NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

2019 NHRA New England Nationals Sportsman Highlights

Ken Moses doubled in Super Comp and Top Dragster at the NHRA New England Nationals to lead a list of champions at the 13th event on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
25 Jul 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Ken Moses

More than three decades after winning his first national event title in Atlanta, Ken Moses turned in what was easily the best performance of his long career when he won the Super Comp and Top Dragster titles at the NHRA New England Nationals. Moses became the 26th different driver to double up, a feat that has been accomplished 40 times since 1991.

Driving his wife Debra’s Super Comp dragster, Moses defeated reigning Division 1 champion Kyle Bigley in the final and then returned moments later to finish off an 11-round marathon by beating Nick Meloni for the win in Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs. Moses was at his best in the Top Dragster final with a .002 light and a 6.547 on his 6.52 dial. [Videos]

Moses was joined in the winner’s circle by a pair of world champions, Byron Worner and Iggie Boicesco, who scored in Super Stock and Super Gas, respectively. Dean Cook (Stock), Brian Sawyer (Super Street), and Dave Miller (Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs) also collected Epping titles.

Worner connected for his seventh national event win after driving his Camaro to a final-round win in Super Stock against Richard Kay, who encountered a mechanical problem that ended the race prematurely. Two years ago, Worner won in Epping by beating his twin brother, Bryan, in the final round. This time, Byron raced good friend Herbie Null Jr. in the quarterfinals and then stopped Marty Rinehart in the semi’s with a tidy package that included a .009 light and a 9.852 on his 9.84 dial. [Video]

Cook, who won the Stock title in Englishtown in 1983, ended a long drought by driving his C/Stock ’71 Mustang to victory. Cook, who attributed his good fortune to a four-leaf clover he found at New England Dragway, defeated his son, Dean II, in the third round and later defeated Lenny Williams in a race decided by just .0007-second at the stripe. The final was also extremely close with just .007-second separating Cook from Angelo DiTocco, who was seeking his first national event win since 1998. DiTocco earned a spot in the final when he cooled off one of the hottest drivers in the sport, Joe Santangelo, who is ranked third in both Stock and Super Stock. [Video]

No one wins a national championship and two U.S. Nationals titles without perseverance, so it wasn’t a big shock when Boicesco earned national event win No. 9 in Epping in Super Gas. Boicesco and his daughter, Amanda, who races in Super Comp, have endured a tough summer that has included three broken engines. That didn’t prevent the 2006 world champion from earning the win in his ATI-backed Corvette roadster. Boicesco moved into the top 10 after his latest win, was solid throughout eliminations, including a .001-light in round two and a 9.907 pass in the semifinals, and was at his best in the final round with a perfect 9.900 that his opponent, Canadian John McClean, could not match.  [Video]

Sawyer, the son of 2005 Super Gas world champ Ray Sawyer and brother of seven-time national event winner Mike Sawyer, has competed in just three NHRA national events during his career and all three have been at New England Dragway, his home track. Sawyer has also appeared in the final round of all three races and upped his average to two wins and a runner-up by beating Darren Wood in the Super Street final, 10.902 to 10.944. Sawyer, who won the Epping race in his 2017 debut, also scored wins against Martin Ganjoin and Maine’s Cory Prindall. After the final, Sawyer joked that he’d forgotten to thank his mother after his first national event win, so he was eager to have a second chance to correct the mistake.  [Video]

Miller made his NHRA Pro Stock debut recently in Norwalk, and it turns out that might not be the most exciting thing to happen to him this month. Miller didn’t qualify in his debut, but after returning to the seat of his six-second Chevy S-10 pickup truck, he was able to claim his first victory in Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs. Miller had been past the first round just once in five previous starts this season but turned in a solid effort in Epping, including his final-round race against Richard Lachapelle. Miller won the bout on a small holeshot. On his way to the final, Miller also had a tough battle against Johnny Brooks’ show-quality Chevy II and a close win against Nick Willard. [Video]