Warriors Line Up for Battle at the Arch
Text by Troy Wilson and NDRL Media; Photos by Martin Libhart
The first stop in the NDRL-IAM Championship series found us sitting at Gateway Motorsports Park for our bi-annual visit. The track staff rolled out the red carpet to a whole host of nostalgia racers which left them with just under 300 race cars on the grounds.
NDRL drivers showed up in force with 82 drivers making the tow for the first race and they wasted no time in getting straight to the battle at hand.
Quick Fuel Technology PRO Gas hit the lanes first and it took driving to make the top ten let alone the top five. Ron Mergel found himself running .011 over his index to land 5th in the order with veteran racer Greg Hillyer taking the top spot running dead on 1 to take the point into eliminations. Gary Wildy, Phil Stamps and Kenny Robinson completed the top five. Semifinal pairings found John Treesh lined up with Bob Eaker taking the hole shot lead down track to run dead on 2 advancing to the final to meet Stamps who advanced over a red bulb for Rob Davis. The final was all Stamps who used a better R/T to force Treesh under playing catchup.
Hot Heads PRO Comp found us looking at some exciting laps and the action was tight. Ohio native Tim Reis took the early point running .012 over his C/C index only to be uprooted by Jake Broerman in the final shot with Broerman running .011 to take the point. Gary Leever, Jeff Bahret, and Shane Rasler rounded out the top five. Semifinals found Broerman lined up with Gary Williams but took too much stripe advancing to the finals with Reis who downed Rasler to advance. The final was all Williams as he led the entire quarter mile taking his first NDRL win.
Jeff Bahret hikes the front end at the hit
Phenix Industries PRO 7.5 found multi time champ Wayne Sears digging in his bag of tricks to find a tune up but he ended up fifth with a 7.52 lap. Buckeye faithful Derek McCuistion blistered a path the top with a dead on 7 lap to lead the pack into elims. Darrell Wathen, Pat Malloy, Kerry Millet and Sears into race day. The final four staged with Millet advancing over McCuistion and Bo Boles cruising down over a red lighting Jarrod Bradshaw. The final was all Millet as he left first and carried the momentum to take his first NDRL win.
(L) At the hit, with Wayne Sears in "Super Mouse"
(R) Bo Boles in the Boles & Freels 23T roadster, running in 7.5 PRO. Nice hit Friday evening
(L) Kerry Millet, with a gorgeous paint scheme, on a hard launch Friday evening
(R) NDRL member Jarrod Bradshaw, at the hit in the "Dollar Devil"
Ross Racing Engines PRO 7.0 brought the thunder to the lanes with speed and fury which never lets us down. 2015 Champ Billy Smith wasted no time by running right up the list going dead on 5 to take the bye into round one. Michael Sexton rolled up second with a .011 over pass leaving the rest of the top five for Rocketman Robbie Freels, Preston Davis and Jeffrey Sanborn. The semifinals found Smith and Davis both up in smoke burning tires down track with Smith taking the nod to meet Sexton who advanced over Freels. The final was all Sexton as he dropped Smith off at the tree and never looked back.
(L) Jeffrey Sanborn in "Bruiser" - always fun to watch with his wheels-up hard launches
(R) "Rocketman" Robbie Freels - consistent wheels-up, hard launches
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