TOP DRAGSTER and TOP SPORTSMAN – Career points meet win No. 15 was scored by Mike Coughlin in his Top Dragster, and two Division 3 racers appeared in the Top Sportsman semifinals to conclude the rain-shortened Aug. 31 eliminations from the Bowling Green LODRS event that were run Sept. 24 at World Wide Technology Raceway during the season-ending doubleheader Sept. 24-27.
In T/D, which is sponsored by Oakley Motorsports Competition Engines and Diamond Pistons, Coughlin, in his 2017 Dan Page dragster, faced J.B. Strassweg in his 2020 Miller rail. He triggered a .499 red light and slowed to a 15-second pass. Coughlin, who had a .021 light, eased off to a 7.533 at 119.49 on his 6.10 dial.
Coughlin, who qualified No. 1 with a 6.108 at 224.77, had the round-one bye and then sped past Phillip Oakley and John Biagi. Al Peavler, the No. 3 qualifier behind Strassweg, went .009 red against Coughlin in the semis after scoring wins against Tim Paap and Patty Fisher before a bye in round three.
The other semifinal match-up was Strassweg versus Danny Nelson. Strassweg left with a .007 light and turned a 6.131 at 211.69 on a 6.11 dial for the win. Nelson lost by breaking out by .006 on his 6.10 dial at 232.59. He was .019 at the hit.
Strassweg took out Shaunda Ruckman of D7 in round three after defeating Tom Elliott of D3 in the first round and having a round-two bye. Nelson, driving a car he built, knocked out D3 racers Ken Storey and Karma Hopper in the first two rounds before winning over J.R. Baxter of D4 in the third round.
Thoman and Simmons Go Out in Semifinals of T/S
In T/S, also sponsored by Oakley and Diamond, the Wally was presented to Jim Thorp of D4 in his 2019 Camaro after beating fellow D4 racer Robert Irby in a 2018 Camaro. Thorp, running on a 6.42 dial, cut a .020 light and was .007 over to put away Irby’s .023 light and 6.956 on a 6.91 dial.
In the semis, Thorp defeated Billy Thoman of D3 in his 1963 Corvette, which turned a 6.613 at 207.37 on a 6.55 dial after a .026 light. Thorp was .008 off the line, and his Camaro crossed the finish line at 6.431 at 223.39 on a 6.36 dial.
Will Simmons of D3 in his 2004 Grand Am lost in the semis to Irby, who turned a 6.952 at 186.28 on a 6.95 dial after a .011 light. Simmons was better at the green with a .005 but fell short with a 6.783 at 205.13 on a 6.71 dial.
Simmons beat Mike Morehead of D4 in round three, Jonathan Smiddy of D3 in the second round, and Tyler Caheely of D2 in the first round. Thoman defeated three fellow D3 drivers – Jeremy Jensen, Rodney Benson, and Curt Fredrich.
A 6.245 at 233.76 put Lester Johnson of D3 at the top of the qualifying sheet. He was followed by Jimmy Fallon of D3 in second, Thorp in third, D3 racer Bob Mandell III in fourth, and Thoman in fifth.