Championship Final Top Sportsman/Top Dragster

The NAPA AUTOPRO ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN DRAG RACING SERIES saw it’s third new event winner in the Top Sportsman / Top Dragster class at the Thunder by the Beach Weekend.

D3S_4129Grand Bend Motorplex played host to event number three in the inaugural USDS Series on Labour Day Weekend. There were full fields in Top Dragster and Top Sportsman, with the quickest bump spots of the year on both sides of the ladder.

In Top Sportsman qualifying was led by Spencer Hyde from Stratford, Ontario his supercharged ’68 Camaro sponsored by NAPA Autopro. Spencer set the bar at 6.621 seconds at 217.12 mph. The bump spot on the Sportsman side of the ladder was 7.184 rounding out the pack.

During eliminations, it was two Michigan based drivers that worked their way threw the 16 car field to meet up in the Top Sportsman final.

“MotorCity” Mike Sowards from Clarkston, Michigan won our first ever $10,000. NAPA AUTOPRO ULTIMATE SHOWDOWNS title in July. He was fighting hard to try to repeat his success and put himself in the winners circle once again this past weekend. Also on hand at Grand Bend was USDS newcomer and veteran competitor, Ricky Adkins from Milan, Michigan. In the Adkins Race Cars early style 37′ coupe.

In semi final action Sowards got around Sam Christian. While Adkins squeeked by Phil Sampson. Sowards and Adkins are good friends both on ans off the track. They had no idea they would be meeting in the Top Sportsman final and a chance to race against the Top Dragster Champ for $10,000.

DSC_7353As it turned out, they did race each other, and in that final, Sowards had a .012 reaction time to Adkins .034 light. Adkins had problems early in the run with some valvetrain breakage, so he slowed while Sowards raced hard to the finish line, only to run 6.984 on his 6.99 dial-in to break out by -.006 of a second, and hand the win to Adkins. The question was…..could Adkins get his ’38 Chevy fixed for the all important $10,000. Showdown?

On the Top Dragster side of the ladder, it was Lyle Williams from Williams Racing, grabbing the number one spot in qualifying with a stout 6.048 elapsed time at 230.71 mph. This was Lyle’s third number one qualifying effort in three races, and it stood up to be low et and top mph for the class. Rounding out the qualifying on the dragster side of the ladder was Micheal Kalin from Niagara Falls, N.Y. at 6.748. The sixteen car field was qualified within seven tenths of a second.

Once eliminations began the two drivers that were to meet up in the Top Dragster final, had a bit of luck, plus a bunch of skill both working for them.

Tom Orr from Shawville, Quebec, was able to get around former USDS winner Erin Stirdivant in round one, then got a single in round two when Tom Bene was broke. In the T/D semi final, Orr had a .018 reaction time and ran dead on his dial-in at 6.740 to defeat Tony Positano.

Richard Motycka from Kalamazoo, Michigan began his charge to the final by taking out Micheal Kalin in round one. Then ran dead on his dial-in to get around Keith McKellar in round two. Motycka’s luck set in for his round three match up with Sydnie Hyde. When Motycka was late at the tree, but Hyde went red with a -.001 reaction time. That set up the T/D match up between Tom Orr and Richard Motycka for the Top Dragster final.

In that close final race Tom Orr cut a .014 light and ran 6.743 on his 6.73 dial-in. While Motycka was right there with a .024 light and a 6.486 on his 6.47 dial-in.

DSC_7975So the final was set between T/S winner Ricky Adkins, and T/D winner Tom Orr. Adkins was able to replace broken pushrods and a rocker for the final. The final round $10,000 to win match-up saw Adkins dial-in at 6.70, while Orr’s dragster was dialed at 6.74. When the tree dropped Adkins left with a .021 light, but Tom Orr’s dragster had it’s air throttle fail, and he was only able to drive slowly down the track, while Ricky Adkins lifted to take the win at 6.907 at 169.81 mph. Ricky Adkins became the third different NAPA USDS Champion to capture the $10,000. top prize this season.

Congratulations to our first ever T/S & T/D Champion, Mike Sowards who sealed the deal with a strong performance at the season ending event.

Top 5 Top Sportsman/Top Dragster Points Standings

1 Mike Sowards 3952 590
2 Marc Gervais 1968 516
3 Kevin Wicke 3447 512
4 Tom Orr 1776 510
5 Bill Wilson/Rob Gray 2409 503

Don’t forget the NAPA ULTIMATE SHOWDOWNS AWARDS CEREMONY is coming up on Saturday October 24, 2015, at the Cairn Croft Hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Advance tickets are on sale now at $75.00 per person, and special discounted accomodations are available at just $89.99 per night. Group #3910 ┬áContact for info. on tickets.