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Funny Car winner, Mark ThomasNORWALK, OH (August 23-26) -- Team Hoosier was certainly a force at the IHRA MOPAR Parts World Nationals presented by Ethanol Performs at Norwalk Raceway Park in Ohio over the weekend, as nine drivers in six different classes would compete on USA-made Hoosier tires in their respective class finals to determine an overall winner. A Hoosier-shod winner in three of the classes was assured as both competitors were on the purple brand in the final round. Defending world champion, Fred Hahn met current points leader, Mike Janis, in the Mopar Pro Modified final, while Mark Thomas and Jimmy Rector would do battle in Funny Car. The third "all-Hoosier" final would pit Jerry Albert and Brian Tiffe in the NOS Top Sportsman class. Three other classes would have a single Hoosier driver in the class finals. Matt Morgan made it to the finals in Top Stock, while Tony  Karnik and Scott Duggins were in the finals of Annihilator Top Dragster and Dominator Quick Rod respectively.

In one of the three "all-Hoosier" finals, last year's world champion, Fred Hahn, in his 2nd national event final in a row, meeting current points leader, Mike Janis, in the Mopar Pro Modified final. Janis got the jump at the light with a .424 RT to Hahn's .484 RT. Hahn quickly made up the difference, posting a track record and low ET of the event of 6.226 seconds and the event top speed of 227.50 mph to take the win in his Summit Racing '01 Chevy Corvette.

Mark Thomas and Jimmy Rector assured Team Hoosier a second class title when they met in the Funny Car final. Thomas, who is sponsored by Ethanol Performs which also sponsored the event, got the jump at the light posting a .426 RT to Rector's .495 RT and used it to take the win in his '01 Dodge Avenger despite his engine going away at the top end. Thomas' ET was 5.966 seconds (235.97 mph) to Rector's 5.903 ET (233.92 mph). Amazingly, 14 of the 16 qualifiers were on the Hoosier brand for the event. Number one qualifier, Thomas, and his Jim Lape tuned car posted low ET for the event of 5.84 seconds and captured top speed for the event of 240.90 mph aboard a pair of Hoosier 34.5/17.0-16 C06 drag tires.

The third "all-purple" final would be fought between Jerry Albert  and Brian Tiffe in the NOS Top Sportsman class. Both drivers posted nearly identical reaction times as Tiffe posted a .514 RT to Albert's .517 RT. Albert would post an 7.356 ET on a 7.34 dial for an index of .016 to Tiffe's 7.067 ET on a 7.03 dial for a .037 index to take the win by less than five feet at the stripe. This was Albert's second straight class title.

The hope of a Hoosier-shod winner in Top Stock would rest on the performance of Matt Morgan and his '69 Mustang. Morgan did not disappoint as he not only posted the faster reaction time (.558 seconds), he also had the better ET of 10.306 seconds with a speed of 118.60 mph.

Congratulations also go out to two other Team Hoosier drivers making it to the final round and capturing runner-up honors. Both Tony Karnik and Scott Duggins were as close to capturing their respective class crowns as you could get and still not emerge the winner, both drivers were just one thousandth of a second from taking the win in the Annihilator Top Dragster and Dominator Quick Rod finals. Congratulations go out to both drivers on their runner-up finishes.

When the smoke had cleared, nine Team Hoosier members made it into six class finals with four drivers taking home top honors in their respective classes. Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. would like to thank all the competitors who elected to trust the Hoosier brand during the 24th annual Mopar Parts World Nationals.

Hoosier drag racing product manager, Faron Lubbers, attended the event and commented, "It was a great weekend for Team Hoosier, nine of our team members in the final rounds of six different classes with four drivers claiming the top prize." Lubbers continued, "It was also great to see Mark Thomas take the win for his sponsor and the event sponsor Ethanol Performs."

The next IHRA event is September 7-9, at New England Dragway in Epping, NH for the 6th Annual Amalie Oil North American Nationals.



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