Scott Taylor Wins American Racers Runoff by .005 of a Second Over Alan Connors

Dom Lagana stopped the quarter mile timers at a track record speed of 338.35 miles per hour, John Lawson got a hole shot win over Joe Haas in the fuel altered shootout and Mike McIntire and Greg Jacobsmeyer dominated the nostalgia Funny Car class at the 14th annual Funny Car Nationals Saturday at US 131 Motorsports Park.

Lagana took full advantage of the opportunity to run his “Nitro Ninja” Top Fuel dragster the full quarter mile instead of just the 1,000-foot distance at which events now are contested in the NHRA national series.

Although the Scarsdale, N.Y.-based dragster suffered a misfire in one cylinder on its first attempt, Lagana came back to cover the distance in 4.485 seconds on his second try in a car tuned by older brother Bobby Lagana Jr.

Lawson, the veteran from Joliet, Ill., used a starting line advantage to stop Joe Haas of St. Louis, Mo., in the best race of the event outside of the American Racers Runoff in Top ET.  Although Haas made the quickest run in the category at 5.382 seconds, Lawson’s .101 of a second starting line advantage made his 5.409 in the “Runaway” 1980 Chevy Camaro a winner.

In the American Race Cars runoff, US 131 track champ Scott Taylor of Portage used a .029 package including a 4.522 on his 4.420 dial to best Alan Connors of Niles by a razor-thin .005 of a second at the finish.

In the nostalgia Funny Car portion of the two-day event, both McIntire and Jacobsmeyer were unbeaten although it was former NHRA Funny Car pro John Hale of Addison, Texas who recorded the quickest time of eliminations at 5.696 seconds in his “One Bad Texan” Camaro.

That run earned him some Texas bragging rights insomuch as it came at the expense of Ronny Young and the legendary “Blue Max” 1968 Plymouth Arrow driven in its prime by Raymond Beadle.

Ken Hall of Pottstown, Pa., had the two quickest times among the jet cars at the controls of the Al Hanna’s “Top Secret Eastern Raider” Pontiac.  Hall ran 5.730 at 280.37 mph and 5.744 at 279.85 to best Rich Hanna and the “First Strike” Pontiac.

Bob Motz closed the show by driving “The Original Jet Truck” to 223.55 mph.


MARTIN, Mich. – Results from Saturday’s 14th annual Funny Car Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park:

TOP FUEL (exhibition only) – Dom Lagana, Scarsdale, N.Y., “Nitro Ninja” dragster, 4.663, 310.13 mph, and 4.485, 338.35 mph.

JET FUNNY CARS – Ken Hall, Pottstown, Pa., “Top Secret Eastern Raider” Pontiac Firebird, 5.730, 280.37 mph, and 5.744, 279.85 mph; Rich Hanna, Enfield, Conn., “First Strike” Pontiac Firebird, 5.753, 275.23 mph, and 5.776, 274.56 mph.

‘ORIGINAL JET TRACK – Bob Motz, Wadsworth, Ohio, 1978 Kenworth conventional, 6.786, 223.55 mph, and 7.003, 206.23 mph.

NOSTALGIA FUNNY CAR  Round 1 – Greg Jacobsmeyer, St. Louis, Mo., “All American Dodge” 1970 Challenger, 5.760, 250.70 mph, def. Shawn Bowen, Grand Blanc, “Violator” 1970 Dodge Charger, 8.841, 98.79 mph; Mike McIntire, Chesterland, Ohio, “McAttack” 1970 Chevy Camaro, 5.788, 257.24 mph, def. John Hale, Addison, Texas, “One Bad Texan” 1969 Chevy Camaro, 5.763, 245.90 mph; Paul Romine, Fishers, Ind., “Man-O-War” 1979 Ford Mustang, 6.276, 260.87 mph, def. Ronny Young, Dallas, Texas, “Blue Max” 1978 Plymouth Arrow, 6.591, 230.89 mph.   Round 2 – McIntire, 5.814, 228.43 mph, def. Bowen, 6.016, 181.67 mph; Hale, 5.696, 248.07 mph, def. Young, 5.823, 222.44 mph; Jacobsmeyer, 5.818, 249.31 mph, def. Romine, 10.138, 85.32 mph.

FUEL ALTEREDS – John Lawson, Joliet, Ill., “Runaway” 1980 Chevy Camaro, 5.409, 278.47 mph, def. Joe Haas, St. Louis, Ford Mustang, 5.382, 276.41 mph; Tim Cullinan, Des Planes, Ill., “Drastic Plastic” 1948 Anglia, 7.306, 201.07 mph, def. Troy Martin, Chicago, Ill., Dodge Charger, 11.568, 76.54 mph.

AMERICAN RACE CARS TOP ET RUNOFF – Scott Taylor, Portage, .027, 4.522 on a 4.520, 145.82 mph, def. Alan Connors, Niles, .028, 4.936 on a 4.930, 138.85 mph.

AMERICAN RACE CARS JR. DRAGSTER RUNOFF – Evan Muchler, Grass Lake, .042, 9.075 on a 9.000, 70.52 mph, def. Tobyn Will, foul.