Scruggs Leads Winner's List As ADRL Makes Successful Debut In Bristol
BRISTOL, TENN. (April 21, 2012) – Jason Scruggs’ latest win in the American Drag Racing League (ADRL) is one he won’t soon forget.
With his ’63 Corvette echoing through Thunder Valley, Scruggs won for the seventh time in Pro Extreme, running 3.675 at 205.72 miles per hour to beat Tommy D’Aprile in the finals of the ADRL Spring Drags III at Bristol Dragway.
It was the perfect exclamation point to the ADRL’s first visit to Bristol and the magnitude of Saturday’s win simply added a smile to Scruggs’ face.
“With this competition and Bristol being the monumental place that it is, it makes this win that much more special,” Scruggs said. “Every guy we raced was tough; I’m just glad it was our day.”
Other winners on Saturday included Rickie Jones (Pro Nitrous), Alan Pittman (Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5), Japel Heard (Pro Extreme Motorcycle), Cary Goforth (Extreme Pro Stock), Mike Castellana (Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified), Aaron Glaser (Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman) and Bo Butner (SuperCar Showdown).
The winner’s circle celebration also capped off a memorable two days at Bristol Dragway, as the ADRL concluded its successful debut in Thunder Valley with a near-record competitor count and non-stop action.
Scruggs delivered when it mattered most, running a 3.687 (with a .007 reaction time) to beat Alex Hossler in the quarterfinals, and putting together his best run of the day in the finals against D’Aprile, who reached his first ADRL final and made a career-best pass in the semifinals (3.67).
“It was one of those days when everything went right and everything went our way,” Scruggs said. “It wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done.”
Rickie Jones was workmanlike in Pro Nitrous, staying in the low 3.80s over the final three rounds to stay unbeaten in 2012 driving his Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored RJ Race Cars 2012 Camaro. He went as quick as 3.812 and then went 3.823 at 194.27 mph to beat Bob Rahaim in the finals for the second straight race.
“We knew what we could run and we were just consistent with that,” Jones said. “With the way we were operating, anything in the low 3.80s was a pretty good run. We would rather just go down the track and be consistent.”
The win proved to be a special one for Jones, who also won for the first time in Bristol.
“I love coming to Bristol. This place has been part of my life and this is one of the big ones,” Jones said. “This is a special place and to win here is just amazing.”
Like Jones, Alan Pittman stayed perfect and made it two wins in a row, marking a number of firsts on a highlight-filled weekend for the Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5 standout.
He capped it off by going 3.858 at 197.45 mph to beat Brad Brand, but the real fireworks came in the semifinals against Grant McCrary.
Both cars nearly came together at the center line and McCrary actually crossed the center line before getting loose and crashing into the left wall. Crossing the center line disqualified McCrary’s winning run, sending Pittman to the finals where he put together a brilliant run. It wrapped up a weekend where he went as quick as 3.841 at 199.35 mph.
“It’s the car owner and the crew, and I couldn’t have done this without them,” Pittman said. “We had a lot of firsts today: Our fastest and quickest times, our best 60-foot times and I won two races in a row for the first time.
“I’ve always wanted to say I’ve won at Bristol and now I can, so that’s another first, too. I couldn’t be any happier.”
There was nothing easy about Cary Goforth’s win in Extreme Pro Stock, but in going 4.091 at 175.57 mph in his Jerry Haas Race Cars GXP to beat Richie Stevens Jr. in the finals, Goforth became the winningest driver in the class with his seventh victory.
This one will earn a special spot for Goforth, not only because of where he did it, but also how he earned it.
“This never gets old,” Goforth said. “Today and (Friday), I didn’t have the best car. The motor’s tired, but that made this is a satisfying win. The guys worked very hard to get a little extra and this is very rewarding.
“When the pressure was on, I was able to drive. We had some adversity, but that just makes it sweeter. Today, we had to be on every time and that includes me. This is really amazing.”
Japel Heard’s first win in Pro Extreme Motorcycle was remarkable in a number of ways, as he beat Casey Stemper with a 4.16 at 163.91 mph.
The win gave Heard the ultimate birthday present and it also proved to be a great dedication to chassis builder and former ADRL world champion Dan Parker, who was seriously injured in a recent crash.
“This win is for Dan,” Heard said. “It’s just a blessing to get this.”
Heard reclaimed the No. 1 qualifying spot earlier Saturday with a 4.10 and then went as quick as 4.12 during eliminations before gutting it out against Stemper in a final where both riders pulled out all the stops.
“I knew I had to go on a run against Casey and our attitude was, ‘By any means necessary.’ When you see that win light come on, it’s well worth it,” Heard said.
Bo Butner stayed perfect in the new SuperCar Showdown with some impressive dominance in his 2012 Cobra Jet. In the finals on Saturday, Butner went 5.88 at 109.48 mph, tracking down Ray Skillman to keep his hot streak going.
Before this weekend, Butner had not raced in Bristol in nearly two decades, but the win brought back a number of memories.
“This place is just awesome and the fans are great,” Butner said. “We’ve got a good handle on this car right now and it has some good power.”
On the subject of dominant drivers, Mike Castellana remained unbeatable in Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified, keeping the Al-Anabi Racing driver perfect in the class.
His 2012 RJ Race Cars Camaro was on point when it had to be, and Castellana took out Rickie Smith with a 3.885 at 193.43 mph in the finals.
“This season has been great for us. I just have to thank KH Al-Thani for helping us out here and supporting us by providing people like (crew chief) Shannon Jenkins to help us. They have given me a great race car,” Castellana said.
“We didn’t run like we should have this weekend, (but) we still pulled out a win.”
Aaron Glaser went from the lowest of lows a month ago in Houston to an extreme high after winning the Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman class.
A month after not qualifying at the first race of the season, Glaser went back to his old car and it proved to be the winning combination, as he went 4.235 at 163.33 mph to beat Dylan Stott.
This was a welcome turnaround for Glaser, who jumps back into the championship hunt in Summit Racing Top Sportsman.
“We needed this and it’s just an awesome feeling,” Glaser said. “I love the ADRL and the atmosphere is just great. This is where it’s at for Top Sportsman racing, and we just came down here and got the job done.”
In Pro Junior Dragster, Codie Nye picked up his first ADRL win, beating Jackson with a time of 7.903 at 81.41 mph. Running on a 7.90 Index, Nye also had a reaction time of .014.
The ADRL’s third stop on its 2012 Tour takes place May 4-5 with the Northeast Drags II presented by Penske at Maple Grove Raceway.
ABOUT THE ADRL
Based in O’Fallon, Missouri, the American Drag Racing League is the world’s premier sanctioning body for the sport of eighth-mile drag racing. The professional categories featured in the ADRL are Pro Junior Dragster, Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman, Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified, Extreme Pro Stock, Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5, Pro Nitrous and Pro Extreme, the quickest doorslammer class in all of drag racing, as well as the revolutionary new SuperCar Showdown. The 2012 ADRL Tour consists of 10 national events run throughout the United States. For more information on the ADRL, visit www.ADRL.us.