DER Racing Series Crowns Season Champions In Thunder Valley
Maryville’s Chris Johnson wrapped up his second consecutive DER Racing Series Super Pro championship last weekend at Bristol Dragway, while Thunder Valley veterans Tim Griffith and John Nelson Jr. earned titles in Pro and Sportsman, respectively.
Chester Lay earned the Trophy category championship, while Ben Knight brought home the Motorcycle division. Dylan Howard won Junior Dragster Division I, while another Dylan, Dylan Kiser, took home Jr. Dragster Div. II.
By the time Saturday was over, five of the seven eventual points champions made it to final round, with four standing in the Winner’s Circle, highlighting the importance of gaining every possible point toward the championship.
Griffith, of Cedar Bluff, Va. claimed the Pro win over a red-lighting Larry Barr of Johnson City. Griffith’s winning run had a .039 reaction time, and a 7.488 elapsed time (7.47 dial-in) at 89.39 mph. Bristol’s Nelson Jr. took the Sportsman category, defeating Don Evans of Abingdon, Va. Nelson Jr. came off the line with a .030 R.T. and finished his run with an 11.329 E.T. (11.30 dial-in) at 115.02 mph.
Bristol’s Knight boosted his championship hopes when Mike Conley of Jonesborough turned on the red-light in the final round. Knight left with a .083 R.T. and sailed through the line in 6.178 sec. (6.23 dial-in) at 116.17 mph.
Howard of Corryton raced to the Div. I win on Saturday, posting a .056 R.T. and an 8.952 E.T. (8.95 dial-in) at 72.52 mph to oust Roan Mountain’s Gracie Freeman.
Landon Stahl of Boone, N.C. earned the Div. II win over Kiser, with a .017 R.T. and an 8.282 E.T. (8.23 dial-in) at 79.23 mph. The final round effort aided Kiser in his championship hunt, however.
A pair of Newland, N.C. competitors faced off in the final round of Super Pro on Saturday, with William Daniels getting the best of Vance Houston. Daniels turned in a stellar .003 R.T. and a 7.118 E.T. (7.09 dial-in) at 94.20 mph to come out victorious.
Bluff City’s Bill Roberts won Saturday’s Trophy division with a .223 R.T. and a 15.160 E.T. (15.12 dial-in) at 89.49 mph over Roan Mountain’s Chrystal Freeman.
Ironically, after Saturday’s impressive showing, none of the season champions made it to the final round on Sunday.
Knoxville’s Travis Nelson earned the Super Pro win on Sunday, taking a time slip featuring a .014 R.T. and a 4.854 E.T. (4.85 dial-in) at 141.77 with him to the Winner’s Circle. Chuck Chism from Asheville, N.C. earned the Pro category win on Sunday. He and his opponent, Cody Spears, broke out, with Chism a little closer to the dial. Chism had a .072 R.T. and an 8.402 E.T. (8.41 dial-in) at 78.38 mph to claim the win.
Spears came up better in Sportsman action, earning the win over Evans who came up short in the final round for the second day in a row. Spears’ final run had a .034 R.T. and a 13.521 E.T. (13.51 dial-in) at 96.36 mph. Bryce Acuff of Knoxville won Sunday’s Motorcycle division when Elizabethton’s Chris Johnson turned on the red light in the final. Acuff had a .007 R.T. and a 6.349 E.T. (6.37 dial-in) at 105.61 mph to earn the win.
Blountville’s Carson Brown defeated Joseph Denton from Bristol, Va in the final round of Jr. Dragster Div. I. Brown used a .084 R.T. and a 9.054 E.T. (9.04 dial-in) at 72.68 mph to earn the win. Rogersville’s Gabe Ellison earned the Jr. Dragster Div. II victory after Tiffany Howard of Corryton ran faster than her dial. Ellison had a .076 R.T. and a 7.979 E.T. (7.96 dial-in) at 82.02 mph.
Freeman avenged her Saturday Trophy category loss by earning Sunday’s victory. She came off the line with a .252 R.T. and raced through the finish in 16.036 sec. (15.92 dial-in) at 83.83 mph.
Bristol Dragway and the DER Racing Series congratulates all of the champions and race winners from the 2011 season. Thunder Valley returns to action with the Sept. 23-25 Super Chevy Show presented by GM Performance Division. The event is highlighted by the Sept. 24 Fas Mart Thunder Valley Mayhem presented by Beef O’Brady’s Family Sports Restaurant.
For more information, please call (423) BRISTOL or visit www.bristoldragway.com.