ROCKINGHAM — Fayetteville’s Chip Johnson and Clinton’s Steve Foley came close but it was high school student Hunter Edmundson (Pekanello) who kept the home state from being shut out at Saturday’s NHRA Southeast Division Summit ET Finals at Rockingham Dragway.
Edmundson used a .010 package to turn back Gage Burch (Palmetto, Florida) in the High School final, denying Burch a double-up win at The Rock. Earlier, Burch had driven his 1980 Chevy Malibu to victory in the Sportsman Race of Champions.
Brendan George (Gainesville, Florida), Tim Griffith (Cedar Bluff, Virginia), Van Greer (Kingsport, Tennessee) and Dennis Stewart (St. Petersburg, Florida) were the winners in Super Pro, Pro, Sportsman and Pro Bike, respectively, in a race rushed to conclusion because of the likelihood of heavy rain.
Each winner earned a berth in the national championship race to be contested in conjunction with the NHRA’s Auto Club Finals at Pomona, California in November — where the Southeast champions will compete against champions from the NHRA’s seven other geographic divisions.
The Jr. Dragster portion of the event was postponed by the rain and, because of schedule conflicts, will not be made up until next June in conjunction with the Jr. Dragster Eastern Conference Finals in Bristol, Tennessee.
Other Race of Champions winners were Donald Webb (Four Oaks), who outdueled three-time and reigning Rockingham track champion Barry Nall (Eagle Springs) in an all-Carolina final, Troy Stafford (Orlando, Florida) in Pro ET and Jerry Turner of (Bluff City, Tennessee) in Pro Bike.
Johnson, a former Rockingham track champion and IHRA national event winner, couldn’t overcome a .022 of second final round starting line deficit and lost the title to George by .007 of a second in a race between dragster and 1980 Malibu.
Final-round results of the NHRA Southeast Division ET Finals at Rockingham Dragway:
SUPER PRO ET – Brendan George (.009, 4.758 on a 4.730, 140.75 mph) def. Chip Johnson (.033, 6.461 on a 6.450, 105.10 mph).
PRO ET – Tim Griffith (.027, 6.648 on a 6.600, 108.45 mph) def. Steve Foley (.074, 6.854 on a 6.840, 98.23 mph).
SPORTSMAN – Van Greer (.035, 7.535 on a 7.510, 85.94 mph) def. Thomas Kleppin (.073, 8.158 breakout on an 8.170, 83.23 mph).
PRO BIKE ET – Dennis Stewart (.026, 5.757 on a 5.760, 119.44 mph) def. Scott Delong (foul).
HIGH SCHOOL – Hunter Edmundson (.002, 9.748 on a 9.740, 76.98 mph) def. Gage Burch (.050, 8.274 breakout on an 8.330, 81.04 mph).
SUPER PRO RACE OF CHAMPIONS – Donald Webb (.005, 4.708 on a 4.700, 143.26 mph) def. Barry Nall (.019, 5.800 on a 5.800, 120.01 mph).
PRO ET RACE OF CHAMPIONS – Troy Stafford (.042, 7.083 on a 7.080, 94.52 mph) def. Steve Foley (.031, 6.876 on a 6.850, 95.23 mph).
SPORTSMAN RACE OF CHAMPIONS – Gage Burch (.055, 7.509 on a 7.500, 88.85 mph) def. Kenneth Anderson (.055, 7.885 breakout on a 7.890, 83.62 mph).
PRO BIKE RACE OF CHAMPIONS – Jerry Turner (.010, 5.746 on a 5.690, 121.44 mph) def. Rick Eaton (.062, 5.645 breakout on a 5.650, 120.95 mph).