Dom Lagana Races to 320 MPH Top Speed to Highlight Annual Northern Nationals
MARTIN, Mich. – True to form, three-time NHRA World Champion Larry Dixon of Indianapolis won the Top Fuel portion of the Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park Saturday although he had to share the spotlight with four jet dragsters and the still amazing “Original Jet Truck” owned and driven by Bob “the King of Quake” Motz.
Dixon, who won NHRA championships in 2002 and 2003 while driving for the legendary Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, added a third title in 2010. On Saturday, he was the only driver to escape with an unblemished record in the round-robin format.
Racing at the quarter mile distance abandoned by the NHRA for its nitro cars 10 years ago, he beat tour rookie Kyle Wurtzel of Warsaw, Ind., in round one and Canadian Todd Paton in round two. He also posted the quick time of eliminations although the biggest roar was for Dom Lagana of Scarsdale, N.Y., who charged from behind to beat Wurtzel in round two with a finish line speed of 321.89 miles per hour.
Mike McIntire Jr. of Chesterland, Ohio, beat former IHRA Top Fuel champion Paul Romine of Fishers, Ind., to claim the Nostalgia Funny Car title, Michigan native Elaine Larsen won an all-female jet dragster final and Motz drove his one-of-a-kind 1998 Kenworth conventional to a time of 7.049 seconds at a whopping 213.88 mph.
Veteran John Lawson of Joliet, Ill., drove his “Runaway” Funny Car to victory over the “Quick Draw” 1970 Camaro Funny Car owned by John Lawson and driven by Joe Haas of Lockport, Ill., and nostalgia fuel altered title was snatched up by Chicago’s Troy Martin, who drove his “Hillbilly” 34 Ford to a pair of round wins at 6.135 and 6.144 seconds although Vince Generalao managed to salvage low ET (6.110) at the wheel of “Nanook.”
“The Laganas never let us down,” US 131 Director of Marketing Stephanie Peterson said of the New York team whose “Nitro Ninja” dragster has for years been one of the track’s most popular cars. “The jets were great plus the nostalgia cars, everything. This was our biggest crowd since 2009. Standing room only. We are so blessed.”
Also on Saturday, Scott Taylor of Portage, Kevin Groeneveld of Dorr and Donnie Hagar of Clark Lake were among the winners in the weekly running of the track’s Lane Automotive Bracket Series which continued with second race on Sunday.
The reigning Lane champion in Top ET, Taylor beat Bob Payton of Fowlerville for his third win of the current campaign; Groeneveld won in Modified and Hagar claimed the cash in Street. Kalamazoo’s aptly-named Rusty Baad took home the victory in Mojo Quick 16 and the Jr. winners were Libby Ledford of Stanton, Connor Jensen of Vicksburg and Blayke Hammer of Belding.
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MARTIN, Mich. – Results from the annual Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park (all hometowns are Michigan unless otherwise indicated):
ROUND 1 – Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, 4.765, 229.94 mph, def. Kyle Wurtzel, Warsaw, Ind., 11.326., 88.11 mph; Pat Dakin, Dayton, Ohio, 4.676, 257.29 mph, def. Dom Lagana, Scarsdale, N.Y., 5.026. 195.40 mph; Todd Paton, Paris, Ontario, Canada, 4.720, 254.24 mph, def. Bruce Litton, Indianapolis, 5.605, 174.55 mph.
ROUND 2 — Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, 4.573, 287.54 mph, def. Todd Paton, Paris, Ontario, Canada, 4.720, NA; Dom Lagana, Scarsdale, N.Y., 4.683, 321.89 mph, def. Kyle Wurtzel, Warsaw, Ind., 4.734, 235.97 mph; Bruce Litton, Indianapolis, 5.604, 174.55 mph, def. Pat Dakin, Dayton, Ohio, broke.
NOSTALGIA FUNNY CAR
SEMIFINALS – Paul Romine, Fishers, Ind., 5.693, 250.84 mph, def. Kevin Lennon, Merriville, Ind., 6.742, 200.27 mph; Mikw McIntire Jr., Chesterland, Ohio, 5.534, 250.28 mph, def. John Hale, Addison, Texas, 15.658, 50.77 mph.
FINAL – Mike McIntire Jr., Chesterland, Ohio, 5.583, 233.40 mph, def. Paul Romine, Fishers, Ind., 5.693, 248.89 mph.
QUALIFYING – 1. Jake Elliott, Jacksonville, Fla., 5.723, 280.02 mph; 2. Dewayne Hll, Ocala, Fla., 5.923, 275.40 mph; 3. Elaine Larsen, Melbourne Beach, Fla., 5.958, 166.11 mph; 4. Kat Moller, Sarasota, Fla., 5.100, 266.59 mph.
SEMIFINALS – Kat Moller, Sarasota, Fla., 7.091, 226.36 mph, def. Jake Elliott, Jacksonville, Fla., no time; Elaine Larsen, Melbourne Beach, Fla., 5.995, 256.85 mph, def. Dewayne Hill, Ocala, Fla., 5.976, 273.56 mph.
FINALS – Elaine Larsen, Melbourne Beach, Fla., 5.964, 261.78 mph, def. Kat Moller, Sarasota, Fla., 6.147, 262.09 mph.
LANE AUTOMOTIVE BRACKET SERIES:
TOP ET – Scott Taylor, Portage, .012, 7.138 on a 7.130, 181.45 mph, def. Bob Payton, Fowlerville, .020, 7.604 on a 7.590, 174.83 mph.
MODIFIED – Kevin Groeneveld, Dorr, .010, 8.901 on an 8.890, 147.06 mph, def. Justin Wanamaker, Kalamazoo, .052, 8.675 breakout on an 8.710, 149.45 mph.
STREET – Donnie Hagar, Clark Lake, .019, 8.884 on a 8.910, 73.61 mph, def. Steve Pemberton, Orleans, .234, 12.039 breakout on a 12.060, 113.18 mph.
MOJO QUICK 16 – Rusty Baad, Kalamazoo, .023, 6.013 on a 5.990, 166.85 mph, def. Gary Garvelink, NA, .025, 6.056 on a 6.020, 168.10 mph.
MASTER JR. DRAGSTER – Libby Ledford, Stanton, .033, 7.926 on a 7.900, 79.83 mph, def. Kyler Martz, Napponee, Ind., .063, 7.975 on a 7.960, 81.17 mph.
ADVANCED JR. DRAGSTER – Connor Jensen, Vicksburg, .003, 8.884 on an 8.910, 73.61 mph, def. Hunter Scholten, West Olive, .020, 8.897 breakout on an 8.930, 71.56 mph.
BEGINNER JR. DRAGSTER – Blayke Hammer, Belding, .891, 12.083 on a 12.080, 73.61 mph, def. Karlie Denbleyker, Zeeland, .193, 11.955 breakout on an 11.970, 53.13 mph.