The IHRA Summit World Finals attracted drivers from all over the continent to race on October 19-21 at the Memphis International Raceway. On Saturday, the champions of the IHRA Summit SuperSeries in three categories – Top (Box), Mod (No Box) and Junior Dragster – were crowned.
Tom Gall of Beresford, S.D., won the Top World Championship. Chris Black from Butler, Pa., took the Mod World Championship, and Luke Schwemler from Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada got to wear the Junior Dragster crown.
Gall drove to represent Thunder Valley Dragways, and gave a final run of 5.059-seconds at 134.55 mph against a 5.04 dial-in. In addition to the honor of winning in this prestigious series, he received $20,000 from Summit Racing Equipment, a seven-night/eight-day vacation for two on the island of Aruba, an IHRA Gold Card, a world championship diamond ring and a world championship Ironman Trophy.
“It’s the biggest opportunity. Summit does something that’s just unheard of,” said Gall, whose margin of victory was a heart-stopping .0012 of a second. “To race every weekend and then, you get a chance to do something like this, it just blows your mind. At the World Championship, to be that close, it’s how the final should be.”
Chris Black, representing Quaker City Motorsports Park, boasted a 6.431-second pass at 100.73 mph against a 6.30 dial-in, winning him the Mod World Championship. As with Gall, this was a close one – runner-up Travis Loy from Harriman, Tenn., had a slightly faster, .026 to .028, reaction time.
The prize package for Black was the same as the one claimed by Gall.
“It’s incredible, a day I never thought would happen, even driving down here,” Black said. “It’s humbling and unreal. You’ve got the best of the best here. I love all the prizes, but I’m most proud of that Ironman trophy.”
Luke Schwemler, who triumphed by winning the Division 5 Team Finals, defeated No. 1 qualifier, Nick Ferraro from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., for the Junior Dragster title. Schwemler blazed down the track in 7.931 seconds at 82.41 mph against a 7.90 dial-in.
This impressive win brought the 17-year-old driver a custom-built JR Race Car Junior Dragster decorated with a custom paint scheme from Imagine That Customs, $3,000 from Summit Racing Equipment, an IHRA Gold Card and, of course, the world championship Ironman Trophy and diamond ring.
“It was a long drive down here, but it was definitely worth it. To win a new race car, that’s an awesome prize,” said Schwemler, whose home track is the Grand Bend Motorplex. “That last race, I knew I cut a bad light and I was worrying all the way down the track. When I saw that win light, I was cheering in the car.”
Timmy Rowe from Paris, Ky., driving for Mountain Park Dragway, won a 9,000-pound, two-post car lift from Rad Auto Lifts at the Trick Flow Specialties Racer’s Party on Friday night.
Summit SuperSeries Final Eliminations Results – 1/8 mile:
Summit SuperSeries Top (Box): Tom Gall, Beresford, S.D., ’06 M&M, 5.059 secs. at 134.55 mph (.035 rt) – defeated Jerry Cotton, St. John, Ind., ’05 S&W 4.897 secs. at 137.33 mph (.018 rt)
Summit SuperSeries Modified (No Box): Chris Black, Butler, Pa., ’88 Chevy S-10, 6.431 secs. at 100.73 mph (.088 rt) – defeated Travis Loy, Harriman, Tenn., ’67 Chevelle, 6.834 secs. at 100.05 mph (.026 rt)
Summit SuperSeries Junior Dragster: Luke Schwemler, Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, 7.931 secs. at 82.41 mph (.075 rt) – defeated Nick Ferraro, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 8.019 secs at 79.64 mph (.060 rt)