Atoka Heartland Nationals '13 Race Recap

The 2013 Mid-America Sand Drag Series kicked off over Memorial Day Weekend with the 15th Annual Heartland Nationals at Atoka Motorsports Park in Atoka, OK. Our friends at Lonestar Graphics were on hand and supplied us with some great photos from this race. Read on for the full race recap.

Top Alcohol

The Top Alcohol class put on quite a performance at Atoka this time around. Two tough customers fought it out all weekend long. Rod Trower and the Trower Racing team assisted by the Strasburg Brothers came into this event off of setting a new track record in October at Atoka with a 2.61 as well as laying down some great numbers in Arizona over the winter. They would be challenged by a newcomer to the Top Alcohol class in a car very familiar from its success on the west coast as Marc Luce would pilot the Lucas Oil TA Dragster formerly owned and campaigned by Dan Allen of Allen Racing. Dan and his crew would make the trek to Oklahoma to get Marc comfortable in his first weekend of Top Alcohol racing.

Day 1’s qualifying saw Trower have the advantage with a best pass of 2.73 to a nice 2.76 first full pass for Luce. Saturday’s final qualifying session would see the tables turn as Luce would turn an incredible 2.616 to take away the track record from Trower as well as the top qualifying spot. Sunday would see both teams make two test passes before lining up for the final round. Both drivers would get a hold of the track big time in the second test session as Trower would run a solid 2.64/139MPH, but the story would be Luce as he carded a 2.592/141MPH to lower the track record and become the first racer to break the 2.5 second barrier at Atoka Motorsports Park.

This would set up a dramatic final round between the Thunder & Lucas Oil TA entries. Trower would use his experience behind the wheel to take a big hole shot edge .110 to .257 and turn on the win light with a 2.78/130MPH to Marc’s 2.64/122MPH. These teams put on a great show all weekend, and we look forward to them continuing to square off in MASD action throughout the season.

Rod Trower - Top Alcohol Winner

Marc Luce - New Track Record Holder at Atoka with a 2.592

Top Eliminator

The highly competitive 2.95 Index Top Eliminator class had five entries make the trip to Atoka on Memorial Day Weekend. In the final qualifying session, Terry Glasscock would steal the top spot with his Turbo Pinto-powered Dragster with a solid 2.980. Dee Trower’s Fast Forward Blown Small Block-powered Dragster recorded a 3.00 to put her second while defending series champion Jeff Sieg ran a 3.09 best for the third spot. Unfortunately for The Champ, he would experience parts breakage in qualifying that put him out for eliminations. Fourth and Fifth on the qualifying sheet would be Russ Bailey’s Blown Altered with a 3.12 and Kenny Kapple’s 3.30.

Round one would kick off with the 4-5 qualifiers squaring off. This would be a Missouri vs. Oklahoma battle as Bailey and Kapple rolled to the line. Bailey left first with a solid .054 RT, but shut off shortly after allowing Kapple to take the win with a 3.40/90MPH in his Turbocharged 4-cylinder Dragster. Glasscock and Trower would struggle on their bye runs with Terry running Low ET of the round with a 3.13.

The second round started with an all Turbocharged match up as Glasscock’s Pinto power lined up with the more traditional 4-cylinder power of Kapple. Terry would leave first and never look back as he got there first in a 3.15 to 3.35 battle. Dee Trower would get back to her normal routine on the bye run into the finals as she turned a solid 3.01/115MPH to advance on.

This would set up a Pinto versus Small Block Chevy, Turbo vs. Screw Blower, Missouri vs. Oklahoma final round as Glasscock and Trower lined up for the Top Eliminator class final. This would be anti-climatic as Dee left before the tree was activated and Glasscock turned the best pass of the weekend with a 2.973/102MPH for the Heartland Nationals title. This would be Terry’s second straight Heartland Nationals TE class victory.

Terry Glasscock - Top Eliminator Winner

Dee Trower - Top Eliminator Runner-Up

Pro 1 Cars

Eighteen entries made the call for Round One of Pro 1 Cars at Atoka with the best of Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, and Arizona doing battle. Defending MASD class champion John Acker brought his A Game to Atoka once again. John won extremely close match ups with Ethan Fomby, Tim Feuerhelm (.001 MOV), and Dennis Burrows before earning a bye run into the final round. On the other side of the ladder, Arizona racer Kenny Hayes used consistency to slice through the field to face off with Acker in an Arizona vs. Texas final round. When the tree dropped, Acker was uncharacteristically late with a .216 RT to Hayes’ .110 RT, and that opened up enough room for the Arizona racer Hayes to take the win. Kenny ran a 4.353 (4.29) in the Flirtin’ With Disaster Jeep. 

Kenny Hayes - Pro 1 Cars Winner

Pro 1 Quads

The Pro 1 Quads class at Atoka is always a toss up with so many great racers in the category at each event and this one would be no different. Defending MASD champion Luke Martin lost a tough decision in round one to Randy Kimbley in a race decided by just .038. This would open the door for a new point’s leader to start the season. After a long day of eliminations, the final two ended up being Justin Evans of JE Motorsports versus Danny Travis. Both racers would be a little late on the tree, but at the finish line it would be Justin Evans turning on the win light to claim the first MASD Pro 1 Quads victory of the season with a 4.382 (4.40) in a double break out decision.

Justin Evans - Pro 1 Quads Winner

Quick 16’s

Traditionally one of the highlights of the Heartland Nationals is the Friday Night Quick 16 classes. These races typically see some of the closest battles of the weekend. The final round in the Quick 16 Cars category came down to that ole Orange “Mud Car” from Texas Defending MASD Pro 1 Champion John Acker against Missouri’s Dennis Burrows in his tough VW-powered Buggy. These two squared off several times in MASD competition with John coming out ahead. Dennis went for it on the tree in this final round, and found the red bulb handing John another victory. Acker ran a solid 4.283 (4.27) for the win. In the Quick 16 Quads final round, a couple of tough customers settled it amongst themselves as Rick Lovelace and Larry Holt lined up for the money round. This one would be over on the line as Holt went .046 red handing Lovelace the big win.

John Acker - Quick 16 Cars Winner

Rick Lovelace - Quick 16 Quads Winner

Bracket Classes

Other big winners on the weekend included James Hammons (Pro 2 Cars), Dylan Williams (Pro 2 Quads), Bobby Kincaid (Pro 3 Quads), and Laura Feuerhelm (Pro 4 Quads).

Photos Courtesy Lonestar Graphics.

Event Photo Gallery - Courtesy of Lonestar Graphics

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