Bowling Green: Last Ones Standing
- Posted June 20, 2014 -
The Midwest brings out a lot of things going into summer and unfortunately rain and heat comes with it.After some rain, some heat, and some great racing, The 12th Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion is in the books.
Presented by AAA Insurance, the 12th installment of this race was one of the biggest yet. With over 400 racers and 1200 show cars, the grounds were packed with cars and spectators alike. Mother Nature also made an appearance on Tuesday and Wednesday flooding most of the pit area but that didn’t stop the masses from unloading and preparing for battle.

Thursday brought the opening of on track action with Gas Eliminator ending qualifying with a staggering 47 entries covering states from as far away as Texas and Florida. NDRL driver John Treesh topped the pile with his beautiful ’61 Corvette running .004 over his D/G index. Mares Dennis, Kenny Robinson, Sam Patrick, and David Cole rounded out the top five.
Competition Eliminator drivers prepared to win the hardware and they showed that with the numbers laid down during qualifying. NDRL driver Tim Reis shot to number one on his first pass running .005 over his C/C index but it was not to be with Russell Snyder passing him up running .003 over his A index to take the top spot. Skeeter Wayne, Stan Hunter, and Brett Edwards rounded out the top five.

PRO 7.50 had a great turnout and these cars were flying. With dragsters, altered, and door cars the fans have plenty to watch and these drivers deliver with 1/8 mile burnouts and side by side passes. David Secrest towed all the way from Arkansas to take the top spot easily with a 7.514. David Shaffer, Jarrod Bradshaw, Steve Matthews, and Pat Malloy taking the top five spots. One of the more impressive laps was owned by Waters qualifying his ’41 Willys at 185.56 MPH.
PRO 7.0 was almost completely owned by NDRL drivers. Thirteen out of the sixteen drivers entered are card carrying NDRL members and they came to win the race and then to win the NDRL-IAM Championship. NDRL’s own Steve Knopp made the crowd go crazy with his first qualifying pass. Knopp wheeled his ’69 Mark Williams digger to a 7.013@214.86 to take the top spot. NDRL driver Billy Smith had another idea in mind and he came back running .012 over to take the number one away. Robbie Freels, George Reidnauer, and Michael Sexton rounded out the top five heading into race day.
Eliminations came early for Gas and Comp drivers on Friday evening. The sun was just starting to set and with the drivers driving into the sun, the reaction times showed. Gas Eliminator made its way to the semi-finals with “Wildman” Danny Hobbs taking the bye run into the final and NDRL driver Buddy Wray taking out fellow NDRL competitor Bob Mitchell to advance. Both drivers saved the best till last with Wray cutting a .019 light and leaving last to Hobbs’ .017. The advantage ended there with Wray running 9.500 on his D/G index to Hobbs losing 8.51 putting Wray in victory lane.

Comp Eliminator followed the gassers into the sun and Saturday’s eliminations left four drivers ready for the chance to get into the final round. Veteran driver Don Nave taking a hole shot advantage to force Snyder to go under his index. The other pair had Troy Wilson taking an advantage off the line to advance in a double breakout over Richard Lawson. The final was all NDRL as Nave used his starting line advantage to force Wilson under his C/C index landing him his third Reunion win.

PRO 7.50 drivers were out to win take home the coveted Reunion win and it showed all day long. The semi-final pairings showed the determination of the drivers left behind with Wayne Sears taking the hole shot win over Darrell Wathen running 7.518 to best Wathen and his 7.509. Ross Laird showed his cards early taking a semi-final bye run and stomping a path running dead on 7.500. Laird carried that momentum forward to take the final round over sears. Both drivers launched together but Laird took his better R/T and used it to force Sears to take the stripe first handing the win to Laird.

PRO 7.00 ended the day for the NDRL drivers and it did it with three of the four that remained. Mike Smith returned from Oak Harbor, WA to take his 2013 crown back home. He drove through NDRL driver Tony Lombardi to send the Crower car into the final. NDRL regulars Sue Christopherson and Sexton both got off the line green but the Suzie Q ’57 Chevy F/C was a little fast running under the index and advancing Sexton to the final with Smith. Both drivers saved the best for last with Sexton leaving first and running a 7.023 forcing Smith under running a 6.965. This was the first win for Sexton in 7.00 trim at Beech Bend but the second win for the team and the car claiming a Good-Guys Top Fuel event in 2008.

The NDRL-IAM Championship Series will make its next stop at Summit Motorsprts Park for the Summer Jam during the Blue Suede Cruise July 18-20.
As always, we would like to thank all of our loyal sponsors and racers as without them we would have nothing. IAMAW, Quick Fuel Technology, Briggs & Stratton, Ross Racing Engines, ET Genie, Hot Heads Research, Sexton-Wilbert Vault, DJ Safety, Renegade Race Fuels, Saldana Racing Products, Moser Engineering, Howards Cams, Deist Safety, Competition Products, Freedom Racing Engines, Wood River Auto Parts, ScottRods, Vintage Racing Supply, and Shorty Rader Racing.

7.0 PRO -
W - Michael Sexton 7.023/191.08
R/U - Mike Smith 6.965/184.55

7.5 PRO -
W - Ross Laird 7.487/175.59
R/U - Wayne Sears 7.467/172.39

Comp Eliminator -
W - Don Nave 8.525/154.83
R/U - Troy Wilson 8.967/142.43

Gas Eliminator -
W - Buddy Wray 9.500/123.76
R/U - Dan Hobbs 8.514/155.33

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