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Door Wars Delivers
Event Wrap-Up Report

  

April 16 , 2014

  

Story courtesy of:  Fabian Brown



The first special event on the 2014 lineup for Maryland International Raceway was the fan favorite Door Wars. Dubbed "The Baddest Old School Doorslammer Race Ever" in an area deeply enriched in doorslammer history, this event promised to bring side by side action all weekend. Pro Mods, Top Sportsman, Outlaw 10.5, Outlaw Drag Radial, X275, Ultra Street, Mod ET and even the Nostalgia Super Stocks of the 422 All Stars came to MIR with one goal in mind, to be the best of the best. The fireworks started during the Friday Early Bird Test Session, as Outlaw 10.5 driver Richard Sexton of Ijamsville, MD and his supercharged 2006 Pontiac GTO, laid down an earth shaking 4.02, not only a career best number for Sexton, but one of the quickest 1/8 mile Outlaw 10.5 passes ever. Also during the Friday Test & Tune, as a way to bring more excitement to the fans and a little challenge to each of the Pro Mod teams, MIR Promoter Royce Miller, came up with the idea to run the first time run session of Pro Mod in an unofficial qualifying session, with the driver running the quickest time earning two large pizzas from the Hot Rodz Diner for their team only. With that being said, crew chiefs decided to turn it up for the session and Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association standout Dwayne Wolfe of Moorefield, WV and his 2002 supercharged Pontiac Firebird, came out on top with a 5.99 pass, with 2013 Rookie of the Year Angela Ray running her career best of a 6.008. Many drivers across all the classes really took advantage of the night time test and tune, as many drivers coming from the Northeastern section of the country were hampered by snow during the winters months with many cars making their 2014 debuts at Door Wars.

The Top Sportsman Pros vs Joes class is really two classes in one, open to any door car that can run 5.99 or quicker in the 1/8 mile. The quickest 16 cars after qualifying were placed on a ladder called the Pros, and ran until one driver was left. Any driver not qualifying in the top 16 was placed on the Joes side and eliminations were run until there was one driver left. Then the two winners had one race down the track and traditional Top Sportsman fashion with the winner taking home a cool $5,000 cash and the runner up taking home $2,000. Saturday night produced Pros winner Phil Stewart in his 1968 Camaro who took on Joes winner and MIR regular Jeffrey Jones in his 1983 Omni, who was in his second straight Saturday night Pro vs Joes final. However, Jones left the starting line too soon and handed the win over to Stewart. On Sunday, drivers were given one solo shot at qualifying for another shot at $5,000. This time it was Pros winner Mike Alexander Sr and his 1963 Corvette matching up against Joes winner Nathaniel Yount and his 1965 Malibu. The result would be the same as the night before, as Yount left the starting line just a tick too soon and gave the win to Mike Alexnader Sr, giving the Pros a perfect 4 for 4 record overall in the Pros vs Joes runoff since the the idea's conception in 2013.

Mod ET saw a different challenge then that of the Top Sportsman racers. Mod ET was run on the 1/4 mile with $2,000 to win each day, and both Saturday and Sunday races counting towards points in the Speed Unlimited ET Series. The hottest driver in the class, Jake Milstead (last year's track champion and current points leader), continued on his winning ways by winning his 2nd event of the season and third in a row dating back to the season finale last October. Mod ET racers are not allowed to use electronics, two steps, throttle stops or any of the technical goodies that are allowed in Top Sportsman. That didn't matter to Martin Flegal of Ephrata, PA, who not only went deep into the rounds of both Top Sportsman Joes and Mod ET, but he was footbraking his 1998 Chevy S-10 in both classes. With Milstead taking an early exit in Sundays eliminations, another MIR regular and friend Bradley Tippett and his 1968 Barracuda took over the points lead with the win over Flegal in the final.

Outlaw Drag Radial, X275 and Ultra Street have become crowd favorites in recent years. With their stock appearing, stock suspension, no wheelie bar street cars and small drag radial tires, many fans are in amazement as to how the drivers get so much horsepower to hook up on such a small tire. Since 2010, Outlaw Drag Radial at MIR has been dominated by 2010 Track Champion Francis Johnson as well as Ricky Fox, a 3-time defending track champion. To add to the excitement, Johnson and Fox are the biggest of rivals and both agreed to one grudge race during the 3rd qualifying session Saturday night with pride, ego and a lot of cash on the line to settle who is the best of the best. As they left the line, Fox experienced traction problems and Johnson added another win to his long list of accomplishments by winning the grudge race. He then sliced his way through eliminations and eventually earned the victory in the finals over some very stiff competition.

Dean Marinis from New York always loves coming to Maryland International Raceway. The veteran driver was competing in both X275 and Pro Mod, while also doing the tuning on both cars. With a smile and determination to win, Marinis put a staple on the victory in the X275 category by resetting both ends of his own track record a couple of times throughout the weekend and putting on a game effort in Pro Mod. In the winners circle, he says that victory at MIR is always special, but he also knows that there's plenty of room for improvement and that the competition will only become tougher as the season progresses.

The JPC Ultra Street class proved that it's anything but an entry level category of small tire drag racing. With a variety of different makes, models, engine combinations and drivers to boot, this class is quickly becoming just as competitive as ODR and X275. With Shawn Pevlor and his 1993 Ford Mustang dipping into the 4 second zone and many other drivers nipping at the heels of the 4 second club, a lot of attention was focused on Ultra Street. It looked as if Pevlor, from Cleveland, Ohio would be the man to beat as he consistently ran in the low 5 second one all weekend. That was until the semi finals, he went head to head with New Jersey native Rob Corujo and his 1992 Ford Mustang. Qualifying in the 4th spot and putting together a string of solid performances, Corjuo made it to the finals against local favorite from Upper Marlboro, MD Mike Barry and his 1965 Chevy Malibu. In one of the closest side by side races of the weekend, the Mustang of Corujo outpowered Barry's Malibu to the finish line to take the win, and adding his name to the short list of Ultra Street winners in MIR history.

Outlaw Drag Radial, X275 and the Northeast Outlaw Pro Mods will be the feature heads up classes in just a few weeks at the Mountain Motor Nationals on Friday and Saturday, May 9-10th - with a new format for 2014. This event will also feature two $5,000 to win races in Top ET and the full Speed Unlimited ET Series on Saturday.


 

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