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Muenks, Macklyn, Moore, Maples and Pierce, Plus Mayer and Moberly Secure Wins at MWDRS Summer Smackdown

The Mid-West Drag Racing Series visited the new Flying H Dragstrip this past weekend for the Summer Smackdown event. Friday’s testing faced the threat of rain, but more than 50 racers managed uninterrupted test runs as the weather held off. However, qualifying was affected by light rain, causing several rounds of track drying. The Stroud Safety ProMod class completed its first qualifying round, while the J&A Service Funny Cars attempted runs before rain halted further attempts.

Saturday’s schedule was full, with all classes except Pro Mod receiving two qualifying test sessions before the 4 pm opening ceremonies. Racing continued up to the curfew, ensuring a full day of competitive action.

In the Stroud Safety Pro Mod class, Mark Micke was the No. 1 qualifier with a 3.576 pass, also making the best pass of the race with a 3.647 in round 2. Ron Muenks claimed the class victory over Brian Lewis with an all supercharged final. Muenks eliminated Blake Housley, Chris Juliano and Keith Haney on his way to the finals. Lewis’s final pass was a personal best. 

Racer highlights included Blake Housley returning to form with new tires, Mark Micke swapping engines between rounds in just one hour, Wayne Roberts advancing to round 2 by defeating No. 4 Qualifier Aaron Wells, and Keith Goolsby making a six-hour round trip for a replacement transmission to stay in competition. 

TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR

In the J&A Service Top Alcohol Funny Car class, Jim Whiteley was the No. 1 qualifier. Defending Champion Steve Macklyn won against Lance Van Hauen, marking his second MWDRS event win of the season.

Van Hauen

Lance Van Hauen advanced to his first Funny Car finals with a bye, and Bob McCosh used the event as a test session for the upcoming NHRA race.

Macklyn & Van Hauen

TOP DRAGSTER

Jeremy Maples

In the Icon Forged Piston/Race Star Wheels Top Dragster class, Anita Strasburg was the No. 1 qualifier with a 3.749 ET.. Jeremy Maples secured his second class win of the season, praising the new Flying H facility and the support he received. Jordan Eperjesi was the runner-up, making it her second of the season, while Jordan Eaker pulled off a big upset by eliminating Anita Strausburg in round 2.

Jeremy Maples remarked, “Our first trip to the new Flying H turned out great. Very impressed with the new facility, and the staff from both the track and MWDRS. From driving all night with my two boys snoring on the couch and pulling in at daybreak Saturday morning, to ending up on the bump at No. 16 qualifier, to breaking a rocker arm while driving up for second round, sometimes all the little things fall in your favor and you have to take all the extra luck you can get. Thankful for my family and friends who support me, thankful for Darrell White and Cody Moore who took parts off their own car to get me by, and a shout out to Keith Haney racing who made it possible by loaning us tools to get the car fixed in a pinch. Sponsor shoutout to #HODGEAUTOGROUP.COM.”

TOP SPORTSMAN

In the Performance Bearing Top Sportsman class, Macy Higgins was the No. 1 qualifier with a 4.264 in his second MWDRS appearance. Defending champion Rod Moore secured his second win of the season with his nitrous-powered Straightline Racing Engines S10. Tina Pierce qualified sixth in her Nova after struggling with the Colorado in it’s first appearance on big tires, Rod Moore benefited from opponents’ breakages, and newcomer James Huggett qualified fourth but damaged his motor in the eliminations race.

PRO 4.20

In the Champion AutoLift Pro 4.20 class, James Ogden qualified No. 1 with a perfect 4.200 saying, “I planned to run a 4.21 but made a mistake.” Dave Pierce won after Derrol Hubbard red lit in the final round. Ryan Bush debuted his ’69 Camaro with plans to compete the season in Pro 4.20 and move to Pro Mod in 2025. James Ogden laid down a 4.199 and 4.197 in testing before securing the top qualifier spot in Q1.

PRO JUNIOR DRAGSTER

Olivia Mayer

In the Race Star Wheels Pro Junior Dragster class, Olivia Mayer won with a borrowed car, arranged as a surprise by her dad and Aaron Wells. Isaak Stephenson, who overcame a broken chain during qualifying, was the runner-up. Two-time defending champion Alexis Kesterson was eliminated in round 1 but later won the Slammers Class.

Isaak Stephenson

Sportsman Junior

Haven Moberly

In the Zimmerman Properties Sportsman Junior class, Haven Moberly was the winner, with “Racin’ Mason” Higgins as the runner-up. Braylee Blevens and her team impressed by replacing the entire rear end between rounds.

Mason Higgins
Ed Thorton
Alexis Kesterson

This story was originally published on June 6, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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