Summit Tournament of Champions Preview – Hot Rod
By IHRA Media
Sep 24, 2012
One of the more intriguing battles entering this year’s Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions presented by AMSOIL exists in Hot Rod.
Of the 24 drivers currently qualified for this year’s field there are a number of standouts, but no one driver seemingly has an advantage on the rest. On one hand you have multi-race winners and division champions Bart Nelson, Steve Dweck and Chris Dean at the head of the class, but on the other you have drivers like Michael Schiberl with his five runner-up finishes and no wins, Patrick Forster whose three wins weren’t quite enough to propel him to divisional gold and former Hot Rod World Champions Donald Webb, Chip Johnson and Daryl Griffin sneaking into the mix.
If nothing else one thing is certain, it should be one heck of a battle for Hot Rod glory.
Overall 24 drivers have earned their way into the popular 10.90 field in 2012 with one spot still yet to be determined via the Summit Sportsman Spectacular presented by AMSOIL the day before the Tournament of Champions in Memphis. North Carolina has the most representatives with five drivers, followed by Texas and Alberta with four each, Florida and Ohio with three each, Pennsylvania and New York with two apiece and Kentucky with one driver rounding out the Hot Rod field by state.
The highly competitive field also counts three former Hot Rod World Champions among its ranks.
Leading the pack entering the Summit Racing Equipment World Finals are the six Summit Pro-Am divisional champions headed by Laporte, Texas’ Bart Nelson. With three Hot Rod wins on the season, Nelson ran away with the Division 4 Renegades championship to win his way into the TOC field and earn a coveted first-round bye in the process. Nelson, behind the wheel of his unique ’77 Astre, won three in a row in the early part of the season, winning at Dallas before sweeping the event at State Capitol Raceway. He also added a Quick Rod win to his tally at San Antonio Raceway in March.
Division 9 champion Chris Dean also had a strong season thanks to three victories, winning the title by 131 points over last year’s hot driver Matt Robinson. Dean recorded wins at Dunn-Benson in June and then finished the year strong with victories at North Carolina hotspots Farmington Dragway and Darlington Dragway to seal the title behind the wheel of his ’68 Camaro.
Hot Rod also features two drivers who qualified in more than one class highlighted by Hollywood, Florida’s Steve Dweck. Dweck had three wins and one runner-up finish in Hot Rod in 2012 to win the Division 2 Heat Wave championship. Dweck also added a divisional championship in Top Dragster to his resume this season as well.
Hot Rod’s other double dipper is Patrick Forster from Pittsburgh, Pa. who snuck into the Hot Rod field via a third place finish in Division 3 while also adding a second place finish in Quick Rod. Forster finished the year with one win and one runner-up finish in Hot Rod.
Hot Rod’s other divisional champions include Michael Schiberl from Madison, Ohio who recorded five runner-up finishes to win the Division 3 title behind the wheel of his ’80 Monza, Warren Neitsch of Edmonton, Alberta who drove his very unique 2002 PT Cruiser to a win and a runner-up to take Division 6 and former Hot Rod World Champion Donald Webb who claimed Division 1 driving his familiar ’70 Nova on the strength of one win and two runner-up finishes.
Webb had the closest of all of the divisional races, holding off defending Hot Rod champion Chip Johnson by five points. The two former champions will do battle once again in Memphis, joining 1990 Hot Rod champion Daryl Griffin as former champions of the class.
Marion, Texas native David Bills also had a strong season in 2012, winning twice and adding a runner-up finish to finish second in Division 4.
While Webb, Dweck, Schiberl, Nelson, Neitsch and Dean were busy winning divisional titles, those drivers that finished just behind in the divisional race in the runner-up spot are Chip Johnson (D1), Tim Anderson (D2), Timmy Roe (D3), David Bills (D4), Ken Goldade (D6) and Matt Robinson (D9). Divisional third place finishers were Thomas Coonly (D1), John Hudson (D2), Patrick Forster (D3), Max McGlothin (D4), Carey Borchuk (D6) and Daryl Griffin (D9).
Rounding out the Hot Field are winners of the 2012 Tournament of Champions qualifiers including Rick Baehr (Martin), Ray Dew (San Antonio Sportsman Spectacular), Chad Duke (Richmond), Casey Plaizier (Edmonton), Skip Saddler (Pittsburgh) and Doug Wood (Maryland Sportsman Spectacular).
The 2012 Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions will take place October 12-14 as part of the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals at Memphis International Raceway.
NAME (TOC Qual, Hometown) – 2012 Pro-Am Finals
Tim Anderson (D2 2
, Cape Coral, FL) – 2 wins, 2 runner-ups
Rick Baehr (Martin, Wellington, OH) – 1 win
David Bills (D4 2
/San Antonio, Marion, TX) – 2 wins, 1 runner-up
Carey Borchuk (D6 3
, Beaumont, ALB) – 2 runner-ups
Thomas Coonly (D1 3
, Blasdell, NY) – 1 win
Chris Dean (D9 1
/Farmington, Sanford, NC) – 3 wins
Ray Dew (San Antonio SS, League City, TX)
Chad Duke (Richmond, Rocky Point, NC) – 1 win
Steve Dweck (D2 1
/Immokalee, Hollywood, FL) – 3 wins, 3 runner-ups
Patrick Forster (D3 3
, Pittsburgh, PA) – 3 wins, 2 runner-ups
Ken Goldade (D6 2
, Medicine Hat, ALB) – 1 win
Daryl Griffin (D9 3
, Pittsboro, NC) – 1 win
John Hudson (D2 3
, New Smyrna Beach, FL)
Chip Johnson (D1 2
, Fayetteville, NC) – 2 wins, 1 runner-up
Max McGlothin (D4 3
, Carrollton, TX) – 1 win, 1 runner-up
Warren Neitsch (D6 1
, Edmonton, ALB) – 1 win, 1 runner-up
Bart Nelson (D4 1
/Baton Rouge, Laporte, TX) – 4 wins
Casey Plaizier (Edmonton, Edmonton, ALB) – 2 wins, 1 runner-up
Matt Robinson (D9 2
, Garner, NC) – 1 win, 1 runner-up
Timmy Roe (D3 2
, Paris, KY) – 1 win, 1 runner-up
Skip Saddler (Pittsburgh, Erie, PA)
Michael Schiberl (D3 1
, Madison, OH) – 5 runner-ups
Donald Webb (D1 1
, Four Oaks, NC) – 1 win, 1 runner-up
Doug Wood (Maryland SS, Massillon, OH)