Words by Alex Owens and Photos by Kevin Pepera
Cover photo of two-time NHRA JEGS Super Quick Series Wally winner Jay Oakley launching hard at Kil-Kare Dragway.
After a short break in the middle of the season, the NHRA JEGS Super Quick Series roared back to life last weekend at Kil-Kare Dragway in Xenia, OH. Chamber of commerce weather was in store for the last remaining double event of the season. Qualifying points were on the line in for the Firecracker Performance Shootout which takes place at the last event of the year in Indianapolis, IN.
After two qualifying sessions, Troy Stone of Elkhart, IN wheeled his dragster to the number one qualifying spot with a 4.5062 second elapsed time at 151.36 mph on the eighth mile 4.50 index. The top five rounded out with Ken Storey, Scott Carman, Michael Brown and Scott Foster all running 4.5115 or quicker. Forty-seven racers attempted to make the field with the number thirty-two bump spot being a 4.5680, the quickest of the year!
Brian Hurst picked up the Spectra 1 and Legacy Fasteners Best Appearing Car award on Saturday. The Fairborn, OH native has a nice candy apple red paint scheme like all of the Hurst family cars have bannered over the years. Unfortunately, Hurst did not make the quick thirty-two car field on Saturday.
In the semis, reigning NHRA JEGS Super Quick Series Division champion Jeremiah Hall had the advantage on the tree 0.0079 to Darren Keener’s 0.0206. Even with the reaction time disadvantage, Keener was able to stay out in front of Hall by a slim 0.0004 second margin. The other pair slated Lester Adkins against Jay Oakley. Lester had the advantage at the tree 0.0155 to 0.0203 and held on for the win running 4.631 on his 4.62 dial in. Oakley was on the brakes following though.
Then the finals were set. Adkins dialed in at 4.62 and Keener a 4.51. Adkins had a strong 0.0027 reaction time to Keener’s 0.0283. Keener could not reel in Adkins whose win light was shining for the fifth time in eliminators on Saturday. This was Adkins first Super Quick win since the April 2018 event at Gateway.
On Sunday, one qualifier set the field in the NHRA JEGS Super Quick Series. This time, local boy Jake Smith was the Firecracker Performance number one qualifier running 4.5032 seconds on the 4.50 index. The rest of the top five included Ken Simpson, Michael Brown, Scott Foster and Darren Douglass all running 4.50x or better. Forty participants took the tree for their only qualifier with the bump ending up at a 4.6165 with one driver running faster than 4.50.
Darren Douglass was chosen as the Spectra 1 and Legacy Fasteners Best Appearing Car award on Sunday. His wild blue, purple, silver and yellow streaked paint scheme wraps around the dragster nicely. Douglass’ Ford powered digger made it to the third round before falling to Jake Smith’s 0.0166 second package.
In the semis, Keener returned trying to make it into back to back final rounds. His opponent, Scott Foster, was a few thousands behind Keener at the tree and a few more thousandths off the dial compared to Keener. Keener’s 0.0324 package was enough to put him in back to back final rounds. On the other side of the ladder, Jay Oakley faced off with Jake Smith. Two young guns in the sport would square off to see who makes it into the finals. Oakley left first with an 0.0145 reaction time to Smiths’ 0.0252. At the stripe Oakley was able to fend off the hard charging Smith by an 0.0109 second margin.
Finally, the last race of the weekend was decided. Keener who made it to the finals on Saturday, but came up short would face off against Oakley who is trying to secure his second NHRA JEGS Super Quick win in his freshman year. With only one hundredth of a second difference in dial ins, they would be looking at each other all the way down the track. In an anticlimactic final round, Keener bulbed by -0.0099 after Oakley was stellar with a 0.0045 reaction time. This win clinches the NHRA JEGS Super Quick Series championship for Jay Oakley and his family! Look for more information on our series champion in the following days.
There is still one more NHRA JEGS Super Quick event left in 2019! Come join us at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, IN on October 12th and 13th for the Fall Classic National Open to find out who makes the top five in points this season!