| || |
By Al Stilley
Southsider Voice correspondent
Bill Glidden, son of nine-time U.S. Nationals champion Bob Glidden, put his mark on the 60th running of the event Monday in the Pro Mod finals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg.
Bill Glidden qualified 16th Sunday for the final spot in Monday’s big show. His crew had to repair a blown front cover and a blown transmission Sunday, which forced him to hang onto his best elapsed time of 5.995 seconds (239.40 mph).
Monday morning he pulled the biggest upset of the Pro Mod season by upending No. 1 qualifier Don Walsh of Michigan. Driving a 2010 Mickey Thompson Mustang 840, Glidden went 5.872 seconds, beating Walsh by only three-hundredths of a second.
“Fair and square,” said his admiring dad. “He’s been struggling, but this is what he needed.”
Bill advanced to the semifinals when opponent Dan Stevenson touched off the red light at the start line. Glidden finished with a 5.97 e.t.
In the semifinal round, Glidden went up against No. 8 qualifier Stevenson, but the Whiteland competitor’s day ended with a red light at the line.
Glidden posted a career-fastest run at the U.S. Nationals and went deeper into the finals than he had during any other competition this season.
Shipp, Skillman top class
Drew Skillman of Greenwood and Joey Shipp of Whiteland earned Sportsman class championships during the six-day event.
Drew captured the AA/Stock Altered Wally winner’s trophy with an 8.897 e.t., and Joey won AAA/Stock Altered in 8.729 seconds in a pair of Ray Skillman Performance Ford-sponsored cars. The trophy is named in honor of the late Wally Parks, who founded the NHRA.
Shipp made up for a rare lackluster season in which he was not a regional title contender. “It’s been a really bad year, but this makes up for it,” said the respiratory therapist. “We had no problems in our early runs.”
Skillman, a former U.S. Nationals Sportsman class champion, was No. 2 in the nation in Stock class last year and has retained that ranking this season.
“Drew’s the real star,” said dad Bill Skillman, whose 2014 Ford 302 blew a motor in a Stock qualifying run.
Drew reached the fourth round in Stock Eliminator but was less than a foot short of winning at the line. He made the third round in Competition Eliminator before red lighting in a 2006 Chevy 321. His quick e.t. was 8.336 seconds (161.02 mph).
Ray Skillman qualified 15th in Super Stock in a 2012 Ford 330 with an 8.172 e.t., and 17th in Comp Eliminator in a 2014 Ford with a Chevy 397 motor but dropped each run in the first round.
Summarizing the team’s week, Bill Skillman said, “We have three generations here; we work hard, and we play hard. This is a lot of work; it’s frustrating, but it’s fun.”
Randi Lyn Shipp, formerly of Whiteland, reached the Stock Eliminator third round before barely losing at the line with a 10.611 e.t. Her fast time in qualifying was 10.542 seconds in a 1967 Pontiac 400.
Driving a 2011 Chevy 605 dragster, Greenwood’s Ron Finney was eliminated in the first round of Super Stock.
Champions in NHRA’s top four professional classes: Pro Stock Motorcycle – Eddie Krawiec, Harley Davidson V-Rod 160, 6.941 seconds, 192.63 mph; Pro Stock – Shane Gray, Camaro 500, 6.641,, 208.42 mph; Funny Car – Alexis DeJoria, Toyota 500, 4.038, 310.34 mph; Top Fuel – Richie Crampton, MLR 500, 3.766, 327.98 mph.
Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and John Force (Funny Car) each won the $100,000 winner’s prize in the Traxxas Shootout. Schumacher’s run was a record 328.54 mph.
Newgarden 10th in IndyCar season finale
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing closed out its one-car team as driver Josef Newgarden started third and finished 10th in Saturday’s Verizon IndyCar Series 500-mile season finale at Fontana, Calif.
Newgarden and owner-driver Ed Carpenter will team as CFH Racing in 2015 as a formidable two-car team based at Fisher’s headquarters in Speedway. Fisher’s race team was co-founded by John O’Gara of Beech Grove.
Granddaddy of figure-8s
The World Championship Three-Hour Figure-8 Endurance Race will take the green flag Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Indianapolis Speedrome.
The race of daring, speed and luck is the track’s signature event. Newly crowned Speedrome champion Jesse Tunny and One-Hour Figure-8 winner Doug Greig, both Southsiders, headline the entries from the Midwest and South.
Qualifying races are Friday night; qualifying runs on Saturday set the starting lineup, but all qualifiers race.
The Speedrome (www.speedrome.com) is located on the Southeastside at Brookville Road and Kitley Avenue.