By Charlie Brown, Delmar, DE – The U.S. 13 Dragway celebrated the 48th consecutive season for the fabled Sussex County quarter-mile Friday night at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. NHRA Division 1 qualifiers in the four Summit E.T. Racing Series divisions plus two Jr. Dragster classes were on hand to be honored for their performances during the past season.
Champions that were crowned for 2011 included: Vernon Russell and the team of Russell & Russell from Dover, Del. in Super Pro; Phillip Truitt of Parsonsburg, Md.; James Farmer of Denton, Md. in Pro Bike; Chelsea Williams of Seaford, Del. in Street Eliminator; Tyler Powell of Delmar, Md. in Jr. Dragster 1 and Paul Riddle, Jr. of Millsboro, Del. in Jr. Dragster 2.
Super Pro was extremely competitive again this season tying last year’s record of 18 different winners. Vernon Russell, veteran of four decades of drag racing, finished just outside the top 10 in 2010 but this season he piloted his ’81 Camaro to two wins and multiple late round finishes winning his first Super Pro championship with 653 points and earning $1300 in cash awards. Russell also posted two wins out of the five Bad 8 Full Body events. Former champion, Johnny Ennis of Pocomoke, Md. was the runner-up with 600 points and defending point champion, Ben Parks of Salisbury, Md. was third with 557 and also won the “King of the Track” title. Rounding out the top five were Jamie Russell (Vernon Russell’s son) of Dover with 555 points and Don Teague of Newark, Del. with 526.
The top 19 drivers in the division receiving trophies were: Bobby Insley of Salisbury 6th with 488; David Lowe of Salisbury 7th with 484; Vance Owens of Georgetown, Del. 8th with 467; Horace Willey of Bishopville, Md. and Bernie Pyles of Millersville, Md. tied for 9th with 461; Tim Hyde of Seaford 11th with 460; Sterling Clough of Marion, Md. 12th with 449; Keith Wildonger of Seaford 13th with 438; Larry Shorb of New Castle, Del. 14th with 430; Steven Truitt of Parsonsburg 15th with 421; Doug Sylvester of Laurel, Del. 16th with 404; W.R. Ketterman of Salisbury 17th with 401; Daryl Beauchamp of Princess Anne, Md. in 18th with 385 and Tim Sinclair of Princess Anne with 383 points. All drivers received trophies presented by Pepsi Bottling Ventures of Salisbury plus cash awards from the dragway.
Former Pro National Champion, Phillip Truitt successfully defended his Pro championship of 2010 to earn his fourth overall title. Truitt scored three wins during the year and his consistent performances easily topped the field with 820 points earning $950 from the point fund. For the second year in a row Ryan Groton of Salisbury chased Truitt to finish in second with 676 points and Tim Foskey of Rhodesdale, Md. finished third with 669 points. Rounding out the top five were Steve Long of Linthicum, Md. in fourth with 622 and Toya Peek of Houston, Del. fifth with 594.
Glenn Groton of Salisbury was 6th with 539; Ben Garnett of Smyrna, Del. 7th with 534; David Hornsby of Delmar 8th with 485; Buddy Layfield of Snow Hill, Md. 9th with 435; Justin Abbott of Greenwood and Jim Williams of Seaford tied for 10th with 421; Roger Ridgeway, Jr. of Dover 12th with 410; Jesse Long of Preston, Md. 13th with 375; Eddie Baker of Salisbury 14th with 367; andy Davenport of Seaford tied with Humphrey Maddox, Jr. of Princess Anne 15th with 348; John Donovan of Federalsburg, Md. in 17th with 341 and Vincent Wade of Eden, Md. in tied with Robin Lewers in 18th with 334. Drivers received trophies presented by the Cheswold Connection and point fund money from the dragway.
James Farmer rode away with his fifth Pro Bike point championship of his career with a dominating 10 wins and 749 points earning $450. Farmer also won the “Race of Champions” for Pro Bike during the NHRA Division 1 Bracket Finals. David Manuel of Pittsville, Md. was second with 400 points and John Bartikovich of Salisbury finished in third with 362. Rounding out the top six were D.J. Lockwood of Berlin, Md. fourth with 356, defending champion Charles Nock of Greenwood fifth with 334 and the team of Tony Mumford and Turon Davis of Berlin sixth with 306. Riders received trophies presented by Insinger Performance, Inc. and point fund money from the dragway.
With four time champion Crystal Hudson moving to Pro the Street Eliminator title was up for grabs in 2011. Chelsea Williams stepped up posting three wins in her Camaro and earning her first championship in the division with 731 points and earning $200 from the point fund. Dennis Davis of Seaford posted a personal best in second with 623 points and Chelsea’s brother Brad Williams of Seaford rounded out the top three with 619 points. Fourth went to Henry Osowiecki of Salisbury with 536, Josh Davis of Seaford finished fifth with 455 points and Rick Walker of Laurel sixth with 395. Drivers received trophies presented by Insinger Performance, Inc. and cash awards from the dragway.
The Jr. Dragster divisions produced two first time champions and awards were given to the top ten in each division. Taking the Jr. Dragster 1 title was Tyler Powell of Delmar, Md. with four wins on the season. Powell earned 560 points and $100 from the point fund. Second generation racer, Alex Bradford of Newark, Md. came home second with 445 points and Taylor Cox of Mardella Springs, Md. earned a personal best in third with 432. T.J. Williams of Fruitland, Md. finished fourth with 363 and Ryan Jackson of Newark, Md. was fifth with 317.
Rounding out the top ten were Alexis Truitt of Parsonsburg with 303, Jacob Bowie of Greensboro, Md. with 286, Brittany Hooper of Hurlock with 261, Anthony Pavone of Seaford with 256 and Michael Ennis of Delmar with 223. Drivers received trophies from C&P Full Service Center plus point money.
Jr. Dragster 2 was a tight point race to the end with second generation driver, Paul Riddle, Jr. posting four wins, taking the championship with 569 points and earning $100. Herby Sullivan of Ridgely, Md. made it a close point race finishing second with 544 points and Shelby Bireley of Salisbury rounded out the top three with 517. Fourth went to Cortney Cathell of Laurel with 512 and Katelyn Muir of Delmar, Md. rounded out the top five with 394.
Sixth through tenth were Christopher Kahler of Ocean View, Md. with 366, Kody Mariner of Salisbury with 330, Amy Jo Jackson of Newark, Md. with 312, Vance Price, Jr. of Vienna, Md. with 304 and Willow Gunter of Salisbury with 302. Drivers received trophies from C&P Full Service Center plus point money.
Josh Davis of Seaford received the High School Eliminator award. Awards were presented to Vicky Ennis and Frank Lecates for 20 years of service to the U.S. 13 Dragway. All champions received track champion jackets from Insinger Performance, Inc. and Sunoco Race Fuels, “gold cards” for free season admission in 2012 and necklaces.
Sponsors on the 2011 U.S. 13 Dragway Money Trail were recognized including: Delmarva NAPA Auto Parts; Pepsi; The Cheswold Ford Connection; Insinger Performance, Inc.; Harley Davidson of Seaford; Goodyear and Competition Tire East; C&P Full Service Center; Delmar Pizza; Delmarva Dodge Dealers and Summit E.T. Racing Series.
The 2012 season at the U.S. 13 Dragway will open on Sunday, February 26th with a Tune & Test Day.