Summit Tournament of Champions Preview – Quick Rod
By IHRA Media
Sep 26, 2012
If you are looking for heavy hitters in the 2012 Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions presented by AMSOIL, look no further than Quick Rod
Of the 22 drivers that currently make up this year’s 8.90 class, nine of them have won more than once in 2012 with six of those drivers winning at least three times on the Summit Pro-Am Tour. That is a lot of wins by a lot of different people leaving this year’s Quick Rod World Championship chase seemingly wide open.
Leading the way are the six divisional champions headed by Steve Muller and Ed McCleaft who both dominated their division. Muller, from Pinellas Park, Fla., edged Randal Langley in the Heat Wave Division by a very narrow 138 points. That is by far the most separation any Quick Rod driver managed this season. Muller used three big wins, twice at Bradenton Motorsports Park in March and once Darlington Dragway to close the year, to rack up the divisional title and a coveted first round bye in the Tournament of Champions.
McCleaft, from Shinglehouse, Pa., finished 135 points ahead of his next closest competitor Rick Stroud in the Patriots Division thanks to three wins and a runner-up finish sprinkled throughout the season. McCleaft had wins at three different race tracks – Richmond Dragway, Pittsburgh Raceway Park and Skyview Drags – and added a runner-up to the mix at Skyview to help the Pennsylvania native take the divisional crown.
Eric Goulden, from the great northwest area of Airdrie, Alberta, also had three wins on the season in the Border Bandits Division, winning three of the four races including the Edmonton Nitro Jam to finish 60 points ahead of Cody Scheu for the title.
Overall 22 drivers have earned their way into the Quick Rod class with one spot still yet to be filled at the Summit Sportsman Spectacular at Memphis International Raceway the day before the big go. The odds of the class crowning a brand new champion are pretty good as only one former champ is among the lineup. Overall 13 different states and provinces are represented in the class lead by North Carolina with four drivers, Florida and Pennsylvania with three drivers each, Alberta and Texas with two apiece and one each from Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ontario, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia.
That one champion that is among the group is 2008 Quick Rod title holder Brett Nesbitt who finished third in the Raiders division off of the strength of two wins and two runner-up finishes in 2012 to finish 23 points behind Carey Long. Nesbitt, from Burlington, N.C., also added a win in Top Dragster at Richmond Dragway to qualify him in two different classes at the Tournament of Champions. Nesbitt’s two wins this season came at Piedmont Dragway and London Dragway.
The other Quick Rod driver to qualify in multiple classes is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Patrick Forster who also qualified in Hot Rod. In the 8.90 class Forster finished second in the North Stars Division and had two Quick Rod wins to advance him to the tournament.
Waco, Kentucky’s Jeremy Mason is another driver to watch at the 2012 Tournament of Champions, winning the North Stars division by 54 points over Forster and finishing the year with three wins in four finals. Mason had a win at Mountain Park Dragway and won twice at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park, counting his first ever Nitro Jam national event victory among his accomplishments this season.
Carey Long finished first in the always tough Raiders Division, finishing 23 points ahead of Nesbitt. Long, from Timberlake, N.C., had two wins at Rockingham Dragway and Farmington Dragway and added a pair of runner-up finishes to his four final tally.
Rounding out the 2012 divisional champions is Renegades champion Dale Scates who barely squeaked out a win over Vernon Rowland, finishing 12 points ahead in the final standings. Scates, from Center, Texas, had two wins at Dallas Raceway and Memphis International Raceway and one runner-up on the season. Scates already has to be considered a major threat, winning at the host track of the IHRA Summit World Finals already this season.
While Goulden, Long, Mason, McCleaft, Muller and Scates were busy winning divisional titles, those drivers that finished just behind in the divisional race in the runner-up spot are Rick Stroud (D1), Randal Langley (D2), Patrick Forster (D3), Vernon Rowland (D4), Cody Scheu (D6) and Brett Nesbitt (D9). Divisional third place finishers were Jacob Otto (D1), John Biermann (D2), Steve Mikus (D3), Michael Pennington (D4), Blu Hayball (D6) and Brooke Warren (D9).
Despite finishing third in her division, Warren is one of the hottest drivers entering the championship tournament with two runner-up finishes early in the season culminating with a win at the final race of the year at Farmington Dragway to get her into the field via a TOC win and a third place finish in her division.
Rounding out the Quick Rod field are the winners of the 2012 Tournament of Champions qualifier races including Scotty Campbell (Pittsburgh), Corey Manuel (Richmond), Jake Milstead (Maryland) and Russ Stevenson.
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.
Carey Long (near) and Brooke Warren
NAME (TOC Qual, Hometown) – 2012 Pro-Am Finals
John Biermann (D2 3
, Loxahatchee, FL)
Scotty Campbell (Pittsburgh, Avonmore, PA) 1 win
Patrick Forster (D3 2
, Pittsburgh, PA) 3 wins, 2 runner-ups
Eric Goulden (D6 1
/Edmonton, Airdrie, ALB) 3 wins
Blu Hayball (D6 3
, Ft. Hall, ID) 1 runner-up
Randal Langley (D2 2
, Naples, FL) 2 runner-ups
Carey Long (D9 1
, Timberlake, NC) 2 wins, 2 runner-ups
Corey Manuel (Richmond, Winston Salem, NC) 1 win
Jeremy Mason (D3 1
/Martin, Waco, KY) 3 wins, 1 runner-up
Ed McCleaft (D1 1
, Shinglehouse, PA) 3 wins, 1 runner-up
Steve Mikus (D3 3
/Immokalee, Ashley, MI) 1 win, 2 runner-ups
Jake Milstead (Maryland, Lexington Park, MD)
Steve Muller (D2 1
, Pinellas Park, FL) 3 wins
Brett Nesbitt (D9 2
, Burlington, NC) 3 wins, 2 runner-ups
Jacob Otto (D1 3
, Montpelier, VA) 1 runner-up
Michael Pennington (D4 3
/San Antonio, Three Rivers, TX) 1 win
Vernon Rowland (D4 2
/Baton Rouge, Blanchard, OK) 2 wins
Dale Scates (D4 1
, Center, TX) 2 wins, 1 runner-up
Cody Scheu (D6 2
, Calgary, ALB) 1 win, 1 runner-up
Russ Stevenson (Salt Lake, South Jordan, UT)
Rick Stroud (D1 2
, Douglas, ONT) 1 win, 1 runner-up
Brooke Warren (D9 3
/Farmington, Clinton, NC) 1 win, 2 runner-ups