West Michigan Sand Dragway U.S. Sand Nationals Recap

The 16th Annual U.S. Sand Nationals at West Michigan Sand Dragway was once again held on its last weekend of July date. Despite a moderate car count, the Michigan racers once again put on a thrilling show for the spectators. Let's take a look at the weekend's winners.

Top Fuel

The Top Fuel class featured four of the best Top Alcohol Dragsters in the Midwest. Qualifying was led by Rob Schyett in the "Bad Frog Beer" Dragster with a 2.80/121mph pass. Bob Piunti slid his car into the #2 position at 2.89 while Jay Poortenga's 2.95 and Troy Turnock's 3.03 rounded out the field.

In round one, Bob Piunti led off the round with a single when Poortenga was unable to make the call, and ran a respectable 2.92. The other pairing, however, saw the upset of the weekend as Turnock would down the #1 qualifier on a hole shot 3.03 to 2.96. This would set up a final round between Piunti's Indiana-based Dragster and Turnock's Michigan-based Fiat. Turnock would pull a .057 to .138 RT advantage, but it was Piunti's power that drove around for a 2.88 to 3.08 victory and $1500 first place check.

Bob Piunti

Top Eliminator

Troy Turnock did double duty on the weekend, also running in the Top Eliminator class where he would be the #1 qualifier with a 3.03 on the 3.00 Index. Lori Goodale put herself #2 in the six car field with a 3.04 with Scott Schyett rounding out the top half of the field with a 3.05. Round one started off with Turnock shutting off to a 3.21 to win 3.36 over Jay Poortenga’s "Drag Nasty" Jeep. Next up was a very close match up with Lori Goodale driving the "Drag Queen" Dragster to a 3.05 to 3.13 win over Frank Phaff. The final pair of the round was another tight race with Scott Schyett advancing in the "Bad Frog Beer" Funny Car over Rob Lemon's four-cylinder Dragster 3.14 to 3.18.

Troy Turnock had the bye run in round two and elected to just break the beams on his pass to start the round. Goodale also found herself with a solo pass when Schyett was unable to make the semi-final round call. In the final round, Turnock was first at the tree .088 to .204 and never looked back for a 3.17 to 3.11 victory.

Troy Turnock

Pro Index

WMSD's tough Pro Index, 3.40-Faster "Floating" Index class, once again put on a great show for the fans. First round started off with Willie Bersley’s "Sand Traxx" Buggy defeating Jim Bailey’s stunning "Blue Thunder" Dragster, while the second pair saw a thrash to get Brian Morgan's Dragster go for naught as Ed Engel ran a low 3.4 for the victory. Last up in the round was a bye run for Kristy Whitten. Whitten would face Engel in the semi-final round, and take a close win to head to the final round to face Bersley, who had the semi-final round bye run. Whitten would go on to back up her Chassis Shop Pro Index Shootout victory with a 3.40 (3.30) and .076 RT to defeat Bersley in the final round.

Pro Comp

The popular Pro Comp class, ranging from 4.20-3.50, saw nearly 30 entries show up to compete for the class title. In the end, it was Pro Comp class veteran Tim Holstege in his "Altered State" small-block Chevy powered Altered taking the class win over Mark Mosher's "Power House" big-block Chevy powered Funny Jeep. Reny Villemure took third place with his "No Delay" Buggy.

Tim Holstege

Pro Mod Truck

The Pro Mod Truck class backed up its thrilling performance at the Pro Truck Nationals with another great night of racing at the U.S. Sand Nationals. In the end, it was the Bad Company/Bad Frog Beer Jeep of Ben Dozeman taking a close final round victory over Trent Everett Jr.’s "Sky High" Jeep in the final round with a 3.98 (3.90) and .030 RT. Jim Brantley and Fred Hugo both had great showings on the weekend ending up with semi-final round finishes.

Ben Dozeman


Nothing was new on the night in the Pro ATV class with class dominator Rich Wood putting his usual hurt on the class and taking home the victory defeating Brad Adams' Snowmobile-powered ATV in the final round. Shawn Roth and Matt Stewart also had great efforts ending up in the semi-final round.

Rich Wood


The Comp class (4.21-5.00 Dial-In) made up for its lack of numbers with great racing throughout the night with the final round being determined by mere inches. Tom Hartman's "First Full of Dollars" Blazer came home victorious with a MOV of .025 over the NSDN Jeep of Tom Bray. Matt Willis' "Cat Reaction" Buggy and Lee Reynders' "Barney" Jeep rounded out the all V-8 semi-finalists.

Tom Hartman


A huge Modified class (5.01-Slower Dial-In) was widdled down to a final round between Rick "Ricky Bobby" Browe in his VW-powered Buggy vs. first time sand drag racer (Mud Racer) Wade Berger in his Chevy-powered Jeep. On this night, "Ricky Bobby" would go fast and take the win in an close race with a 5.42 (5.42) and .098 RT. Perennial Modified class hitters Jason Hendricks and Roger Young had stellar semi-final round finishes.

Rick Browe


The ATV class boiled down to two-class finalist Brad Adams on his Snowmobile-powered drag bike versus Reanna Hessoun's potent Banshee. Reanna would turn on the red bulb handing Adams the class victory in the ATV class. Brian McWethy was the lone semi-finalist in the ATV bracket.

Brad Adams

Junior Dragster

In the Junior Dragster class, Tyler Lirones kept up the Lirones Motorsports tradition of beating up on the Junior Dragster class with a victory at the U.S. Sand Nationals defeating Alexandra Rammacher in the final round. Tyler Walla and Caitlyn Shamblin, of Virginia, were the class semi-finalists.

Tyler Lirones

Junior ATV

Samantha Schyett once again was on her game at the U.S. Sand Nationals and took home the Junior ATV class victory over Virginia's Payton Brooks in the final round. Devin Reust and Tyler Woodbury both were semi-final finishers.

Samantha Schyett

Mighty Midgets

Dylan DeHaan, son of NSDN columnist Isaac DeHaan, won his first Might Midgets U.S. Sand Nationals title with his final round victory over Makayla Beld. Tanner Hartman had a great semi-final finish in the Mighty Midgets class at this event.

Dylan DeHaan

Photos Courtesy Lone Star Graphics -- www.lonestargraphics.com

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