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Blakely, Whitmore Take IHRA Ironman Classic Victories at Centerville Dragway

Friday, 26 May 2023

CENTERVILLE, Ark. — Rashaud Blakely and Jalen Whitmore earned big victories at Centerville Dragway last weekend with the IHRA Ironman Classic part of the 2-Day Bracket Showdown.

Blakely was the Super Pro (Box) winner by being right on his dial-in with a 5.874 elapsed time at 115 mph. He needed to be spot-on as runner-up Kirk Cunningham bested him with a .018 to .238 advantage at the start. Cunningham finished his run in 5.05 seconds at 135 mph.

Mark Garner and RJ Goodnight made the semifinal round, while Tony Buroto, Brett Grubb and Michael Hall reached the quarterfinals.

Whitmore and Blakely

(No Box winner Jalen Whitmore and Box winner Rashad Blakely)

Whitmore took the Footbrake (No Box) victory on a holeshot. He had a .024 reaction time, while runner-up Jimmy Ray left in .076 seconds. Whitmore’s winning pass was 6.08 seconds at 109 mph. Ray was slightly faster going 6.03 seconds at 113 mph.

Semifinalists included Bob Mullen and Cody Rogers, while Jerry Stafford, Marty Johnson, Tony Ingle and Justin Cox all made the quarterfinals.

Jimmy Ray

(No Box Runner-Up — Jimmy Ray)

Oklahoma racer Jack Lineberry won the Street class with a 13.03-second pass at 80 mph. His final-round opponent Gary Hariston broke out with a 10.18-second run at 105 mph. Austin McPhillips made the semifinal round, while Roy Cook and Gary Davis were in the quarterfinals.

Bentley Surrett won his Junior Dragster debut on a holeshot with a .016 start to .127 for runner-up Piper Green. Surrett finished in 11.99 seconds at 53 mph, while Green roared down the track in 8.16 seconds at 79 mph. James Jones and Phillip Jones reached the semifinals.

Bentley Surrett

(Junior Dragster winner — Bentley Surrett) 

Piper Green

(Junior Dragster Runner-Up — Piper Green)

Saturday’s action featured a Combo bracket race of Box and No Box cars. 

Nathan Cunningham emerged as the race winner with a solid .018 reaction time paired with a 5.78 elapsed time at 116 mph. Billy Ray was runner-up with a .055 start and a run of 6.49 seconds at 105 mph in the final round.

Nathan Cunningham

(Saturday Combo Race Winner — Nathan Cunningham)

Robbie Moore and Kenneth Dillard advanced to the semifinals. Patrick Dodgen and Mark Garner raced to the quarterfinals.


(Saturday Combo Race Runner-Up — Billy Ray)

Rachael Haynes was victorious in the Street class with a winning effort of 10.21 seconds at 97 mph. Haynes had the better start .086 to .109, but Jaklene Brooks gave her a run for the money with a 12.94-second pass at 80 mph. 

Brandon Thornburg and Drew Torres were their semifinal opponents, while David Colton, John Etzkorn and Chris Brooks reached the quarterfinals.

Phillip Jones captured the Junior Dragster win after a red-light from final-round opponent Lane Roper. Jones, who had a strong .024 reaction time, made it down the track in 8.92 seconds at 72 mph. Brantley Gray reached the semifinals.


The IHRA Ironman Classic program is offered to all member tracks. Prior to this program, a sportsman racer could only win an Ironman if they traveled to an IHRA Team Finals, Sportsman Spectacular or World Finals. This program gives local tracks a chance to create extra excitement in their bracket program and offer competitors a chance to win the prestigious Ironman.

Upcoming IHRA Ironman Classic races include those June 10 at Brainerd Motorsports Park, Ethridge Motorsports Park and Pacemakers Outlaw Motorsports Park. Keep checking out IHRA.com and our social media channels for more information on these events.

Click here to check out the Centerville Dragway Facebook page about more exciting events coming to the Arkansas track.

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 May 2023