Two very skilled Chevrolet-brand drag racers earned rare “double-up” victories during the 2017 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals held at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. Jeff Strickland and Nick Folk made history in Stock and Super Stock eliminators, respectively.
Strickland, the defending NHRA Stock Eliminator World Champion, wheeled his high-flying 2017 FS/D-classed COPO Camaro to his seventh career class win with a victory over Chevy racer Jim Boburka in the final round. Strickland, who is from Alabama, won a total of seven rounds racing his GMPartsNow-sponsored Camaro after qualifying 12th in the huge, 70-car eliminator program.
Just prior to that title, Strickland won in the event’s Top Dragster class category racing his Chevy-powered machine. It was the second time in Jeff’s career that he has doubled-up in NHRA national event competition.
Earning his first double-up was Illinois-based racer Nick Folk, who first won in Super Stock Eliminator then shortly thereafter won in Super Comp (8.90) with his two Chevy cars.
Folk piloted his GT/EA-classed 2005 Chevy Cobalt to the Super Stock win when he stopped Zack Running in that final round. He qualified 36th in the 61-car field and won six rounds in total to take the win. With his two wins, Folk has added his name to an exclusive list of only a few drivers that have won NHRA national event Sportsman class titles in six different categories. He is only the fifth racer in history to do that.
Chevy-brand drivers also earned four other wins during this “Grade A” NHRA summer event stop.
Georgia’s Jeff Barker, the inaugural NHRA Top Sportsman World Champion back in 2015, earned his sixth career national event title in that very fast Sportsman category. Barker, driving his nitrous-assisted Chevy Cobalt, beat the nitrous-assisted 1937 Chevy raced by Michigan’s Ricky Adkins in the final round.
Bruno Massel earned a popular win in Competition Eliminator racing his 2010 Cobalt DD/AT. That machine, which features a turbocharged four-cylinder engine capable of 6-second e.t.’s and 200+ mph runs, defeated former Pro Stock racer Larry Morgan in the final round. This win was Bruno’s 12th in NHRA national event competition.
Super Gas (9.90) featured a first-time class winner when home state Ohio racer Rob Kropfeld scored racing his very cool 1971 Vega Wagon. Kropfeld beat the topless Corvette driven by Minnesota’s Trevor Larson in the all-Chevy final round when Larson lit the red eye.
Following the conclusion of Pro Stock racing at Norwalk there is a new overall NHRA points leader. Bo Butner has earned that placing for the first time in his career when he defeated Greg Anderson in the all 2017 Camaro championship round. Butner delivered a perfect 0.000 reaction time in the final, which proved to be the difference as his run of 6.601 at 210.50 mph held off Anderson’s quicker and faster 6.581 at 210.87 mph run. That Pro Stock final pairing was between the Number 1 and Number 2 qualified cars entering eliminations.
Photos by Steve Embling