NSDN Rewind 2014 Race 4: AtokaMemorial Day Weekend was the traditional trip for NSDN to head to Atoka, Oklahoma for the Heartland Nationals at Atoka Motorsports Park. This year’s event was the first stop for the 2014 PTN series adding a little extra flair to this event. Outside of the Dome Valley event, this was the closest thing to a National event this season with racers from as far away as Michigan and Arizona making the haul. This was also the first event of the PTN / PSDA partnership bringing more Heads-Up ATV racing to races across the country. The result was a huge turnout across the board with nearly 300 entries for the weekend. It was quite a weekend with some awesome coverage from the NSDN cameras on the starting line as well as the exceptional photos from our good friends Gary & Michelle at Lonestar Graphics. This race was truly a highlight of the 2014 sand drag season. This NSDN Daily Race Coverage was presented by Pro Truck Nationals and Mid-West Coatings, Inc.
NSDN Coverage Links
NSDN Daily Race Coverage Page
NSDN Race Recap Page
NSDN Run of the Event: For the second race in a row, the Run of the Event takes place in the Top Alcohol final round. The final round at the Heartland Nationals would be a great Oklahoma vs. Michigan battle. Local favorite Marc Luce debuted a brand new Lucas Oil-backed Top Alcohol Dragster at this event. Allen Racing’s Dan Allen helped put the car together the week before the race and was on hand to tune the Hemi power at this event. They would qualify #1 with a 2.77 on the car’s first full pass during Friday night qualifying. In the other lane of the final round would be Top Alcohol crew chief & chassis guru Ted Lirones in the third entry out of the Pat Goodale Motorsports stable. Ted piloted the screw blown Chevy-powered entry to the #3 qualifying spot with a 2.83. Anticipation was high for this battle. Marc had lane choice after recording a 2.76 in round one while Ted ran a 2.88, but Ted had a much better Reaction Time. Lirones is a savvy veteran racer that has won Top Alcohol races across the country and could be counted on for a killer RT when needed. When the tree dropped, that was the case as Ted jumped out to a .083 to .228 edge, but it would be the Luce’s BAE Hemi power nipping Lirones at the stripe with a 2.74/135MPH to a 2.90/115MPH. The margin of victory would be just .013, mere inches separating these cars at the stripe. This was certainly a memorable final that won’t soon be forgotten.
Marc Luce - Top Alcohol Winner
Ted Lirones - Top Alcohol Runner-Up
NSDN Racer of the Event: There were several contenders for the racer of the event award from this race, but one stands out to me. I was in awe looking at the numbers after the race. Putting up such a performance once a year is impressive, but it definitely deserves recognition when it happens twice. For the second race this year, Courtney Stidham earned the NSDN Racer of the Event award. Texas racer Stidham earned the award earlier in the season with his victory at Dome Valley Raceway’s January event. Courtney along with his father Jackie make up the Father-Son team that campaigns the Twisted blown small block Chevy-powered TE Dragster. At this race, Stidham qualified #2 with a 2.972, tying Terry Glasscock’s ET but Terry got the nod based on MPH. His consistency in qualifying was amazing with ET’s of 2.98, 2.97, 3.00, and 3.00. The Twisted car recorded its third straight 3.00 on a round one single pass. Next up would be a battle against eventual Top Alcohol class winner Marc Luce in his Breakin’ Luce TE Dragster. Luce qualified #3 with a 2.979, so Sitdham knew he had to be on his game. He dug deep and recorded a solid .050 RT, which would be enough for a hole shot win with a 2.99 to Luce’s Best TE Run of the Weekend 2.959. This would setup a final round between Courtney and 2013 MASD TE class champion Terry Glasscock in his Turbocharged Pinto-powered Dragster. Once again it was the driving job that got the job done as Stidham left first .036 to .129 and never looked back for yet another hole shot win 2.99 to 2.97. Let’s recap the consistency here, on the weekend the Twisted car ran 2.97, 2.98, two 2.99’s, and three 3.00’s. Couple those ET’s with Eliminations RT’s of .071, .050, and .036 for one of the most impressive TE performances ever. Granted the numbers were slightly better for him at Dome, but in tricky conditions at Atoka ranging from extreme hot with sun all the way to cool & cloudy with a few rain drops in the final round it was quite a feat. Congrats to the Stidham team on the great performance in Oklahoma.
Courtney Stidham - Top Eliminator Winner
Team MDR: The Missouri-based Madd Draggin’ Racing team made a big splash at the first PTN / PSDA event in Oklahoma. They started off with an all MDR final round on Friday as team riders Jeff Patterson and Trey Williams squared off to determine the class winner in the Quick 16 Quads bracket class. From there, they scored top qualifying spots in all three PSDA Heads-up classes that were contested and went on to score victories in each class with Williams taking two classes & Patterson one class. These guys put up a great performance with all three of their Pro ATV’s clicking off consistently fast laps all weekend.
Team MDR's Trey Williams
Team MDR's Jeff Patterson
3.95 Index Pro ATV: This event would be Race 1 of the PTN 3.95 Index Pro ATV class series Presented by Proformance Prototypes. This popular class saw 14 entries make the call for round one at the season opener. Oklahoma’s Krista Loudermilk took the top spot in Qualifying with a 3.967 on the 3.95 class Index after four qualifying sessions. The final round would be a classic Oklahoma versus Texas showdown with OK’s John Pate against TX’s Joseph Evans. This one would be to Oklahoma as Pate left first .055 to .119 and used a 4.01 at 75MPH to take the big victory.
John Pate - PTN 3.95 Index Pro ATV Presented By Proformance Prototypes
Michiganders: A great contingent from Michigan made the haul to Atoka led by PTN Head Honcho Buddy Hammett. Buddy was on his game in the S-10 taking the Friday night Ironman class, and then he used a string of great RT’s to emerge victorious in Sunday’s Pro 2 class. World Famous Bob Ramlow got the job done in the PTN 3.5 Index class with the Strictly Business Altered while Rigger Racing also got the job done with Steph Bennett piloting to the 3.7 Index Pro ATV class victory. These Michigan racers along with Pat Goodale Motorsports, Proformance Prototypes, and KW Racing made the 1000 mile trip each way to put on a great show in Oklahoma.
Buddy Hammett - Ironman & Pro 2 Winner
Bob Ramlow - PTN 3.5 Index Winner
Steph Bennett / Rigger Racing - 3.7 Index Pro ATV Winner
Arizona: Also making the 1,000-plus mile trip one way to Atoka was a pair of Arizona racers in Kenny Hayes and Keith Ahart. Hayes had a successful weekend taking the prestigious Friday night Quick 16 Cars victory in his Larry Minor Motorsports Jeep. This is the second year in a row Hayes has taken a class win at the Heartland Nationals. Ahart was on a mission Sunday going rounds, but fell just short as he recorded a runner-up in PTN 3.5 Index and a semi-final finish in Pro 1 Cars. Both of these guys did a great job at Atoka
Kenny Hayes - Quick 16 Cars Winner
Keith Ahart - PTN 3.5 Index Runner-Up