Drivers representing five different countries and 18 states earned the right to compete for $500,000 in bonuses next month when the American Drag Racing League’s Battle for the Belts comes to Steve Earwood’s Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina.
Eight drivers in each ADRL category qualified for the special all-star event that will be contested on Friday, Sept. 6, the day before the start of Dragstock X, the oldest and most successful event in ADRL history.
Those qualifiers include Raymond Matos of Toa Alta, Puerto Rico (above), Adam Flamholc of Malmoe, Sweden, Terry Schweigert of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, and Trevor Eman of Pos Chiquito, Aruba, as well as home-state veterans Rickie Smith, Elijah Morton, Jason Harris and Kevin Mullins.
This year’s Battle for the Belts has earmarked $50,000 each for the winners in Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous and Extreme Pro Stock and $20,000 for champions in Pro Mod, Pro Extreme Motorcycle and Pro Drag Radial.
In addition to North Carolina, drivers from Texas, West Virginia, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, Mississippi, Montana, Alabama, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Maryland, Iowa, Georgia, Louisiana and Missouri won the right to race for the biggest prizes in the series.
The vehicles participating in the Battle for the Belts are as diverse as the drivers, ranging from the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda driven by Pro Modified points leader Matos to the 1955 Chevy Nomad of Pro Extreme leader Joey Martin of Milton, Fla., to the 2014 Chevy Camaro of Extreme Pro Stock contender Pete Berner of Crete, Ill.
Steve Jackson of Martinez, Ga., will be the star of one of the most interesting subplots in the Battle for the Belts as he tries to become the first driver to win belts in two different categories. He will be the No. 1 seed in the Pro Nitrous class and was the No. 2 finisher in Pro Drag Radial.
(Photos by Ian Tocher; Click to enlarge)
Qualifiers for the ADRL’s Battle for the Belts, a $500,000 bonus race to be contested on Friday, Sept. 6 at Rockingham Dragway in advance of Dragstock X:
1. Joey Martin, Milton, Fla., 1955 Chevy Nomad, 1,904; 2. Alex Hossler, Canton, Ill., 1969 Camaro, 1,795; 3. Tommy D’Aprile, Port Charlotte, Fla., 2005 Corvette, 1,688; 4. Von Smith, Oak Ridge, Tenn., 1969 Camaro, 1,624; 5. Mick Snyder, Demotte, Ind., 1963 Corvette,1,506; 6. Jason Scruggs, Saltillo, Miss., 1963 Corvette, 1,425; 7. Tie, Brandon Snider, Atmore, Ala., 1963 Corvette, and Bubba Stanton, Potts Camp, Miss., 1969 Camaro, 1,310 each.
1. Steve Jackson, Martinez, Ga., 1968 Camaro, 2,040; 2. Mike Castellana, Muttontown, N.Y., 2012 Camaro, 1,516; 3. Jim Laurita, Morgantown, West Va., 1968 Camaro, 1,022; 4. John Camp, Cannonsburg, Pa., 1968 Camaro, 935; 5. Tie, Pat Stoken, Eureka, Montana, 1969 Camaro, and Jason Harris, Pittsboro, N.C., 1968 Firebird, 886 each; 7. John Hall, Coral Springs, Fla., 1968 Camaro, 885; 8. Tommy Franklin, Fredericksburg, Va., 1969 Camaro, 858.
EXTREME PRO STOCK
1. Elijah Morton, Jacksonville, N.C., 2012 Mustang, 1,607; 2. John Montecalvo, Center Moriches, N.Y., 2008 Cobalt, 1,516; 3. Pete Berner, Crete, Ill., 2014 Camaro, 1,431; 4. Scott Hintz, Odessa, Texas, 2013 Mustang, 1,170; 5. Trevor Eman, Pos Chiquito, Aruba, 2011 Mustang, 1,386; 6. John Deflorian Jr., Arnold, Mo., 2012 Camaro, 1,281; 7. John Pluchino, Commack, N.Y., 2006 Ford Escort, 1,213; 8. Doug Kirk, Lenore, West Va., 2014 Ford Mustang, 1,062.
1. Raymond Matos, Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, 1970 Barracuda, 1,420; 2. Travis Harvey, Elon, N.C., 1968 Camaro, 1,387; 3. Adam Flamholc, Malmoe, Sweden, 1967 Camaro, 1,319; 4. Rickie Smith, King, N.C., 2013 Camaro, 1,293; 5. Jimmy Keen, Parrish, Fla, 1963 Corvette, 1,290; 6. Kevin Rivenbark, Wallace, N.C., 2002 Firebird, 1090; 7. Dan Stevenson, Bolingbrook, Ill., 2013 Camaro, 732; 8. Larry Higginbotham, Mineral Ridge, Ohio, 1957 Chevy Bel Air, 674.
PRO EXTREME MOTORCYCLE
1. Eric McKinney, Hammersville, Ohio, 2,638; 2. Ashley Owens, Decatur, Ala., 1,637; 3. Dave Norris, Bryans Road, Md., 1,624; 4. , 1,533; 5. Travis Davis, Douglas, Ga., 948; 6. Brunson Grothus, Davenport, Iowa, 869; 7. Ronald Procopio, Wake Forest, N.C., 849; 8. Charlie Prophit, West Monroe, La., 757.
PRO DRAG RADIAL
1. Mark Micke, Jefferson City, Mo., 1978 Chevrolet Malibu, 817; 2. Steve Jackson, Martinez, Ga., 1993 Ford Mustang, 656; 3. Kevin Mullins, High Point, N.C., 1997 Ford Mustang; 4. Kenny Hubbard, Montgomery, Texas, 2002 Chevrolet Camaro, 563; 5. Jason Michalak, Cypress, Texas, 2002 Chevrolet Camaro, 539; 6. Frank Mewshaw, Palm City, Fla., 1988 Pontiac Trans Am, 474; 7. Paul Major, Ft. Salonga, N.Y., 2001 Chevrolet Corvette, 463; 8. Mark Woodruff, Arnold, Mo., 1967 Chevrolet Corvette, 411.