ST. LOUIS, MO. (Sept. 25, 2016) Race number two of six in the Countdown to the championship has finally come to a close. Hot temperatures and clear skies made for great racing at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Don Schumacher Racing drivers, Shawn Langdon and Tony Schumacher, put on an all-DSR top fuel final. Shawn was the better of the two cars and picked up his third win of the season with a 3. 798 at 323.66 mph. HIs first task was taking out other teammate, Antron Brown, in the first round. Brown was the favorite to win the even for the 5th consecutive year, but Langdon was too much of a force to be reckoned with. Brown, however, still retains the points leading going into the next event in Reading, PA.
It was another all-DSR final in Funny Car with Jack Beckman defeating teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. Terry Chandler is the woman behind both cars so she would have been happy regardless of who won. Beckman ran 3.928 at 324.51mph over Johnson Jr.’s slowed 4.185 at 231.40 mph. One shocking loss today was Del Worsham falling to John Force. It was the marquee matchup of the first round and both drivers had an equal chance of winning. Force and Worsham are fourth and fifth in the points respectively. Del was the defending champion of the 2015 AAA Midwest Nationals while John was the winner of last week’s Carolina Nationals.
Alex Laughlin was nearly speechless as he hoisted his first ever Wally of his career this weekend. Laughlin took down Bo Butner, who was also looking for his first win, in the final round with a 6.623 at 209.10 mph quarter-mile pass. Laughlin missed the Countdown by a handful of points so his role has been limited to a spoiler. The Gas Monkey Energy driver got his first green hat during the summer in Denver but has struggled to get off the starting line first. Needless to say, he had no issues during the AAA Midwest Nationals.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Jerry Savoie picked up his first win of the 2016 season and the fifth of his career. Thanks to a -.006 red-light start from Angelle Sampey in final round, Jerry didn’t have to worry about outrunning Angelle, who had the faster bike. Savoie ran a 6.933 at 189.36 mph while Angelle made a 6.852 at 195.85 mph pass. The red-light was especially tough for Angelle because had she won, she would have taken the points lead from Andrew Hines. She currently sits two points out of first place with four races left in the season.