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Championship Dreams Dashed and Realized at IHRA World Finals

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The final race of the 2015 International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series season at Memphis International Raceway was filled with excitement and suspense. During the weekend, the Summit Racing Equipment World Finals featuring Nitro Jam produced two world records, championship runs and a first-time winner in the series.

Jason Rupert was looking to defend his AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car presented by Aeromotive world championship title against Mike McIntire Jr. heading into the weekend. The veteran driver not only claimed the championship, he won the final race of the year, breaking the ET world record in the process.

Rupert went up against No. 1 qualifier Shawn Bowen in the final round and posted a 5.595 second run at 261.72 mph against Bowen's 5.766 and 238.55 mph. McIntire lost in the semifinals to Bowen when he posted a 6.257 at 183.49 mph.

The eliminations for the Pro Stock class was one of the most anticipated races of the season. A tight championship battle and a stout field made the competition fierce. The JR Carr vs. John Montecalvo final round matchup a lot riding on it. On Saturday night, Montecalvo beat class points leader Cary Goforth to keep his championship hopes alive. However, Montecalvo needed to get past Carr, who was gunning for his first Nitro Jam victory, to pass Goforth and claim the championship.

Carr and his 2015 Chevrolet Camaro rose the occasion with a pass of 6.254 seconds at 224.21 mph to beat Montecalvo and win his first career Ironman. Montecalvo’s lap of 6.281 at 223.32 mph secured the season championship for Goforth, who successfully defending his 2014 title.

Jay Turner showed exactly why he is a champion at the Summit Racing Equipment World Finals featuring Nitro Jam. The three-time IHRA champion was on a winning streak as he added another Nitro Harley championship to his resume and broke the IHRA ET world record. The championship rider faced off against Mark Conner in the final round. Connor laid down a solid 6.417 at 227.23 mph lap but it wasn't enough to hold off Turner. The Julian, N.C., rider posted a 6.248 at 217.28 mph to take the win and add his name to the record books.

The Crower Pro Mod class crowned its first IHRA World Champion after several years of being absent in the series. Dina Parise claimed her first IHRA Championship by advancing into the semifinals. Billy Harper wound up winning the race as he defeated Billy Glidden in the final round. Harper ran a 5.923 at 241.76 mph in his 2000 Viper against Glidden's 6.079 at 234.98 mph. Harper was the only driver to have multiple wins in the Crower Pro Mod class this season. He previous win came at the President's Cup Nationals earlier this year.

In her final IHRA Jet Dragster race of her career, Marisha Falk went out on a winning note. Falk went up against Shea Holbrook in the finals. The Kenansville, Fla., resident posted a fast time of 5.685 at 279.44 mph with a .123 reaction time to Holbrook's 5.861 at 272.56 mph. Elaine Larsen clinched the 2015 IHRA Jet Dragster World Championship at the last Nitro Jam event in San Antonio, Texas.

For the final round results, please go to www.nitrojam.com/results-stats/2015-results/

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