DER Series Winners Take Home NHRA Wally Trophies; Johnson Completes Perfect Run
A few lucky winners during last weekend’s DER Racing Series events at Bristol Dragway were able to take home a special prize, a Wally trophy just like the ones given to winners at NHRA National events.
Winners during Sunday’s action received the prized trophy. Sevierville’s Dakota Wells defeated a red-lighting Frank Aldridge of Banner Elk, N.C. to win Sunday’s Super Pro competition and the Wally. Wells used a .023 R.T. and 4.856 E.T. (4.83 dial-in) at 141.73 mph on his winning pass.
After serving as grand marshal for the recent NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Kingsport’s Van Greer added another trophy to his collection, earning the win in Sunday’s Pro division. Greer had a .017 R.T. and a 10.648 E.T. (10.64 dial-in) at 63.15 mph to oust Steve Foley from Barboursville, Ky.
Rodney Finchum of Newport took Sunday’s Sportsman win, while Cody Spears won in Trophy division action. Jason Haynes from Mount Carmel rode to victory in the Motorcycle class.
Denver Maltba of Newland, N.C. won in Junior Dragster Division II, and Kayla Long of Clinton earned the Wally in Junior Dragster Division I.
Saturday’s Super Pro winner, Chris Johnson from Maryville, defeated Tim West of Asheville, N.C. to earn the special trophy. West left the line .002 sec. too soon, turning on the red light. Johnson’s winning pass was a 4.879 second blast at 142.03 mph. His reaction was a .020.
Johnson also accomplished an extremely rare feat, the perfect run, during the fourth round of competition on Sunday. Johnson left the line with a perfect .000 reaction time and flashed through the finish line with a 4.92 elapsed time on a 4.92 dial. Johnson defeated Scott Sanders of Pikeville, Ky. on the pass.
Tim Griffith of Cedar Bluff, Va. took top honors in Saturday’s Pro division when his opponent, Mooresburg’s Brian Dunnigan, became a little too anxious on the line and left too soon. Griffith had a .017 R.T. and completed his run with a 6.761 E.T. (6.78 dial-in) at 109.91 mph.
Dunnigan avenged the loss, however, by claiming the win in Sportsman competition. Dunnigan’s competition, Michael Hicks of Bristol, Va. ran faster than his dial-in, handing the win to Dunnigan. The winning run included a .023 R.T. and a 10.673 E.T. (10.67 dial-in) at 119.59 mph.
Anthony Cichocki of Richlands, Va. drove to the win in the Trophy class, while Jerry Turner raced to another win in Motorcycles.
Ben Denton, of Bristol, Va., earned the Junior Dragster Division II win, while Elizabethton’s Lucas McKinney earned the Junior Dragster Division I title.
The DER Racing Series returns to action July 10-11 with the special NHRA State Championships. All winners on Saturday will receive special plaques to commemorate their victories.
Gates open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, with tech inspection at 10:30 a.m. Time trials begin at noon, with eliminations following.
Gates open at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. Chapel service is at 9:30 a.m. Time trials begin at 10:30, followed by eliminations.