Historic Sportsman Run For Elrod at Grand Bend

Ohio’s Jacob Elrod earns Nitro Jam triple during Grand Bend Motorplex event.  3 wins in one weekend is a first in IHRA racing……

 By Sunday evening, Jacob Elrod was understandably exhausted.  Racing in one class can be a tiring endeavor for sure, but three classes?   That is just downright insane.  

Going from car to car, all with different settings, different dials, different everything, how one could keep track of so much data with only moments between runs is mindboggling.  

So when Elrod crossed the finish line at exactly 5:45 p.m. Sunday evening at the Grand Bend Motorplex to lock up his fourth final round win light, his third Ironman and an incredible 17-0 record for the weekend, the Harrod, Ohio native simply needed a moment to take it all in. After all, Elrod had just done the impossible. He had won in three separate classes all in the same weekend for the first time in drag racing history.  

“It was a remarkable weekend and one I certainly will never forget,” Elrod said. “For myself, my team, my sponsors, this means a lot. I have won a lot of races, but never have I had so much success in one weekend. Both cars were really on it. We had some great runs and we had some lucky runs, but at the end of the day we are walking away from here with three trophies. That really says a lot.”  

Driving two cars in three separate classes, Elrod drove to three Ironman trophies in Quick Rod, Super Rod and Top ET and capped it off with a victory in the ET runoff to go a perfect 17-0 at the MOPAR Nitro Jam Nationals. It was the first time in history that a driver has won in three classes all in the same weekend at a national event.

Jacob Elrod with his impressive new collection of IHRA Ironmen!

Moments after crossing the finish line on the final pass of the weekend, Elrod drove back down the track and received a well-deserved round of applause from the IHRA and Grand Bend staff and was even doused with a bucket of water moments after climbing from his car in a touching moment celebrated by everyone on the property.

“When I climbed from the car I really couldn’t believe what we had just done,” Elrod said. “It was kind of overwhelming. We were hustling between rounds and between cars so much we really didn’t have time to think about the possibility of winning all three and once it sunk in it was kind of overwhelming.”

Getting the biggest workout of the weekend was Elrod’s Sunoco Race Fuels sponsored 2003 Race Tech dragster that won in Quick Rod and Top ET.

With an 8.90 dial on the side, Elrod went four rounds in Quick Rod culminating with a double-breakout victory against Rick Stroud in the finals to pick up his first Ironman of the afternoon. Less than 20 minutes later Elrod was behind the wheel of his ’78 Chevy Monza in Hot Rod with a 10.90 on the side as he once again claimed a double-breakout victory, this time against Kevin Orr after five rounds of work.

Exactly 16 minutes later Elrod was at it again, returning to his brightly colored dragster this time with a 7.20 dial on the side. In the biggest field of the weekend, Elrod whittled the Top ET field from 46 cars down to just himself and Dan Morgan after seven rounds and finally had a race. Elrod smacked the tree with a .021 light to Morgan’s .028 and ran a 7.219/182.03 to light the bulb in his lane for the third time in a row. Morgan ran an 11.214/109.17 on a 11.18 dial.

Elrod, who was deadly on the tree all weekend, had just done the unthinkable. He was a three-time winner at a national event.

But he wasn’t done just yet.

As if three wins wasn’t enough, Elrod still had one more run to go in the $5,000 to win ET runoff against former Summit SuperSeries World Champion and Grand Bend pro Steve Doornsbosch. With history on the line, Doornsbosch, looking for any advantage he could get against the unstoppable Elrod, jumped the gun by a .020 margin, handing Elrod the free pass and a weekend sweep during one of the most dominant runs ever seen in the straight line game.

In addition to winning three Ironman trophies and a big payout, Elrod also earned two spots in the Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions in Quick Rod and Hot Rod. It was also Elrod’s second and third Summit Pro-Am victories of the season, joining a Top Dragster win he had at Mountain Park Dragway less than a month prior.

With two TOC spots earned and the tournament just three months away, Elrod may have just driven himself to the front of the pack as Jacob looks to join his father Dave, a four-time IHRA World Champion, with his own championship Ironman.

Posted by:  Larry Crum