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Drivers from the Denver metro area turned in strong performances in the Mopar Mile High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison July 21-23. Four drivers from the area were able to come away with victories while two had to settle for runner-up trophies among the eight classes of competition.
Golden was well-represented, as the top three drivers in the Super Street Classification hailed from the there, with Troy Grant helping to lead the way. Grant drove his 1966 Chevy to victory against Golden's John Bianco, who drove his 1955 Chevy. The top qualifier in the class was also from Golden, Sara Vang, who drove a 1978 Dart, with a time of 10.502 seconds. She just wasn't able to advance to the finals. Bianco, won his first- and second-round races, then received a bye into his championship final.
"I think that it's great that I can manage a win in my backyard," Grant said. "I've just wanted to improve over the last six months. All that I've done has helped make me more competitive and confident and I just want to keep on the good side of the track."
Claiming the second title for area drivers was Bradley Johnson, of Morrison. He was able to defeat Morgan Minor of Idledale, Colorado, driving his1967 Camaro to the win.
"This is just awesome," Johnson said. "It's my second final and it's is always nice to get in and do well at a national level. It's just a great feeling. I had good reactions and I was able to stay focused and keep my actions on the course at a good level. It's great to win on a home track."
Kris Whitfield, of Littleton, was able to come through and win the Super Comp championship, driving his 1927 Roadster. He was able to beat Gary Wambolt of Arvada as he covered the quarter mile in 9.544 seconds at a 149.70 mph pace.
"I feel like I overcame the odds for the second year," Whitfield said following his win. "Two in a row is pretty cool. I broke out of the distractions and was able to run my own race."
Randy Cruickshank, of Wheat Ridge, driving his 1963 McAmis, was the fourth driver from the metro area to win a title, defeating Grand Junction's Bud Preuss in Top Sportsman.
"Wow," Cruickshank said. "I feel this has been a long time in coming.”
Steve Johnson, of Arvada, and Clint Neff, also from Arvada, were top qualifiers in their divisions, but neither could come through for the title. Clint Neff, of Arvada, had been the top qualifier in the Competition Eliminator but he was defeated in the semifinals by Dave Rampy, who had qualified fourth.
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