TOP FUEL DRAGSTERS WOW THE NITRO NIGHT CROWD
LANCASTER, N.Y. (July 14, 2018) – A jam-packed crowd was on hand Friday night at Lancaster National Dragway for the annual Nitro Night of Fire. The crowd saw a pair of thrilling match races between the Top Fuel Dragsters of Todd Paton and Dom Lagana plus a battle between the nitrous-powered A-Fuel Dragster piloted by Chuck Getz and the supercharged “Moonshine Express” 1940 Ford of Gary Kraus.
The Top Fuelers of Paton and Lagana did not disappoint once again with both runs featuring side-by-side action for the length of the 1/8-mile dragstrip. Lagana took the first race with a 3.79 second run. For the second pass, Paton wanted to break the track speed and elapsed time records he set in 2016 (3.306 seconds, 233 mph). His determination nearly paid off as Paton nearly broke the ET record with a 3.399 second run at 211 mph. Lagana was also faster on his second run at 3.669 seconds.
There was also a full show of Franco’s Pizza Friday Night IHRA Drag Racing to go along with the Nitro Night festivities. The TNT Super Series was on hand for their second time in 2018. Veteran racer Billy Leber of Tonawanda, N.Y. picked up the TNT Series win over Jeff Sobczysnki in the final round as Sobczysnki ran under the 7.00 index.
Alex Noltee of Tonawanda, N.Y. earned his first win of the season in Top 8 Eliminator. Noltee defeated Scott Winkleman in the finals with a 5.624 second run at 124.61 mph. In Top ET, Michael Neri of Cheektowaga, N.Y. ran his 6.12 dial-in to beta Zell Gaymon in the final round for his first win of the year.
Joe Karosik of Depew, N.Y. picked up the win in McGard Mod ET over former Street champion Mason Fix. Karosik overcame nearly 1.5 seconds disadvantage on the starting tree to beat Fix. Mike Peters of Angola, N.Y. became the sixth different winner of the year in Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sales after Lucas Salemi tripped the red light in the final run.
For the second-straight week in Tread City Tire Street, “Fast Eddie” Semlitsch of W.Seneca, N.Y. went to victory lane. Semlitsch beat Marc Schifferle in a close race for his third Street win of 2018 and fourth win overall.
Next weekend features two days of racing action at Lancaster National Dragway. The Buffalo Street Outlaws are back on Friday night plus a special bonus night for Bikes & Sleds. Saturday, July 21 is Mopar Day at Lancaster hosted by the WNY Mopar Club. There will be a car show in the infield and drag racing with time trials starting at 11 a.m.
RESULTS (Driver, hometown, vehicle, reaction time, dial-in, elapsed time and top speed)
Top Fuel Dragster Match Race
Winner: Todd Paton (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) .478 3.399 seconds, 211.32 mph
Runner-up: Dom Lagana (Scarsdale, N.Y.) .476 3.669 seconds, 201.33 mph
TNT Super Series (7.00 Index)
Winner: Billy Leber (Tonawanda, N.Y.) 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle II .505 7.015 seconds, 104.58 mph
Runner-up: Jeff Sobczysnki (E. Aurora, N.Y.) 1967 Chevrolet Camaro .519 6.996 seconds, 107.69 mph
Top 8 Eliminator
Winner: Alex Noltee (Tonawanda, N.Y.) 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle .750 5.61 5.624 seconds, 124.61 mph
Runner-up: Scott Winkleman (Holley, N.Y.) Rear Engine Dragster Broke
Winner: Michael Neri (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) 1970 Chevrolet Nova .528 6.12 6.126 seconds, 111.42 mph
Runner-up: Zell Gaymon (Buffalo, N.Y) 1994 Chevrolet Lumina .529 5.58 5.590 seconds, 123.38 mph
McGard Mod ET
Winner: Joe Karosik (Depew, N.Y.) 1972 Chevrolet Nova .517 6.28 6.287 seconds, 107.90 mph
Runner-up: Mason Fix (Amherst, N.Y.) 1969 Dodge Dart .514 7.65 7.672 seconds, 82.37 mph
Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds
Winner: Mike Peters (Angola, N.Y.) 1980 Kawsaki 1200 .550 5.63 5.637 seconds, 121.99 mph
Runner-up: Lucas Salemi (Clarence Center, N.Y.) Arctic Cat .493 FOUL
Tread City Tire Street ET
Winner: Ed Semlitsch (W. Seneca, N.Y.) 1963 Chevrolet Nova .566 8.89 8.928 seconds, 73.91 mph
Runner-up: Marc Schifferle (Lancaster, N.Y.) 1978 Oldsmobile .627 9.00 8.990 seconds, 76.02 mph