Tight battles for Fuel Altered, Funny Car championships, deal sealed in Pro Fuel, Nitro Harley
Nitro Jam Media
Aug 1, 2012
Two championships are in the books, two more are up for grabs – and it all comes to a head August 10-11 at the CarSafe Northern Nitro Jam at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park.
For the second year in a row Michigan’s fastest track will play host to the Nitro Jam season finale as championships are crowned in all four nitro classes of Pro Fuel Dragster, AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car, Nitro Harley and Fuel Altered. The final four passes of the season will take place Friday and Saturday night under the lights with winners crowned and point awarded both nights.
Entering the event two championships are all but wrapped up as Hialeah, Fla. native Bill Evans and the “Black Pearl” crew seek their second Pro Fuel Dragster championship in three years with a comfortable margin over Texan Kristen Dennis in the “Ladies First” dragster. Julian, N.C. native Jay Turner also holds a seemingly insurmountable lead in Nitro Harley over Mike Scott and Steve Dorn sitting atop his now famous “Big Pig” nitro-powered motorcycle.
What isn’t sewn up, however, are the championships in Funny Car and Fuel Altered as the sports most dominating figure and a rookie look to hold on to narrow margins entering the season’s final race.
In AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car defending series champion Peter Gallen, behind the wheel of the “Poverty Stricken” 1977 Monza, holds a 13-point lead over Arizona’s Mike Savage. Tim Boychuk is wedged in between Gallen and Savage, but the Canadian will not be in attendance at the Martin event.
Through seven races this season Savage actually leads all Funny Car drivers with three victories behind the wheel of the legendary “Candies & Hughes” 1970 Barracuda, sweeping the event in Salt Lake City and adding a win in Tucson back in March to pile up 186 points entering Martin.
Gallen, from Broomall, Pa., has two wins in 2012 coming at the Pittsburgh Nitro Jam in May and another at the MOPAR Nitro Jam Nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex last month. He also has three runner-up finishes to compile a total of 199 points, 13 ahead of Savage.
The pair have proven two of the most dominating cars this season and will do battle for the AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car title alongside Troy Martin in the “Chi-Town Hustler”, Laurie Cannister in “Bullet Bob”, Greg Jacobsmeyer in “All Star Dodge” and Mike McIntire in the “McAttack” nostalgia machine.
While Funny Car will feature one of the more exciting showdowns of the weekend, perhaps the most intriguing will be the battle for Fuel Altered supremacy.
Rookie sensation Kyle Hough, driving the famed “Nanook” machine” leads the Fuel Altered championship standings by nine points over defending series champion Ron Maroney in the “Blind Faith” entry.
The irony lies in the fact that Maroney drove “Nanook” to the championship last season before switching to his own car for the 2012 season. In his place young Hough, a third generation racer out of Las Vegas, Nev., has lived up to the “Nanook” name with seven finals this season to garner the narrow championship lead, however all seven finals have resulted in runner-up finishes as the young driver seeks his first-ever victory behind the wheel of a nitro machine.
On the flip side Maroney has racked up five wins in 2012 with weekend sweeps in Tucson and San Antonio and added another victory in Pittsburgh to leave the margin between the two teams at less than 10 points. They will be joined in Martin by Tom Padilla in “Nasty Benjamin” who sits third in the standings with three wins of his own and Mike Hilsabeck in the “Arizona Thunder” machine.
Between Maroney, Padilla and Hilsabeck they have won 10 of the 13 races this season as Hough looks to crash the party with his very first victory and a chance at a championship Ironman.
In the categories already wrapped up, Bill Evans has proved as dominant as ever with a final round appearance at every race he has attended with four total victories. That dominance has allowed the Floridian to pile up a 60 point lead over Kristen Dennis entering the final race of the season.
All four drivers in the top four will be in attendance at Martin as Evans and Dennis join Robin Samsel in “Predator” and Cherissa Smallwood in the “Nitro and Lace” dragster.
In Nitro Harley Jay Turner holds the most sizable lead entering the final race, an 88-point lead over Mike Scott and a 97 point lead over third place and defending series champion Steve Dorn.
Turner has compiled an impressive resume, winning five races in a row early in the season sitting atop his state-of-the-art Nitro Harley dubbed the “Big Pig.” Those wins came at San Antonio, Baton Rouge and Pittsburgh.
Since then others have managed to close the gap with Randal Andras and Dorn getting the best of him lately, but none will be able to challenge him for his first career championship in Michigan.
The 2012 CarSafe Northern Nitro Jam will take place August 10-11 at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Mich. For more information visit
or call (269) 672-7800.
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