The International Hot Rod Association Summit Sportsman National Championship is coming down the home stretch with the upcoming double-race weekend at Carolina Dragway in Aiken, S.C.
It is the 13th stop in what has become a 14-race series after the recent cancellation at Baton Rouge. Under the SSNC format, championships are determined using points claims from the best seven of 10 events the racer competes in.
The championship battles are being hotly contested. In Top Sportsman (pictured above), Marlon Goates defeated Marty Blair in the final round of the first Memphis race. That helped push Goates from Troy, Texas to a 533-531 lead over Blair of Spicewood, Texas in the points. Goates has reached four final rounds this season with a win at the second Immokalee (Fla.) race to go along with his Memphis victory.
The Top Dragster title is still up in the air with Johnny Tolisano from Jupiter, Fla., still holding a 10-point lead over Ivey Brannon with both making eight races. Robert Vogler III and Troy Williams Jr. remain within striking distance heading into the final races. Tolisano was victorious in his most recent race at Farmington (N.C.) Dragway.
New York driver Peter D’Agnolo has vaulted past Florida racer Mark Nowicki 650-631 into the Super Stock lead. D’Agnolo scored the season sweep at Darlington back in March. He made the final round both days at Empire (N.Y.) Dragway and added a third win of the season at the Sunday Empire race.
Myron Piatek from Holly Hill, Fla., still holds a commanding lead (695-509) over fellow Floridian Merrill Schrimscher in the Stock standings. Piatek has three wins, including a sweep of Piedmont (N.C.) races, and five final-round appearances this season.
Danny Waters Jr. from LaGrange, N.C., appears in great shape to win the Quick Rod championship with a 609-511 lead over Frank Altilio, who has already attended 10 races. Waters won the first race he attended this season at Palm Beach and added a weekend sweep of Farmington (N.C.) races in June.
Another North Carolina racer, Steve Furr, from Harrisburg, has a 555-520 lead over Vernon Rowland of Blanchard, Okla, in Super Rod. However, Rowland might still have the upper hand in the pursuit of the championship. He has raced in just seven races, compared to eight for Furr. Home-state wins at Fairmont and Piedmont pushed Furr out front of the pack.
Christopher Webb from Four Oaks, N.C., started the Hot Rod season out with a runner-up finish at Palm Beach. He currently clings to a three-point lead over Troy Williams Jr. of Daytona Beach, Fla., in the championship standings. Webb has a pair of wins this season. He won the final Darlington (S.C.) race of a triple-race weekend and added the trophy from the first Farmington (N.C.) race.
Paige Montgomery from Alden, N.Y., has posted four wins and five final-round appearances in the JR Race Car Junior Dragster division. Despite competing in only six races so far, she has passed Florida driver Nicholas Ferraro, and now holds a 50-point lead in the season standings. Montgomery scored weekend sweeps at both Maryland and Empire.
This is the next-to-last stop for the Summit Sportsman National Championship before the season wraps up at Dragway 42 in Ohio. Races will be broadcasts on ESPN3 starting at 1 p.m. Eastern on Saturday and noon on Sunday.