JULIAN, N.C. — The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Sportsman Spectacular presented by Hagerty and Moser Engineering opened the 2022 season in style at Piedmont Dragway.
It was especially the case for Matt Sayers. The Vinton, Va., driver captured the Footbrake (No Box) title for a second straight year, driving his 1976 Chevrolet Vega to a Sunday final-round victory over Tim Douglas from Yadkinville, N.C.
Sayers put together a winning package of 6.716 seconds at 99.12 mph against a 6.71 dial-in with a .039 reaction time. Douglas, in a 1963 Chevy II, had a 6.739-second run at 99.64 mph against a 6.75 dial-in with a .029 reaction time.
Jonathan McCandless was the Sunday Top winner with a solid run of 5.603 seconds at 121.08 mph against a 5.59 dial-in. Brandon Hutchens had a slightly better reaction time of .009 to .018, but barely missed out with a 5.157-second pass at 133.63 mph against a 5.13 dial-in.
Gavin “Superman” Whisnant was faster than a speeding bullet, winning on a holeshot in the Junior Dragster final. The Dallas, N.C., racer had the .028 reaction time to beat Georgia driver Kamryn Majors in the final round. His recorded an 8.149-second elapsed time at 80.25 mph. Majors finished in 7.946 seconds at 80.76 mph on a 7.90 dial-in.
Bubba Paschal from Greensboro, N.C., won Saturday’s Top race with solid starts for both final-round drivers. He went 6.254 seconds at 109.40 on a 6.25 dial-in with a .008 reaction time. Robert Richardson from Clemmons, N.C., had an even faster .004 reaction time, paired with a 5.841-second run at 116.86 mph on a 5.83 dial-in.
The Footbrake final saw Scott Macy from Randleman, N.C., win on a holeshot. Macy posted a 6.579-second pass at 100.35 on a 6.57 dial-in. Creech was even closer on his 6.67 dial-in with a 6.673-second run at 98.28 mph. However, Macy’s advantage .014 to .035 at the tree was too much to overcome.
Sibling rivalry took on a new meaning as Alyssa Tilghman bested her brother Ayden in Saturday’s Junior Dragster final. Alyssa won the battle at the starting line .044 to .066 and then matched her 7.90 dial-in time. Ayden wasn’t far off his time, going 8.888 seconds against an 8.90 dial-in.
The IHRA Sportsman Spectacular presented by Hagerty and Moser Engineering returns to action at another facility in the Tar Heel State on May 22 at Coastal Plains Dragway in Jacksonville, N.C.