First-Time Winners Dominate MWDRS Throwdown in T-Town
TULSA, OK (May 14, 2021) -- First-time winners for the
Summit Racing Mid-West Drag Racing Series presented by J&A
Service prevailed in seven of eight official MWDRS classes
May 8, in the 29th running of the Osage Casino Hotel
Throwdown in T-Town at Tulsa Raceway Park.
Headlining the winners list were Jon Stouffer and Bill
Bernard, who each scored their first MWDRS race titles in
Stroud Safety Pro Modified and Top Alcohol Funny Car
presented by J&A Service, respectively, while Tony
"Sandman" Williams took home his first MWDRS trophy after
winning the consolation Pro Mod Slammers class.
"We just had everything kind of come together at the right
time," said Stouffer from his Neosho, MO, home. "Larry
Jeffers built us one heck of an awesome Cuda, and between
Scott Palmer, Rick Ducusin, John Goade, John Deal, Bobby
Cardoza, Todd and Ty Tutterow and all the guys, we had a
whole pit area full of good help. So I've got to really
commend every one of them. They did one heck of a job in
getting that car to the final and to the win. I really
can't thank everyone enough."
Similarly, Bernard thanked backers DMP Awnings, Chase
Copeland Race Cars, Backyard Gearheads and Mile High
Crankshafts, along with everyone at B&A Automotive, the
shop he owns with his wife April back home in Englewood,
"My crew chief, Tony Eben, he did a great job, and so did
our crew guys, Jeff Flythe and Ryan Flythe," Bernard
stressed. "And then I've got one guy that works on the car
at home that doesn't travel with us and his name is Andy
Eben. I couldn't do this at all without any of them."
Meanwhile, Colton Wheeler won his first Race Star Wheels
Top Dragster trophy and in Pat Musi Racing Engines Top
Sportsman, 61-year-old Cody Draper earned the first-ever
event win of his career.
And after registering more than 30 total entries, both
MWDRS Jr. Dragster categories delivered first-time victors
with Jonathan McClain finishing on top with a win over
Kaylee Shepherd in an all-Oklahoma Summit Racing Pro Jr.
final and Kale Moberlly of Wallington, KS, beat Karlee
Brundidge in Zimmerman Properties Construction Sportsman
Only Landon Hobbs in the new Outlaw Atomizer Fuel Systems
No Time class had been to a Mid-West Series winner's
circle before, as he repeated his win from the season
opener two months ago in Texas.
Stouffer qualified his screw-blown '71 Cuda seventh in the
16-car field at Tulsa, then raced his way through
Williams, Jerry Hunt and Jim Whiteley to reach the final
round against fifth-place starter Ed Thornton, who beat
Robert Gallegos, Tulsa track co-owner Todd Martin, and
number-one qualifier Joey Oksas in the semis.
Thornton's twin-turboed '70 Camaro left first with a .012
holeshot, but ran a tenth off his qualifying time at 3.79
seconds, while Stouffer put together a 3.74 at 198.44-mph
"When we won our semi-final race I thought, 'Man, this is
going to be awesome. You know, win, lose or draw it was
just cool to be in the final. But man, if we can pull this
off, this is going to be the biggest win we've all ever
had,'" Stouffer said.
"I was just trying to keep cool and keep focused and just
do my thing," he continued. "I had a .036 light, but he
was just a little bit quicker off the line than me, but we
made it up, I believe by about 60 foot. So we were ahead
of him, but I could see him right there, the whole way
down. I knew we were neck-and-neck and it was going to be
close and right at the finish I saw the win light come on
in my lane and I'm like, 'Oh my God, we did it!'"
The Funny Car final was similarly compelling for Bernard,
who started on top of just six entries, giving him a
first-round bye before downing Shane Westerfield in the
semis and defending MWDRS class champion Sean Bellemeur in
the final round.
"I was late, I had a .125 light and I didn't realize that
Sean had actually red lit (by one-thousandth of a second).
So at that point I was just trying to hit my shift points
and hope he makes a mistake--which he already had,"
Bernard said. "And then it ended up, we did outrun him
with a 3.64 to his 3.65. But I didn't even know we'd won
until after the chutes were out and I saw the win light on
my side as we came up on the scoreboards.
"So we got very lucky on that. As far as lights, I mean, I
had been .029, .030, .036 and .039. So pretty consistent,
but that one there, I don't know where it came from,"
Bernard added. "But it doesn't matter now. We're all
thrilled to win here. It's a great series they've put
together in short time."
Wheeler rose all the way from 15th on the all-run, 17-car
Top Dragster qualifying list by driving his blown 565 c.i.
TNT-built dragster through Bob Henry, Steve McDermott, a
third-round bye, and Danny Nelson in the semis, to reach
16th-place starter Chase Huffman in the final.
It resulted in a close run to his first Mid-West Series
race title, as Wheeler dialed in at 4.46 to Huffman's
4.49, then left with a .030 light and ran 4.461 seconds at
152.73 mph to take the win by .013 over Huffman's
"I know Huffman is a real tough competitor, so I was
definitely striving to be the best I could, but I missed
the tree a little bit and still ended up winning. So I
definitely got lucky there, but it was an awesome moment,"
The Top Sportsman final saw another racer rise from deep
on the qualifying ladder to take the win, as Draper
started 10th of 14 entries led by Kelvin Brown in the
Draper and his naturally aspirated, 632-equipped '01 Chevy
S-10 truck made their way to the final with wins over
Shannon Smith, Jeremy Johnson and Michael Chitty, while
seventh-place starter Terry Pope downed Kirk Piepke,
Travis Leach and James Ogden to create the opposition.
"It's actually been about 30 years since I've been in a
door car and I just needed things to be as least
complicated as possible. All I need is to get in the field
" Draper explained. "I've been in dragsters on and off and
some Top Alcohol Funny Cars and A-Fuel Dragsters through
the years , but I've always loved these old Pro Stock
Trucks. It's mainly just me and my wife, Cindy, and my
niece, Bri Ramirez, that go to the track, so we keep it
For the final, Draper dialed in at 4.79 seconds, then put
together a solid run with a .010 light leading to a 4.791
pass at 146.18 mph that handily beat Pope's 4.508 at
157.83 against a 4.44 dial.
Draper said he watched video of the final round later and
saw Pope's car moved around quite a bit off the start and
probably lost time there, while his truck planted and ran
just as expected.
"I never looked back because I just had faith in the truck
that it was going to do what I thought it was going to
do," said Draper, who added with a laugh that he races
with the number 401 K because it represents his retirement
funds. "But I was still pretty excited when I looked up
and saw the win light come on. I've won races before as a
crew guy, but that was my first win ever as a driver, so
it's definitely pretty special."
Following the Throwdown at T-Town, the Summit Racing
Mid-West Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service will
resume June 4-5, with the MWDRS Texas Tango Nationals at
Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, TX.
Photos courtesy MWDRS/Patrick "Red" Williams
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.