Story and Photos by Phil Hutchison NHRA Division One Photographer
From looking at the Winner’s Circle at this weekend Lucas Oil Divisional at Lebanon Valley in upstate NY, anyone wanting to win needed a Chevy Nova, and a blue one at that. At the 2012 edition of the event, Stock, Super Street, and Top Sportsman were won with drivers behind the wheel of blue Chevy II Novas.
Lebanon Valley racer Art Gardner from Somers, Conn got the Nova party started early winning Super Street in his ‘69 Nova defeating the Dodge Dart of Bill Nycz in the finals when the Mopar went too fast running a 10.897 on the 10.90 index handing Gardner the win.
Next it was local racer Freddy Perkins in his ’69 Nova taking out the ’53 Studebaker of Tom Nicholson in the finals of Top Sportsman. Perkins ran a 7.690 on a 7.65 dial to Nicholson’s breaking out 7.513 on his 7.52 dial. Perkins got off the line first with a 0.033 RT to Nicholson’s 0.082 which made all the difference at the finish line.
The final Nova to take a title at LV was Anthony Fetch behind the wheel of Joe Lisa’s 70 Nova F/SA. Fetch was up against another Chevy Nova, the H/SA of Jegs Allstar rep Don Pires Jr, .Fetch got the better light at the green forcing Pires to break out with a 11.618 on a 11.63 dial.
After all the Nova frenzy, things got back to normal in Super Stock with a heads up GT/EA race between Ford racer Jacques Blais’ black GT/EA Mustang against Canadian racer Brian Clayton in his Camaro. Jacque had the quicker car and ran a 9.776 to Clayton’s 9.942 in the loss.
It was another local racer, Kent Hanley from Newton CT, winning Super Comp as Hanley defeated long time veteran and multi time champ Al Kenny in the final as both drivers broke out. Hanley was the less offender with a 8.887 to Kenny’s 8.880.
Ray Stanton from nearby Poughkeepsie wheeled his blue and silver dragster to a Top Dragster title as he beat defending D1 champ Jason Hoff in the final as both drivers were on their game. Stanton ran a right on 7.220 as Hoff was close but broke out with a 6.961 on a 6.97 dial.
Defending 20112 D1 Super Gas champ Matt Schurman won his first race of 2012 defeating the Corvette of John MacLean in another double breakout final. Schurman ran a 9.895 @ 163.38 to MacLean’s close but too quick 9.875 @ 158.06 MPH
Event photos will be posted on the Division One Photo gallery at: http://www.division1photos.printroom.com/
Coming tomorrow, coverage of the 50th Anniversary race at Maple Grove and more photos from Lebanon Valley. Wednesday, a preview of the upcoming Jegs Allstar event in Chicago.