26 MILLINGTON, Tenn. — Tom Gall explained it was a long journey to win the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Top World Championship last weekend at the Summit World Finals. The 28-year- old driver wasn’t talking about the 800-mile drive from his hometown of Beresford, S.D. to Memphis International Raceway. He was talking about the decade it took to capture the largest and most prestigious bracket racing championship in drag racing. “I made it to the World Finals when it was back in North Carolina in 2007,” he said. “The transmission let go in round one and I’ve been fighting 10 years to get back. We got it done. You just can’t believe how excited I am to win this. It’s been a long journey 10 years in the making.” Gall started racing at age 16 with his dad’s 1964 Chevelle. After that season went well, they built a new dragster in 2006 and Gall has been racing it ever since. He has won several big races at his home Thunder Valley Dragways, but is so grateful for the Summit SuperSeries program where nearly 100 IHRA-sanctioned tracks from all over North America meet annually to compete at the Summit World Finals. “It’s the biggest opportunity. Summit does something that’s just unheard of,” said Gall, whose margin of victory in the final was just .0012 of a second. “To race every weekend at my local track with my family and friends, and then you get a chance to do something like this, it just blows your mind. At the World Championship, to be that close, it’s how the final should be.” His final round consisted of a 5.059-second pass at 134.55 mph against a 5.04 dial-in. But, he was scrambling after his opponent Jerry Cotton from St. John, Ind., representing US 41 Dragway, had the better start with a .018 to .035 reaction time. GALL’S TOP CHAMPIONSHIP SUPERSERIES CHAMPIONS WAS A LONG TIME COMING