Bellemeur Top Winners at MWDRS Texas Season Opener
TULSA, OK (Mar. 25, 2021) -- Fast times and exciting
action marked the opening of the 2021 season for the
Summit Racing Mid-West Drag Racing Series (MWDRS)
presented by J&A Service Mar. 19-20, at Xtreme Raceway
Park in Ferris, TX, where Tommy Cunningham and Sean
Bellemeur scored wins in the marquee Pro Modified and Top
Alcohol Funny Car classes, respectively.
"My dad, Larry Cunningham, he's our crew chief and he did
a lot of laptop tuning all winter long, so he felt pretty
confident on where he was and each round he just stepped
it up a little bit," Cunningham said. "We ended up having
our career-best pass in the final, so he did a great job."
Likewise, reigning MWDRS Funny Car champ Bellemeur
credited his crew chief for picking up right where 2020
ended with a winning pace.
"As the evening progressed the air just kept getting
better. It was cooling off and it was all Steve Boggs,
licking his chops, scanning and watching that weather
station," Bellemeur said. "The car was making huge power
and the track could handle it, so Boggs just unloaded a
huge run for the final, almost 216 miles an hour. It was a
great way to finish a really positive weekend."
Also picking up victories at the state-of-the-art eighth
miler near Dallas were Brian Lewis with a final-round win
over MWDRS founder and promoter Keith Haney in the
consolation Pro Mod Slammers class, 2020 champion Kelvin
Brown in Pat Musi Racing Engines Top Sportsman, Jessica
Ogden in Race Star Wheels Top Dragster, and Landon Hobbs
in the new-for-2021 Outlaw Atomizer Fuel Systems No Time
class. Additionally, a pair of young women prevailed in
the Jr. Dragster categories with Addy Owen taking Summit
Racing Pro Jr. honors and Zimmerman Properties
Construction Sportsman Jr. going to Makenzie Roberts.
The event also marked the beginning of a new era for MWDRS
as MAVTV+ was on the XRP grounds filming for a season-long
series of live streaming and taped events for airing this
fall, hosted by NHRA Funny Car star Jack Beckman and
motorsports journalist Dave Rieff, with MWDRS announcing
veterans Al Tucci and Chad Reynolds providing the
play-by-play calls and interviews.
"MAVTV, they knocked it out of the park," Haney declared.
"I could not be happier with the production they did.
There must've been 20 different camera angles and they
interviewed all the round-winning racers, followed every
car off the track, it was just a great, thorough job from
start to finish. Phenomenal work."
After qualifying his screw-blown '67 Mustang ninth of 21
Stroud Safety Pro Mod entries, Cunningham made it through
Jeff Rudolf, Todd Martin and Ed Thornton to reach the
final round versus Jim Whiteley, who started second behind
number-one starter Martin and drove his supercharged '63
Corvette past Taylor Lastor, Aaron Wells and Mike Labbate.
The Pro Mod final was all over as it began, however, as
Whiteley left six-thousandths of a second too soon to
negate a 3.67 pass while Cunningham won with a 3.66 at
"We stepped it up just a hair for the final and we ended
up having our personal-best run across the board, best
60-foot, best 330, best E.T., so yeah, we're very pleased
with where we are right now," Cunningham said.
"You know, we're strictly a family team, just me and my
dad, my mom, Susan, and my wife, Anita. So it's just the
four of us and if one of us can't go to a race we don't
go," he added. "But I also want to thank all our employees
at home at Stroud Safety and Cunningham Machine. We've got
good people at both locations and without their hard work
we wouldn't be able to be out here either."
Bellemeur led eight TA/FC entries at XRP with a new class
record 3.57-seconds qualifying pass at 215.41 mph in the
Tony Bartone-owned, Hussey Performance-backed Camaro
flopper. He then downed Steve Burck and Ray Drew before
taking on Chris Marshall in the final, where he ran
another 3.57 at 215.93 to earn the race win.
"Before the weekend, we had been told that there had never
been a 3.50-anything run in the Midwest Drag Racing Series
and we happened to run three of them," the series
defending champion pointed out.
"So the car's making huge power, but the track could
handle it. I mean, the facility itself is incredible, the
fans, the people who work there, and again, the racetrack
is just exceptional. And then as the evening went on and
the air got better, Boggs just unloaded a huge run. It was
Marshall didn't go home empty-handed either, as his team
received the new MWDRS Aryon Rochon Hardest Working Crew
award in recognition of an overnight thrash for repairs
after a converter explosion in qualifying caused him to
hit both walls. Additionally, Funny car racer Bill Bernard
received the new Copeland Race Cars Tough Luck award after
scraping the wall with a brand-new race car.
The 2021 schedule for the Summit Racing Mid-West Drag
Racing Series presented by J&A Service resumes Apr. 23-24,
with the inaugural MWDRS Bayou Nationals at No Problem
Raceway in Belle Rose, LA. Additional stops at Tulsa, OK
(twice); Houston, TX; Great Bend, KS; and Martin, MI, will
follow, with a return to Ferris in October for the 2021
ABOUT THE SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT MID-WEST DRAG RACING
The Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Drag Racing Series is
an all-eighth-mile, no-profit organization funded entirely
through marketing partnerships and passed along to benefit
MWDRS host tracks (typically about $10,000). The Mid-West
Drag Racing Series also provides trackside sponsor banners
to be displayed at each event, on-site PA sponsor
announcements, and links to each company on the MWDRS
website (www.MidWestDragRacingSeries.com), plus an
extensive social-media presence, texts and e-mail blasts,
and commercials during all events. Complete class rules
are posted on the MWDRS website.