JET FUNNY CARS LIGHT UP DRAGWAY OPENING NIGHT
LANCASTER, N.Y. (May 26, 2018) – Any memories of the long, cold and wet Western New York winter were melted away on Friday night at Lancaster National Dragway as the 2018 Franco’s Pizza Friday Night Drag Racing program kicked off the 2018 regular season with the fire and fury of Al Hanna Racing’s Jet Funny Cars.
The First Strike Jet Funny Car of Rich Hanna of Middletown, CT edged the Top Secret: Eastern Raider jet car piloted by Ken Hall of Pottstown, PA in a pair of thrilling, side-by-side match races. Both jet cars torched Lancaster’s ⅛-mile dragstrip in just four seconds at speeds of 200 mph.
The weekly racers of LND’s of Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing program finally got their first taste of competitive racing with the weather-delayed first night of home track points. It was a fantastic opening day turnout with 150 competitors filling the pit area.
The Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series headlined the event with Mark Herbold of Elma, N.Y. picking up the win after Pete Maduri, Jr. ran under the 7.00 index in the final round.
Ann Marie Nugent of West Seneca, N.Y. had a successful debut with her new Chevrolet Camaro. Nugent’s maiden voyage in her new ride ended with a win in Top 8 Eliminator over veteran Mike Swinarski. In Top ET, Mark Talmadge of Williamson, N.Y. took the opening night honors after Jan Winkowski tripped the red light at the starting line.
McGard Mod ET came down to another chapter of the Ricketson family feud as Ryan Ricketson of Delevan, N.Y. edged brother Clay in the final round. In Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds, Brian Babiak of Elma narrowly defeated Mike Nearhoof to be the first two-wheeled winner of the year. Mason Fix of Amherst, N.Y. began his Tread City Tire Street track championship title defense with a victory on opening day. Fix drove past Timothy Markle in the final pairing to get his first win of 2018.
The action continues at Lancaster National Dragway this Friday (June 1) with the first appearance of the season by the Buffalo Street Outlaws plus a full slate of Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing. The postponed VIP Night will now be held on Friday, June 8 with all weekly classes in action.
RESULTS (Driver, hometown, vehicle, reaction time, dial-in, elapsed time and top speed)
Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series (7.00 Index)
Winner: Mark Herbold (Elma, N.Y.) 1996 Chevrolet Corvette .539 7.064 seconds, 117.51 mph
Runner-up: Pete Maduri, Jr. (N. Tonawanda, N.Y.) 1993 Chevrolet S-10 .549 6.992 seconds, 111.70 mph
Top 8 Eliminator
Winner: Ann Marie Nugent (W. Seneca, N.Y.) 1985 Chevrolet Camaro .514 5.95 6.008 seconds, 116.35 mph
Runner-up: Mike Swinarski (Orchard Park, N.Y.) 1955 Chevrolet .527 5.21 5.269 seconds, 129.32 mph
Winner: Mark Talmadge (Williamson, N.Y.) 1975 Chevrolet Vega .535 6.09 6.086 seconds, 112.49 mph
Runner-up: Jan Winkowski (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) 1972 Chevrolet Nova .498 FOUL
McGard Mod ET
Winner: Ryan Ricketson (Delevan, N.Y.) 1974 Dodge Dart .540 8.02 8.025 seconds, 84.08 mph
Runner-up: Clay Ricketson (E. Aurora, N.Y.) 1974 Dodge Dart .527 7.35 7.390 seconds, 91.63 mph
Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds
Winner: Brian Babiak (Elma, N.Y.) 2009 Kawasaki .539 5.60 5.631 seconds, 116.89 mph
Runner-up: MIke Nearhoof (Youngstown, N.Y.) 2006 Kawasaki .648 5.43 5.488 seconds, 123.05 mph
Tread City Tire Street ET
Winner: Mason Fix (Amherst, N.Y.) 2002 Chevrolet Camaro .577 9.26 9.362 seconds, 73.15 mph
Runner-up: Timothy Markle (Hilton, N.Y.) 1989 Pontiac Firebird .640 9.41 9.457 seconds, 74.12 mph