second Maple Grove divisional race.
Heading into the final two events of the season, the Division 7 finale in Las Vegas and the final national event in Pomona, championships in Comp, Super Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, and Right Trailers Top Dragster are still undecided.
In Comp, three-time champion Bruno Massel has led for most of the season. Massel currently has 594 points. Second ranked Jim Greenheck must win the Las Vegas event and hope that Massel does not improve upon a semifinal finish. Division 3 racer Ronnie Bohn and Division 2’s Glenn Treadwell are also mathematically in the running for the title.
The lead in Super Stock changed hands last week when two-time Stock world champ Brad Burton drove to a runner-up finish in Las Vegas. Burton took over the lead from former champ Bryan Worner. Burton currently sits at 681 points and can improve his score only by winning in Pomona. Rizzoli must win the Pomona event in order to surpass Burton. Tyler Caheely, Ryan Montford, Jeremy Duncan, and Wyatt Wagner are also still alive in the race for the Super Stock crown.
In Super Comp, former Super Gas champ John Labbous Jr. is the leader in the clubhouse with 677 points, the result of a season that has included three wins and a runner-up finish while driving for team owner Anthony Bertozzi. Labbous cannot improve his score and must fend off a challenge from Tanner Theobald, who can earn points at both of the remaining events.
Sherman Adcock’s monster start in Super Gas has resulted in a robust 678-point score, and he is in line for a possible third Lucas Oil Series title. Adcock won five of the first six events he attended this season. Adcock can still be caught by Trevor Larson, who has 625 points and can improve at both events. Two-time world champion Austin Williams is also mathematically in the running for the title.
Division 1 racer Vince Musolino heads into the final two weeks of the season as the leader in Right Trailers Top Dragster following a season that has produced five victories, including the national event at Maple Grove Raceway. Musolino sits at 609 points and can improve his score at both events. He’s bettering a quarterfinal finish at divisional events and can improve upon a round-one loss in Pomona. Clint Geise can still catch Musolino, and the same goes for Chad Axford, who can improve at both events, and former champ Blake Peavler.