Summit Tournament of Champions preview – Top Sportsman
MILLINGTON, TN – It wouldn’t be Top Sportsman without starting in the Renegades Division.
What many consider one of the toughest places to race in the doorslammer world, once again the trio of Kamron Wright, Glenn Wright and Russell Marr emerged as the best of the best in the southwest. For the second year in a row young Kamron laid claim to the Renegades divisional championship with Russell Marr right on his heels while Glenn Wright – the defending World Champion in the class – came in third. And while usually this trio would enter the Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions presented by AMSOIL as the clear favorites to win, one man has thrown a wrench in those plans.
The man known as “Hollywood” for his cool demeanor and impeccable skills behind the wheel, Urban made quite the splash in his debut year in Top Sportsman driving his new 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt to six wins at five different race tracks in 2012 including a big win at the Summit Sportsman Spectacular at Maryland International Raceway in July culminating with divisional championship in his first year in the class.
Urban had divisional wins at Carolina Dragway, London Dragway, Dunn-Benson Dragstrip and Farmington Dragway and added a non-points win at the big money Summit Sportsman Spectacular presented by AMSOIL to his already crowded resume. The 2009 Top Dragster World Champion from Pittsboro, N.C. then went on to edge Michael Thompson by seven points to win the Heat Wave divisional championship. Not bad for his first year behind the wheel.
But as this story began, don’t count out the boys from Texas. Glenn Wright is the defending world champion in the class and has a bad new Chevrolet Camaro hotrod to command at this year’s tournament. Glenn, from Odessa, and Marr, from Forney, both also won all of the big races in the division while Glenn’s son Kamron, driving the same machine his dad drove to the championship last year, took the divisional title by 17 points over Marr. That is quite a trio and with Urban thrown into the mix this year’s Top Sportsman battle should be one of the best yet.
But they aren’t the only pieces in this year’s puzzle. A total of 24 drivers are currently qualified for the 2012 Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions presented by AMSOIL in Top Sportsman including two former world champions and five drivers that finished in the top 10 at last year’s tournament. The field consists of drivers from 12 states led by North Carolina with five drivers, Alberta, Ohio and Texas with three drivers each, Florida and Virginia with two apiece and one each from British Columbia, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, New York and West Virginia.
While Wright won last year’s tournament, second and third place finishers Al Burkett and Rob Harvischak are once again back to challenge for the top spot. Both drivers finished second in their division and both had at least one win during the season.
And certainly don’t count out the other divisional champions. Calvin Butler, from Marlinton, W.Va., took the top spot in the Patriots Division behind the wheel of his ’63 Corvette off the strength of two wins at Richmond Dragway and Carolina Dragway to finish 113 points ahead of Burkett. Butler also finished eighth in last year’s tournament.
Scott Wasko also had a big year in his ’94 Lumina, taking the North Stars Division by 52 points over Harvischak. Wasko, from Columbia Station, Ohio, had one win at the Pittsburgh Nitro Jam and a pair of runner-up finishes.
Rounding out the divisional champions is Tim West from Asheville, N.C. who had a pair of runner-up finishes behind the wheel of his 2000 Monte Carlo to take the Raiders championship by eight points over Clayton Roberts and Jason Miller from Fort St. John, British Columbia who had a win at Eagle Motorplex to help him take the Border Bandits championship by 35 points over Garry Weslosky behind the wheel of his ’63 Corvette.
While Butler, Miller, Urban, Wasko, West and Wright were busy winning divisional titles, those drivers that finished just behind in the divisional race in the runner-up spot are Al Burkett (D1), Michael Thompson (D2), Rob Harvischak (D3), Russell Marr (D4), Garry Weslosky (D6) and Clayton Roberts (D9). Divisional third place finishers were Don Rudd (D1), Rich McDonough (D2), Rube Allman (D3), Glenn Wright (D4), Dean Hartley (D6) and Larry Pittman (D9).
Rounding out the Top Sportsman field are the winners of the 2012 Tournament of Champions qualifier races. Those drivers are Bob Bauer Jr. (Grand Bend), Kenneth Covington (Salt Lake), Randy Modersohn (Edmonton), Mike Sowards (Martin), Rich Whaley (Farmington) and Ricky Vedros (San Antonio SS).
The 2012 Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions will take place October 12-14 as part of the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals at Memphis International Raceway.