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Hefler, Howard, Janousek, Russell, and Hudel Score Wins at the IHRA Sportsman Spectacular presented by Moser and Fuel Tech at Xtreme Raceway Park

Sunday, 30 April 2023

FERRIS, Texas — Excitement filled the air as eight racers drove away with winners’ purses Saturday at the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Sportsman Spectacular presented by Moser Engineering and Fuel Tech at Xtreme Raceway Park. After a questionable weather forecast, the skies cleared, and the pits were still filled as 392 entries were entered for the first round.

Jeromy Hefler from Fort Worth headlined the list with the $3,000-to-win presented by Sonnax Super Pro (Top) victory. Hefler was cleared to race just a few months ago after surviving a very scary top-end crash last year ago at the Texas Motorplex. 

“It was great to see him back in the race car this season and getting back to the winner circle so quickly. I have always been afraid to line up next to anyone with the last name Hefler, and now we are sending one of our best to compete at the World Finals to represent Texas,” said IHRA Track & Racer Relations Director Paige Hamlin. 

Super Pro Winner

Hefler was terrific at the start with a .002 reaction time to go along with a 6.270-second pass at 106.13 mph against a 6.25 dial-in. That quick start was needed as final-round opponent Debbie Palmer went 6.308 seconds at 108.07 mph against a 6.30 dial-in after a .025 reaction time.

Super Pro Runner Up

Jake Howard from Lavon, Texas was the winner of the $1,500 big check from Mr. Wendell’s Motorsports for the Pro (Mod) class. Howard took advantage of the two-hundredth head start at the starting line to capture the Ironman and ticket to the World Finals over Vince Hernandez in the final round.

Pro Winner XRP ONLY

Pro Runner Up

San Antonio rider Gene Hudel had the advantage at the starting line over Frank Dixon after Dixon had issues launching on the starting line. Hudel locked in his trip to the World Finals by winning the Turman Motorsports class along with $500 and an Ironman. Hudel is the first of two motorcycle racers to claim their spots where two-wheel bandits will finally have their own class to compete in at Holly Springs in October.



Bontrager Racing Solutions supported both the Street and Junior Dragster classes. 

Billy Janousek and Aaron Jordan were not playing around when they were .026 and .019 at the tree in the Street (Sportsman) final. Janousek was able to take the win after Jordan took the starting line first but broke out in his lane.



Collin Russell was the Junior Dragster Mod winner with a 7.976-second run at 79.69 mph on a 7.93 dial-in. Cameron Nelson had the better reaction time .035 to .059, but was a little off the mark with an 8.052-second pass at 76.95 mph against a 7.97 dial-in. Russell followed in the footsteps of brother Carson, who won the Junior Dragster class at the 2021 IHRA Division 4 Summit Team Finals at XRP.


In the Junior Dragster Sportsman final, Kynzler Elmore took the victory after a red light by final-round opponent Tyson Bishop. Elmore had a pass of 10.645 seconds at 60.58 mph. Bishop came through with an 11.501-second elapsed time at 55.26 mph.

JR DRAGSTER runner up

Russell and Elmore then faced off to decide who would take home the Bontrager Racer Solutions Ironman and the trip to the World Finals. Elmore had the slight advantage at the starting line, but Russell was able to stop the clocks going dead on his dial. Russell will join other Jr. Dragster racers from around the country to compete for $10,000 in Holly Springs.

A couple of bonus races also provided big excitement.

Ty Farmer had the great .002 start on a 4.70-second pass at 143.59 mph to win the $1,200-to-prize from LJ1 Oil Pro Products in the Super Pro Green race. Dennis Lithgow sped to a 4.801-second run at 141.38 mph to go along with his .017 dial-in for the runner-up spot.

Super Pro Green Winner

Joe DeLaGarza had a perfect .000 start in the Pro Blue final to take home a $1,200 winner’s purse from May Race Cars. DeLaGarza then made a run of 6.845 seconds at 99.73 mph against a 6.83 dial-in. Jake Howard had a 6.416 elapsed time at 101.76 mph against a 6.39 dial-in with a .027 reaction time.

pro blue joe

A special thanks also goes to Compressed Air Supercharging and Mark Griffin the official sponsor of Division 4 for supporting IHRA’s Sportsman drag racers.

The race champions weren’t the only Saturday winners.

Bryson Park with a .015 package took home the “Moser Money Round” $200 certificate in the Super Pro class.

Ian Dunaway with a .034 package took home the “Moser Money Round” $200 certificate in the Pro class.

Robert Schoemer with a .114 package took home the “Moser Money Round” $100 certificate in the Sportsman class.

The IHRA Sportsman Spectacular presented by Moser Engineering and Fuel Tech is scheduled to make its return May 20 at Dragway 42, West Salem, Ohio.

Last modified on Sunday, 30 April 2023
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