Northwest Nationals & the 2018 Swing Finale
Another western swing is in the books as we complete the CatSpot Northwest Nationals in Seattle, WA and as the schedule usually does not deter from years past, this is the 16th event out of 24, leaving us only 8 to go. This race is again the host of every sportsman class the NHRA has to offer, having better car count numbers than passed years. Justin Lamb is again the headline for the weekend as he continues his dominance hitting the bottom bulb with another win in Super Stock, making that 4 national wins out of just 7 in his trusty Cobalt alone, giving him another good shot at having the #1 on the side of the car for next year. With only 1/3rd of the races left, the points standings are starting to take shape and whittle there way down to a half dozen to dozen of drivers that could really make it happen. Brainerd, MN is next on the stop which could only mean 1 thing, the “Big Go” is only a few short weeks away…
Brian Hyerstay makes it 2 years in a row as he holds off Ralph Van Paepeghem to collect the 4th win of his career in Comp. Hyerstay was the #2 qualifier this weekend and as luck would have it, didn’t have to make a pass under power until the final round. With identical .030 lights “RVP” who was in the hole about 2 tenths from qualifying, didn’t have enough power to run Hyerstay down as he went 8.825 (-0.555) for the win.
In Stock eliminator, red hot Randi Lyn Shipp would….be stopped 1 round short of another final round by Ryan Warter as he finally gets his 1st wally in his 6th try. Warter was off the starting line first with his 11.74 dial but 2 thou behind Shipp with her .017 light chasing her 10.60 dial. As both drivers scrub some et, it was Warter who was ahead at 1320′ running 11.763 taking a .0113 MOV. Justin Lamb would redeem himself after coming up 1 win light short last year and grabs his 4th Super Stock national event win on the year. After waiting just about 3 seconds for his tree to fall, Lamb lets go .016 and is behind the eventual runner up Kory Alby’s perfect .000 light. Alby was then determined to get to the finish line first, as he might have even pushed the pedal through the floor board as he runs 11.266, breaking out from his 11.29 dial. Lamb was dialed in a touch better as he runs 8.519 which was on the good side of his 8.50 dial, giving him the win.
Super Comp had Greg Krause getting the win as Steve Williams missed the tree to be .041, which gave Krause enough room to get rid of 7 mph and run 8.937 taking .008 finish line. Robert Naber found himself in 2 finals in 2 weekends but his .024 package was no match for the Super Gas winner Gene Kelly and his .020 package. Kelly had the advantage at the hit with a .011 light and stayed in front the length of the track to run dead on 9 to the 9.90 index for his 5th national event win. The slowest index class of the weekend was the last sportsman final to be run as Francesca Giroux takes her 1st ever win over Steve Beggerly. Beggerly was set up a bit fast running 10.870 with a .014 tree, while Giroux also ran under the 10.90 index at 10.891 it was 2 hun less so the scoreboard lit up in her lane.
Bryan LaFlam was able to go across the finish line in the Top Sportsman category with a .034 total package to grab his 1st win as James Rutherford threw his chances away as he broke out by just -.001 (7.559) after a near perfect .002 light. And lastly the Top Dragster trophy went to Steve Casner with a .014 dead on 9 lap. Andy Spiegel made a decent run as he was .021 on the tree and ran 6.723 on his 6.71 dial but was no match for the pass put down by Casner.
Photos By – Auto Imagery