How do you follow up a season by winning at National Championship? Easy. You go out and win the next race. That’s what Grand Junction, Colorado native Jim Whiteley decided to do in is J & A Service YNot Racing Top Alcohol Dragster. Whiteley put down some great qualifying passes earlier in the weekend to secure the number 1 qualifying spot with a 5.25 at 273.27 MPH. Eliminatins began Saturday evening and continued on Sunday. Whiteley fought hard through his half of the bracket on his way to the finals where he found Chris Demke. The two had another classic battle in the finals similar to what happened through most of 2012. Whiteley came out on top with a 5.24 at 273.39 MPH to Demke’s 5.27 at 270.86 MPH. Both racers will have this weekend off before they begin their 2013 NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional schedule March 2-3 at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, AZ.
Two other Goodyear clad racers won in two other sportsman categories. Comp Eliminator racer Ross Wilson defeated Alan Ellis in a spectacular final. The other Goodyear winner was Phil Dion in Super Comp. Winternational Goodyear Runner-Ups included Jason Rupert in Top Alcohol Funny Car, Mike Cotton in Super Stock, and Pete Bothe in Super Gas.
The NHRA and Lucas Oil classes continue this weekend at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona with the Arizona National. The rest of the Lucas Oil Sportsman racers will arrive the following week when Firebird Raceway plays host to its second annual Double Divisional.
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