This weekend’s American Drag Racing League (ADRL) Dragstock XI event at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois is in the record books. The track-rental event, which featured free admission and $20-per-carload parking, was a big hit with the St. Louis region’s heads-up racing fans. The colorful, fast-paced show included Pro Mods, Extreme Pro Stocks, Alcohol Dragsters, Top Alcohol Funny Cars, Pro Extreme Motorcycles, Outlaw Pro Mods, Jet Cars and fireworks.
John Deflorian Jr. of Arnold, Missouri won the $4,000 Extreme Pro Stock final over Brad Waddle of Salina, Kansas. Waddle scored a much better reaction time on the starting line but his car left the groove and skated toward the outer wall, forcing him to shut down.
Rickie Smith of King, North Carolina defeated Dan Stevenson of Bolingbrook, Illinois in the $4,000 Real Pro Mod final. The pair turned in near-identical reaction times on the starting line but Smith won the heads-up race to the finish line, 4.862 sec., 231.00 mph to Stevenson’s 4.936 sec., 232.51 mph.
Howard Cook of Festus, Missouri won what probably was the craziest race of the night. Cook met Steve Pearson of St. Charles, Missouri in the final round of the inaugural Les Nowling Memorial Super Pro Challenge Presented By Taylor’s Auto Salvage. As Cook left the starting line, his car experienced mechanical failure and what looked like a sure win for his opponent saw a reversal of fortune as Pearson broke out at the finish line and lost the race.
The ADRL will return to GMP twice in 2017.
“To see what (ADRL promoters) Kenny Nowling and Larry Jeffers have pulled off in a little over six weeks is simply amazing,” said GMP Vice President & General Manager Chris Blair. “I believe they have demonstrated that with six months of planning they will once again have one of the most talked-about series in drag racing. It’s not perfect as some folks are still getting back into the routine. But the effort is there and the focus is exactly where it needs to be: on delivering a great show to our fans. Bottom line, butts in the seats and eyeballs focused on the track will stimulate this industry. Our entire racing economy — from track operators, racers, engine builders, parts suppliers and chassis builders — need to stop thinking about their own interests and think about the fans. We need to build our fan base and Kenny’s show is a great start. Today was just a start and I look forward to seeing what they can accomplish. I had a conversation last week at the SEMA Show when someone asked me if I was crazy for doing this event at my track. My response was simple: I would be crazy not to do this event.”
Final-round results, indicating racer, hometown, vehicle, reaction time, elapsed time, top speed:
OUTLAW PRO MOD
Winner: Eddie Rogers (Berryville, Arkansas) 1969 Chevelle .087 3.860 sec. 187.94 mph.
Runner-up: Jonas Aleshire (Manito, Illinois) 2006 Corvette .039 3.984 sec. 160.56 mph.
REAL PRO MOD
Winner: Rickie Smith (King, North Carolina) 2015 Camaro .075 4.862 sec. 231.00 mph.
Runner-up: Dan Stevenson (Bolingbrook, Illinois) 2015 Camaro .076 4.936 sec. 232.51 mph.
EXTREME PRO STOCK
Winner: John Deflorian Jr. (Arnold, Missouri) 2015 Camaro .070 5.228 sec. 206.54 mph.
Runner-up: Brad Waddle (Salina, Kansas) 2013 Mustang .017 10.769 sec. 61.04 mph.
PRO ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR
Winner: Rob Pfeister (Crestwood, Kentucky) 2004 Camaro .110 4.804 sec. 234.49 mph.
Runner-up: Tony Bogolo (Hamilton, Ohio) 2001 Avenger -.020 (fouled) 4.965 sec. 232.55 mph.
PRO EXTREME MOTORCYCLE
Winner: Brunson Grothus (Davenport, Iowa) 2015 Suzuki .024 4.121 sec. 171.88 mph.
Runner-up: T.T. Jones (Harvest, Alabama) 2014 Suzuki .079 4.082 sec. 172.89 mph.
INSANE PRO MOD
Winner: Jon Stouffer (Neosho, Missouri) 1971 Barracuda .124 3.749 sec. 199.88 mph.
Runner-up: Brandon Pesz (The Woodlands, Texas) 1958 Corvette .103 3.774 sec. 204.05 mph.
INAUGURAL LES NOWLING MEMORIAL SUPER PRO CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY TAYLOR’S AUTO SALVAGE
Winner: Howard Cook (Festus, Missouri) 2015 Racecraft dragster .171 18.892 sec. 52.96 mph.
Runner-up: Steve Pearson (St. Charles, Missouri) 1977 Vega .048 6.717 sec. 104.87 mph.
Winner: Doug Woody (Independence, Missouri) 1967 Camaro .018 6.153 sec. 168.81 mph.
Runner-up: Troy Finner (Rockford, Illinois) 1968 Camaro .045 5.895 sec. 177.35 mph.
Winner: Matt Sackman (Channahon, Illinois) 2010 Spitzer dragster .029 5.098 sec. 196.50 mph.
Runner-up: Justin Kirk (Lenore, West Virginia) 2014 Spitzer dragster .000 5.126 sec. 212.03 mph.
PRO JR. DRAGSTER
Winner: Andrew Green (New Berlin, Illinois) .051 7.900 sec. 79.35 mph.
Runner-up: Paige Hogle (Granite City, Illinois) .084 7.922 sec. 80.67 mph.
TOP JR. DRAGSTER
Winner: Arellyn Garner-Jones (Harvest, Alabama) .149 7.937 sec. 82.90 mph.
Runner-up: Bryce Micke (Wentzville, Missouri) -.026 (fouled) 7.935 sec. 81.61 mph.