High Drama at ADRL Season Finale

ADRL’s 2011 drag racing season came to a speedy conclusion south of Dallas last weekend when the Texas Motorplex played host to the LenMar Motorsports ADRL World Finals VII presented by Summit Racing Equipment….. 

Event Essentials – ADRL LenMar World Finals VII – Oct. 21-23rd, 2011 — Dallas TX
 Pro Extreme  P/X        
 Win: Jason Scruggs 3.604 208.50 6th
 R/UP: Frankie Taylor 3.719 178.09  
 Low ET: Frankie Taylor 3.581    
Top Speed: Frankie Taylor   211.36  
 Bump Spot:   3.729    
 Pro Nitrous  P/N        
 Win: Shannon Jenkins 3.800 194.35 10th
 R/UP: BurtonAuxier 3.944 191.05  
 Low ET: BurtonAuxier 3.780    
 Top Speed: Khalid Al-Balooshi   197.86  
Bump Spot:   4.979    
Pro Mod (Legal) Winner: Lee Adkins Jr. 3.929 187.18  
Extreme 10.5 Winner: Dan Millen 3.889 200.35  
Pro Extreme M/C Winner: Dave Vantine 4.130 170.17  
Extreme Pro Stock Winner: Tony Gillig 4.095 175.27  
Top Sportsman Winner: Chanse Bullock 4.532 154.14  


High Drama at ADRL Season Finale

After a disappointing start to the 2011 American Drag Racing League (ADRL) season, Jason Scruggs sure found a way to end it in tremendous fashion.  During the final drag race of the ADRL season, Scruggs put together a classic performance on Sunday, running a 3.604 at 208.59 miles per hour to knock off Frankie Taylor in the marquee P/X final round.

P/X event winner Jason Scruggs

The highlight-filled race served as a fitting end to a record-breaking 2011 season as well.

After Cary Goforth (Extreme Pro Stock), Ashley Owens (Pro Extreme Motorcycle) and Mike Castellana (Pro Nitrous) had already clinched world championships; two others also joined them on Sunday as 2011 ADRL World Champions.

Pro Extreme standout Jason Hamstra clinched his title with a first-round win on Sunday, while Dan Millen became the Extreme 10.5 world champion moments earlier by winning his first-round race.

Dan Millen had a superb weekend in Extreme 10.5 racing -- winning 3 titles!

Millen carried that momentum to earn a World Finals VII win on Sunday, joining a list that also included Shannon Jenkins (Pro Nitrous), Dave Vantine (Pro Extreme Motorcycle), Tony Gillig (Extreme Pro Stock), Chanse Bullock (Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman) and Lee Adkins (Pro Modified).

Scruggs qualified at No. 2 with his first pass in the 3.50s (3.59) on Saturday and stayed in the low 3.60s on Sunday to pick up his second win over the final four races of 2011.

“This is just a wonderful way to end the year,” Scruggs said. “I’d be the first to tell you, you’re only as good as your last pass, so this lets me go all winter saying I won.”

Jenkins proved he still has it, making a number of impressive passes in earning his 10th career ADRL victory.

Wily Shannon Jenkins scored in Pro Nitrous eliminator

He went 3.80 in the finals to hold off Burton Auxier, thoroughly enjoying his first driving experience in the ADRL in 2011. Jenkins spent all season up until this weekend as the crew chief for Mahana Al-Naemi (and Mike Castellana), but when a member of Al-Naemi’s family fell ill and he couldn’t attend the race, Jenkins stepped in.

He ran 3.781 in qualifying and proceeded to be flawless during eliminations as well.

“We had the car prepared, so I thought why not. We brought the car out and it really went well,” Jenkins said. “We learned some things for next year, tried some things out and it all worked out very well.”

The storybook season ended with the perfect finish for Millen in Extreme 10.5, as he wrapped up the ultimate weekend trifecta at Texas Motorplex.

After winning the “Battlefor the Belts” on Friday and clinching another world championship early on Sunday, Millen finished the deal by going 3.88 in the finals against Grant McCrary.

Vantine’s first win in Pro Extreme Motorcycle cost Casey Stemper his first victory, as Stemper went red and Vantine coasted to a win with a 4.13.  That the win came against the largest overall field and the quickest qualifying field in ADRL history – all 16 qualified bikes ran in the 4.10s or quicker – made it that much more satisfying for Vantine, who went as quick as 4.09 during eliminations.

Gillig put together a remarkable day in Extreme Pro Stock to earn his first win, running 4.095 and beating John Montecalvo, a five-time runner-up this season, in the finals on a big holeshot.

It was an incredibly satisfying victory for Gillig, who jumped into the driver’s set of Larry O’Brien’s Bear’s Performance Products 2010 Dodge Avenger (based from Canada) for the final three races of the season.

Tony Gillig drove the Canadian-based O'Brien Brothers Dodge to a win in XPS

Gillig, the No. 14 qualifier picked up his first ADRL win thanks to an outstanding effort on the starting line on Sunday. He won via holeshots in every round of what was a record qualifying field, ousting heavy hitters like Dean Goforth and Pete Berner before cutting a .027 light in the finals.

After qualifying in the No. 14 position, Bullock was workmanlike in working through the Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman bracket.  He had three straight runs of 4.53 and then went 4.54 in the finals, quickly acclimating himself to Top Sportsman racing.

Adkins made it two in a row in the (NHRA legal) Pro Modified class eliminator, earning his third career ADRL victory by going 3.929 to beat Pete Farber in the finals for the second straight race.

Farber ran slightly quicker, but Adkins was better on the starting line and then gracious in celebrating afterwards.

Richie Stevens Jr. won Saturday's "Battle for the Belt" in XPS

Saturday’s event schedule included the much-anticipated and high profile annual “Battlefor the Belts” Shootout for overall class supremacy.

Louisana’s Richie Stevens Jr. timed his best performance of the entire 2011 ADRL season perfectly.  The talented Extreme Pro Stock standout got the most out of his CarSafe and Valspar-sponsored Mustang dramatically winning the single-day “Battle for the Belts” shootout out of the No. 8 and final qualifying position.

Other “Battle for the Belts” winners included Todd Tutterow (Pro Extreme), Khalid Al-Balooshi (Pro Nitrous), Dan Millen (Extreme 10.5) and Ashley Owens (Pro Extreme Motorcycle).

The 2012 ADRL Tour begins on March 30-31 with ADRL Dragpalooza VIII at Royal Purple Raceway inHouston. It is the first of 10 races that will take place during the 2012 ADRL season.

Posted by:  Josh Hachat

Photos by:  Randy Anderson and Roger Richards