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Race Report: Ohio Valley Prize Fight, Round 5


The fifth round of the Prize Fight at Ohio Valley Dragway was scorching in more ways than one. From regional record ambient temperatures, to 150 degree track temperatures, the Ohio Valley Dragway facility had the heat turned all the way up throughout Father’s Day weekend. With the fifth event of the ProCharger Championship Chase on the table, racers flocked to the Louisville, Kentucky based drag racing facility and filled a 16-car field with some of the toughest that LDR has to offer. Limited Drag Radial was the headlining class yet again in 2018 with support from Menscer Motorsports and Precision Turbo and Engine, guaranteeing a $5,000 to Win purse to the quickest class on the grounds. As the extremely warm temperatures departed on Friday evening to the night session of qualifying that resulted in seeing most of the qualifying sheet being assembled with Alabama native Shane Stack finding his way to the top of the leaderboard yet again with a 4.18, which turned out being low elapsed time for the weekend. Paul Gargus, Jody Voyles, Justin Martin and Matt Bell rounded out the all twin turbocharged top five by the end of the four sessions which included a Saturday morning and mid-afternoon session where not many improvements were made over the Friday night sessions.

As eliminations began, the weather conditions were still hotter than ever with Saturday seeing track temperatures over 150 degrees at times and still over 115 degrees as the opening round of eliminations went underway. Points implications came into play right away with the points leader, past season’s Prize Fight champion and #1 qualifier Shane Stack was upset in the opening round by Ryan Brooks. Third in the points standings, Jody Voyles, also went down to defeat to Jason Etheridge, who currently came into this event in fifth overall with his Ford Mustang. These two first round exits opened the door for competitors like Daniel Pharris (#2), Matt Bell (#4) and the aforementioned Etheridge. Paul Gargus, LDR’s most recent winner, ran low for the opening round with a 4.29 in his quest for back to back victories. Dean Lee laid down a career best of a 4.37 with his nitrous entry to defeat Richard Reagan’s nitrous breathing Ford on a holeshot to advance. As the second round rolled back into the lanes, Pharris, Bell, Gargus and Lee stormed through their opponents leaving us with two primetime matchups in the semi-finals, so we thought. Matt Bell suffered engine damage and was unable to make the call, giving Daniel Pharris a free shot at the racetrack on the way to the final round, laying down his best pass of the troublesome weekend so far with a 4.28. Gargus bested the Lexus’s run with a 4.25 to down Dean Lee’s career weekend and earn himself lane choice in the final round, creating a rematch of the semi-finals in St. Louis just a month ago. Pharris took a sizeable holeshot advantage in the final round and led from A to B with both competitors saving the best for the last with $5,000 on the line, Pharris electrifies the win light with a 4.22 while Gargus’ 4.23 was not enough to overcome the holeshot by the Missouri based business owner. This marks Pharris’ second victory in the ProCharger Championship Series in 2018, claiming both Kentucky races as he won the Holley EFI Outlaw Street Car Reunion V earlier this season in April.

Other winners at the fifth round of the Prize Fight were Jimmy Plimpton (X275), Joel Greathouse (Ultra Street), Danny Niceley (DXP235), Jacob Decker (Super Pro), Joshua Gans (Pro), Tyler Bohannon (SS/S Combo), Frank Perkins (6.00 Index) and Bill Wittenauer (7.00 Index).

Kris Fewell

FINAL QUALIFYING STANDINGS
Limited Drag Radial
Presented by: Menscer Motorsports and Precision Turbo & Engine

1. Shane Stack – 4.182 @ 188.86
2. Paul Gargus – 4.244 @ 182.50
3. Jody Voyles – 4.265 @ 182.48
4. Justin Martin – 4.303 @ 184.99
5. Matt Bell – 4.330 @ 182.93
6. Richard Reagan – 4.330 @ 182.93
7. Scott Husted – 4.346 @ 182.74
8. Daniel Pharris – 4.411 @ 180.73
9. Jim Monson – 4.442 @ 169.51
10. Kris Fewell – 4.603 @ 164.04
11. Dean Lee – 4.692 @ 158.82
12. Gary Tripp – 4.696 @ 157.94
13. Andy Essary – 4.697 @ 169.12
14. Jason Etheridge – 4.708 @ 151.04
15. Robert Culver – 4.731 @ 154.11
16. Ryan Brooks – 4.806 @ 152.11

ROUND ONE OF ELIMINATIONS

Ryan Brooks (4.850 @ 150.61) defeated Shane Stack (4.910 @ 168.53)
Daniel Pharris (4.378 @ 183.48) defeated Jim Monson (4.483 @ 157.72)
Andy Essary (4.597 @ 172.38) defeated Justin Martin (Broke)
Matt Bell (4.366 @ 183.60) defeated a red-lighting Gary Tripp (5.883 @ 128.45)
Paul Gargus (4.293 @ 181.39) defeated a red-lighting Robert Culver (4.478 @ 166.04)
Kris Fewell (4.527 @ 163.53) defeated Scott Husted (15.039 @ 40.81)
Jason Etheridge (4.689 @ 130.85) defeated Jody Voyles (5.188 @ 166.08)
Dean Lee (4.374 @ 172.27) defeated Richard Reagan (4.328 @ 172.13)

ROUND TWO OF ELIMINATIONS

Daniel Pharris (4.362 @ 182.73) defeated Ryan Brooks (4.881 @ 149.64)
Matt Bell (4.320 @ 184.26) defeated Andy Essary (14.328 @ 53.53)
Paul Gargus (4.307 @ 180.53) defeated Kris Fewell (4.456 @ 166.54)
Dean Lee (4.350 @ 172.26) defeated Jason Etheridge (4.746 @ 123.44)

SEMI-FINAL ROUND OF ELIMINATIONS

Daniel Pharris (4.287 @ 185.09) defeated Matt Bell (Broke)
Paul Gargus (4.251 @ 181.74) defeated Dean Lee (4.386 @ 172.21)

FINAL ROUND OF ELIMINATIONS

Daniel Pharris (4.225 @ 186.31) defeated Paul Gargus (4.232 @ 182.00)

Dean Lee

Photo Credit: Sky’s The Limit Imagery

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