LANCASTER, N.Y. (August 31, 2019) – Vic Puglia of Amherst, N.Y. reset the Lancaster Dragway record books while en route to winning the Supercharged Bounty Hunter Pro Modified vs. Dragster Shootout on Friday night at New York International Raceway Park. Puglia set a new track for fastest run by a Top Dragster with an elapsed time of 3.92 seconds at 186.89 mph.
Weekly IHRA Drag Racing winners included Mike Mallare of Tonawanda, N.Y. in Mallare Trucking Top ET. Bill Bigham of Niagara Falls scores his third win in Top 8 Eliminator. Brittany Balser of Cheektowaga, N.Y. earned her first career win in Gianna Mazia’s Mod. In Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds, Mike Peters of Angola, N.Y. picked up his fourth win of 2019. Mark Santucci II of Lancaster won Tread City Tire Street.
The Supercharged Bounty Hunters put a unique twist on their final appearance of 2019 at Lancaster as four top Pro Modifieds from the region went up against four of the best rear engine dragsters. Early in the event Vig Puglia blistered the track record for fastest pass by a Top Dragster with a sub 4-second run at nearly 200 mph.
Puglia advanced to the finals where he went up against Jack Grainy’s Pro Modified Camaro. Grainy got off the starting line first, but Puglia cruised past him in another run of less than four seconds to win the Pro Mod/Dragster Shootout.
Former multi-time winner Frank Malvaso had a scary crash during the second round qualifying when his car hooked left just past the 60’ mark. The car collided with the wall on the opposite of the track, which knocked it on its side. Malvaso’s car spun around on its side before landing back on all four wheels. Malvaso walked away without any major injuries.
Bill Bigham attempted to do the Top 8/Mallare Truck Top ET double on Friday night. Bigham picked up his third win of the season Top 8 when his opponent, Ray Agro, Jr., red lighted in the final round. He was then inserted into the Top ET bracket where he went the distance to the finals again. This time, however, it was Bigham leaving the line too soon, which gave Mike Mallare the victory in Top ET.
In Gianni Mazia’s Mod, Brittany Balser scored her first career win in the class. Balser went up against multi-time track champion Andy Mikula in the final round of Mod. Both cars broke out with Balser running closer to her dial-in to score the victory.
Mike Peters and Lucas Salemi met for third time this season in the finals of Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & SledS. The duo had already combined for eight wins in the class this season before squaring off on Friday night. Salemi tripped the red light to give Peters his fourth win of 2019, and his first head-to-head final round win over Salemi.
In Tread City Tire Street, Mark Santucci II picked up his first win of the season as he defeated Deanna Winkowski in the finals. Winkowski had over a three second head start, but Santucci caught her at top end for the win.
The first week of September is a busy one for Lancaster Dragway. This Tuesday is the 30th annual Race of Champions that is open to all 2019 race winners and any former track champions. Friday, September 6 is Ryan Thurnerr Memorial Night with extra money in all classes from the Thurnherr family to honor the memory of Ryan who passed away last October. It is also the rescheduled Gianni Mazia’s Mod bonus night with an extra $500 up for grabs courtesy of Paul Cambria.
RESULTS (Driver, hometown, vehicle, reaction time, dial-in, elapsed time and top speed)
Supercharged Bounty Hunter – Pro Mod vs. Dragster Shootout
Winner: Vic Puglia (Amherst, N.Y.) 2002 RE Dragster .494 3.931 seconds, 186.64mph
Runner-up: Jack Grainy (Basom, N.Y.) 1968 Chevrolet Camaro .478 4.386 seconds, 139.73 mph
Mallare Trucking Top ET
Winner: Mike Mallare (Tonawanda, N.Y.) 1927 Ford .525 5.25 6.566 seconds, 70.84 mph
Runner-up: Bill Bigham (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) 1923 Ford T-Bucket .493 FOUL
Top 8 Eliminator
Winner: Bill Bigham (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) 1923 Ford T-Bucket .533 5.69 5.710 seconds, 117.48 mph
Runner-up: Ray Agro, Jr. (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) 1932 Bantam .484 FOUL
Gianni Mazia’s Mod ET
Winner: Brittany Balser (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) 1964 Plymouth Belvedere .515 6.72 6.718 seconds, 99.37 mph
Runner-up: Andy Mikula (Lancaster, N.Y.) 1998 Pontiac Firebird .553 6.62 6.617 seconds, 98.03 mph
Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds
Winner: Mike Peters (Angola, N.Y.) 1980 Kawsaki .572 5.50 5.541 seconds, 124.69 mph
Runner-up: Lucas Salemi (Clarence Center, N.Y.) Arctic Cat .479 FOUL
Tread City Tire Street ET
Winner: Mark Santucci II (Lancaster, N.Y.) 1980 Ford Thunderbird .546 8.61 8.652 seconds, 76.79 mph
Runner-up: Deanna Winkowski (Depew, N.Y.) 2001 Saturn .681 11.84 11.874 seconds, 58.87 mph