Jesse Casper, the reigning back-to-back modified class champion at Northeast Dragway, is in a tie for first this season after a win, Saturday.
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Photo courtesy Carla Winslow

Jesse Casper, the reigning back-to-back modified class champion at Northeast Dragway, is in a tie for first this season after a win, Saturday.

Northeast Dragway: Racers fight through heat, rain delays

By CARLA WINSLOW

Correspondent

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HERTFORD — With a heat index that eclipsed 100 degrees, drag racers still made their way through the gates at Northeast Dragway on Saturday.

These kinds of race days are quite exhausting to drivers. The temperatures in their cars can get even warmer when they have put on all of their safety equipment.

Drivers and spectators welcomed the cloud coverage later in the day but the clouds brought in rain during the second round of eliminations and delayed the event for nearly two hours.

Track operator Tony Trueblood and his staff worked hard to completely dry the track and fresh up the track in order to get the race completed.

“We’re running our third points race today and since it is so important to complete out points series before September,” said Curtis Trueblood, Northeast track owner. “I felt that we have to do our very best to get the racers back onto the track and finish tonight’s race.”

For the five winners in the five different classes that ran at Northeast on Saturday all would mention the heat and the humidity affected their cars’ performance.

After the delay from the rain the air and track temperatures cooled down, which would do the same for drivers and their cars.

First time 5.90 Index winner Anthony Griekspoor of Belhaven took his 1967 Chevy II known as “Small Wonder” to the line to meet last week’s runner up in Edenton’s Michael Perry in his 1967 Chevy II.

Both drivers got a clean start, but Griekspoor had the better package over Perry to take the win.

Griekspoor, who races alongside his brother and wife, couldn’t thank them enough for their support and especially his father, who builds and tunes his engine.

TOP ET winner Eric Whitehurst of Edenton got this second win this season by beating Jut Crumpler of Elm City.

Whitehurst’s .0099 reaction time gave him the advantage that he needed.

Champion of the last two modified class titles, Edenton’s Jesse Casper, went all rounds to earn valuable points. It quickly moved him from the sixth position in the series to a current two-way tie for first. Casper, who drives for car owner and Gates native Earl Watson, beat Irvin Askew of Chesapeake, Va.

Currituck’s Megan Poyner moved out of the Junior Dragster Class two years ago and took a season off from racing to attend college.

She opted to return and put work into her Ford Mustang to run the Street Class.

“It was a great feeling to be back on the track and even better winning my first race in this class.” said Poyner, who took the win light Saturday when Darnell Tillet fouled out with a red light.

In Junior Dragster, 10-year-old Austin Nutwell of Chesapeake beat close friend Hayla Harrell, 11, of Rocky Hock in the finals.

Both girls got a clean start, but Nutwell’s better reaction time gave her the advantage and Harrell broke out, which gave the win to Nutwell.

This Saturday, Brock Faircloth Productions will host a “Summer Showdown” event at Northeast.

It will include Heads up Bad Boys 10.5 Race, Bike, Grudge, along with a TOP and MOD Gambler’s Race.

The gates will open at 3 p.m. For more information about this special event log onto www.northeastdragway.net.