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The latest update as of February 26, 2023

Western Regional - Wild Horse Motorsports Park - Phoenix, AZ

All that remained for the Top Alcohol cars today was to run the final rounds of eliminations. First up was the Top Alcohol Funny Car final. The odds certainly favoured the reigning World Champion Doug Gordon over the worthy challenger from Alaska, Ray Martin. However, the old cliche about "races are run on the track, NOT on paper" rang true again. Martin left first and finished first, as Gordon smoked the tires right off the starting line and limped to a 7.658 - 139.13 pass. Martin, meanwhile, made another consistent 5.50 run, stopping the timers at 5.552 - 259.31 for the victory. That was his 9th Regional or Divisional victory and the first since Sonoma in October of 2020.

Could lightning strike twice in two final rounds? Despite having the quickest and fastest car all weekend, and holding lane choice by more than five hundredths, Shawn Cowie had to be cognizant of what happened to Doug Gordon in the same lane, just a few minutes earlier. As expected, Joey Severance left first, but by less than two hundredths (.018 to .035), and stretched his lead by the 60' mark, but then it all fell apart for the Oregon team as something broke in the driveline, leaving him to coast down the track to an 11-second loss.

Cowie motored away with another very quick pass at 5.244 and a booming top speed of the meet at 280.43 mph. The speed was a new track record for a blown alky car and the event win was his 36th on the regional-divisional trail over the years. It was a great way to finish his first race of the season and gave him a leg up on what the Mundie's Towing team hopes is a rebounding year after their disappointing fourth place finish in 2022. Next up for both teams will be the Winternationals at the end of March, followed by back-to-back races at Las Vegas in April. Let the battle(s) begin.