Monday, July 18, 2016

Paton resets track record at Lancaster Friday night

Todd Paton and Bobby Lagana Jr. at Lancaster Friday night
credit: Neffke Motorsports Photography
Todd Paton of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA reset the Lancaster National Dragway record books this past Friday during the Nitro Night of Fire with a pair of blistering passes in his Top Fuel Dragster down Lancaser’s 1/8-mile dragstrip.

On his first run, he shattered the track ET record with a 3.306-second pass at 229.37 mph; the previous fastest pass by a Top Fueler was by the legendary Shirley Muldowney in 1995 (3.469 seconds). It also bested the fastest pass ever in Lancaster National Dragway history, a record previously held by eight-time NHRA Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher in a jet dragster.

His second pass was also a record breaker as he reset the track’s speed record with 3.349-second run at 233.00 mph; the previous Top Fuel speed mark that was set by Muldowney in 1996 at 215.31 mph. That also became the fastest average speed ever recorded on the 1/8-mile, breaking the previous record of 222.74 mph held by Jesse Harris of Park Ridge, Ill. since 2007.  

Running against Paton was Bobby Lagana, Jr., whose runs of 3.716 seconds and 3.621 seconds also came close to breaking the track Top Fuel ET record. Fans were also treated to runs by the Fuel Altereds of Tom Motry and Gary Krause and the nitro-injected front engine dragsters of Frank Mazi and Chuck Getz.

In Franco’s Pizza Friday Night IHRA Drag Racing action, Zell Gaymon held off Dave Cleveland to return to victory lane in Top 8, while Mark Glomb picked up his first win of the year in Mallare Enterprises Top ET after Thomas Fletcher triggered the red light in the finals.

The Joe’s Transmission TNT Hot Rod Series made its second appearance of the season at Lancaster, with Billy Ryan defeating Lancaster veteran Jeff Sobczynski in the final. McGard Mod ET came down to a final pairing of the class’s two biggest winners in 2016 as four-time winner Reid Ricketson met three-time winner Dale Eckert, with Eckert getting win No. 4. Angelo Salemi picked up the win in Hebeler’s Sales Sleds & Bikes after a red light by Mike Peters in the finals, and Kale Wischman was victorious in Tread City Tire Street after Cody Winkowski red-lighted.

Coming up this Friday night, July 22, at Lancaster National Dragway is Pack the Track Night featuring $5 general admission. Quick 16 joins Lancaster’s four weekly classes of Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing. Find out more at

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