NHRA Sport Compact teams up with the D1 Grand Prix to put on one hell of a weekend event in Las Vegas. Let us tell you the heat was unbearable, with track temps over 140 degrees at some point. Even when the sunset and we shot into the late night it was still over 100 degrees!
LAS VEGAS - Matt Scranton became the leader in career wins of the NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series in the heat of Las Vegas at the Las Vegas NHRA Sport Compact Nationals and D1 Grand Prix at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Scranton who has been racing on the NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series since 2002 raced to his second win of the season by overcoming his opponent Gary White. White had taken the lead at the starting line and had it all the way own the strip, but his car suddenly started wiggling and Scranton with his Ride Revolution Toyota Solara drove past him to get his record 15th win.
Scranton drove to the finish line with a time of 6.91 seconds at 204.26 mph to White's 7.33 seconds at 159.06 mph.
"It's awesome," said Scranton. "We've had an up and down year, and made some bad choices like when I have red-lit. But, my brother (Crew chief Jay Scranton) has been right there all the time and he deserves a lot of the credit. It was great to have Gary Read from Toyota here to see this. It was a picture perfect weekend."
Other winners were Jason Hunt (Pro FWD), Paul Efantis (Modified), Ron Lummus (Hot Rod) and Jeremy Lookofsky (Honda Tuning All Motor).
Hunt continued his record setting year with another national speed record of 196.44 mph. Driving his Chevy Cobalt as a single in the final round, Hunt, who also was the No. 1 qualifier, was able to garner his second win of the year and his third career win. Despite being a single he still drove his car to a time of 7.72 seconds at 196.30 mph. Ed Bergenholtz had problems with his car after the semi-final round and could not bring his car to the staging lanes.
"We like to run Ed and always want a heads-up race," said Hunt. "We're glad we survived to get the win. This was my first time in Vegas and it was record setting-temps. Overall we have been doing what we wanted to do. Be consistent and go rounds. There is a still lot left in the season."
Efantis, in his Solara, was able to overcome the feeling of being an underdog to defeat the dominant Jorge Lazcano in the final. Efantis and Lazcano came to the line with lots of tension in the air, but when the time came to start racing Lazcano red-lit and Efantis automatically drove his Solara to his second win of the year. This is Efantis' 13th career win.
"The Little Dooeys Bar-B-Que was smoking hot today," Efantis said. "It was a good victory. This was the best feeling of all of them. I was the underdog to Lazcano. I switched lanes at the last minute because we had been driving the left lane all weekend, but I was lined-up to run the right. We thought why change now. I want to thank my team and all of my sponsors."
Ron Lummus, defending Hot Rod NHRA world champion, drove his Pontiac Sunfire to his fourth win in 2006 and twelfth career. He was able to defeat Stephanie Eggum who was looking for second win. She was not able to get her car off the starting line. Lummus drove is car to a finish of 8.41 seconds at 173.43 mph.
Lummus said of his win, "It feels good for the team to win. There's more to the win when you earn it. It feels better. These cars are so evenly matched. It was fun at this event. Even though I love drag racing the drifting crowd brought a whole lot to the event."
Lookofsky, driving his DVS Drag Cartel Civic, was able to increase his points lead in the Honda Tuning All Motor class with his win. He gathered his second win of the year by defeating Leslie Durst-Armendariz with a time of 10.03 seconds at 137.82 mph.
"This is so gnarly," said Lookofsky. "This weekend has been so unbelievable. Yesterday I had heat exhaustion which hindered my performance during qualifying. We did this all while missing one of our crew members James Lin. This had to be the hottest day. With the win we were able to increase our lead over the Clutchmasters team."
Due to late qualifying the results were not listed. The No. 1 qualifiers were Brad Personett (Pro RWD), Jason Hunt (Pro FWD), Jorge Lazcano ( Modified), Stephane Beauregard (Hot Rod), and Norris Prayoonto (Honda Tuning All Motor).
The telecast of the Las Vegas NHRA Sport Compact Nationals will be on Saturday, July 29 at 1 p.m. (ET) with a repeat telecast on Thursday, Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. (ET). The telecasts will air on ESPN2.
The next NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series event will be the second annual Palm Beach NHRA Sport Compact Nationals held on Aug. 19-20 at Moroso Motorsports Park in Jupiter, Fla.
LAS VEGAS -- Sunday's final results from the Fourth Annual Las Vegas NHRA Sport Compact Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race is the seventh of 11 in the $2.5 million NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Drag Racing Series.