Although Team Lebanon Valley lost the overall Team Championship to New England Dragway in the NHRA Northeast Division Bracket finals by two points, they are true champions. There are hundreds of photos of the event taken by so many and it would make this post go on forever, so it will be left to you, the reader, because a picture is worth a thousand words, to view the hundreds of photos taken by Kubicke Photography at the following web location: https://www.division1photos.com/2021-Photo-Galleries/ET-Bracket-Finals-Lebanon-Valley-Dragway
This opportunity is being taken to recap the success of the individual racers on Team Lebanon Valley throughout the weekend. One special event that didn’t happen on the track, but actually in the tower was the opportunity to join one of our original announcers, Tim Rafferty who returned to the Valley to guest announce the event along side his grandson, Ryan Rafferty who is one of the Valley’s newest announcers. It was great to see the two of them together and to hear them commentate the event.
Before the racers get their accolades, one must mention the individuals who stepped up as Team Captains. Their job was to coordinate the team activities and cheering section as well as help to coordinate the drivers and countless other jobs that popped up over the weekend. Stefanie Dymond and Jennifer Sheran headed up a team of volunteers who helped them oversee the team’s activities.
As for the racers, there was three spectacular days of racing that occurred from Thursday, September 30 to Saturday, October 2, 2021, beginning with time trials and gamblers races on Thursday; time trials, gamblers races along with the Race of Champions on Friday; and Saturday concluding with the main race and consolation races for those racers who were defeated in the first round of the main race. To say that Lebanon Valley racers represented in every one of the races would be an understatement. Here is an overview of the Valley racers and who went the furthest in each race.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Super Eliminator Gamblers Grant Nichols Sr. , Marlborough, CT Winner
Sportsman Eliminator Gamblers Billy Kirpens Jr., Pittsfield, MA Winner
Motorcycle Eliminator Gamblers Adam Sheran, Chester, MA Winner
Pro Eliminator Gamblers Mike Scribani, Howes Caves, NY 4th Round
Friday, October 1, 2021
Super Eliminator Gamblers Ray Stanton, Poughkeepsie, NY Runner Up
Sportsman Eliminator Gamblers Russ Wilber, Ghent, NY 4th Round
Motorcycle Gamblers Ron Blake, Oxford, CT Semi-final
Pro Eliminator Gamblers Paul Lattarulo, So. Windsor, CT Runner Up
Race of Champions
Super Eliminator ROC Gary Carbone, Cortland Manor, NY Runner Up
Sportsman Eliminator ROC Billy Kirpens, Jr., Pittsfield, MA Runner Up
Motorcycle Eliminator ROC Ron Blake, Oxford, CT Winner
Pro Eliminator ROC Shawn Nichols, Marlborough, CT Semi-final
Saturday, October 2, 2021
Super Eliminator Frank Berard, Johnsonville, NY 3rd Round
Matt Viscione, West Sand Lake, NY 3rd Round
Sportsman Eliminator Russ Wilber, Ghent, NY Winner
Motorcycle Eliminator Adam Sheran, Chester, MA Winner
Ron Blake, Oxford, CT Runner Up
Pro Eliminator Bill Kirpens, Sr., Pittsfield, MA Runner Up
Junior Street Spencer Jasmin, Canaan, CT Runner Up
Super Eliminator Joe Ingalls, Unadilla, NY Winner
Sportsman Eliminator No racers from LV competing
Motorcycle Eliminator No Racers from LV competing
Pro Eliminator Matt Ticcony, Marlboro, NY Semi-final
Chris Cuevas, Pittsfield, MA Semi Final
A special note about the winners in the main race, Russ Wilber and Adam Sheran will now travel to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the end of October to represent Division 1 in a race of the champions from all of the divisions from across the United States.
There are so many other stories that could be written that include so many more individuals that truly deserve to be stated. However, time and space is limited. To say in short, some racers ran into problems with their race cars and the team members from LV and others all came together to see that the racer could return to the track to race again are too many to note.
Families and friends came together to cheer, yell, cry for every racer that went down the track to either a loss or a victory. Some stayed in the pit area and made sure that food was abundant, so everyone had something to eat through the entire event. Kids had the opportunity to play with each other and made new friends. It truly is a team effort.
It’s what grass roots, sportsman drag racing is all about. A community of people with a common interest, there to support each other which creates a true family.
Great job, Team LV! You have a lot to be proud of.
Next year's event will be hosted at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, PA on September 22-24, 2022.