Summit Tournament of Champions Preview – Super Stock
By IHRA Media
Sep 28, 2012
It may be the smallest field in this year’s Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions presented by AMSOIL, but don’t let its size fool you.
Within the confines of the 21 competitors currently qualified for this year’s Super Stock World Championship Tournament lies a bevy of talented individuals waiting to take home the coveted championship Ironman and the No. 1 for their car for the 2013 racing season.
Among them are three former IHRA World Champions including the defending Super Stock World Champion Gianni Cantusci who learned just how prestigious – and difficult – it can be carrying the No. 1 on the side of your car for an entire season. He is joined by multi-time champions Scott Stillings and Michael Beard. Also five of last year’s top 10 drivers from the tournament are back looking for another shot at the biggest prize in sportsman drag racing.
Leading the way into this year’s championship tournament is Patriots Division champion Brandon Peterson from Randleman, N.C. Peterson, behind the wheel of his familiar ’91 Camaro, had three wins and a runner-up finish in 2012 to claim the Division 1 championship by a whopping 138 points over second place Peter D’Agnolo. Peterson had a pair of wins at Darlington Dragway to end the year and added a victory at Piedmont Dragway back in March to pull away for the win.
Mark Nowicki, from Gaylord, Mich., also had a big year on the divisional level with three wins and a runner-up finish to take the North Stars championship over Scott Stillings. Nowicki, driving a ’98 Avenger, won twice at Bradenton Motorsports Park and once at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park at the Northern Nitro Jam to take a narrow 16 point win over Stillings. Stillings, meanwhile, will be looking for his sixth career IHRA championship when he travels to Memphis coming off of another strong year where he picked up two wins and a runner-up.
And of course never count out two-time Stock World Champion Michael Beard. Beard, from Seagrove N.C., visited an incredible six final rounds this season with one win in Super Stock and another in Stock to qualify him in both classes. Beard’s season includes final round appearances at an unprecedented five different tracks with wins at Pittsburgh Raceway Park and Carolina Dragway and runner-up finishes at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park, Piedmont Dragway and Immokalee Regional Raceway. To cap it off Beard, driving his very familiar “Duck Tape” sponsored ’80 Volare, took the Heat Wave Division championship by 47 points over Michael Crumpler.
Super Stock’s other multi-class qualifier is Mark Faul who qualified in both Stock classes. Faul claimed the Border Bandits championship in Stock and finished runner-up in Super Stock by 11 points to Art Congdon. Faul had four total Pro-Am wins in 2012, two coming in Super Stock. Congdon, from Calgary, Alberta, also recorded two wins – both at Castrol Raceway – to pull away to his first divisional championship behind the wheel of his unique ’91 Calais.
Overall 21 drivers have earned their way into the Super Stock class with another spot still up for grabs at the Summit Sportsman Spectacular presented by AMSOIL at Memphis International Raceway. Despite only 21 drivers being qualified, the class is represented by 14 different states led by North Carolina with four drivers, Alberta, Ontario, Texas and Virginia with two drivers apiece and one each from Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington.
Rounding out the 2012 divisional champions are Gil Carty Jr. and Jeffrey Miller who claimed wins in arguably the two toughest divisions in the nation. Carty, from Wytheville, Va., had the closest battle of any driver in 2012 by claiming a narrow two-point win over the hard-charging Marvin Dunahoo. Carty had wins at Mountain Park and Richmond Dragway behind the wheel of his ’67 Nova in the early part of the year, while Dunahoo recorded two big wins late at Dunn-Benson and then at the season finale at Farmington Dragway to pull close, but ultimately fall short.
Jeffrey Miller won the Renegades Division by a whopping 110 points over David Latino thanks to two wins in four finals. Miller, from Pasadena, Texas, drove his ’67 Camaro to back-to-back wins at San Antonio Raceway and Dallas Raceway to claim the win.
Defending Super Stock World Champion Gianni Cantusci, from Stittsville, Ontario, snuck into the field via a third place finish in the Patriots Division. The highest additional finisher from last year’s tournament in this year’s Super Stock field is Pete D’Agnolo who came in fourth last year. D’Agnolo has to be considered a strong contender to climb a few spots thanks to several big event wins this year including a win at the Maryland
Summit Sportsman Spectacular in July and a second place finish in the Patriots Division.
Gil Carty Jr.
While Beard, Carty, Congdon, Miller, Nowicki and Peterson were busy winning divisional titles, those drivers that finished just behind in the divisional race in the runner-up spot are Peter D’Angolo (D1), Michael Crumpler (D2), Scott Stillings (D3), David Latino (D4), Mark Faul (D6) and Marvin Dunahoo (D9). Divisional third place finishers were Gianni Cantusci (D1), Richard Mace (D2), Emily Volkman (D3), Pete Peery (D4), Joe Graves (D6) and Mark Young (D9).
Rounding out the Super Rod field are the winners of the 2012 Tournament of Champions qualifier races including Jory Elliott (Grand Bend), Marion Stephenson (Immokalee) and Carroll Warling (Salt Lake).
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
Michael Beard (D2 1
, Seagrove, NC) 2 wins, 4 runner-ups
Gianni Cantusci (D1 3
, Stittsville, ONT) 1 win
Gil Carty (D9 1
, Wytheville, VA) 2 wins
Art Congdon (D6 1
/Edmonton, Calgary, ALB) 2 wins
Michael Crumpler (D2 2
, Elm City, NC) 1 win
Pete D’Agnolo (D1 2
/Pittsburgh/Maryland, Rochester, NY) 1 win, 1 runner-up
Marvin Dunahoo (D9 2
/Farmington, Roanoke, VA) 2 wins
Jory Elliott (Grand Bend, London, ONT) 1 win
Mark Faul (D6 2
, Tacoma, WA) 4 wins
Joe Graves (D6 3
, Edmonton, ALB) 1 runner-up
David Latino (D4 2
/Baton Rouge, Donaldsonville, LA) 2 wins
Richard Mace (D2 3
, Jacksonville, FL) 1 runner-up
Jeffrey Miller (D4 1
, Pasadena, TX) 2 wins, 2 runner-ups
Mark Nowicki (D3 1
/Martin, Gaylord, MI) 3 wins, 1 runner-up
Pete Peery (D4 3
/San Antonio/San Antonio SS, Bowie, TX) 1 win, 1 runner-up
Brandon Peterson (D1 1
, Randleman, NC) 3 wins, 1 runner-up
Marion Stephenson (Immokalee, Williamsport, IN) 1 win
Scott Stillings (D3 2
, Louisville, KY) 2 wins, 1 runner-up
Emily Volkman (D3 3
, Coraopolis, PA) 1 win, 1 runner-up
Carroll Warling (Salt Lake, Brighton, CO)
Mark Young (D9 3
/Richmond, Wake Forest, NC) 1 win, 1 runner-up