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May 2012 Straight-Line Spotlight - Championship Edition!

Bruce Biegler May 1, 2012

Lady is a Champ

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Jackie Alley was a big newsmaker in drag racing during the 2011 season while driving her SS/DA ’69 Camaro. The Idaho-based lady racer emerged at the top following a ferocious season-long battle for NHRA’s coveted Lucas Oil Super Stock World Championship. Alley parlayed her first-ever NHRA national event level win (at Denver in July) with three Lucas Oil divisional event wins to capture the World Title–only the second time in NHRA drag racing history that a female racer has prevailed in Sportsman racing. Jackie races her car in conjunction with her husband, Mick. Their Camaro features a 396ci engine and primary sponsorship from Big O Tires.

Taking Stock

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Connecticut’s Joe Santangelo was a very consistent late-round performer during all of last season, driving a ’95 Camaro owned by Bud Rowe. The end result of all that was that the 29-year-old driver emerged holding the 2011 NHRA Lucas Oil Stock Eliminator World Championship title. Rowe got his season really rolling when he wheeled the 350ci D/SA car to a huge win during the NHRA national event race at Englishtown, New Jersey. He combined that victory with subsequent and consistent late-round finishes during NHRA Lucas Oil divisional level competition. Joe did in fact race a second Camaro at season’s end en route to his world championship. He clinched the title by winning in dramatic style at Las Vegas in November behind the wheel of a C/SA ’69 Camaro that was loaned to him by Anthony Bertozzi.

Nitrous Knowhow

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Dubai’s Khalid Balooshi made drag racing history during 2011 when the skilled driver of the Speedtech-sponsored Pro Modified Chevy Camaro became the first Middle Eastern-based racer ever to win an NHRA World Championship title. Balooshi utilized a superb start to the season, which saw him go to the final round at the first three NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Challenge events (winning twice)—and with that never really looked back. Balooshi’s ultra-powerful nitrous-injected Camaro, which features a motor program by legendary Texans Reher-Morrison, was easily the most consistent and quickest nitrous car in the nation during the 10-event season tour, which is held in conjunction with select NHRA Full Throttle National events.

Victory for Vito

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Canada’s own aspiring Pro Modified circuit (the PMRA) produced another Championship title for the Chevrolet Camaro. Sophomore circuit driver Vito Montesano prevailed in that country’s six-race season series, winning the title by a mere one point in what was the closest points chase in the PMRA’s history. Montesano is the driver of a G-Force-built ’69 Camaro race car that features a supercharged engine program by Canada’s own ERD. Using an automatic transmission, Montesano qualified his Camaro on the pole twice and never finished worse than the semi-final round all season–winning once. He was also credited with a career best run of 5.889 seconds at 245.81 mph during the campaign.



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