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Petersen Hits Career Best By Making it to IHRA Summit SuperSeries Top World Final

Tuesday, 17 October 2023

Tony Petersen set a new standard for himself when he reached the final round of Top (Box) eliminations at the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals presented by Strange Engineering. 

The Nebraska racer qualified for the World Finals by winning his track championship at Onawa (Iowa) Dragway. He was then able to compete in the IHRA Division 6 (Midwest) Team Finals before taking the trip South to Holly Springs Motorsports Park for the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals. 

It was quite a learning experience for the 48-year-old who works for a communications company. He earned a good payout of $7,000 for reaching the final round.

“It’s surreal. It’s the first time I’d ever made it to a World Finals,” he said. “There’s a lot of good competition at Onawa. Then, you come to the team finals and here, you get better by racing new people.”


He seemed to get better round-by-round before the final. He had a great .003 start and followed with a 5.593-second pass at 122.72 mph on a 5.58 dial in a quarterfinal win over James McCutcheon from Motor Mile Dragway.

Petersen won on a holeshot with a .001 reaction time in a semifinal win over Isaac Fulcher from Beacon Dragway. If Petersen’s near perfect reaction time wasn’t enough, he also posted an elapsed time of 5.581 seconds at 119.46 mph against a 5.58 dial-in. 

He matched up with Jeromy Hefler, a Texan who like Petersen was driving a Chevy II, in the final. Petersen pushed it a little too far, going red at the tree. Still, both racers took pride in having their two machines matched up in the final.

“My favorite part was how we had two Chevy II’s in the final round,” he said. “Even in the semis, there weren’t any rail cars. I wanted to win it, but it was great to get to the final round.”


Although he hated to foul in the final, Petersen believes it will make him a better racer. He had the car tuned right and learned that he could compete with the best bracket racers out there. 

“You gain the experience in these bigger races,” he said. “I will have look back at it more, but I’m enjoying it right now. It was a great weekend. I had a good time and the car was working really well.”

While Petersen is proud of all he accomplished, the best part of the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals for him was getting to meet the other champions across North America. He didn’t know what to expect, but was surprised just how quickly they all connected.

“The camaraderie and being around everybody, it was like everybody was a big family,” he said. “You didn’t have people who were standoffish. It’s a deal where if you need something, you’ve got it. A lot of good, good people.” 

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 October 2023