Triumph in Phoenix
GM Drivers Get Class Wins
Larry Jewett - February 26, 2014 05:02 PM
GM drivers picked up wins in several divisions during the 30th annual Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, Arizona.
Leading the GM brigade was Super Stock champion Dan Fletcher, who took over the points lead on the strength of his Phoenix run. Fletcher opened the competition with a pair of victories on competitor breakouts. His fortune continue with a bye run to move into the semi-finals, where he met Gregg Luneack, another driver in the top 5 in the point standings. Fletcher beat Luneack by about three feet to move into the finals against. Scott Pearson. The finals proved anti-climactic as Pearson jumped the start, giving Fletcher an easy pass to victory.
A field of 47 turned out for the Stock division. Mark Faul and his ’66 El Camino made solid runs, but opponents were red-lighting or breaking out. Faul cut a perfect light in the third elimination, but broke out. While that would have normally spelled elimination, his opponent broke out by more, giving him a second life. His semi-final match-up was a win due to an opponent breakout and the finals match was a Sunday drive when his opponent left early. The victory marked the fourth for Faul in Stock competition.
A pair of ’63 Corvettes faced off at the starting line in the Super Gas finals, but it would be Aaron Kinard standing tall at the end of the run. The field of 33 cars included 17 Corvettes, increasing the odds for a GM victory. Kinard fell behind in his first match-up but reeled in the opponent for a win. His trip through the eliminations got easier when his opponent broke out to move him to quarterfinals. He needed every bit of the .007 light to earn a victory by less than two feet over Brad Pierce. It earned a bye run in the semis and set up the Corvette shootout with Craig Anderson. Kinard shot a .012 light to a 9.903 run on a 9.90 index while Anderson broke out.
Gary Reust got off to a slow start in qualifying, but caught fire through the eliminations to claim the Super Street title in his ’55 Bel Air. In his first two elimination rounds, Reust used a strong hole shot to hang onto the lead to the finish. He ran unopposed in the semi-finals to meet Dave Gotts and his ’67 Camaro in the final. Gotts caught a red light to hand the win to Reust.
The NHRA moves to Gainesville, Florida, for the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals March 13-16.