ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 13, 2017) – 28 of the top Competition Eliminator racers traveled to the Northeast to compete last weekend at the 48th annual NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
In the first round, Patrick Ross was the No. 1 qualifier in his 2005 D/A Grand Am. Ross took out Vincent Nobile in the first round who was making a moonlight appearance in Competition Eliminator.
Clint Neff’s .020-second light gave him the victory over Dave Hughes and was also the best light of the round. Other winners in the opening round of competition were Mark Hopkins, Randy Daniels, Pete Hanratty, Don Eckel III, Anthony Bertozzi, Rich LoCicero, Chip Ippolito, Lee Zane, Gary Guarriello, Elio Mannino, Calvin Hill, and Frank Aragona.
Second round, track temperatures rose to 123 degrees and the competition was heating up right along with it. Don Eckel III took out No. 1 qualifier Ross in the second round after he crossed the finish line ahead of Ross by .0011-seconds.
Other winners in the second round were Mannino, Zane, Hanratty, Daniels, Hopkins and Aragona.
In the third round, it was Hanratty that took the win over Zane when he ran a 6.599-second pass on his 7.08 A/DA index. Notably, Frank Aragona advanced to the semifinals after Mannino’s car lurched forward before the tree was activated. Other winners in the quarterfinals were Eckel III and Daniels.
By the semifinals, the temperature outside had crept up to 96 degrees. Hoping to keep focus while braving the heat, the final four battled it out. At the end of the round, Hanratty had the best reaction time of the round with a .030 and that was enough to take out Daniels. Also, Aragona took out Eckell III to run for his first Competition Eliminator win at his home track.
The final couldn’t have been written any better – a New Jersey versus New York face-off.Hanratty went red after his dragster hiked the front end out of the beams and the win light turned on in Aragona’s lane. Aragona’s victory was his eighth national event win of his career and his first at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.