Taking place in the heat of the desert, the NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series hit The Strip at the Las Vegas Speedway. It was an exciting drag event with lots of hot times and dangerously high winds. The race is the ninth of 11 in the $2.1 million Series.
The most notable win of the weekend went to Brad Personett, the 2004 NHRA Sport Compact Rookie of the Year, who raced his Titan Motorsports Scion to his second consecutive victory. This lands him in fourth place overall in the points standing. Presonett lucked out with a bye run in the first round and went on to defeat Matt Hartford in the semifinals, which is no easy feat. Piloting the Supra engine in a Scion tC shell, he pulled an astounding 6.558 at 216.31 mph in the finals against Ed Marx (replacing Vince Fourcade) who had to back off due to his Celica nearing the wall. Like we said, it was hella windy out.
Ed Bergenholz continued to dominate Pro FWD with his fourth victory and seventh final round appearance of the season. His Mazda6 clocked a 8.089 at 158.67, defeating Texan, Marty Ladwig whose Chevy Cobalt didn't show. In the Modified class Justin Humphreys posted his second win of the season when his finals opponent, Ali Afshar and his Subaru failed to make the call. Humphreys had no competition this race, running unopposed in the semifinals and having pulled a 7.946 at 171.90 in a qualifying round. That's 1.2 seconds quicker than the next fastest qualifier, Tom Shambaugh, who posted a 9.191 at 144.01 in his Cavalier.
In our favorite class, the Turbo Magazine Hot Rod group, Ron Lummus helped Garrett Turbos continue to build their sport compact racing creditability when he set a national record of 7.826 at 184.57 mph in the final round against Mike Crawford's Dodge SRT-4 (which broke at the line). Piloting the Garrett Pontiac Sunfire, it is Lummus' fourth victory of the season and his eighth final round appearance.
Finally, Jeremey Lookofsky put down his first career win in the Honda Tuning Magazine All Motor class by running a 10.21 at 132.91 in the ever-so-stylish DVS shoes sponsored Honda Civic. Home state boy, Bubba Ocdneda, his final round opponent, had the misfortune of having his Honda CRX break, costing him the victory. Ever the friendly racer, Lookofsky conversed with fans in between rounds, signed posters and handed out free RockStar energy drinks and trucker hats.
Also running The Strip there were loads of Sportsman classes, bracket racing and grudge matches. Representing for the ladies was Julie Stepan who took her WRX to a win with 9.786 at 141.76 courtesy of some Easy Street modifications. With this time she would have been competitive in the Modified class where everyone was posting 9's, unable to keep up with Humphrey's 7-second runs.
Beyond the racing, NHRA knows how to keep attendees entertained. They held a bikini contest, car show, and sound competition. Next up for the NHRA Xplod Compact Racing Series is the Fall Nationals in Englishtown, New Jersey. For more information, check out www.nhrasportcompact.com.