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While a lot of my friends were out playing at the recent Goodguys event at Sears Point International Raceway, I was on vacation on the other side of the continent taking in the IHRA Amalie North American Nationals, held at New England Dragway, September 8th-10th. And while I missed not catching the nostalgia action first hand, I was treated to an excellent outing at NED, reminiscing with old friends, witnessing great side-by-side racing, and taking a photo or two.

The event was splashed with beautiful weather, drew a record number of participants, and those participants treated the record crowds to new event records.  What more could anyone have asked for?  Not much, in my book!

 The following will take you on a photo highlight tour of the event, captured by Mark Hovsepian and myself. Enjoy! -Dawn

Dawn Mazi Photo

Although Mark and I were missing the Goodguys event, held three time zones away at SPIR, we were fortunate to find three front engine dragsters in competition at NED. Quick Rod competitor, Bobby Lawrence, personally designed and fabricated this entry. Lawrence, who also spends his weekends as "clutch man" for the FM/FC team of Paul Gill, launched his SBC powered combo through the second round.

Tony Bogolo came bouncing violently through the shutdown area, as was evidenced at one point by all four tires being elevated off of the ground. Bogolo was the first alternate of the Funny Car program, but was granted a shot in eliminations via the break rule. He welded current World Champ, Von Smith, to the tree in round one with a psychic .402 light, but tire shake prevented him from advancing past the second round.

Mark Hovsepian Photo

Dawn Mazi Photo

Jon Yoak launches his 813 c.i. Ford powered Probe to a 6.673/209.59, good for the number five qualifying spot of Pro Stock. Yoak, who is currently in a two-way tie for the Pro Stock Championship with John Montecalvo, went on to win the event using 6.60 e.t.s and a "best of the event" 210.64 m.p.h. effort.
Pro Mod competitor Ed Hoover qualified his gorgeous '63 Vette in the seventh spot of the field with a 6.377/221.56 blast. Hoover, who is in a tight points battle for third place, went home early due to severe tire shake in the opening round.

Dawn Mazi Photo

Dawn Mazi Photo

Former 4 time Funny Car Champ, Mark Thomas, qualified his "Ethanol" backed Avenger in the sixth spot with a 5.950/238.01. Thomas defeated Adam Szeler in the opening round with a 6.36, but wound up meeting eventual winner, Scott Weney, in round two. Thomas got the holeshot on Weney, .475 to .519, but lost traction almost immediately and was forced to click it early.
Bruce Litton, who is a serious contender in the 2000 Top Fuel Championship, had all of the candles lit on his "Wix Filters" entry during this 4.84 310.41 blast, good for the fifth spot. Litton defeated current points leader Paul Romine in the opening round, as Romine went up in smoke instantly at the hit of the throttle. Litton was unable to gain anymore ground beyond that, as he was disposed of by rookie sensation Clay Millican in round two.

Dawn Mazi Photo

Dawn Mazi Photo

Kinsman, Ohio resident, Pat Moore, qualified Ed Steffey's '57 Bel Air in the 15th spot of the Pro Mod field with a 6.440/218.90. Moore chalked one up for the nitrous contingent in the opening round, as he upset number two qualifier Al Billes and his blown '53 Studebaker, with a 6.47 to Billes' out of shape and early shut off 12.08.
David Rowe qualified his "Blue Chip" entry in the 15th spot of the Funny Car field with a 6.168/226.05. Rowe met number two qualifier Jimmy Rector in the opening round, but had to abort the run and watch Rector take the round win. Rector would have been hard to beat, as he ripped off an opening round best 5.868.

Dawn Mazi Photo

Mark Hovsepian Photo

The #2 car in Doug Herbert's Snap-On T/F team is driven by Jim Bailey, of Mantua, Ohio. Bailey, who qualified third with a 4.763, barely defeated rookie driver J. R. Todd in the opening round, as the motor grenaded in a ball of flames at the top end. Bailey advanced to the second round with a 4.86 to Todd's 4.90.
Albuquerque, New Mexico resident Doug Vancil, qualified his "Vance & Hines" sponsored T/F Harley in the second spot with a 6.606/201.58. Vancil, who is only in his second season of competition, defeated a stout contingent of racer's enroute to his first win of 2000. Ray Price, points leaders Jay Turner, and Team Mancuso rider Steve Stordeur in the final.

Dawn Mazi Photo

Dawn Mazi Photo

Von Smith qualified his multi colored "Nitro Fish" entry in the fourth spot of the Funny Car program with a 5.90/239.02. The reigning World Champ was upset in the opening round by Tony Bogolo, as Bogolo combined a .402 r.t./6.058 e.t., to dispose of Smith's off pace .591 light/6.367 e.t.
Canadian Carl Spiering recorded a best of 6.639/207.88 in his "ECW Wrestling" backed '67 Camaro. The 6.446 bump spot for the Pro Mod field proved to be a bit more than he could pin down though, as Spiering wound up 21st in the tough program.

Dawn Mazi Photo

Dawn Mazi Photo

Rookie of the Year contender Clay Millican, had a lot of people talking to themselves during the weekend. The 34 year old Millican, who is currently five points behind Romine for the season title, nailed down the number one spot with a 4.71, as well as low e.t./top speed of the event with a 4.683/316.97 during the second round. Lead by talented Crew Chief Mike Kloeber, Millican advanced to the final round against Jim Head. Millican was the odds on favorite to win, however, someone forgot to mention this to Head. The veteran disposed of the kid, using a 4.753 to Millican's 4.776!
Alan Pittman, who qualified in the 8th spot of Pro Mod with a 6.379, brings his '41 Willys through the shutdown area after defeating Carl Moyer in the opening round. Unfortunately for Pittman, his second round opponent would end up being eventual winner, Troy Critchley.

Mark Hovsepian Photo

Mark Hovsepian Photo

Fred Hahn, fresh off of collecting the coveted Pro Mod "Driver of the Year" award at the recent Car Craft banquet, launches Jim Oddy's '54 Vette into the fourth spot of the Pro Mod field with a 6.336/223.69. Hahn, who is in a heated title points chase with Quain Stott, lost in the opening round where he experienced violent tire shake at the hit of the throttle, and was forced to shut off.
Fred Tigges qualified his pretty '98 Camaro in the fifth spot of the Funny Car show. The Holbrook, MA resident was upset in the opening round by Larry Dobbs, when he got out of the groove about 100' off of the line and had to abort the run.

Dawn Mazi Photo

Dawn Mazi Photo

Scott Weney collects his thoughts as he is just moments away from firing the motor for his final round clash against Dave Ray. Weney, who currently leads the points chase, used consistent 5.90s to dispose of ihra.com Funny Car field enroute to another Y2K win.
Scott Weney's season hasn't been completely perfect. Early this year during a semi-final round battle, he suffered through a blower-exploding-body-lifting encounter, that sent him packing back to the shop for some serious repair work. Weney came back into action in full force, with this beautifully painted '01 Vette.

Dawn Mazi Photo

Mark Hovsepian Photo

Former Nostalgia Top Fuel Champ and current IHRA points leader Paul Romine, qualified his "Car Quest" entry in the fourth spot with a 4.825/304.05 blast. Romine's hopes of extending his points lead went up in smoke during the opening round against Bruce Litton. Rumors have been circulating about Romine's possible return to the FED Nostalgia circuit. When asked about this, Romine laughed and said, "Yeah, I've heard that rumor too." With the current commitment to his sponsor and full time schedule, time would not allow for it. However, he did close by saying, "If the situation were right, in a heart-beat, I would be back. It's the most fun I've had as a driver." Stay tuned!
Australian, Troy Critchley was a blur to the rest of the Pro Mod field in Johnny Rocca's '49 Merc "Ironhorse" entry. Taking advantage of the new 75 lb. weight break rule and sporting some new tricks with their Kobelco "Superman" supercharger, the team was able to qualify #1, set low e.t. in every round, and win the event.

Mark Hovsepian Photo

Mark Hovsepian Photo

Johnny Rocca typically celebrates a victory with a war dance on the starting line. His customary war dance was turned into a rain dance compliments of the IHRA line crew. Armed with bottles of water, they doused the Native American just as he began his celebration.
Jim Head launches into the night during Saturday evening's "Night of Fire". Head, who had been winless in IHRA competition since 1989, returned to the winner's circle Sunday afternoon, after trailering the likes of Wayne Bailey, Jim Bailey and Clay Millican, while using consistent 4.70 e.t.s.

Mark Hovsepian Photo

M & H Photography -All text, photos, graphics, artwork and other contributed material within the Combustion Chamber  are copyrighted and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without express written consent.