Rupert, Goforth Once Again Tops In Nitro Jam Qualifying At IHRA Southern Nationals

Rupert, Goforth Once Again Tops In Nitro Jam Qualifying At IHRA Southern Nationals

BRADENTON, Fla. Can anyone slow down Jason Rupert?

That is the question on the minds of many as the California native and driver of the Bays and Rupert “Black Plague” ’69 Camaro once again topped the charts of IHRA’s Nitro Funny Car class, taking the pole position for the third event in a row Friday at the IHRA Nitro Jam Southern Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park.

Jason Rupert

(IHRA Photo)

Rupert once again led the way in the popular Nitro Funny Car class, ahead of second place qualifier John Hale.  Cary Goforth topped the Mountain Motor Pro Stock class in the Dean’s Casing Service ‘13 Chevrolet Camaro, while Joey Sternotti (Nitro Harley), Ron Maroney (Nitro Altered) and Marisha Falk (Jet Dragster) all topped their respective classes entering eliminations on Saturday.


Rupert’s dominating run has seen him take the top qualifying spot, three races in a row, with two victories already in 2014. On Friday, his first lap of 5.764 seconds at 248.89 mph paced the field, comfortably clearing Texas native John Hale in the “Mike Burkhart” Tribute ’69 Camaro. Hale and crew chief Guy Tipton turned a corner and ran a solid 5.825, 243.63 in the second round.


Rookie Mike McIntire Jr. of Mentor, Ohio was third with a 5.904, 235.41 in the “McAttack” ’69 Camaro, while Bruce Litton ran a 5.964 ET in the US Male Vega and Tim Boychuk finished qualifying with a 6.037 ET rounding out the top five. “Mr. Explosive” Mark Sanders, Ronnie Young in the “Blue Max” and Mike Halstead in “Candies & Hughes” completed the eight car field.


Making his IHRA Nitro Jam debut in the “Candies Family Racing” Challenger, failed to make the field reportedly with veteran Lance Larson tuning.

Cary Goforth

(IHRA Photo)

In Pro Stock, it was Cary Goforth taking the top spot for the second race in a row, joining his Dean’s Casing Service teammate Todd Hoerner in the first two spots. Goforth had a 6.252, 223.76, followed closely by Hoerner with a 6.253, 224.27.

Kevin Bealko qualified third with a 6.294, 224.83, followed by John Konigshofer (6.370) and John DeFlorian (6.743).


Joey Sternotti

(IHRA Photo)

Joey Sternotti led the way on his Nitro Harley in qualifying, taking his bike to the top spot in near-record setting fashion with a 6.250, 219.08.  Sternotti needs to back up the number, in order to set a brand new elapsed time record in the Nitro Harley class for the Naples, Florida native.

Tracy Kile qualified second in Nitro Harley with a 6.289, 227.73, followed by Mark Cox (6.311), Steve Dorn (6.330) and Jay Turner (6.336). Mike Pelrine and Randal Andras rounded out the field.

Ron Maroney-BS

(Bob Snyder photo)

Ron Maroney drove the “Blind Faith” nostalgia machine to the pole position in Nitro Altered with a 6.427, 191.77, followed by Ron Hope in “Rat Trap” with a 6.580, 212.11. Don Blackshear, Mike Hilsabeck, Brian Hope and Shane Harter round out the field.

Finally, in Jet Dragster Marisha Falk jumped to the top of the charts with a 5.720, 279.85 pass, officially the fastest lap of the weekend. She was followed closely by teammate Elaine Larsen who had a 5.726, 271.57. Dawn Perdue was third, followed by Kat Moller.

Racing continues on Saturday at Bradenton Motorsports Park with final eliminations in all professional and sportsman classes at the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Southern Nationals.




Bradenton, Fla. – Qualifying from the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Southern Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park.


Nitro Funny Car – 1. Jason Rupert, 5.764, 248.89; 2. John Hale, 5.825, 243.63; 3. Mike McIntire Jr., 5.904, 235.41; 4. Bruce Litton, 5.964, 241.87; 5. Tim Boychuk, 6.037, 241.09; 6. Mark Sanders, 6.058, 238.66; 7. Ronnie Young, 6.101, 231.77; 8. Mike Halstead, 6.105, 238.91; 9. Wayne Mellinger, 6.534, 155.35.


Pro Stock – 1. Cary Goforth, 6.252, 223.76; 2. Todd Hoerner, 6.253, 224.27; 3. Kevin Bealko, 6.294, 224.83; 4. John Konigshofer, 6.370, 221.18; 5. John DeFlorian, 6.743, 166.48.


Nitro Harley – 1. Joey Sternotti, 6.250, 219.08; 2. Tracy Kile, 6.289, 227.73; 3. Mark Cox, 6.311, 211.81; 4. Steve Dorn, 6.330; 216.97; 5. Jay Turner, 6.336, 219.13; 6. Mike Pelrine, 6.357, 215.00; 7. Randal Andras, 6.592, 218.39.


Nitro Altered – 1. Ron Maroney, 6.427, 191.77; 2. Ron Hope, 6.580, 212.11; 3. Don Blackshear, 6.702, 141.95; 4. Mike Hilsabeck, 7.444, 139.49; 5. Brian Hope, 8.589, 144.30; 6. Shane Harter, 10.396, 70.72.


Jet Dragster – 1. Marisha Falk, 5.720, 279.85; 2. Elaine Larsen, 5.726, 271.57; 3. Dawn Perdue, 5.804, 259.51; 4. Kat Moller, 7.034, 118.31.   

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