ROCKINGHAM — Bill “Billy Jack” Jackson (Honeybrooke, Pa.) and Janette Thornley (Statesville) won the nitro motorcycle titles — and Wayne Smerander (Jupiter, Fla.) claimed the featured Outlaw Pro Mod event — during Saturday’s Dragstock XII at Rockingham Dragway, the final event in the 2017 American Drag Racing League series.
In addition to event titles, Jackson and Thornley also secured season championships in Top Fuel Harley and Pro Fuel Harley, respectively. Jackson turned back Armon Furr (Orangeburg, S.C.) in the final with a time of 6.579 seconds at 210.41 miles per hour.
Thornley, a two-time champion in the NHRA Harley Davidson Series, added her first ADRL championship. She also won this year’s AMRA title. On Saturday, she got a free ride to the winners’ circle when Winston-Salem’s Jay Beasley posted no time.
Second generation racer John “Bodie” Smith (Boynton Beach, Fla.) beat Jim Gifford (Reading, Pa.) in the final round of the featured nitro Funny Car match race, directing his 1971 Dodge Challenger through the eighth-mile course.
Hickory’s Frank Teague was the only driver in the nostalgia Pro Stock class to negotiate the round robin competition without a loss. Teague used a .104 starting line advantage to drive his 1994 Dodge Avenger past the 1987 Chevy Beretta of Greensboro’s Shane Westmoreland in round one — winning with a 4.924 to a quicker, but losing time of 4.848.
In round two, Teague again used his starting line skills to turn back Mike Snow (Cowpens), making a slower 4.916 a winner over the 4.850 of Snow’s 1989 Beretta. Finally, in round three, Teague got the better of the 1986 IROC Camaro of Lenoir’s Jeff Rydisill.
A.J. Myers (Massillon, Ohio) and Tim Devore (Forest, Ohio) were the class of the Supercharged Thunder portion of the program. Driving a 1996 Chevy Corvette, Myers beat the 1962 Chevy Impala on Toney Currey (Galena, Ohio) three straight times in the match race format.
Meanwhile, Devore drove his immaculate 1957 Chevy Bel Air past the ’85 Chevy Astro van of Tom Richey (Columbus, Ohio) in three straight heats with a best time of 4.749 seconds at 150.20 mph.
Saturday also was a big day for the father-son team of Greg and Fisher Newman (Maryville, Tenn). Greg won the Bracket Combo title by driving his 1996 Ford Mustang past the 1966 Chevy II of Darrin Pankey (Albermarle) after his son won Top Jr. Dragster.
Zach Pennington (Lexington, S.C.) won Pro Jr. Dragster after 2017 series champion Samuel Peterson (Richlands, Mich.) was upset in round one, and Nick Hamilton (Dresden, Ohio) beat series champion Paul Daigrepont (Mooresville) in the Top Sportsman final.
Final round results from Saturday’s Dragstock XII ADRL event at Rockingham Dragway (Results include reaction time, track time, target time when applicable and finish line speed):
NITRO FUNNY CAR – John “Bodie” Smith (.147, 4.159, 172.76 mph) def. Jim Gifford (.207, 4.323, 137.98 mph).
OUTLAW PRO MOD – Wayne Smerander (.035, 4.244, 172.96 mph) def. Kevin Kneece (.325, 4.510, 149.50 mph).
TOP FUEL HARLEY – Bill “Billy Jack” Jackson (.053, 6.579, 210.41 mph) def. Armon Furr (.069, 6.654, 206.80 mph).
PRO FUEL HARLEY – Janette Thornley (.129, 7.475, 162.94 mph) def. Jay Beasley (no time).
TOP SPORTSMAN – Nick Hamilton (.001, 4.266 on a 4.210, 164.55 mph) def. Paul Daigrepont (no time).
BRACKET COMBO – Greg Newman (.003, 5.429 on a 5.390, 127.87 mph) def. Darrin Pankey (foul).
PRO JR. DRAGSTER – Zach Pennington (.033, 7.900 on a 7.900, 79.85 mph) def. Destiny Taylor (.052, 7.881 breakout on a 7.900, 82.73 mph).
TOP JR. DRAGSTER – Fisher Newman (.108, 10.468 on a 10.460, 62.08 mph) def. Adam Jakupcak (foul).