With arch-nemesis Brad Meadows nowhere in sight and only seven other Pure Street cars on the property, the early line had Brandon Alsept penciled in as the runaway winner at Milan. It appeared that Brandon was on his way to making the predictions come true during the first two rounds of eliminations with wins over Chris Klink and Rocky Mason, but Ryan Hecok stepped up with a wicked 0.048 holeshot in the final and put an end to Brandon's run.
Steve Gifford took time off from his farming duties and kept his Factory Stock points lead intact by nailing his third Factory Stock victory of 2008, with a holeshot win over John Leslie Jr. "This is our fifth-straight win since last season, so we're definitely on a roll," says Steve. "We fought it a little bit, but Ken (Bjonnes) just works it out on Sundays and we end up winning when we're not good."
It looks like John Leslie Jr. must wait at least one more race before he'll be able to experience the thrill of an NMRA Factory Stock victory this season. Despite qualifying first in the eight-'Stang field at Milan, John came up just a bit short in the final against Steve Gifford (their third meeting of 2008). "I had a better e.t., but he got me on the reaction a little bit," says John. "We're going to make a few changes between now and Joliet, so we should be rockin' and rollin' out there."
Donnie Bowles has finally joined his dad, Don Sr, in the Bowles family's personal "winners' circle." While the patriarch already has a few NMRA Open Comp victories on his resume, Donnie's Modular Muscle win over local favorite, Tom Motyca, was his first, and it happened in front of his family and extended family of Roush employees, who were on hand as part of NMRA's Ford/Roush employee day at Milan Dragway.
The huge Roush contingent was in a joyous frenzy by the time the Open Comp final ended, as Dale McClenaghan (Susan's husband/Jack's son-in-law) followed teammate Donnie Bowles' lead and scored his own first win in Open Comp, running dead-on his 8.96 index to defeat defending champ Randy Conway.
Anyone who remembers the original Dukes of Hazzard television show will recognize this rig. Mike Motyca's "Uncle Jessie" F-100 is a hard-hitting, big-block pickup that's no stranger to Truck and Lightning final rounds at NMRA events. Mike duked it out with Johnny Lightning at Milan, and thanks to a killer .017 reaction, lit the win light at the big end.
V-6 power reigned supreme over the Three-Valve Mustangs, in the first-ever running of the all-new, JDM Engineering Super 'Stang class; an Open-Comp-formatted eliminator for new or experienced racers running '05-'09 Mustangs. Larry Russell Jr took out notable hitters Jim D'Amore (first round) and a red lighting Paul Gamino in the final, becoming the first racer in NMRA history to win a series event with a 4.0-liter Pony.