CLAY RICKETSON IS A DOUBLE WINNER AT LANCASTER
LANCASTER, N.Y. (September 15, 2018) – Clay Ricketson of East Aurora, N.Y. scored two class victories on Friday night at Lancaster National Dragway. Ricketson grabbed the win in McGard Mod ET and then took top honors in the special Heads-Up 7.50 Index class presented by Slim Stang Racing.
It was the next-to-last night of the season for the Franco’s Pizza Friday Night IHRA Drag Racing Program and drivers looking to go as many rounds as possible to score the maximum amount of points. Ricketson started the night second in McGard Mod ET points with teammate Dale Eckert as they trailed Jeff Kerl & Keith Banas by 50 points.
Ricketson’s final round matchup in Mod was almost a heads up race as he and his opponent Ben Haight had nearly identical dial-ins. He got a break when Haight broke out by one ten-thousandth (.0001) of a second to pick up his first win of the night.
The Heads-Up 7.50 Index class typically runs on Tuesday night, but was added to the Friday night program following the cancellation of the last Tuesday night program of the season. Ricketson met Keith Kraemer in the final, and once good fortune was on his side as Kraemer tripped the red light to hand the win to Ricketson.
Keith Cleveland of Cheektowaga, N.Y. became the 12th different winner of the year in Top ET. Cleveland held off Ken Babiak, Jr. in the finals to score the win. There has been only one repeat winner in Top this season with just one week remaining. Mike Swinarski scored his third win of the year in Top 8 Eliminator. Swinarski picked up the win after his opponent, Bill Bigham, broke out in the final round.
The TNT Super Series made their final visit of the season to Lancaster. Pat Boniferro of Niagara Falls, Ontario met veteran Mark Herbold in the finals of the 7.00 index class. Both drivers left the starting line with nearly identical reaction times, but at top end Herbold broke out by .007 seconds as Boniferro ran a 7.003 to get the win.
Mike Peters of Angola, N.Y. padded his Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds points lead with his second win in a row and fourth overall in 2018. Peters defeated Lucas Salemi for his fourth triumph of the season.
Mason Fix of Amherst, N.Y. clinched his third-straight track title in Tread City Tire Street with his fifth win of the season. Fix cemented his championship run with a four-race win streak that will continue into the final night of the season. He beat Daniel Knab in the final round to keep his unbeaten streak going.
The Franco’s Pizza Friday Night IHRA Drag Racing program is off next week as our team of 45 racers is headed to Keystone Raceway Park near Pittsburgh, PA for the IHRA Team Finals. Best of luck to Team Lancaster and Program Director Sharon Hughes as they show Division 3 no mercy at the Team Finals.
RESULTS (Driver, hometown, vehicle, reaction time, dial-in, elapsed time and top speed)
Winner: Keith Cleveland (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) 1970 Oldsmobile .522 7.08 7.140 seconds, 93.02 mph
Runner-up: Ken Babiak, Jr. (Elma, N.Y.) 1964 Chevrolet Nova II .513 5.87 5.948 seconds, 114.25 mph
Top 8 Eliminator
Winner: Mike Swinarski (Orchard Park, N.Y.) 2002 Chevrolet Camaro .555 5.26 5.268 seconds, 131.19 mph
Runner-up: Bill Bigham (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) Altered .516 5.75 5.746 seconds, 119.33 mph
McGard Mod ET
Winner: Clay Ricketson (E. Aurora, N.Y.) 1974 Dodge Dart .514 7.31 7.337 seconds, 90.51 mph
Runner-up: Ben Haight (Rochester, N.Y.) 1986 Chevrolet Camaro .557 7.29 7.289 seconds, 94.56 mph
Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds
Winner: Mike Peters (Angola, N.Y.) 1980 Kawasaki .503 5.63 5.650 seconds, 115.60 mph
Runner-up: Lucas Salemi (Clarence Center, N.Y.) Arctic Cat .558 6.58 6.566 seconds, 100.21 mph
Tread City Tire Street ET
Winner: Mason Fix (Amherst, N.Y.) 1966 Plymouth Fury III .549 8.86 8.874 seconds, 75.26 mph
Runner-up: Dan Knab (Elma, N.Y.) 2001 Saturn .509 11.82 11.804 seconds, 58.83 mph
Slim Stang Racing 7.50 Index Class
Winner: Clay Ricketson (E. Aurora, N.Y.) 1974 Dodge Dart .520 7.321 seconds, 92.60 mph
Runner-up: Keith Kraemer (Lockport, N.Y.) 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo .467 FOUL
TNT Super Series (7.00 Index)
Winner: Pat Boniferro (Niagara Falls, Ontario) 1967 Chevrolet Corvette .527 7.005 seconds, 109.27 mph
Runner-up: Mark Herbold (Elma, N.Y.) 1996 Chevrolet Corvette .520 6.993 seconds, 113.65 mph