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Mid-West Drag Racing Series Crowns Two Sets of Winners in St. Louis Amid Points Shake-Ups

The Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Drag Racing Series completed a double-event at World Wide Technology Raceway, shaking up the Championship points.

After a destructive wind and rainstorm invaded the track just outside of St. Louis on July 1st, the MWDRS returned to sunny skies and somewhat cooler temperatures on August 18-19. The “Back to School Bash” featured two full days of action.

“We knew early on that Saturday in July that a significant storm was coming. We told the racers after the first round, listen for updates and when it gets close, pack up quick. Sure enough, we had high winds and torrential rain, with even the track suffering some damage,” stated Series Founder Keith Haney.

The July event, which had completed qualifying and first round of eliminations, resumed action in Stroud Safety Pro Mod. Mark Micke, owner of long-time series sponsor M&M Transmission, picked right up where he left off, beating Brandon Snider’s 3.669 E.T. with an impressive 3.641 E.T. Micke had a semi-final bye along with a second-round victory over Preston Tanner’s 3.716 E.T. However, it was Mike Labbate who took home the Slammers trophy over Mark Werdehausen.

J&A Service Funny Car saw Canada’s Ulf Leanders take the victory over point leader Steve Macklyn. Jim Whiteley was awarded the Rocycle Hardest Working Crew honors for the team’s bad luck after suffering engine damage.

In ICON Pistons Top Dragster, Dan Phelps took home the victory over KC Ingram in the finals when Ingram lit the dreaded red light. Dan’s path took out Jimmy Sackuvich, Rich Moline, and Christopher Menapace, before reaching Ingram.

Pat Musi Racing Engines Top Sportsman found Mark McDonald in “the rental,” taking it all the way to the Winner’s Circle. McDonald beat Charley Whittenburg, Rich Smith, and Tina Pierce en route to victory. 

In Race Star Wheels Pro Junior Dragster, multi-time Series Champion Tyler Wells beat Brody Zimmerman in the finals and Noah Taylor in the semis. Zimmerman Sportsman Juniors saw series Newcomer Juliet Reed beat Jacob Phillips in the finals. Juliet took out Kenzie Wells in the first round and had a bye in the second round. 

As quickly as the first race was completed, competitors and race organizers pivoted into the second event.

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“It was important to complete the first race in a timely manner to give the racers time to prepare for the second race,” stated Event Director Ellen Eschenbacher. “Sadly, we feel like experts on the double-doubles! Points are so important at this time of the season as well.”

The Stroud Safety Pro Mod class was a spectacle with fantastic side-by-side passes all day. Steven Whiteley piloted his blown Camaro to win 3.628 over Mark Micke’s 3.663. In a dramatic final, Micke was ahead through half-track when he suffered engine damage in a cloud of smoke where all he could do was watch Steven pass him by. Whiteley took his number two qualifying effort to the finals over Robbie Vander Woode, Blake Housley, and Preston Tanner. Aaron Wells took the victory in the Slammers class over Ed Thornton. The Derrol Hubbard-owned team of driver Thornton took home the series “Hardest Working Crew” award for their perseverance throughout the weekend, battling the car all day. Whiteley’s YNot Racing team leads the points by 71 over Keith Haney.

J&A Service Funny Car welcomed Phil Esz back to the Series and saw him take the number one qualifier honors with a 3.633 E.T. Jim Whiteley took the victory over Steve Macklyn, however, it allowed Macklyn to lengthen his points lead.

Anita Strasburg took her Top Dragster to the number one position. Greg Rice proved too much for the competition, securing the win in the finals over Jimmy Sackuvich. Rice beat Calvin Minnick, Dan Phelps, and Bob Henry en route to the win. Jimmy Sackuvich leads the points by a razor-thin one point over Cody Moore, with Bob Henry a close third.

In Pat Musi Racing Engines Top Sportsman, Tim Paap rocketed to the top with his newly-purchased Corvette. Rod Schaeffer piloted his Camaro to the win over the previous day’s winner, Mark McDonald. The 2022 Champion Rod Moore leads the current points by 22 over Michael Chitty. 

Race Star Wheels Pro Junior Dragster saw 2022 Champion Alexis Kesterson take the win over Cohen Hale in the finals, giving her a 60-point lead over Brody Zimmerman in the 2023 Championship chase. Alexis beat Kilee Blevins – Noah Taylor had a competition bye en route to the win.

The Zimmerman Sportsman Junior class crowned Camden Teel in the Hulk the win over race one winner Juliet Reed. Camden beat Cayden Duell and Ella Grace Gibbons on the way to the win. He also holds the points lead by 80 over Jovee Brundidge. Kilee Blevens got her first competition win in the Slammers class over Cayden Duell.

With just a brief two-week hiatus, the Series heads to perennial favorite US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, for the Funny Car Nationals event. 

For further information about the Midwest Drag Racing Series and upcoming events, visit or connect on social media.

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This story was originally published on August 24, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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