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   MIR e-News Headline

Top Sportsman Pro’s Reign Again at Door Wars


April 17 , 2014


Story courtesy of:  Robbie Parlett


After a successful debut in 2013, the Top Sportsman Pro’s vs. Joe’s concept returned to MIR for the 2014 edition of Door Wars. Following the same format from last year, Top Sportsman racers from all over the Mid-Atlantic came to MIR for two shots at a $5,000 payday. The Pro’s vs. Joe’s structure attracts dedicated Top Sportsman drivers and quick bracket door cars as well. The Pro’s vs. Joe’s structure still places an emphasis on being quick, where the top 16 qualifiers are immediately placed on the “Pro’s” ladder, and have two main advantages over the “Joe’s”. The first advantage is, qualifying for the Pro’s guarantees a minimum of a $100 payday, as compared to the Joe’s, who have to race down to 16 or less cars to make it to the money round. And second advantage is, the Pro’s only have to go 5 rounds for $5,000, whereas the Joe’s could have to win as many as 8 rounds to capture that same prize, depending on car count. Another popular feature of the Pro’s vs. Joe’s race is re-entry, which is seldom seen in a Top Sportsman race. All first round runners-up, Pro’s and Joe’s, have a common re-entry round, where winners in re-entry move into round 2 of the Joe’s race. The winner of each ladder, Pro’s and Joe’s, receives $2,000, and the two ladder winners face off for a $3,000 bonus for a $5,000 payday.



On Saturday, the 16 car Pro’s bump was a 4.774. Randy Perkinson held down the top spot on the qualifying sheet with a blistering 4.193 at nearly 174 mph. Bracket racing with quick doors cars can be a handful, but the “Pro’s” at MIR were on point posting stellar reaction times and packages throughout eliminations. Case in point, the first pair out in round 1 found Robert Jones posting a .006 light coupled with a 4.376 on his 4.37 dial for a .012 package to take down Mark Campbell. Ron Regal posted a .009 package against Robert Tyree who was -.001 red. The worst winning reaction time of round 1 Pro’s was a stout .025. Top half qualifiers were charging through eliminations. Heading into the semifinals, the number 1, 4, and 6 qualifiers still remained. The first semifinal pair was a tough race. Number 6 qualifier, Phil Stewart faced off with number 15, Ricky Tibbs. Stewart left with a very narrow .001 advantage on the tree, and at the stripe, ran a 4.451 on his 4.45 dial taking the win, as Tibbs broke out taking just .016. Next up, number 1 qualifier, Randy Perkinson got a break when long time Top Sportsman racer, Robert Jones made a mistake. Perkinson spun hard off the line, posting just a .046 light to Jones’ .020, and even though Perkinson was nowhere near catching Jones at the stripe, Jones never lifted, breaking out just .001 on his 4.35 dial, handing Perkinson the automatic win. In the final, Perkinson had the advantage on the tree over Phil Stewart with a .012 light to Stewart’s .028. But again, Perkinson had trouble off the line, once again leaving a lot of room for Stewart to pick up the win. This time, Perkinson wasn’t as lucky, as Stewart ran over his dial picking up the $2,000 payday and a shot at $3,000 more with just one more round win.


On the Joe’s side, 4 cars remained in round 5. Mark Grimsley in his beautiful ’55 Chevy faced off with Dave Dill in the first semifinal matchup. Both drivers were set on kill on the starting line, as both of them turned it red, but the win went to Grimsley who was the quicker dialed car with a 5.01 dial in. In the next pair, MIR bracket regular Jeffrey Jones had been mowing through the field of quick door cars with his 5.50’s ’83 Omni. Jones was once again going to be chased, this time by Nathaniel Yount, in his 4.90’s Malibu. Yount had the advantage on the tree with a .013 to Jones’ .024, but Jeffrey was able to hang on to the win by a mere .012 as Yount killed just a little too much at the stipe, running 3 over his 4.94 dial. In the final, Jones left the line with a sizeable advantage over Grimsley, .016 to a .044. At the stripe, Jones held on to the win, slowing to a 5.598 on his 5.58 dial. With the win, Jones moved on to face off with Phil Stewart in the Pro’s vs. Joe’s runoff. In the runoff, Jones ended it early with a red light. The long time bracket racer knew he needed to be tighter on the tree than the .020’s he had been posting, so he rolled .005 out of the delay box. If he had left it alone, he would have been .000, but instead turned it -.005 red. For Jeffrey Jones, it was a repeat performance of 2013, as he turned it red in the runoff last year as well. Seeing the red light, Stewart lifted, and coasted his way to a cool $5,000 payday at Door Wars.


On Sunday, even with just one qualifying run, the bump and number 1 qualifying numbers were nearly identical. The bump was held down with a 4.781 by Ricky Tibbs, with Randy Perkinson once again taking the number 1 qualifying position with a stout 4.200. Saturday’s big winner, Phil Stewart went down in round 1 with a -.001 red light. Round 1 saw the slower qualified car win in all matchups save one, where Ron Riegel, the number 6 qualifier took down number 11, Doug Farace. Heading into the semifinals, Riegel was still alive as he faced off with Travis Hash. In what turned out to be a great race, Hash took the round win with a nice lap. He had a .001 advantage off the tree, with a .011 light and took just .006 at the stripe to move on to the final. In the other matchup, Saturday semifinalist, Ricky Tibbs, faced off with Mike Alexander Sr. Tibbs result turned out to be the same again on Sunday, as Alexander made a very nice lap, leaving with a .005 light to Tibbs’ .027 and taking just .010 at the stripe, running 1 over his dial. Tibbs ran 4.770 on his 77 dial, but Alexander’s .017 package was more than he could overcome. In the Pro’s final, Hash left with a small .006 advantage on the tree, but at the stripe, Alexander prevailed by running dead-on his dial with a 4.712 on a 4.71 while Hash broke out taking the stripe by .019. Alexander had already secured himself a $2,000 payday, now all he could do was wait to see who his Joe’s opponent would be in the runoff.


Saturday’s Joe’s winner, Jeffrey Jones made it to ladder once again, but was knocked out by Martin Flegal. Flegal was still alive in the semifinals until he faced off with Cory Maloney. The former Junior Dragster driver took down Flegal in what had to be the tightest race of the day. Maloney had a .009 light to Flegal’s .011, and at the stripe, Maloney got there first by just .001, running a dead-on 5.820 on his 5.82 dial for a stout .009 package and berth in the Joe’s final. In the final, he would matchup with Saturday’s Joe’s runner-up Nathaniel Yount. Yount soloed his way to the finals with a .032 light a 4.952 on his 4.95 dial. In the final, Yount prevailed this time. Maloney left the line just slightly too early with a -.002 red light, handing the automatic Joe’s win to Nathaniel Yount. Yount was .005 on the tree himself. In the Pro’s vs. Joe’s runoff, Yount was looking to become the first Joe’s winner in the history of the event. Thus far in the brief history of Pro’s vs. Joe’s Top Sportsman race, the runoff winner has always come from the Pro’s side of the ladder. $3,000 was on the line as Nathaniel Yount and Mike Alexander rolled into the stage beams. The race was over quickly as Yount left with a mere -.002 red light, clinching yet another win for the Pro’s. Mike Alexander took his gorgeous, blue ’63 Corvette to the winner’s circle where he claimed his $5,000 payday.

Top Sportsman racers were not the only racer’s vying for heavy purses over the weekend. Mod ET racers had two shots at a $2,000 payday over the course of the weekend. On Saturday, points leader and defending Mod ET champ, Jake Milstead found himself deep in eliminations again as the semifinals came around the corner. By hitting the tree well, with lights in the .010’s, .020’s and .030’s nearly all day, Milstead was working towards winning three Mod ET races in a row. But first he would have to get past Doug Wynkoop in the semifinals. Milstead finally showed a chink in the armor as he posted his worst light of the season, a .084, but it couldn’t have come at a better time as his opponent, was .112 beside him. At the stipe, Milstead, who has a propensity for holding a bunch of numbers, was able to take down Wynkoop by taking just .015, while killing nearly 15 mph. In the other semifinal matchup, Dave Hill was able to overcome a starting line miscue with a .095 light when his opponent, Stephen Patterson was even worse on the tree, with a .143 light. Neither driver could run the number, but Hill was able to hold on for the round win based on his holeshot. In the final is where Milstead has been most on his game. In his two previous victories, he posted .008 and .006 lights. This time was no different. He left with a big advantage over Hill, with another .006 light this time, to Hill’s .065. At the stripe Milstead killed more than enough ET, running a 10.377 on his 10.32 dial to secure his third win in a row, and a $2,000 payday.

Milstead’s bid for 4 in row ended early after a red-light to Keith Burch in second round Sunday. Heading into the semifinals, Keith Burch as still in the running for the $2,000 payday as he came to the line paired with Bradley Tippett. Tippett got the jump on the line with a .044 to Burch’s .068. At the stripe, both drivers ran 1 over their dials, with Tippett picking up the win and heading to money round. In the final, he would match up with Martin Flegal who was doing double duty in Top Sportsman and Mod. Flegal had the bye in the semifinals in Mod, so just took the tree to move to the final round. After being knocked out in Top Sportsman, Flegal was looking to still cash in by taking home the money in Mod. The final was a good one. Tippett and Flegal were within .001 with Flegal taking the meager advantage. At the stripe, Tippett prevailed as he ran dead on his dial, a 10.615 on the 10.61, and that was enough to get there by just .004 over Flegal who ran 9.270 on his 9.26 dial in. Tippett took home $2,000 and with Milstead’s early exit, Bradley took over the Mod ET points lead on the strength of his win Sunday, coupled with his runner up on opening day.






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