Several racers from Delmarva traveled to Maryland International Raceway in Mechanicsville, Md. this past weekend for the chance to compete against other tracks within the division. The bracket finals consisted of three classes: Mod ET, Top ET and Jr. Dragster. U.S. 13 Dragway took a team of top notch racers to battle for their chance for a team championship along with taking the top spot in those three classes.
Hope Clarke of Parsonsburg, Md. made it to the final round in the Jr. Dragster Class where she faced Jacob Nahory. Nahory took the win over Clarke in the final round of the IHRA Division 1 Team finals by running a 8.01 on a 7.97 dial. Clarke hoped to just get a win in the first round of bracket finals where she knew she had to be on top of her game with more experienced drivers. Clarke has only been driving for three years and is a U.S. 13 Dragway regular.
“I wasn’t nervous because when I get nervous and I’m racing I don’t do good,” she said. “I am not focused on my lights and getting that perfect light that everyone wants to see you get!”
Clarke prepared herself in many ways by cleaning the car and making sure everything was right for each round. Clarke says her mental preparation didn’t start until an hour before the races begun. She cleared her head and let everything go that had been or was on her mind at that time. Along with preparing for the day ahead she wouldn’t be able to compete with out the help of some fellow racers and family. She wanted to thank Paul Riddle and Doug Powell. As pictured with Clarke is her grandfather Dinky Bradford, who she also wanted to thank for all his help.
U.S. 13 Dragway also picked up a few other awards and mentions this past weekend. The track took home the fifth spot in the final team points standings and claiming two 50/50 wins. Jacob Bowie, 2016 Jr. Dragster 2 Champion at U.S. 13 Dragway, worked a perfect package to win first round. Receiving a 000 reaction time and running a 7.990 on a 7.99 dial. Frank Lecates made to the final 7 cars in Top ET and Daryl Beauchamp made it to the final 6 in the Mod ET class.
Crisfield, Md. local and regular racer Christian Walston picking up the Best Engineered Open Wheel Award for Division 1.