--- Home Page
--- What's New
--- Features
--- Features
--- E-mail

The latest update as of November 7, 2021

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series - Division 7

After a test 'n tune day (Thursday) and two days of qualifying, eliminations got underway for the Top Alcohol cars late yesterday afternoon at the final regional event of the 2021 season at Las Vegas. Qualifying in the 17-car Top Alcohol Dragster field was intense, with the second quickest bump spot of the season (regionally) at 5.341, with the first two alternates in the 5.30's, followed by the next four cars in the 5.40's. Stout indeed. While the Funny Car field wasn't as large, at 10 entries, the bump spot was very quick at 5.635, and the first alternate was close behindf at 5.678 (Brian Hough).

First round eliminations featured a couple of upsets, first in the dragsters, as #2 in national points, Jackie Fricke, bowed out after leading the field in qualifying with a very stout 5.188 - 275.39 pass. She slowed just a little and fell to hard running west coaster Casey Grisel by a 5.247 to 5.269 margin. One other lower qualified car, #5's Joey Severance, advanceed over #4 Kim Parker, but they were separated by only two thousandths in qualifying, so his 5.247 to 5.307 win couldn't be called an upset. Other first round winners were Shawn Cowie and Karen Stalba, with Stalba holding lane choice over Cowie in the semifinals. The other second round race, between Severance and Grisel saw lane choice decided by less than half a mph as both racers clocked identical e.t.'s.

In Funny Car, all the higher qualified cars advanced to the semifinals, with newly crowned national champion Greg Bellemeur advancing on a holeshot win over Chris Marshall despite a 5.644 to 5.593 deficit on the scoreboards. With last year's champion (Doug Gordon) qualifying on the other side of the ladder, and advancing over Nick Januik 5.550 to 5.576, a possible meeting in the final between the two heaviest hitters in the class could be in offing. However, Gordon will have to get past the low e.t. runner of the first round, Terry Ruckman, who advanced with a 5.545 over an ever-improving Hunter Jones. The low qualifier, Annie Whiteley who made three consecutive 5.50 passes in qualifying, slowed to a 5.716 - 211.2 that was enough to stay in front of a late-leaving, and losing, Ray Martin.


The points earning capability ended for Joey Severance as he fell to Casey Grisel in the second round by a 5.325 to 6.270 margin, after Severance was forced to pedal to get his shaking tires under control. That locked him into #9 position in the final standings, tied for the lowest finish he's had in the past eight years. Grisel advanced to his second final of the year (he won in Phoenix in September) to face Karen Stalba. She got past Shawn Cowie in the semifinals when he redlighted - by a bunch (-0.143) - and handed her the easy win. Amazingly, it was Cowie's first redlight in competition since the Texas FallNationals in 2017. Stalba does hold lane choice over Grisel in the final.

In the Funny Car semis, the expected happened as both Greg Bellemeur and Doug Gordon advanced to meet yet again for an event title. Bellemeur took a fairly easy over Annie Whiteley as she was a full tenth of a second behind at the green, despite running within three hundredths (5.544 to 5.511) of Bellemeur. The other pairing saw Terry Ruckman leave first by a few thousandths, but fall off his 5.50 pace and slow to a 5.682 clocking that was no match for Gordon's 5.566 pass. Bellemeur earned lane choice for the finals, but at Las Vegas, it's rarely a factor late in the day, especially at this time of year.


The dragster final was over almost before it began as Karen Stalba developed a massive fuel leak at the end of the burnout and was shut off. Beneficiary of her dilemna, Casey Grisel happily soloed for his second regional event win of the season, laying down a very good 5.309 - 273.88 for the win. On the Funny Car side, it was another incredibly tight contest between the two best blown alcohol funny cars in the country. They left with almost identical reaction times, favouring Bellemeur over Gordon by ONE thousandth of a second and at the other end it was Sean Bellemeur taking the winlight with a THREE thousandths quicker e.t. over the oh-so-close effort of Doug Gordon. The total win margin was just .004 second, or less than two feet. An incredible finish to another great race between those two fierce competitors and good friends. Next stop for both teams: Pomona and the Auto Club NHRA Finals.