SHRA Rocks Thunder Valley Raceway Park
July 16th, 2016 - Noble, Oklahoma
by SHRA Media
The Southwest Heritage Racing Association, presented by MalloryPrint.com, filled the pits at Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Noble, Oklahoma for the 2nd Annual Summer Nationals presented by Mears Mazda-Volvo. This marked the first appearance for the SHRA series at this historic drag strip located just south of Oklahoma City. Four classes were set for battle as Nostalgia Eliminator 1 - 2 - 3 and Nostalgia Super Stock teams got warmed up and ready for the first of two qualifying sessions. Weather conditions were hot and humid as crew chiefs and drivers made their final adjustments looking to hit their magic numbers.
- NOSTLAGIA ELIMINATOR 1 -
In the 4.65 index Nostalgia Eliminator 1 class, first time SHRA racer Scott Demaro wheeled his blown big block Chevy powered altered to the top spot with a 4.67 and had number two qualifier Tommy Drozd nipping at his heels with a 4.68 time slip. Andy Mears, Steve Dunkin and Clay Cunningham rounded out the top five of the eleven car field.
(L-R) Andy Mears - Scott Demaro
Demaro carried his top qualifying effort through round one and two to meet Andy Mears' "Dragon Slayer" 1957 Chevy Funny Car in the semi-finals. Both drivers were on their game at the starting line, but at the hit Demaro had problems and Mears blasted to a 4.69 at 145 mph to take the win and move into the finals. Clay Cunningham and the "Still Crazy Racing" blown Fiat team from Dumas, TX enjoyed a 4.63 at 148 mph bye run in the semi-finals after defeating Jason O'Neill and Tommy Drozd to join Mears in the NE 1 final round.
It was a powerhouse final round as defending series Champion Cunningham was set to take on the Lubbock, Texas based Mears, both packing several NE 1 event wins on their resume. At the drop of amber, Cunningham launched off the line with a stellar .003 reaction time and carried that lead to the stripe, tripping the clocks with a 4.67 at 138 mph to Mears' close 4.71 at 149 mph. It was a great side by side bout that resulted in Cunningham's first win of the season.
Despite a second round loss, Chris Graves took over the points lead in NE 1, but has no room for error as Richard Brady, Steve Dunkin, Carl Johnson and Jason O'Neill round out the top five and are separated by just twenty five points from the top. With four events remaining, the battle in NE 1 is heating up and should come down to the wire!
Clay Cunningham NE1 Winner
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