Top racers to battle in Memorial Weekend Bracket Nationals

A Rockingham Dragway photo Jr. Dragster standout Noah Johnson of Fayetteville also took home the prestigious trophy last year and expected back to compete this weekend.

A Rockingham Dragway photo
Jr. Dragster standout Noah Johnson of Fayetteville also took home the prestigious trophy last year and expected back to compete this weekend.

ROCKINGHAM — More than 300 of the Southeast’s premier bracket racers will congregate this week at Rockingham Dragway for the 17th annual Memorial Weekend  Bracket Nationals honoring the memory of the track’s former Competition Director “Big John” Leviner.

The holiday classic will crown daily champions in Top Eliminator, Footbrake and Jr. Dragster with a $7,500 prize earmarked for the Top Eliminator winner on Sunday.

As an added bonus, the event is part of the NHRA National Dragster Challenge and racers can apply points earned during all three days of racing toward track championships and participation in the NHRA’s Summit Racing Equipment Series.

From the standpoint of a large number of participants, though, the biggest attraction is the opportunity to race for an official NHRA “Wally” winners’ trophy exactly like those awarded in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and at NHRA National Events.

One of those trophies will be awarded daily in a one-run shootout between the Top Eliminator and Footbrake champions on FridaySaturday and Sunday.  A fourth “Wally” will be awarded in a special six-car showdown Monday between Jr. Dragster drivers. The Jr. Dragster racers qualify for the Summit Jr. Drag Racing Challenge.

Last year, all three of the recognized trophies were won by Top Eliminator racers Richard Alford of Raleigh, David Dean of Waxhaw and Chaz Silance of Jacksonville.    Jr. Dragster standout Noah Johnson of Fayetteville also took home the prestigious trophy.  All four of those drivers are expected back this year.

Also expected to return 2014 are Track Champions Lee Desist of Fayetteville in Top Eliminator, Footbrake champ Terry Rucker of Benson and Johnson

The 2015 event will begin Friday with a special test-and-tune session for competitors from 5-10 p.m.  Racing on Saturday will begin with a “Run for the Money” shootout at 12 noon followed immediately by eliminations.  Time trials at 10 a.m. will precede eliminations on Sunday and Monday’s program, which will pay winners’ shares of $5,000, $1,000 and $500, will begin with time trials for new entrants only at 9 a.m.

Adult admission is $15 per day although special rate tickets are available in advance for two, three or four days.  Children under twelve are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult and parking is free in Rockingham Dragway’s main lot.

Leviner, one of the most popular announcers in drag racing, was Earwood’s right hand man until he suffered a fatal heart attack in November of 2011.

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, Outdoors, Rockingham, Sports

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