Race Recap

brlead.jpgThe second race of the 2009 Pro Truck Nationals took the tour to Big River Sand Drags in Bonne Terre, MO, approximately an hour south of St. Louis. A great contingent of out of state entries showed up to compete against the tough group of local racers. Let’s take a look at the action.

Pro Truck

The featured class of the PTN series is always the tough Pro Truck category. Fifteen entries showed up to compete for the $1000 first place pay out. This race is also very important for the season long point series as first round points and semi-finals to conclusion round points counted double towards the championship making this a crucial event for those going after the series title.

Qualifying kicked off with Steve Bobeldyk taking the top qualifying position in the Compromised truck with a 3.441. The Compromised team of Bobeldyk and Nick Disselkoen also took the five bonus points for being low qualifier and the first round bye with an odd number of entries. Round one saw some great match ups. One early upset was when Cleves semi-finalist Mike Bolyard fell to Missouri local Joel King’s Dirt Devil Jeep in round one. Another great match up was a father-son pairing between Jay and Ryan Poortenga in the first round. Ryan would come out on the winning side of the equation with his Jeep.

The quarter final round kicked off with Bobeldyk chasing down Missourian Vernon Henson for the win. Next up was Ohioan Mike Ellington facing off with local Kling and Ellington taking the win in the all-Jeep match up. The third pair would be a pair of Michigan racers facing off with series organizer Rich Simon in his Ranger facing off with Trent Everett in his Jeep. Simon would pull off a close win to advance to the semi-final round. Finishing off the quarter-final round would be a titanic pair between Ben Dozeman’s Bad Company Jeep and Ryan Poortenga’s Funny Jeep. Dozeman would head for the guard rail causing him to lift, giving Ryan just enough room to advance on to the semi-final round.

The semi-final round kicked off with Bobeldyk in the Michigan-based Blown, Alcohol Chevy Pick-up once again playing catch up after spotting a .8 head start to Ellington. At the big end, Bobeldyk was able to take the stripe and the win advancing to the final round. The other match up saw another all-Michigan match up as Simon and Poortenga faced off. At the big end, it would be Simon advancing on to an all truck final round. In the final, the race would be decided at the tree as Bobeldyk just barely turned on the red bulb handing the win to Simon in his Big Block Chevy-powered Ranger.

After two of the four events in the 2009 Pro Truck Nationals series, Simon and Bobeldyk sit a top the standings with 45 points each.

Rich Simon with the front end in the air on the way to the Pro Truck class win.

Steve Bobeldyk drove the Compromised truck to the runner-up finish in Bonne Terre.

Rich Simon (Right) receives his check from the rest of the PTN Series crew.

Steve Bobeldyk receives his Pro Truck runner-up trophy and check.

Fastest 4x4 Shootout

The Fastest 4x4 Shootout saw the biggest crop of entries in series history duke it out for the class victory. Six entries made the first round call, led by #1 qualifier Jamie Hutchins with a 3.570. Hutchins kicked off round one with a close victory over Phillip Moser 3.51 to 3.61. The next pair would see class point’s contender Dan Wies face off with Jeff Richardson. Wies would foul away his chance at the win, handing Richardson the win with a 3.50. The final pair saw Kentucky’s Ryan Wilson face off with Missouri’s JR Dreher. At the stripe, Wilson took a 3.58 to 3.64 victory to head to the semi’s.

Richardson would get the semi-final round bye after running Low ET of round one and elected to take it easy on his pass. The match up of the round would see Hutchins driving the Eric Gallay-owned “Sidewinder” Jeep (minus body) face off with Wilson. Hutchins’ supercharged-Big Block Chevy would get him to the finish line first with a 3.52 to make it an all-Missouri final round with Richardson. In the final round, both drivers would leave together and it would be the Nitrous-assisted entry of Richardson outrunning the supercharged entry of Hutchins 3.55 to 3.59 for the victory.

Jeff Richardson on his way to the 4x4 Shootout class win.

Jamie Hutchins wheeled Eric Gallay's Jeep (without body) to a runner-up finish in the 4x4 Shootout class.

Jeff Richardson (Left) picking up his trophy and check for the 4x4 Shootout class win.

3.5 Index

The 3.5 Index category saw a huge turnout of 16 entries vying for the victory on Friday night at Big River Sand Drags. Some amazing action in early round competition set up a great semi-final round. The round kicked off with Kentucky’s Ryan Wilson facing off against Ohio’s Kathy Ellington in an all-Altered match up. Kathy would have a great .008 RT, but at the stripe it would be Wilson taking the win with a 3.52. In the other match up, a pair of Michigan racers faced off with Ben Dozeman’s Jeep matching up with Jay Poortenga’s Drag Nasty Jeep. Dozeman would take a slight starting line advantage and was barely able to hold off Poortenga’s top end charge for a 3.56 to 3.54 hole shot victory.

This set up a Kentucky vs. Michigan final round match up in Missouri. At the hit, Wilson would take a slight advantage, however he would go into a monster wheel stand causing him to lose some time handing the win to Dozeman 3.58 to 3.80. Dozeman is now undefeated in the 3.5 Index class after two events in 2009.

Ben Dozeman remained undefeated in 2009 in the 3.5 Index class with a win in Bonne Terre.

Ryan Wilson gave it a huge effort on the way to a runner-up finish in the 3.5 Index class.

Ben Dozeman, with PTN's Rich Simon, picking up his awards for winning the 3.5 Index class.

Ryan Wilson (Right) picking up his trophy and check for the runner-up finishi n the 3.5 Index class.

Competition Eliminator

The Competition Eliminator is a local class at Big River Sand Drags. It basically is a bracket class on a full tree for vehicles running 5.50 and quicker. For this event, some extra sponsor money was thrown in for a great purse of $1000 to win, $500 for second, and $250 a piece for the semi-finalists. Missouri’s James Casteel in his Dragster and Michigan’s Ross Abraham would both take home $250 for reaching the semi-final round in this class. That set up a final round match up between two of the best Missouri racers in JR Dreher in the Dreher Race Cars Altered against Steve Barton in the Barely Legal Jeep. This race would be decided at the tree as Barton would go red, handing Dreher the win and the $1000 check.

JR Dreher was the big winner on Saturday night in the Comp Elim class taking home the $1000 check.

Steve Barton was the runner-up in Comp Elim with his "Barely Legal" Jeep.

JR Dreher receiveing his check and trophy from BRSD's Lisa Merseal.

Pro Index

Another neat class added for this event was a Pro Index class for cars running 4.49 seconds and quicker. This was a Pro Tree class where racers were able to dial their own Index (to the tenth of a second). This class came down to a final round between Missouri’s William Sutton and Michigan’s Trent Everett. Sutton would emerge as the winner in this tough class after a close final round race.

William Sutton was the winner of the Pro Index class.

Trent Everett raced through the Pro Index class to a runner-up finish.

Other Winners

There was a lot of other great classes in action at this event. On Friday night, there was a special ATV Index class. Art Gordon, from Precision Power Sports, was able to best Kevin Betzer in the final round to take that class victory. On Saturday, ATV class winners were Kevin Betzer Jr. (Heads Up ATV), Josh Kling (Pro ATV), Chris Schmidt (Unlimited ATV), and Luke Dailey (Super Pro ATV). Phillip Beard drove his Chevy Truck to the final round victory in the 5.51-Slower Vehicle ET category. Skylar Barker ended up as the Top Eliminator winner in the Junior category over first place winner Courtney Kling.

Art Gordon (Left Lane) defeating a red lighting Kevin Betzer in the ATV Index final round.

Kevin Betzer Jr. won the Heads-Up ATV class on Saturday.

Phillip Beard was the winner in the Vehicle ET class.

Photo Extra

"Turbo Tom" Egan with the front end high in the air.

Mike Page laid down some great passes all weekend long with his Michigan-based Blazer.

Kevin Betzer runner-uped in the ATV Index class on Friday night.

Kevin Betzer on his other ATV making another pass down the track.

Jay Poortenga made the haul to Missouri with his "Drag Nasty" Funny Jeep.

Mike Bolyard hiking a front tire up on a hard launch at Big River Sand Drags.

Missouri's Dan Wies hung the front end way up in the air in 3.5 Index class action on Friday night.

Matt Haines had a good showing on this great looking ATV.

Scott Scheytt wowed the Missouri crowd with some high 2 second passes in his Bad Frog TA Dragster.

Josh Stephens suffered driveline failure in his only attempt at the track in his "Blown Income" Altered.

Shawn Jasper laid down some great passes on this clean stretched ATV.

Ross Abraham and his Procharger-equipped Chevy truck posted a semi-final finish in the tough Comp Eliminator class.

Jon Sorg debuted his V8-powered dragster with some impressive mid 3 second passes at BRSD.

Ryan Fredricks with the front end up in the air at the hard hooking Big River Sand Drags track.

Eric Gallay's "Dirtinator" truck driven by Chad Meyers laid down some impressive mid 4 second passes.

Photos Courtesy NSDN and Lone Star Graphics -- www.LoneStarGraphics.com .


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