CLASS RACER NATIONALS EQUALS SUCCESS

Words/Photos Phil Hutchison

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The race, the brainchild of Tim Fletcher and Class Racer president Ken Miele filled a void with the cancelation of the annual Mopar Express Lane Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

“Timothy Fletcher came up with this idea a few months back and I never thought it would come to reality,” Ken Miele said. “It was not about making money, it was about filling a void, a void left open when the Reading national event was canceled. I wanted racers to have a great place to race where they were appreciated, and they were the stars.”

Saturday’s Super Stock title went to Jeff Jewell in the family SS/CA Corvette over Brittany Boltz in her family’s GT/LA Firebird in a close race. Both drivers had nearly identical reaction times and at the stripe Jewell’s 9.42 on his 9.39 dial edged Boltz’s 10.562 on a 10.53. Earlier in eliminations Jewell defeated Lincoln Morehead driving Herbie Null’s Camaro and Dean Mowery’s Dodge as Boltz beat Larry Miller’s Barracuda and 2019 NED champ Steve Comella to make the finals.

Stock Eliminator on day one went to second-generation racer Bubba Linke driving his B/SA ’97 Camaro over the FS/A ’10 Mustang of Anthony Bongiovanni. Linke’s great 0.006 light was all he needed as Bongiovanni was forced to push his Ford under the index losing with a breaking out 8.777 on a 8.78 dial to Linke’s 10.216 on his 10.20 dial.

Earlier Linke took out Joe DeMarzo’s Nova and Thomas Fletcher’s Camaro as Bongiovanni defeated Carl Massafra’s Camaro and Jeff Longany’s Corvette.

Winning the Biondo 2nd chance title on Saturday was the J/SA Camaro of Bryan Valentine over the ageless J/SA Firebird of third generation racer Dylan Biondo.

Sunday dawned a bright and beautiful day compared with Saturday’s cloudy and cool conditions. That was until the rain moved in mid-afternoon.

The finalists were in the staging lanes and in a matter of minutes the winners of Day Two of the Class Racer Nationals would be decided. But Mother Nature intervened sending the racers back to their trailers. After looking at the weather radar it was decided to split the prize money between the remaining racers in Super Stock and Stock.

Splitting the Super Stock title were long time NED racer Jeff Tripp and second-generation racer Tim Fletcher. Stock Eliminator was shared by Katie Sepanek and D2 racer Jeff Longhany.

Super Stock finalist Jeff Tripp, who didn’t let his age stop him from cutting some great reaction times, defeated Sal Biondo in Phil Monteith’s Hatari Firebird and Kevin Clark’s high flying ’86 Buick to make the finals. Fletcher beat Kyle Kohr’s beautiful SS/IA Dodge in the semis and Carroll Morris’ ’71 Mustang in the quarterfinals.

In Stock Sepanek defeated Bunk Miller’s H/SA Camaro and D2 racer Greg Rowe’s K/SA Camaro to reach the finals. Longhany’s B/SA Corvette beat favorite Anthony Fetch driving the PC Richard and Sons G/SA Camaro and Ken Robinson’s E/SA Camaro to get to the money round.

Also garnering awards at the event were Raffe Karaguezian’ SS/LA Nova winning Best Appearing. Super Stock and Best Appearing Stock went to the two car team of father and son Pete and Shane Oaks. Best Engineered went to the SS/BM Mopar of Richard Kay.

After the race, promoter Ken Miele said, “Numidia was a perfect place to put this race on. You cannot ask for a more racer friendly track. The DiMino family was great to work with, so accommodating. All the racers that I talked to love this track. The race exceeded my expectations, it was a huge success. I was thanked so many times. I was so humbled, but did not deserve the thanks, it was my crew and the DiMino family that deserves all the credit, I just put the Class Racer name on it.”