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Combustion Chamber – 2001 IHRA Amalie North American Nationals


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opener3.jpg (19956 bytes) For folks that attended the  IHRA Amalie North American Nationals, held at New England Dragway, September 7th-9th, they witnessed great side-by-side racing during a weekend blanketed with beautiful late-summer weather.  The event 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

Ron Iannotti domintated the Top Sportsman Quick 8 field with his blown BBC ‘Vette, during Saturday night’s ‘Night of Fire’ program.   Iannotti led the field with a 6.407, before defeating Pat Doherty’s ’63 ‘Vette in the final. iannotti2.jpg (68589 bytes)
wilson1.jpg (71139 bytes) Of the seven Pro Stock finals Gene Wilson has advanced to in 2001, he’s won six of them!  To say that Wilson is on a tear this year, would be an understatement.  Wilson claimed his latest ‘Ironman’ at NED, as well as  low e.t. and top speed of the event with a 6.581/212.13.
Roger Dean was one of ten Top Fuel entries in attendance at NED.  Dean qualified seventh with a 5.173/286.32 effort and upset reigning World Champ Paul Romine in the opening round, before falling to eventual runner-up Louie Allison in the semis. dean1.jpg (47150 bytes)
vancil1.jpg (65022 bytes) Albuquerque, N.M., resident, Doug Vancil, collected his second event win of 2001 in the Screamin’ Eagle Nitro Harley class.  Vancil marched out of the fifth spot to earn victories over, Johnny Mancuso, Stan Verheijen, and Jay Turner, respectively, using consistent 6.50 e.t.s in the process.
Jim Libby nabbed the sixth spot of the Funny Car program with a 5.917/235.51 effort.  Libby lasted until the second round of eliminations, where he was defeated by eventual runner-up, Mark Thomas. libby1.jpg (64037 bytes)
AlBilles100.jpg (54309 bytes) Canandian, Al Billes, qualified his blown ’53 Studebaker in the fifth spot of the Pro Mod field with a solid 6.264/225.67.  Despite falling off his qualifying pace during eliminations, Billes knocked off Mike Lockwood and Steve Vick, respectively, before losing to eventual winner, Mike Janis, in the semis.
Top Fuel pilot Jim Bailey hikes the front end up during his first round meeting with Jim Head.  Bailey earned the round victory, using a 4.871/280.72 blast over Head’s multi-pedaled 5.554/184.19. JimBailey110.jpg (42697 bytes)
king1.jpg (47248 bytes) Chip King qualified his blown Avenger in the fourth spot of Pro Mod, with a great 6.246/226.66.  King fell off that pace in the opening round though, as his 6.456 fell victim to Steve Vick’s better 6.390.
Jimmy Rector kept his Funny Car championship hopes alive, by consistently disposing of his competition en route to his third win of the season.  Rector qualified fourth with a 5.878/237.00, and proceeded to rattle off an unrelenting string of ‘fives’ during eliminations to dispose of Ronnie Midyette, Dale Brand, John Vouros and Mark Thomas, respectively. JimmyRectorChute42.jpg (44761 bytes)
romineharley2.jpg (69740 bytes) Mike Romine launches into a typical quarter-mile assault, aboard his 175 c.i. powered Nitro Harley.  Romine qualified in the seventh spot of the field with a 6.638/191.16, but lost his first round meeting against Tony Mattioli.  Despite slapping a .476 holeshot to Mattioli’s .533, Romine fell way off his qualifying pace with a 7.54, and helplessly watched Mattioli thunder by with a winning 6.526.
Steve Vick qualified in the 13th spot of the Pro Mod field, with a 6.370/222.33.  Vick upset Chip King in the opening round, on the starting line and the top end, using a holeshot aided 6.390/221.38 over King’s 6.456/220.22. vick1.jpg (59626 bytes)
vouros1.jpg (73869 bytes) John Vouros notched his first pole position of 2001, by running a 5.859/236.46.  Vouros collected wins against Charlie Gambino and Fred Tigges, respectively, before lapsing with a .326 red-light against Jimmy Rector in the semi final round.
The IHRA Top Fuel class of 2001 has been dominated by Clay Millican.  Millican reset the NED track record with a 4.614/323.58 during the final qualifying session and with the capable tuning efforts of Mike Kloeber, went on to claim his fifth consecutive title of the year…a feat which had gone unmatched since Don Garlits had done some 26 years ago. ClayMillicanBO279.jpg (49907 bytes)
mattioli2.jpg (71512 bytes) Of the two Nitro Harley’s that broke into the 6.40 zone during qualifying, Tony Mattioli was the second best to do so, but he complimented his 6.480 with top speed of the event running an astonishing 220.87 MPH.  Mattioli, who is filling in for bike owner, Jim ‘Da Judge’ McClure, lasted until the second round where he was defeated by eventual runner-up, Jay ‘Bulldog’ Turner.
Pro Stock shoe, John Montecalvo, won a semi-final round ‘burndown’ against instigator, Tom Lee, to advance to his first final round of 2001.   Montecalvo used a holeshot instigated 6.64, to dispose of Lee’s wicked 6.66. montelcalvo1.jpg (70622 bytes)
DanRomanBO74.jpg (58783 bytes) Dan Roman, who qualified seventh within the Funny Car field with a 5.93, was unable to match that performance during the remainder of the event .  Roman’s entry was plagued with parts breakage and aborted runs throughout the weekend, from a broken wrist pin to pinched oil rings, and finally a suicidal transmission in the opening round.
Making the long tow from Ankeny, Iowa, to compete in Pro Mod, was Carl Moyer and his ultra-clean nitrous-injected ’57 Bel Air.  Moyer qualified in the seventh spot with a stout 6.285/221.89, defeated such hitters as Fred Hahn and Quain Stott, before losing a close final to Mike Janis.  Moyer had the slight starting line advantage, but his 6.352 was no match for Janis’ 6.318. moyer1.jpg (68020 bytes)
allison1.jpg (70663 bytes) Louie Allison experienced the best outing of his short career at NED.  Rebounding from a blow-over earlier in the season, Allison qualified Jack Ostrander’s number 2 car in the sixth spot with a 5.063/279.44.   Allison upset Bruce Litton in the first round, and defeated an upset-minded Roger Dean in round two.  Allison’s crew discovered a spun main bearing in the motor prior to the final, and were forced to pull the motor out of Allison’s dragster and borrow the motor from Ostrander’s entry.
Both teams pulled together, along with help from Bruce Litton’s crew, to make the final round.  Despite the awesome efforts expended during the thrash, Allison’s 4.971 was not enough for Millican’s winning 4.751.
Mark Thomas qualified third in the Funny Car field with a great 5.869/241.11, and posted top speed of the event with a 242.02 blast.   Before advancing to his fourth final of the year, Thomas stunned semi-final round opponent, Laurie Cannister, with a .402 holeshot-aided 5.909/241.15 to Cannister’s quicker 5.886/237.59. thomas1.jpg (68079 bytes)
JayTurnerBO50.jpg (56143 bytes) Sitting astride one of baddest Nitro Harley’s in existence, is Jay ‘Bulldog’ Turner.  The reigning world champ qualified in the sixth spot with a 6.603/212.53, and worked his way to a final round meeting with Doug Vancil.   Despite a two-hundredths starting line advantage, Turner’s 6.657 couldn’t hold of the winning 6.512 turned in by Vancil.
Mike Janis launches to a pole sitting 6.182/228.81, during the final qualifying session of Pro Mod.  Janis’ numbers held for low e.t. and top speed while he went on to claim his third event win of 2001, moving much closer to his first Pro Mod Championship title. MikeJanis256.jpg (41087 bytes)
© 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. 

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