County drivers competing in Northeast finals

On Motor Sports

September 29, 1996|By Stan Dillon | Stan Dillon,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

One of the highlights of the local drag-racing season is the Craftsman National Hot Rod Association Northeast Division Bracket Finals contested annually at the Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa.

This weekend, more than 850 drivers from 22 Division I tracks in the northeastern United States and Canada compete in a three-day championship to see what race track will record the most round-win points in five classes.

Final eliminations began Friday and end today as drivers in Class I, Class II, High School, Junior Dragster and Motorcycle divisions compete for team points, as well as individual purse and contingency awards.

The championship at Maple Grove is a culmination of a year-long season of weekly point events that determine the individual teams. Making the team from histrack is what every driver strives for when he enters the points competition at the beginning of the season. The bracket finals are the opportunity for the top drivers to compete against rival tracks' best drivers.

After competing each week against one another to make the "top sweet 16" in points, the drivers come together in a display of "team spirit" to battle for the team championship.

The honor has gone to the team from 75-80 Dragway in Monrovia five times, but they haven't won since capturing three straight titles in 1986-1988 and narrowly missing a fourth straight in 1989's loss to Beaver Springs (Pa.) Dragway by only four points.

Last year was another heart-breaker for the local team, which came up four points behind the Maple Grove (Pa.) Dragway team for the championship.

Although title-less since 1988, 75-80 has consistently finished in the top 10 with many local drivers winning their class each year.

This year's 75-80 drag team is loaded with Carroll County drivers. Other Maryland tracks participating in the Bracket Finals include Mason-Dixon Dragway in Hagerstown, which finished second in 1991, Maryland International Raceway in Budds Creek, the 1990 champion, and U.S. 13 Dragway in Delmar.

County drivers representing 75-80's Class I and where they finished in the point standings are: 4. Sev Tingle, Mount Airy; 6. Chuck Taylor, Westminster; 12. Bob Russell, Mount Airy; 13. Donnie Hess, Taneytown; 16. Bob Martin, Mount Airy.

In Class II, Carroll County drivers include 2. Chris Hruska, Mount Airy; 3. Corey Hess, Taneytown; 4. Mikey Kappes, Westminster; 5. Steve Dustin, Westminster; 6. Roger Jorss, Westminster; 10. Mike Stambaugh, Union Bridge; 13. Mark Graf, Sykesville; 16. Kevin Fournier, Mount Airy.

The Carroll County riders in the motorcycle class are: 1. Marvin Ford, Westminster; 2. Malcolm Ford, Manchester; 3. David Belt, Taneytown; 4. Marion Ford, Hampstead; 5. Gene Belt, Taneytown; 6. Mark Hoff, Westminster; 7. Tim Lippy, New Windsor.

Robert McCaw of Sykesville will be one of the riders representing Mason-Dixon Dragway in the motorcycle division. McCaw, who races in the American Motorcyclist Association Pro-Star national events in addition to local events, won his first national event two weekends ago at Atco Raceway in New Jersey -- putting him into the top 10 in points.

With two more national events in Columbus, Ohio, in October and Gainesville, Fla., in November, McCaw is in contention for the national championship. He attributes his improvement the last half of the season to Marion Ford of Hampstead, who installed a new rear-tire set-up on his bike.

Weekend results

At Mason-Dixon Dragway: Teresa West of Westminster was runner-up in the trophy class Sept. 21/22. Joe Mayne of Mount Airy was semifinalist in Class I. Mayne was also runner-up in Class I at 75-80. Russell Barefoot and Sev Tingle, both of Mount Airy were semi-finalists.

In Class II, Chris Hruska of Mount Airy and Corey Hess of Taneytown were quarter-finalists. Marvin Ford of Westminster and Gene Belt of Taneytown were finalists in the motorcycle division.

At Pittsburgh (Pa.) Motor Speedway: In late model racing, Gary Stuhler of Westminster finished fourth in the Pittsburgher 100. Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead was third at Winchester Speedway.

At Trail-Way Speedway: Steve Owings of Westminster won the micro-sprint feature over Westminster's Mike Stull. Jerry Parrish of Westminster was ninth. John McDonough of Finksburg was third in the 8-cylinder stock feature and Ryan Devilbiss of Westminster was seventh. Steve Pollard of Westminster was third in the street stock feature and Diz Dean of Millers won the Classic Cars feature.

Pub Date: 9/29/96

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