Johnson, Byrd Take Super Pro Wins; Knight, Halsey Sweep Weekend
Chris Johnson and Allen Byrd each took home big Super Pro victories during last weekend’s racing at the DER Bracket Series event in Thunder Valley.
Johnson, of Maryville, defeated Mooresburg’s Kellie Shortridge in the final round of Saturday’s action. Johnson’s .016 reaction time just edged the .017 R.T of Shortridge on the starting line. At the top end of the track, Shortridge broke out, a 4.838 elapsed time on a 4.84 dial-in, to hand the win to Johnson. The winning pass was a 4.908 E.T. on a 4.89 dial-in at 140.61 mph.
Church Hill’s Byrd took Sunday’s Super Pro win over Christi Johnson, also of Maryville. Byrd had a .017 R.T. and a 6.518 E.T. (6.49 dial-in) at 101.92 mph to oust Johnson, who used a 4.961 E.T. on a 4.92 dial at 137.75 mph.
Tim Griffith drove to Saturday’s Pro division win over C.J. Hodges of Boone, N.C. The Cedar Bluff, Va. native left the line with a .035 light and powered down the strip in 6.714 seconds (6.67 dial-in) at 103.08 mph. Hodges’ run had a .027 R.T. and a 6.845 E.T. (6.77 dial-in) at 100.11 mph.
Mooresburg’s Brian Dunnigan took the Sunday class victory over Jason Buckles from Elizabethton. Dunnigan won the race off the line with a .018 R.T. compared to Buckles’ .110 R.T. Dunnigan raced through the finish in 6.745 seconds (6.72 dial-in) at 98.72 mph.
While the weekend featured great parity, two racers were able to sweep both wins in their respective classes. Bristol’s Ben Knight rode his bike to wins on both Saturday and Sunday in the Motorcycle division. On Saturday, Knight defeated Jason Haynes from Mt. Carmel in the final round. Knight’s winning run was a .102 R.T. and a 6.364 E.T. (6.34 dial-in) at 108.85 mph.
On Sunday, Knight earned the win as his opponent, Bluff City’s Jerry Turner, went red in the final round. Knight still rode all-out, flashing through the lights in 6.276 seconds (6.35 dial-in) at 114.91 mph.
Jason Halsey from Independence, Va. also pulled off the weekend sweep, earning both wins in Junior Dragster Division II. Halsey defeated Dylan Kiser of Corryton on Saturday with a .023 R.T. and an 8.153 E.T. (8.05 dial-in) at 77.24 mph. It was déjà vu on Sunday, as Halsey again defeated Kiser in the final, using a .012 R.T. and an 8.150 E.T. (8.10 dial-in) at 76.93 mph to nab the victory.
Randy Walters of Bluff City was given the Saturday Sportsman win as Bristol’s John Nelson turned on the red light at the starting line. Walters’ winning run had a .050 R.T. and an 11.759 E.T. (10.99 dial-in) at 88.45 mph. Nelson avenged the loss on Sunday, defeating another Nelson, Jason of Bluff City, in the final round. John would not let reaction times get the best of him on this day, using a perfect .000 R.T. to begin his run. He finished in 11.754 seconds (11.74 dial-in) at 110.92 mph.
Michael Nuttall of Rutledge drove to the Trophy category win on Saturday over Bluff City’s Bill Roberts. Nuttall had a .059 R.T. and a 16.685 E.T. (16.68 dial-in) at 78.41 mph in the victory. Chester Lay from Corryton won on Sunday, defeating Tyler Newman in the process. Lay’s win had a .032 R.T. and a 17.095 E.T. (16.92 dial-in) at 73.93 mph.
Junior Dragster Division I wins went to Lucas McKinney of Elizabethton on Saturday and Drew Smith from Barbourville, Ky. on Sunday. McKinney defeated a red-lighting Carson Brown of Blountville to earn the win. Smith used a stellar .008 R.T. to send Shannon Nuttall of Rutledge back to the trailer.
Bristol Dragway will take a week off to prepare for the stars of the NHRA to return on Father’s Day Weekend, June 17-19, for the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals presented by the Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers.
Three-day combo and single-day event tickets are available.
Gates open at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 17 with the first round of Pro Qualifying slated for 5 p.m. The pro cars will return at 7:30 p.m. for the exciting night qualifying round.
Gates open at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 18 with Pro Qualifying set for 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Bristol Dragway’s Fan Fest takes place 30 minutes following the conclusion of the final professional qualifying round.
Sunday’s action kicks off when gates open at 8:30 a.m. and Final Eliminations begin at 12:00 noon. Sunday tickets begin at only $20 thanks to special Father’s Day pricing.
Ticket prices are as follows: Friday -- Sections A - D $30 Adult / $10 Junior; Sections E - U $35 Adult / $10 Junior; Thunder Terrace $35 Adult / $10 Junior, Saturday -- Sections A - D $45 Adult / $15 Junior; Sections E - U $55 Adult / $25 Junior; Thunder Terrace $55 Adult / $25 Junior, Sunday -- Sections A- B $20 Adult / $10 Junior, Sections C - D $45 Adult / $15 Junior, Section E – P $55 Adult/ $25 Junior, Section Q – U $20 Adult/$10 Junior, Thunder Terrace $55 Adult / $25 Junior. Weekend combos are: Sections A - B $79 Adult / $30 Junior, Section C – D $95 Adult/$30 Junior, Sections E - P $120 Adult / $50 Junior, Sections Q – U $95 Adult/$30 Junior and Thunder Terrace $120 Adult / $50 Junior. Thunder Valley Club admission for three days is $300 for adults and $100 for juniors. Three-day Bruton’s Suite admission is $450 for both adults and juniors.
To purchase tickets, please call the Bristol ticket office at 423-BRISTOL or visit www.thundervalleytix.com.