LANCASTER, N.Y. (September 29, 2018) – Lancaster National Dragway put a wrap on its 2018 Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing season on Friday night. With the end of another successful season of straight-line racing, the track champions were crowned in all four weekly classes.

Dale Eckert of South Wales, N.Y. earned his second-straight Top ET track title. Eckert now has 12 track championships over the last 13 seasons with run of 10 Mod ET championships from 2006-2016. In McGard Mod ET, Jeff Kerl of Cheektowaga, N.Y. claimed fourth career class championship, and first since 2009. Mike Peters of Angola, N.Y. took top honors in Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds for the third year in a row. Second-generation driver, Mason Fix of Amherst, N.Y., had already sewn up his third Tread City Tire Street ET championship in a row heading into the final race of the season.

It was three-way race for the Top ET championship with Jan Winkowski leading both Eckert and Mike Swinarski by 10 points at the start of the event. Winkowski was eliminated in the first round paving the way for Eckert and Swinarski to take advantage. Swinarski did not get past the second round, while Eckert made it to the semi-finals to clinch his 13th championship.

Joe Passero of Stevensville, Ontario picked up the win in Top 8 Eliminator as he beat Carl Ettipio in a battle of rear engine dragsters. It was Passero’s first visit to Lancaster since 2014. He advanced to the Top ET final with a chance to go for his second win of the night, however, a late rain shower washed out that possibility. Passero and Dave Balser were the final cars remaining in competition.

Jeff Kerl came into the final for McGard Mod with a 40-point advantage over Ryan Ricketson. Ricketson needed to go four rounds to unseat Kerl, but he lost in the third round. Kerl went four rounds to lock up the championship.

The McGard Mod final came down to Keith Banas of Tonawanda, N.Y. and Guy Menard. Banas was able to drive by Menard to pick up his second win of the 2018 season.

Mike Peters had a comfortable 50-point lead over Vig Puglia in the race for the Bikes & Sleds crown. Peters clinched the championship with a win in the first round of eliminations. Puglia, however, managed to score his fourth win of the season as defeated Lucas Salemi in the final round. Peters and Puglia finished the season tied with four wins each.

Ken Wischman of Arcade, N.Y. won the final race of the season for Tread City Tire Street ET. Wischman snapped the five-race win streak of 2018 track champion Mason Fix. Wischman beat Scott Baron in the finals for his first win of the season.

Lancaster National Dragway would like to thank its staff and all competitors for a fantastic 2018 Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing season. LND is also proud of the accomplishments by Team Lancaster at the IHRA Team Finals last weekend at Keystone Raceway Park near Pittsburgh placing second overall in the team standings.

RESULTS (Driver, hometown, vehicle, reaction time, dial-in, elapsed time and top speed)

Top 8 Eliminator

Winner: Joe Passero (Stevensville, Ontario) Rear Engine Dragster .512 4.72 4.743 seconds, 139.91 mph

Runner-up: Carl Ettipio (N. Tonawanda, N.Y.) G-Force Dragster .563 5.25 5.272 seconds, 130.02 mph

McGard Mod ET

Winner: Keith Banas (Tonawanda, N.Y.) 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle .563 6.71 6.763 seconds, 92.56 mph

Runner-up: Guy Menard (Forestville, N.Y.) 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo .623 7.04 7.063 seconds, 95.34 mph

Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds

Winner: Vic Puglia (Tonawanda, N.Y.) 2005 ZX10R .532 5.47 5.487 seconds, 122.61 mph

Runner-up: Lucas Salemi (Clarence Center, N.Y.) Arctic Cat .535 6.65 6.671 seconds, 95.99 mph

Tread City Tire Street ET

Winner: Ken Wischman (Arcade, N.Y.) 1982 Chevrolet Caprice .530 9.50 9.477 seconds, 68.73 mph

Runner-up: Scott Baron (Lackawanna, N.Y.) Subaru .570 11.84 11.732 seconds, 61.74 mph

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