ROCKINGHAM — Kenny Roberts of Gallivants Ferry, South Carolina drove his 1978 Chevy Nova to victories in both the Open Comp and Footbrake classes Saturday, while Danny Porter of Anderson, South Carolina directed his 1939 Dodge into the winners’ circle in the Carolina Gassers feature at the 21st annual SRI Spring Sportsman Wars at Rockingham Dragway.
Porter was perfect in three rounds of nostalgia racing among some of the sport’s most iconic vehicles. He won a showdown with J.R. Ward of Goode, Virignia — whose 1934 Willys sedan was the top performer in the field but had to settle for second place because of a 2-1 record in head-to-head competition.
Roberts, a Rockingham regular, beat Charlotte’s Frank Estro in a double-breakout final in Open Comp and then stopped Craig Aull of Cayce, South Carolina in the Footbrake final.
Making their first appearance in the race formerly known as the Spring Civil Wars, the Carolina Gassers shared top billing with the more familiar Classic Gear Jammers whose membership is restricted to American-built cars with four-or-five-speed manual transmissions.
In a throwback to a bygone era, Matthew Wilson of Aberdeen beat David Satterfield of Roxboro in the final. Wilson’s El Camino ran a 6.929 elapsed in the final on a 6.91 dail-in, as Satterfield’s 1986 Mustang ran too quick and broke out with a 6.999 time on his 7.02 dial-in.
Other winners included Clay Smith of Wilmington — who beat Rockingham’s Will McKay to win in the PTRA Pro Tree Doorslammer class, Bill Ritts of Danbury — who rode to victory in the 6.0 Index class and Kenny Myers of Clemmons — who won a virtual dead-heat final round for the 7.0 Index title.
Racing against Charlotte’s Kurt Flanagan, Myers’ 7.003 against the 7.00 target was just good enough for the win. Flanagan used a starting line advantage to give himself a chance, however, his 1970 Camaro got to the line by a margin not discernible without the electronic judge.
Both drivers had .064 “packages,” meaning they were .064 of a second away from perfect against their respective targets.
Rockingham’s Michael Broadway won the trophy class in his 2007 Ford Mustang, thanks to a .004 of a second reaction time in his final round race with Ted Frazier.
Marty Campbell of Kannapolis won the 5.30 Index class and Hayden Lambert of Albermarle won Pro Jr. Dragster over Kristen Brady of Carthage.
Final round results from the 21st annual SRI Spring Sportsman Wars at Rockingham Dragway:
CAROLINA GASSERS — Danny Porter (1939 Dodge sedan, 3-0) def. J.R. Ward (1934 Willys sedan, 2-1).
CLASSIC GEAR JAMMERS — Matthew Wilson (Aberdeen) def. David Satterfield (Roxboro).
OPEN COMP — Kenny Roberts (.115, 9.714 on a 9.760, 138.37 mph) def. Frank Estro (.162, 12.149 breakout on a 12.220, 110.97 mph).
PRO TREE DOORSLAMMERS — Clay Smith (.029, 7.161 on a 7.110, 90.65 mph) def. Will McKay (.056, 7.274 on a 7.240, 95.56 mph).
FOOTBRAKE — Kenny Roberts (.009, 6.249 on a 6.200, 107.24 mph) def. Craig Aull (.032, 6.571 on a 6.510, 105.81 mph).
5.30 INDEX — Marty Campbell (.063, 5.449, 115.00 mph) def. Tracey Watkins (.150, 5.660, 104.89 mph).
6.0 INDEX — Bill Ritt (.028, 6.033, 110.13 mph) def. Jeremy McSwain (.054, 6.037, 114.84 mph).
7.0 INDEX — Kenny Meyers (.061, 7.003, 97.26 mph) def. Kurt Flanagan (.039, 7.025, 98.23 mph).
TROPHY — Michael Broadway (.004, 13.988 on a 13.820, 98.97 mph) def. Ted Frazier (.093, 12.966 on a 12.850, 109.03 mph).