Jason Scruggs didn’t exactly enter eliminations for Saturday’s CarSafe Dragpalooza VIII at Royal Purple Raceway on a high.
The ADRL Pro Extreme star sprung a leak during a burnout during the final qualifying session in Houston, spilling oil and limping into eliminations in the No. 10 spot.
Scruggs, though, quickly reversed those fortunes and quickly made one of the best runs of the weekend, running 3.67 at 206 miles per hour in the early-evening sun to advance to the quarterfinals in the best run of the round. It was the run Scruggs had been looking for all weekend and nearly one-tenth better than his previous best pass.
He’ll get Von Smith in an awesome quarterfinal matchup. Alex Hossler went 3.70 and meets Quain Stott. Bubba Stanton and his career-best 3.71 means a quarterfinal date with Mick Snyder, while the final quarterfinal features Todd Tutterow and Terry Leggett.
In his return to ADRL racing, former world champion and young standout Jamie Hancock found a way to the semifinals in the 8-car Pro Nitrous field, knocking off John Decerbo in a first-round race with a 4.18.
He’ll give up lane choice to Bob Rahaim and his 3.91.
Rickie Jones took the low time of the round, running an impressive 3.88 in the early evening heat. He’ll meet No. 1 qualifier Mike Castellana in what will be a must-see
matchup. Castellana, of course, is trying to become the first driver in ADRL history to win in 2 classes at one event.
David Schorr was the beneficiary of John Montecalvo shaking at the line, and Schorr pulled off a huge first-round upset in Extreme Pro Stock, running 4.40. He will meet Cale Aronson, who went 4.14 to knock off Elijah Morton.
The best pass of the round came from Cary Goforth, whose 4.10 gives him a matchup with Scott Hintz in the quarterfinals. Brian Gahm and Richie Stevens Jr. also meet up, as do Pete Berner and John Pluchino.
The biggest semifinal matchup in the 8-car Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified class will be Mike Castellana and Rickie Smith, a rematch of the NHRA Pro Mod final from Gainesville earlier this month. Both went 3.93 in first-round wins, and will meet the winner of Jeff Naiser and Ray Commisso in the final.
Rick Thornton couldn’t keep his mojo going after setting the world speed record in Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5, leaving before the tree was activated. That means Billy Glidden, who ran 4.00 in a first-round win, meets Dan Myers with a trip to the finals on the line.
Alan Pittman will meet Eric Stubbs, who pulled off the upset with a near career-best run of 4.063.
In Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Eric McKinney stayed ahead of the pack, running a 4.09 in his first-round win. He’ll get Rob Hunnicutt in the quarterfinals. Casey Stemper and Dave Vantine, who both went 4.12 in the first round, meet in a rematch of last year’s finals at the World Finals in Dallas.
The other matchups have Scott Gray meeting T.T. Jones and Billy Vose facing off with Dave Norris.
There were a pair of notable upsets in Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman. Ronnie Davis went red, losing in the first round after qualifying at No. 2, while Glenn Butcher was also knocked off.
In the biggest matchup of the quarterfinals, Chuck Mohn, the No. 1 qualifier, meets TS standout Marco Abruzzi.