Craig Bourgeois and Marco Abruzzi clinched NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series National Championships, and Janette Thornley scored the NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series National Championship at this weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Short Line Express Gambler Shootout at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Bourgeois had a late-season run that included four wins and a pair of runner ups in his last six events to earn the Lucas Oil Comp Eliminator National Championship. The Metairie, La., racer came into the weekend with a 22-point lead over Arnie Martel, the only driver that could catch him.
Both drivers marched through eliminations, with Martel needing to win the event to overtake Bourgeois. Martel lost in the semifinals, with Bourgeois advancing to yet another final round. Bourgeois had six wins on the year, including national event wins in St. Louis, Dallas and Las Vegas.
In Top Dragster, Abruzzi came into the event being chased by Matt Driskell and Jesse Adams, who dropped out early, ending their championship hopes. J.R. Baxter also had an outside shot at the title, but needed to win the event.
Again, both drivers worked their way through the field and into the late rounds of eliminations before losing in the semifinals, locking up the championship for Abruzzi. Abruzzi, of Warren, Ohio, had a pair of wins in four final rounds in his championship run, including the national event in St. Louis and the divisional event in Norwalk, Ohio.
In the NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series, Tommy Grimes had already locked up his national championship in Top Fuel Harley with five wins prior to Las Vegas, the last event in the Harley-Davidson Series. In the Pro Fuel Harley class, it was Janette Thornley trailing points leader Dennis Fisher by just five points coming into the weekend.
Thornley went out and ran 172.81 mph for the win in round one, then watched Fisher lose to David Larson, giving her the championship. Thornley, of Statesville, N.C., advanced to the final round before losing to teammate and last year's Pro Fuel Champion Johnny Vickers. Thornley took home four event wins during the year to go along with the season championship.
The remaining NHRA Lucas Oil Series National Championships will be decided this weekend at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif. Reigning Top Alcohol Dragster champion Chris Demke hopes to hold off Joey Severance, who would need to reach the final round to overtake Demke.
In Top Alcohol Funny Car, Jonnie Lindberg leads Annie Whiteley by a single point, with John Lombardo Jr. and Doug Gordon still in the fight as well.
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER
4) Duane Shields, Boulder City, Nev., 5.342, 271.24 def. 5) Joey Severance, Woodburn, Ore., 5.762, 207.18; 2) Bill Litton, La Jolla, Calif., 7.921, 242.84 def. 7) Johnny Ahten, Santa Clarita, Calif., 8.401, 166.79; 3) Michael Manners, Willis, Texas, 13.088, 71.76 def. 6) Dan Mercier, LaPrairie, Quebec, foul; 8) Shawn Cowie, Surrey, B.C., 5.339, 265.74 def. 1) Chris Demke, Tujunga, Calif., 5.398, 265.38.
Litton, 5.369, 267.96 def. Manners, 6.118, 256.89; Cowie, 5.362, 267.06 def. Shields, 5.343, 270.75.
Cowie, 5.352, 270.59 def. Litton, 5.432, 266.32.
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR
2) Annie Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., '15 Camaro, 5.511, 262.28 def. 7) Ulf Leanders, Viksjofors, Sweden, '10 Monte Carlo, 6.269, 216.93; 4) Shane Westerfield, Anaheim, Calif., '11 Monte Carlo, 5.589, 257.73 def. 5) Nick Januik, Las Vegas, Nev., '09 Monte Carlo, 5.681, 248.25; 6) Terry Ruckman, Grand Junction, Colo., '11 Monte Carlo, 6.110, 253.75 def. 3) Brian Hough, Junction City, Ore., '15 Camaro, 11.745, 80.52; 1) John Lombardo Jr., Brea, Calif., '15 Camaro, 5.545, 268.06 def. 8) Jay Payne, Claremont, Calif., '14 Camaro, foul.
Ruckman, 5.698, 255.24 def. Whiteley, 5.795, 256.50; Lombardo Jr., 5.523, 269.19 def. Westerfield, foul.
Lombardo Jr., 5.474, 269.35 def. Ruckman, 5.821, 250.46.
Todd Frantz, Louisville, Ky., '08 G5, D/SMA, 23.954, 48.06 def. Craig Bourgeois, Metarie, La., dragster, B/ND, broke.
Tom Nolan, Lacombe, Alb., '09 G5, GT/BA, 9.473, 139.37 def. Jody Lang, Puyallup, Wash., '81 Malibu, GT/KA, 11.069, 117.39.
Darrel Goheen, Hays, Kan., '70 Nova, D/SA, 11.006, 117.95 def. Joe Santangelo, Marlborough, Conn., '70 Camaro, E/SA, 11.121, 114.95.
Jason Kenny, Kutztown, Pa., dragster, 25.696, 55.86 def. Keith Winters, Las Vegas, Nev., dragster, 10.309, 114.26.
Tommy Phillips, Forney, Texas, '68 Camaro, 10.166, 140.47 def. Dennis Hay, Golden, Colo., '85 Corvette, 12.622, 87.45.
John Dexter, Morrison, Colo., '68 Camaro, 11.039, 141.68 def. Matt Blodgett, Long Beach, Calif., '72 Vega, 11.038, 133.79.
SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE PRESENTED BY HARLEY-DAVIDSON
Mike Burkhart, Huntington Beach, Calif., '97 Suzuki, 8.121, 160.50 def. Augustine Herrera, Montebello, Calif., '05 Suzuki, 8.482, 154.53.
Todd Piper, Wamego, Kan., dragster, 7.297, 173.36 def. Michael Kile, Westlake, La., dragster, 6.473, 208.55.
Jake Neibauer, Billings, Mont., '63 Corvette, 7.031, 191.19 def. Jeff Gillette, Benicia, Calif., '06 GTO, 7.032, 196.82.
TOP FUEL HARLEY
Rickey House, Humble, Texas, '14 VTS, 6.369, 227.00 def. Len Darnell, Vancover, Wash., '01 Harley, 6.504, 192.06.
PRO FUEL HARLEY
Johnny Vickers, Millers Creek, N.C., '14 Hawaya, 7.259, 170.95 def. Janette Thornley, Statesville, N.C., '15 HRP, 7.497, 174.03.
PRO GAS HARLEY
Lance Bonham, Sunnyvale, Calif., '96 Kosman, 8.717, 147.75 def. John Toth, Charleroi, Pa., '02 HD, 9.447, 149.36.
DRAGGIN BAGGER HARLEY
Darrell Schwalbach, Omaha, Neb., '06 Road Glide, 11.159, 119.39 def. Shawn Gann, Stoneville, N.C., '12 Harley, 18.664, 35.61.
HOT STREET HARLEY
John Toth, Twilight, Pa., '12 H-D, 9.927, 132.83 def. Augustine Herrera, Montebollo, Calif., '08 V-Rod, 10.341, 131.88.
STREET PRO HARLEY
Donnie Doubleday, Superior, Colo., '04 Harley, 9.176, 146.62 def. Greg Baugh, Hopwood, Pa., '00 Road King, 9.360, 144.53.
SCREAMIN' EAGLE PERFORMANCE HARLEY
Roberta Seaman, Emporia, Kan., '97 Buell, 10.659, 123.05 def. Alex Smith, Kuna, Idaho, '07 Destroyer, 10.573, 122.59.
TOP QUALIFIER SHOOTOUT RUNOFF
Ed Olpin, Pleasant Grove, Utah, dragster, 7.961, 123.71 def. Rodger Comstock, Bradbury, Calif., dragster, foul.
TOP QUALIFIER DRAGSTER SHOOTOUT
Rodger Comstock, Bradbury, Calif., dragster, 7.038, 187.73 def. David Morgan, Concord, Calif., dragster, 7.136, 191.57.
TOP QUALIFIER SPORTSMAN SHOOTOUT
Ed Olpin, Pleasant Grove, Utah, '68 Camaro, 7.118, 183.42 def. Mera Silvia, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., '04 Cavalier, 7.402, 184.65.