Fall time weather in the Midwest brings with it the impending end of the racing season. It also brings the last gathering for the Midwest nostalgia racers with the NDRL-IAM season finale at Beech Bend Raceway. The ET Genie Fall Finals, which is ran with the Good Guys Nostalgia Nationals is the last points race of the season for the NDRL traveling road show and the racers proved that they had saved the best for last as three of the four classes were still wide open to declare a champion.
Quick Fuel Technology PRO Gas had eight drivers still mathematically eligible to take the points lead away from Phil Stamps and they all took their shots at the top. Qualifying gave us a glimpse of what was to come when the top five in qualifying were all dead on the index with only four thousandths separating them.
Semi-final pairings had John Treesh pairing his beautiful Corvette up against James Hayes with Treesh taking the win moving him to the final round to take on Shawn Grant who advanced with a bye. The final had Treesh leaving first but the stripe had him going under his C/G index allowing Grant to take the win and leaving Phil Stamps still on top taking his first NDRL-IAM Championship.
Hot Heads PRO Comp drivers were just as hungry and it showed with Steve Morton rolling through the water to rip off an almost perfect lap running 1 over his index to land fifth as the top four drivers all ran dead on the index to lead the way into race day.
Semi-final pairings found Brett Edwards lined up with Morton and advancing to the final when Morton left red to meet up with Glenn Lever who advanced with a bye. The final was all Lever as he took the tree and cruised to the win. Gary Leever ended the day as the Hot Heads PRO Comp Champion.
Phenix Industries PRO 7.5 had its own share of championship drama as Bo Boles entered the race with a 2 point advantage over Kerry Millet. Boles proved that he was there to do work running right to the top of the ladder running dead 3 to take the point into race day. The Championship was decided quickly after a first round exit by Millet leaving Boles to celebrate although quickly as he was still trying to win the event.
Semi-final pairings had teammates Jarrod Bradshaw meeting Boles with Bradshaw chopping the tree and cruising to the win to meet Dave Shaffer who advanced with the bye. The final was over early as Shaffer shredded the blower belt off in the burnout and rolled off the track handing the win to Bradshaw who only had to stage to take his first NDRL win.
Ross Racing Engines PRO 7.0 racers had the same type of drama unfolding as last years champion Robbie Freels tied up with the Cory Millet for the championship coming into the event. Qualifying was led into race day with Sue Christopherson running dead 3 to take the point followed up by Billy Smith taking second running two thousandths over. Steve Knopp landed third after a late night trash to repair damage from the run before dragging Millet and Freels behind him. The championship battle ended early with Freels taking a first round exit and Millet continuing on to take his first NDRL-IAM championship.
Semi-final pairings rolled in with Smith advancing over Steve Walczak after he lit the big red bulb to meet Hall of Fame member Preston Davis who advanced over Millet. Smith turned on his own red bulb but Davis showed he was ready to do battle legging it down the track running a 6.99 to end the season with a strong lap and his first NDRL win.
Now we would like to thank all the racers and their families for choosing the NDRL to spend your summer with. It truly is a family sport and we are honored that you spend your time with us.
As always we would be nothing without all the partners that we have and the racers that support us. We would be nothing without all of you. Machinists Union (IAMAW), Quick Fuel Technology, ScottRods Custom HotRods & Fiberglass, ET Genie, Sexton Wilbert Corporation, Ross Racing Engines, Hot Heads Research, Phenix Industries, Freedom Racing Engines, Arias Pistons, Xs Power, Howards Cams, Saldana Racing Products, Competition Products, Shorty Rader Racing, Deist Safety, Renegade Racing Fuels, DJ Safety, Moser Engineering, Westside Motorcoach, Hoosier Gear.