October 15 – Six racers took home coveted NHRA “Wally” trophies tonight at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois as the drag strip hosted its annual National Dragster Challenge. The National Dragster Challenge capped a busy weekend of drag racing at GMP that saw more than 750 cars and motorcycles participate in quarter-mile and eighth-mile competition.
Bert Dixon had no plans of racing his 2003 GSXR in the National Dragster Challenge at GMP until a friend persuaded him to participate. Dixon, of Florissant, Missouri, defeated Charles Willis Sr. of Bunker Hill, Illinois in the Super Pro Motorcycle finale and took home the statuette that honors the National Hot Rod Association’s founder, Wally Parks.
Doug Hermann of Decatur, Illinois defeated Steve Pearson of St. Charles, Missouri, in the final round of Super Pro eliminations.
Tommy Barbero of Wentzville, Missouri (pictured above) defeated Danny Ratulowski in the final round of Pro eliminations.
Justin Rosenbaum of LeClaire, Iowa defeated Leah Albietz of Wentzville, Missouri in the Sportsman final.
Lucas DeCook of Taylor Ridge, Illinois defeated Briece Begyn of Andalusia, Illinois in the Jr. Dragster Thunder final. Briece was one of five Begyns competing in the Jr. Dragster classes.
Bobby Ina won the Jr. Dragster Lightning final over Luke Albietz of Wentzville, Missouri.
The Heads-Up Missouri Street Car final was won by Gene Crain of St. Louis over Jim Hollowell of Troy, Illinois.
Jason Phillips of Granite City, Illinois won the High School Alumni class final over Mike Ratulowski of Highland, Illinois.
The overall Mopar winner was Dan Smith of Affton, Missouri. Smith won the Mopar Left division over Bob Pleasant of St. Peters, Illinois, to face Jason Mallinckrodt of Troy, Missouri in the overall final. Mallinckrodt defeated Tim Schaffer of Maryland Heights, Missouri in the Mopar Right final.
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About Gateway Motorsports Park
Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, the state-of-the-art Gateway Kartplex and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.