Three different Chevrolet-brand Sportsman drag racers were able to make their way to drag racing’s coveted “Wally World” during the 2018 NHRA New England Nationals held in New Hampshire.
Ken Bowers (Super Gas), Pete Maduri (Super Street), and Dave Testa (Top Sportsman) all emerged victorious at the NHRA national event level for the first time in their drag racing careers during the sixth annual event, which played out before a sold-out crowd at New England Dragway.
For Ken Bowers, the victory might have been his most satisfying moment in the sport because the veteran racer won the eliminator at age 77.
Bowers, driving his very reliable ’57 Corvette (based out of Islip, New York) prevailed during the five rounds of competition in the 9.90 index class when he beat opponent Justin Lopes in a final round battle of Chevys. Bowers ran a winning 9.919 e.t. compared to Lopes’ 9.943 in his ’63 Chevy.
Another target racing score came when Pete Maduri prevailed over Brian Sawyer in an all-Chevrolet 10.90 Super Street final round.
Maduri (Tonawanda, New York) raced his ’93 Chevy S-10 past Sawyer’s ’67 Camaro with a winning 10.907 e.t. Sawyer’s machine broke out with a too quick 10.881 e.t.
Top Sportsman class racing was a ferocious affair at the event with a 32-car field that paired down to an all-1963 Chevy Corvette final round.
In that championship match, Dave Testa (Seekonk, Massachusetts) ran a 7.221 e.t. (7.21 dial-in) at 189.31 mph to hold off the fast-closing ’63 raced by Brian Conrey, who ran a losing 6.965 e.t (6.94 dial-in) at 197.65 mph.
For the 13th consecutive race this season, NHRA Pro Stock featured an all-Camaro final round.
Texan Chris McGaha, after experiencing some issues during qualifying, was able to master the Pro Stock field for a second time this season driving his sleek and sliver Harlow Sammons Racing 2018 Camaro.
McGaha earned his seventh career event win when his opponent, fellow Texas-based Camaro driver Erica Enders, had a red light foul start in the final round, which made his 6.570 e.t. at 211.10 mph effort the winning ticket.
McGaha, who qualified Number Nine, had beaten Jeg Coughlin Jr., Greg Anderson, and Kenny Delco during previous rounds of Pro Stock competition.
Check out Chevy High Performance’s New England Nationals event photo gallery presented below.
Bruce Biegler; Steve Embling