NSDA Primm Oct '08 Race Recap

Race Recap

primmlead.jpgWhat more can be said about the 2008 edition of the NSDA Primm Valley Resorts Fall Nationals. With over 500 entries, this race lived up to its annual billing and then some. Not that the competitors needed any more motivation to win this huge annual event, but with NSDA Point Series championships on the line the intensity level of the racing action was at an all time high. Let’s take a look at what went down at the 2008 NSDA Primm Valley Resorts Fall Nationals.

Top Fuel

The Top Fuel class came into Primm with the point series championship decided, so it was all about the two race win trophies available to win on the weekend. Race one started off with Scott Whipple, 2008 NSDA TF Champion, taking the top qualifying spot on Wednesday with a 2.404. Eliminations shook out on Thursday to set up a final round on Friday afternoon between back-to-back champ Whipple and Dennis Rieck. Rieck had struggled all weekend to this point, but would put all the pieces together on a pass that would make him the quickest racer in Top Fuel sand drag racing history with a 2.225 to take the race win over Whipple.

Dennis Rieck’s 2.225 also was a qualifying pass for the second Top Fuel race, and would stand as the #1 qualifying pass for that race. Scott Whipple ran a 2.338 on Saturday to sit #2 for race two, which backed up with 2.318 from earlier in the weekend to take back the TF national record as Rieck would be unable to back up his 2.225. After Pete Schenk upset 2008 champ Whipple in the semi-final round with a 2.370, a final round match up was set up between Schenk and Rieck, who was looking for the weekend double down. In the final round, Rieck took a huge .084 to .254 starting line advantage for a win, 2.425 to 2.451.

Race #1 Winner: Dennis Rieck
Race #1 Runner-Up: Scott Whipple
Race #1 Low Qualifier: Scott Whipple – 2.404
Race #1 Low ET: Dennis Rieck – 2.225
Race #1 Top MPH: Dennis Rieck 167.14

Race #2 Winner: Dennis Rieck
Race #2 Runner-Up: Pete Schenk
Race #2 Low Qualifier: Dennis Rieck – 2.225
Race #2 Low ET: Dennis Rieck 2.225
Race #2 Top MPH: Scott Whipple – 170.03

2008 Top Fuel Final Points
1. Scott Whipple 710
2. Dennis Rieck 663
3. Jeff Janoe 584
4. Shane Switzer 380
5. Keith Longerot 97

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Dennis Rieck

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Shane Switzer

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Pete Schenk

Top Alcohol


Mike DeNunzio came into Primm as the man with the bulls eye on his back in the Top Alcohol class. Mike was the point leader heading in with several other racers gunning for him to try to knock him off of the top spot in the TA point standings. Race one kicked off with Shane Sanford making his first trip into the 2.4 zone for the top qualifying spot with a 2.490. Nick Januik would take out the point leader DeNunzio in round one. This opened the door for Shane Sanford and Gary Mink to close in, and both took advantage as they reached race one’s final round. In the final, Gary strapped a .076 to .150 hole shot on Sanford and never looked back for a 2.627 to 2.560 victory.

Mink and Sanford’s final round appearances set up a pressure packed Sunday race for the TA class. Race two’s qualifying was led by Dan Allen with a 2.491 in his return with his brand new Lucas Oil dragster. Eliminations kicked off with Allen, Mink, and Sanford advancing to round two while Nick Januik once again spoiled Mike DeNunzio’s day taking the victory. In round two, Dan Allen spoiled Gary Mink’s championship hopes with Low ET of the weekend, a 2.467. On the other side of the ladder, Sanford took the win over Januik, but could not secure a leg on the national ET record which then locked up the point series championship for Mike DeNunzio. In the final round of race two, Allen continued his torrid pace with a 2.485 for the win over ’07 champ Sanford.

Race #1 Winner: Gary Mink
Race #1 Runner-Up: Shane Sanford

Race #1 Low Qualifier: Shane Sanford 2.490
Race #1 Low ET: Shane Sanford 2.490
Race #1 Top MPH: Shane Sanford 142.94

Race #2 Winner: Dan Allen
Race #2 Runner-Up: Shane Sanford
Race #2 Low Qualifier: Dan Allen 2.491
Race #2 Low ET: Dan Allen 2.467
Race #2 Top MPH: Dan Allen 143.72

2008 Top Alcohol Points
1. Mike DeNunzio 647
2. Gary Mink 637
3. Shane Sanford 630
4. Dan Allen 630
5. Richard Montiel 399

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Dan Allen

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Gary Mink

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Shane Sanford

Top Eliminator

The Top Eliminator points race looked like it was under control heading into Primm with Steve Hoffman sitting in the driver’s seat with a decent point lead. Hoffman, however, did not make it for the weekend’s first race which opened up the door to the competition. Billy Morris was low qualifier for race one with a 3.011. Morris and Tim Martin would be the two racers with the best chance to gain ground on Hoffman. Both racers made it to the semi-final round, where Martin would advance to the final round but Morris would be unable to advance as he had a .009 red light. Martin would face off with Leon Januik in the final round, and Martin took the win with a 3.004. This win would give Tim a shot at the championship on Sunday, and was big as his Boghasian Race Engines teammate Gary Mink also won in the Top Alcohol class on the day.

Race two saw Lori Ketron get the bugs ironed out of her Lucas Oil dragster and end up in the #1 qualifying spot with a nearly perfect 2.951. The upset of the weekend went down in round one as Sidney Payne knocked off point leader Steve Hoffman 3.022 to 3.132. This would set up a scenario in which Tim Martin would win the title by advancing to the semi-final round. Tim would get by Mark Punos in round two with a 3.14 to lock up the 2008 NSDA Top Eliminator championship. Eliminations wore on and the final round ended up with Martin facing off with Jim Rossi in his first NSDA appearance. Martin would go on to complete the double down with a 2.98 to 3.01 final round victory.

Race #1 Winner: Tim Martin
Race #1 Runner-Up: Leon Januik
Race #1 Low Qualifier: Billy Morris 3.011
Race #1 Closest to Index: Leon Januik 2.977
Race #1 Best RT: Billy Morris .038

Race #2 Winner: Tim Martin
Race #2 Runner-Up: Jim Rossi
Race #2 Low Qualifier: Lori Ketron 2.951
Race #2 Closest to Index: Lori Ketron 2.951
Race #2 Best RT; Tiffany Januik .053

2008 Top Eliminator Points
1. Tim Martin 612
2. Steve Hoffman 595
3. Billy Morris 552
4. Leon Januik 541
5. Paul Taylor 516

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Tim Martin

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Jim Rossi

Pro 1

The Pro 1 points race came down to two racers with Mike Erwin and Tommy Zavala having a shot at the title. Race one on Friday saw both Erwin and Zavala exit in round two, so the battle went on to Sunday with both racers less than one round apart. Friday’s final round saw Don Boespflug’s Jeep face off with Steve DeNunzio’s dragster. In the final, Boespflug took a .034 to .093 advantage and never looked back for the day’s Pro 1 win.

On Sunday, we were all treated to one of the most entertaining and bizarre points conclusions ever. Mike Erwin hurt his motor on Saturday in Pro Mod action, which would severely hurt his chances on Sunday as the car was not running very close to the class’ minimum dial. Erwin would be up first in the first round on Pro 1 against Jeff Liston. Liston would go .015 red handing Erwin the win. This put the pressure on Zavala, and he rose to the occasion with a win over Eddie Arant. Erwin’s .034 RT in round one would end up being the #1 qualifier, gaining him 10 points (one round) on Zavala (who did not score any qualifying points), and giving Erwin the round two bye run. Zavala once again had a clutch win defeating Bill “Wild Willie” Swim in round two. This would set up a third round match up between Zavala and Erwin that Zavala would need to win, then advance one more round for the championship. An unlikely championship story for Erwin came to life as Zavala had starter issues and was unable to make it to the starting line in their third round match up, handing Erwin the title. Eliminations went on and Joe Janoe would emerge victorious over Don Stein in the final round.

Race #1 Winner: Don Boespflug
Race #1 Runner-Up: Steve DeNunzio
Race #1 Low Qualifier: Steve DeNunzio .004
Race #1 Closest to Dial: Larry Brown .004

Race #1 Best RT: Steve DeNunzio .004

Race #2 Winner: Joe Janoe
Race #2 Runner-Up: Don Stein
Race #2 Low Qualifier: Mike Erwin .034
Race #2 Closest to Dial: Bruce Taylor .006
Race #2 Best RT: Mike Erwin .003

2008 Pro 1 Points
1. Mike Erwin 559
2. Tommy Zavala 537
3. Joe Janoe 471
4. Jeff Liston 430
5. George Amos 430

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Don Boespflug

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Joe Janoe

Pro 2

A three way battle for the Pro 2 championship headed to Primm with Phil Soper, Wes Johnson, and Charlie Johnson all having a chance at the title. Friday’s race saw point leader Soper go out in round two and Charlie Johnson make it to the semi-final round before being taken out by Mike Bolton. This set up a final round between Bolton and Wes Johnson. Wes would go .035 red handing the win to Bolton, while Wes’ runner-up finish gave him the point lead over Soper heading into Sunday.

Sunday was an anti-climatic finish to the point series as all three contenders went out in round one, thus making Wes Johnson the 2008 Pro 2 champion. Eliminations came down to a battle between Donnie Burns’ Bronco and Nick Schulzman’s Altered. Burns went .010 on the tree in the final and never looked back to take the race victory.

Race #1 Winner: Mike Bolton
Race #1 Runner-Up: Wes Johnson
Race #1 Low Qualifier: Wes Johnson .043
Race #1 Closest to Dial: Donnie Burns .016
Race #1 Best RT: Charlie Johnson .017

 Race #2 Winner: Donnie Burns
Race #2 Runner-Up: Nick Schulzman
Race #2 Low Qualifier: Steve Anthony .036
Race #2 Closest to Dial: Tony DeNunzio .002
Race #2 Best RT: Nick Schulzman .035

2008 Pro 2 Points
1. Wes Johnson 558
2. Phil Soper 539
3. Charlie Johnson 521
4. Hunter Buettner 466
5. Tommy Zavala 460

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Mike Bolton

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Donnie Burns

Pro 3

There was no drama in Primm regarding the championship as Charlie Johnson locked up the title heading into the race. The champ made it to the semi-finals of race one before Darin McChesney went .023 and ran closer to the dial to advance to the final round against Ron Stillwell. In the final round, Darin left first .065 to .157 and won a double breakout decision over Stillwell.

Sunday’s race came down to a final round between Brian Root and his Jeep versus Michigan’s Tom Hartman and his Blazer. Root left first .005 to .039, but could not run close enough to the dial to stay ahead giving Hartman a .030 margin of victory.

Race #1 Winner: Darin McChesney
Race #1 Runner-Up: Ron Stillwell
Race #1 Low Qualifier: Mark Eckart .007
Race #1 Closest to Dial: Ron Stillwell .020
Race #1 Best RT: Mark Eckart .007

 Race #2 Winner: Tom Hartman
Race #2 Runner-Up: Brian Root
Race #2 Low Qualifier: Donna Huff .044
Race #2 Closest to Dial: Kelly White .004
Race #2 Best RT: Brian Root .005

2008 Pro 3 Points
1. Charlie Johnson 616
2. Jose Beas 513
3. Gary Gebert 461
4. Grant Fraysier 434
5. Arend Schouten 419

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Tom Hartman

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Darin McChesney

Motorcycle Pro 1

Ryan Winkle dominated MC Pro 1 throughout the ’08 season and locked up the championship before heading to Primm. In Friday’s race one, the final round came down to Michigan racer Buddy Hammett and ’07 class champ Ian Brown. Hammett parlayed a .009 final round RT into a victory.

In Sunday’s race two, Brown once again reached the final, this time against Don Boespflug. This time Brown took a slim starting line advantage, but Boespflug ran 3.990 (3.97) to take the victory.

Race #1 Winner: Buddy Hammett
Race #1 Runner-Up: Ian Brown
Race #1 Low Qualifier: Ian Brown .062
Race #1 Closest to Dial: Don Boespflug .007
Race #1 Best RT: Buddy Hammett .009

Race #2 Winner: Don Boespflug
Race #2 Runner-Up: Ian Brown
Race #2 Low Qualifier: Ron Garnas .085
Race #2 Closest to Dial: Christy Garnas .017
Race #2 Best RT: Don Boespflug .045

2008 MC Pro 1 Points
1. Ryan Winkle 616
2. Ian Brown 545
3. Brad Olson 419
4. Robert Garnas 353

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Don Boespflug

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Buddy Hammett

Motorcycle Pro 2

Randy Mings came into Primm with the best shot of winning the MC Pro 2 lead despite missing a race earlier in the year. Mings went out round two in race one, but point contenders George Amos and Rob Winkle went out the next round keeping them from taking full advantage. In the final round, Jake Russell took a tenth of a second starting line advantage and held on at the strip for the win over Cody Rhoades.

On Sunday, Winkle and George Amos both had early exits that crowned Randy Mings as the back-to-back MC Pro 2 champion. Mings would continue on to the semi-final round, where Jake Russell put a .026 RT on him to head to the final round against Rudy Kurtz III. In the final, Russell once again had a great RT (.034), but could not run close enough to the dial missing the double down win and handing Kurtz the race victory.

Race #1 Winner: Jake Russell
Race #1 Runner-Up: Cody Rhoades
Race #1 Low Qualifier: Jake Russell .035
Race #1 Closest to Dial: Heather Taylor .058
Race #1 Best RT: Shea Marlow .029

Race #2 Winner: Rudy Kurtz III
Race #2 Runner-Up: Jake Russell
Race #2 Low Qualifier: Cody Rhoades .063
Race #2 Closest to Dial: S. Maham .008
Race #2 Best RT: Jake Russell .026

2008 MC Pro 2 Points
1. Randy Mings 613
2. Rob Winkle 586
3. George Amos 564
4. Shea Marlow 529
5. Joey Weaver 464

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Rudy Kurtz III

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Jake Russell

Pro Mod

The Pro Mod points race was a tight one with coming down to whoever went the most rounds between Mike Erwin and Clayton Record. Mike had the upper hand going into the race and took home the championship when both racers lost in round one. The final round came down to Don Boespflug and Steve Foster. Steve Foster went .011 red, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered as Don ran a 3.49 to Steve’s 3.60 for the win.

Winner: Don Boespflug
Runner-Up: Steve Foster
Low Qualifier: Steve Foster 3.583
Low ET: Don Boespflug 3.490
Top MPH: Mike Erwin 92.60

2008 Pro Mod Points
1. Mike Erwin 633
2. Clayton Record 619
3. Wes Gilmore 269
4. Francisco Anaya 119
5. Larry Minor 98

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Don Boespflug

Pro Index

A five car points battle in the Pro Index class got very interesting when point leaders Charlie Johnson and Wes Johnson both were eliminated in round one. With this race’s double points format, it would pretty much come down to who went the farthest in eliminations. The championship would go to Justin Adamson when Mike Erwin was eliminated on the run where he spun out at the end of the track in round two. The newly crowned back-to-back champ would go on to race Steve Foster Jr. in the final round. Nearly identical reaction times proved no difference, but Foster would go 3.983 to defeat the champ’s 4.053.

Winner: Steve Foster Jr.
Runner-Up: Justin Adamson
Low Qualifier: Howard Sato 3.986
Closest to Index: Howard Sato 3.968
Best RT: Charlie Johnson .005

2008 Pro Index Points
1. Justin Adamson 583
2. Mike Erwin 550
3. Charlie Johnson 534
4. Wes Johnson 531
5. Jose Beas 514

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Steve Foster Jr.

Sportsman 1

The Sportsman 1 contenders were whittled down to two after round one of eliminations with Phil Soper and Hunter Buettner being the two still vying for the title. They would move on to round three where they would face off with each other. The winner of the round would take home the championship. Buettner would go .033 red to had Soper the free pass for the round win and championship title. Eliminations wore on and came down to an all Northwest final round between Don Boespflug and Jim Hendricks. Boespflug would go .032 on the tree and dead on 3.849 (3.84) for the race win.

Winner: Don Boespflug
Runner-Up: Jim Hendricks
Low Qualifier: Phil Soper .031
Closest to Dial: Jim Blair .001
Best RT: Jim Blair .013

2008 Sportsman 1 Points
1. Phil Soper 547
2. Hunter Buettner 511
3. Brian Root 481
4. Tommy Zavala 464
5. Clayton Record 464

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Don Boespflug

Sportsman 2

It looked like there would be a three racer battle for the championship heading into Primm. This was cut down to a two racer battle as Aaron Smith did not attend the Primm event, so the battle was down to Arend Schouten and Justin Taylor. The two battled in round one with Taylor getting the win in a close race by .013. This locked up the championship for Taylor. Eliminations battled on and came down to a final round between Northwest racer Dean Becker and Gary Gebert in his Land Cruiser. Gebert had the RT advantage, but Becker would go .004 off his dial to take the class win.

Winner: Dean Becker
Runner-Up: Gary Gebert
Low Qualifier: Eddie Spears .057
Closest to Dial: Dean Becker .004
Best RT: Justin Taylor .030

2008 Sportsman 2 Points
1. Justin Taylor 541
2. Arend Schouten 440
3. Aaron Smith 415
4. Jim Clark 309
5. Steve Bertram 297

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Dean Becker

Motorcycle Sportsman 1

Ryan Winkle had locked up the MC Sport 1 title heading into Primm giving him a double up on the championships in 2008 with his MC Pro 1 win. In Primm, Winkle would go out in round one opening the door for a new winner for this event. The final round came down to TJ Marchant versus Christy Garnas. Garnas left first, but had issues off the starting line handing the win to Marchant who ran a nice 4.292 (4.26) for the win.

Winner: TJ Marchant
Runner-Up: Christy Garnas
Low Qualifier: Christy Garnas .015
Closest to Dial: TJ Marchant .018
Best RT: Christy Garnas .015

2008 MC Sportsman 1 Points
1. Ryan Winkle 625
2. Ian Brown 450
3. Pedro Villa Jr. 178
4. Rob Winkle 119

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TJ Marchant

Motorcycle Sportsman 2

The points battle would go down to the final race in Primm for the MC Sport 2 category. Point leader Rob Winkle would go out in round one opening the door for Shea Marlow to gain ground. Marlow would keep on going through eliminations before being defeated in the semi-final round, but would gain enough points to pass winkle and take the 2008 MC Sport 2 championship. The final round would come down to MC Pro 1 winner Rudy Kurtz III versus Alan Mamer. Mamer would go .022 red in the final, handing Kurtz the win and giving him a double up victory on the weekend.

Winner: Rudy Kurtz III
Runner-Up: Alan Mamer
Low Qualifier: Cody Rhoades .040
Closest to Dial: Alan Mamer .003
Best RT: Alan Mamer .008

2008 MC Sportsman 2 Points
1. Shea Marlow 588
2. Rob Winkle 540
3. Alan Mamer 506
4. Randy Mings 474
5. Pedro Villa Jr. 457

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Rudy Kurtz III

Junior Dragster

At the final race of the year, Brandon Wright was able to go on to take the win over J. Hensley to take the race win and also take the point series championship in the Junior Dragster class.

Winner: Brandon Wright
Runner-Up: J. Hensley
Low Qualifier: J. Hensley .038
Closest to Dial: Taylor Johnson .004
Best RT: J. Hensley .038

2008 Junior Dragster Points
1. Brandon Wright 532
2. Aaron Mamer 529
3. Alan Mamer 501
4. Jacob Thomas 479
5. Kody Hoffman 461

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Brandon Wright

All photos Courtesy C3 Productions -- www.c3productions.net


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