Take the "Checkers" on Hoosier Tires!Hoosier Racing TireTake the "Checkers" on Hoosier Tires!




Al Billes sets a new World record on Hoosier drag slicks. (Photo coutesry of www.competitionplus.com)ROCKINGHAM, NC (October 22-24) -- The IHRA Hooters Drag Racing Series closed out its 12-race season on Sunday in Rockingham (NC) with the 9th annual Bethesda Softworks World Finals. Team Hoosier put the final touches on another stellar season. Hoosier-shod Al Billes (photo) set a new world record in Pro Modified and was one of ten finalists riding on Hoosier tires. When the event was over, five of the ten carried away an "Iron Man" trophy, while four drivers were crowned World Champions riding on the Hoosier brand.

The Pro Modified class had 43 cars in competition starting on Saturday. Al Billes, using a pair of Hoosier 34.5/17.0-16 C2050 tires, was not only the #1 qualifier, the Barrie, Ontario, Canada driver also set a new world record during qualifying with a 6.102 ET (229.35 mph) run. In fact, not only did Team Hoosier have the top qualifying position they also claimed the #2 spot with Rick Distefano (6.114) and the #4 spot with Carl Spiering (6.127).

It was Billes, however, making it all the way to the class finals driving the SMP '53 Corvette. Billes got the jump at the line with a .064 RT to his opponent's .076 RT. When his adversary's car began to shake violently forcing him to shut down, the win was Billes' to take. Once again, the Hoosier-shod Canadian and his supercharged engine made an arrow-straight pass--posting an ET of 6.191 seconds (227.46 mph) to take the win.

A Hoosier-shod winner in Funny Car was a sure thing when Fred Tigges and Rob Atchison met in the finals as both drivers compete on Hoosier tires. Tigges in a Camaro and Atchison in a Firebird set up a classic finish to the season. This one went to Tigges who had a .044 RT and a 5.910 ET (223.80 mph). Atchison, did however, claim the 2004 Alcohol Funny Car World Championship.

Sixty-two cars started competition in Top Sportsman before the field had been whittled down to two. Those two drivers both rode on Hoosier tires so, yet another Iron Man winner would be a member of Team Hoosier. Bob Mandell and Glen Maine were the two finalists. This one was very close with Mandell claiming the win by a mere four feet at the line. Mandell had a near perfect light at .005 coupled with a 9.926 ET (6.90 dial) en route to the win.

Tony Ward came up about four feet short at the stripe and settled for runner-up honors in Top Dragster.

Although there were no Hoosier-shod finalists in Stock, Craig Marshall did, however, claim the 2004 Stock World Championship for Team Hoosier. 

Shannon Waycaster took runner-up honors by the slimmest of margins in Quick Rod. Ron Folk, who competes on Hoosier tires, was also crowned the Quick Rod World Champion.

Richard Bateman carried the Hoosier banner into the final round in Super Rod. A huge 90-car field was on hand until there were just two competitors remaining. Bateman got the jump at the light (.025 RT) over his opponent and went on to claim the win with a 9.890 ET (-.010) on the 9.90 index. Not only did Team Hoosier claim the victory, the World Champion was also a member of the elite group with Steve Furr crowned the 2004 Super Rod World Champion.

Eighty-three cars started out in the Hot Rod class at Rockingham until only two remained. Just one of the two drivers, however, was on Hoosiers. Jeff Blardinelli was that driver and Blardinelli did not disappoint, winning the Iron Man when his opponent broke out in the final contest. Blardinelli had a .084 RT coupled with a 10.917 ET (.017) on a 10.90 index en route to the win. 

Matt Morgan, driving a '69 Camaro, settled for runner-up honors in Top Stock coming up just 20 inches short at the stripe.

Hoosier Drag Racing Product Manager Faron Lubbers taking some top-secret notes at the final event of the season. (Photo courtesy of www.competitionplus.com)Overall it was a fantastic conclusion to another exciting year in the IHRA Drag Racing Series. The final event had a touch of everything (including a little rain). Al Billes set a new world record in Pro Modified on Hoosiers, while five drivers captured wins (Al Billes, Fred Tigges, Bob Mandell, Richard Bateman and Jeff Blardinelli) with five other drivers taking home runner-up honors (Rob Atchison, Glen Maine, Tony Ward, Shannon Waycaster and Matt Morgan) on the Hoosier brand. Finally, four members of Team Hoosier were crowned World Champions including Rob Atchison, Craig Marshall, Ron Folk and Steve Furr.

Hoosier Drag Racing Product Manager Faron Lubbers (photo) also attended the season-ending event in Rockingham.

Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. congratulates these drivers and all the members of Team Hoosier for making the 2004 IHRA Drag Racing Series one to remember.


Hoosier Racing Tire

Tires Designed For Champions


Copyright 2004 Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. All rights reserved.
 Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.