Shawn Cowie and Justin Lamb have been two of the brightest stars in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series this season, and they continued their winning ways at the CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle. Cowie claimed his third win of the season in Top Alcohol Dragster, and Lamb collected win No. 5 when he claimed the Super Stock title.
Cowie and Lamb shared the winner’s circle with Chris Marshall (Top Alcohol Funny Car), Bryan Hyerstay (Comp), Ryan Warter (Stock), Greg Krause (Super Comp), Gene Kelly (Super Gas), Francesca Giroux (Super Street), Steve Casner (Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs), and Bryan LaFlam (Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs).
In a battle between the top-two points earners in the class, Cowie gained the upper hand against three-time and reigning champ Joey Severance with a 5.23 to 5.27 victory in Top Alcohol Dragster. Neither Cowie nor Severance was the quickest driver in Seattle. That honor went to Kim Parker, who drove to a career-best 5.153 at nearly 280 mph. Parker reached the semi’s, where she lost to Cowie. Cowie also defeated Russ Parker and James Stevens en route to his 13th career win. [Video]
With a string of runs that included three 5.45s and a 5.47, Marshall claimed his first Top Alcohol Funny Car victory. In the final round, Marshall topped reigning world champ Shane Westerfield, 5.455 to 5.510. Marshall also scored wins against Tyson Parker and Nick Januik to reach the final round. Following the victory, Marshall has also moved to fourth place in the standings. [Video]
Hyerstay successfully defended his 2017 Comp title after he downed Ralph Van Paepeghem in the Comp final round. After identical lights, Hyerstay, in his Volkswagen-powered G/Dragster, opened up the lead and held on to win with a (-.555) 8.825 to Van Paepeghem’s (-.488) 7.322. Hyerstay now has four wins. [Video]
Lamb added to an amazing résumé that now includes 24 national event wins in 34 final rounds when he overcame Kory Alby’s perfect reaction time in the Super Stock final with an 8.519 on his 8.50 dial. Lamb also stopped Alan Falcone, Vince Storms, Cody Lane, and Dave Barcelon to reach the winner’s circle. [Video]
After four straight runner-up finishes at his home event, the CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals, Warter finally cashed in with a Stock victory. Warter won the all-Pontiac final round over recent Epping winner Randi Lyn Shipp by a narrow margin, driving to the win by just .011-second. Warter now joins his father, Jim, as the latest father-son national event champion. [Video]
Krause, the winner of the 1994 Topeka event, picked up win No. 2 via a holeshot in Super Comp when his 8.937 held off Steve Williams’ 8.918 to win by eight-thousandths. Krause had a difficult road to the final with wins over John Dalrymple, Thomas Bayer, and Mike Shannon, last year’s second-ranked Super Gas driver. Krause was at his best against Shannon with a .019 light and an 8.906. [Video]
Kelly got the best of Sonoma champ Robert Naber in a great side-by-side Super Gas final. Kelly was first off the starting line, .011 to .019, and held on for the win by a narrow margin, 9.909 to a quicker 9.905. For Kelly, the victory was redemption after losing the 2017 Seattle final to Dan Davis. Kelly earned his second shot at a win after defeating Rod Souza in a double-breakout battle in the quarterfinals. [Video]
Giroux became the 84th different woman to win an NHRA national event title after claiming the Super Street title in her ’84 Camaro. Giroux won the final against Steve Beggerly’s ’68 Firebird in a 10.891 to 10.870 double breakout. Giroux was almost unstoppable early in eliminations, specifically her round-two win over Gary Ermish that included a .014 light and a 10.901. [Video]
Casner has now won six national event titles, including the last two in Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs following his final-round win over Andy Spiegel. Casner ran right on his 6.69 dial in the final to hold off Spiegel’s 6.723 on his 6.71 dial. Casner was also quicker off the starting line by .007-second. Casner reached the final round following wins against Bernie Plourd, Thomas Bayer, Taylor Vetter, and Dan Provost. [Video]
Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs champ LaFlam had one of the quickest cars in Seattle with a string of low 6.3-second runs. In the final against James Rutherford, LaFlam got off to a near-perfect start with a .002 light and drove to a 6.342 on his 6.31 dial for the victory. Rutherford broke out by a thousandth of a second with a 7.559. LaFlam topped Greg Anderson, who fouled, and Shawn Herbst, who also broke out. [Video]