It says a lot about a driver when they make it to, and win, one final during a season in NHRA Super Comp, but for Emporia, Kansas racer, Gary Stinnett he's put three on the books for 2011 with the most recent coming for him during the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Heartland Park Topeka.
Gary Stinnett in NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Heartland Park Topeka.
Reigning NHRA Super Comp National Champion Gary Stinnett
As the reigning NHRA Super Comp National Champion, Stinnett has been rocking the class hard and heavy again all season, with division wins in Brainerd and another in Denver before adding his latest in Topeka, Kansas, where he defended his title from the previous year's event. These are in addition to his NHRA National event win he sewed up at Brainerd International Raceway.
Now leading not only the National Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Super Comp points, Stinnett also sits high atop the NHRA Div. 5 points standings where he has also done fairly well in his Super Stock entry and holds down the number six position.
Stinnett made his way through a hefty field of well over one-hundred Super Comp entries at the Topeka event, starting with round one on Saturday afternoon and continued his winnings ways through six more rounds that didn't wrap up until after midnight.
With his Undercover Dragster, he whittled away at the field one-by-one including victories over Slagle, Hammerschm and Pierce during the first three rounds. Now already past 10PM and only into round four, Stinnett matched up against Todd Piper and while Piper had a .009 advantage on the tree, Stinnett used yet another veteran move to push Piper under the 8.90 index.
The quarterfinals would find Stinnett and Chris Brown paired up and a nearly dead even heat off the line. Only knocking off a handful of mile-per-hour, Stinnett still managed to drop Brown at the stripe and take another breakout win, this time with a slower ET than usual and seemingly not necessarily what he may have been dialing for.
The semi-finals gave Stinnett a somewhat lucky round, as all racers need, when his opponent [Kyle Lawrence] went .006 red, giving Stinnett the all-out run he needed to see exactly what the car was doing. Only running an 8.932, he now knew what he needed to change to be ready for the Super Comp final.
It's safe to say a multi-time champion, such as Stinnett, was very aware that his final round competitor, Kyle Fickler had been on a tremendous roll over on the opposite side of the ladder. Fickler had posted 8.90 ET's the three previous rounds and two of them were dead-on perfect runs. With this type of information, Stinnett tightened his belt and prepared for anything but an easy final.
With a .004 advantage in his pocket off the line, Stinnett turned it into a .019 package, including his 8.909 run and held Fickler to a runner-up finish when he forced him into the breakout loss.
Stinnett is always quick to thank all those who continue to help him in his efforts throughout each and every year, from those who go on the road to the folks at his shop and the companies and products that he heavily depends on with his demanding race schedule.
"I always want to thank K&N for their support and their excellent products," he said. "I don't have the least bit of concerns with the quality of any K&N product, it's why you can put them on and not have to worry about them doing their job. I use their oil filters and their air filters on my race engines and my personal vehicles and K&N's filters have the least amount of restriction, yet they do the job."
"That means a lot to me," he stressed. "Not only as a racer, but as an engine builder."
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