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(6-1-2017) Evansville, IN – 2017 is a continuation of 2016 for JB Strassweg and Mark McDonald at this very moment. JB Strassweg and Mark McDonald both won Wally’s in ’16, along with Top 5 Finishes in the Division and Mark finishing Top Ten in the World Championship. They both went into the weekend wanting to be JEGS All-Star Representatives for the North Central Division, little did they know that the process and the weekend would have additional obstacles, pressure and just unpredictable weather.
“At this point, everything that we overcame to be able to hold this Wally and say with conviction that I am a JEGS All-Star, is truly unbelievable. We sat in the rain, we ran late, we qualified great and we had a tragic event and in the end, here I am holding a Wally and a JEGS All-Star,” smiled Strassweg.
Strassweg qualified 8th with a 6.206 at 216 mph and then proceeded to begin a charge thru the field with solid reaction times and one of the quickest top dragster nitrous cars in the country became one of the most consistent ranging from an even quicker 6.16 to his qualifying 6.20 in the quarterfinals. Now, where was the tragedy that was mentioned?
“After winning the quarters against Waddle, in the shutdown area waiting to be towed back, when the parachutes from Chris Ray’s Dragster got caught around our wheelie bar, bent it up like a pretzel. At this point, it’s like are you kidding me? We hustled back, made parts call for anyone that might have a wheelie bar that could fit, of course, there isn’t. So we cut and weld up ours with help from Greg Cody (JEGS TEAM). Right back to 6.16 against Elrod and 6.18 in the final, I guess if you are going to hold the Wally, you have to overcome and we did!” exclaimed JB.
The journey for Top Sportsman JEGS All-Star status for Mark McDonald had a few pitfalls, however, nothing that was not doable, even if it was the witching hour and the last pair of Top Sportsman cars to go down the track to qualify. As Mark was not qualified after session number one and with 52 cars on the property.
“Really wasn’t a huge deal during the first qualifier, just had a small detail overlooked, we went back, corrected it and went to number 9 with a solid lap of 6.61 at 205, that is where OL’Blue likes to run,” stated McDonald.
It was not until the round early on Monday that sealed the deal for McDonald being a JEGS All-Star. McDonald needed one more round than Mick Synder (defending Division 3 Champ and Current Points Leader). McDonald had to wait overnight to see if he could check his block.
“My run with Curt was a tough one, Curt and his wife race like most of us do, husband and wife team. Curt was wheeling that Camaro good, I was able to have a hundredth difference at the stripe. Seeing that win light on was a big relief. It was not a great feeling turning it .001 red in the Semi’Finals, but heck, after the weather, the quickest field in Top Sportsman and being a JEGS All-Star, I will take it. Me and JB are going to double at one of these... Maybe at the ALL-Stars,” smiled McDonald.
Fast forward six days and Mark found himself in the final at the JEGS Sportsnationals at Beech Bend Raceway Park over the Memorial Day weekend. An event that brings in competition from the west coast and the deep south. Mark was able to make his way to the finals against one of the best in the wheeling anything in drag racing Racin Jason Lynch. Mark and Jason had a tough race with Jason coming out on top at the stripe.
"It was a great race, my light didn't come on, but it was a great points pickup and solid runs going into this swing of 4 races in a row. Hopefully, we are picking up our momentum," McDonald smiled.
JB and Mark want to personally thank all the great companies that support the journey, passion, ups and downs with the organization, without the support of VP Racing Fuels, Lucas Oil, Mickey Thompson Tires, Oakley Engine Performance, NGK Spark Plugs, K&N Filters, ATM Innovations, Simpson Race Products, Coolshirt Systems, Modern Supply, Racepak, Diamond Pistons, Trend Performance Products, Abruzzi Transmissions, Quick Fuel, NOS Systems, Braille Battery and Brodix.
The NHRA North Central Division moves on to Route 66 for the NHRA North Central Division Race, the first race for JEGS All Star Points for 2018. Catch all the action online with D3TV.
To learn more about NHRA North Central log onto or follow on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/
To watch on D3TV follow on, https://www.facebook.com/
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