Race Recap and Gallery: Nitroblast & Jet Warz at Cordova

Cordova Dragway Park hosted Nitroblast and Jet Warz over the weekend in Cordova, Il., featuring the Mickey Thompson Tires Funny Car Challenge and the Chris Ducan Pro Mod Super Series.  In the Pro Mod race it was “Fast” Eddie Rogers defeating Randy Adler, for the fastest side by side pass in the series brief history, in a rematch of the final round last weekend at Eddyville Raceway Park.  In the Nostalgia Nitro Funny cars it was Doc Halladay defeating a red lighting Troy Martin in the final round thanks to a red light start.  Scott Gardner also booked in a handful of other match racing and exhibition vehicles including a Jet Semi to provide plenty of action for the crowd at CDP.

Friday night’s scheduled events were cancelled after showers moved into the area and dousing the track, combined with cool temperatures returning the track to racing condition would have been near impossible.  Action on Saturday kicked off at noon starting with the CDRC Pro Mod Super Series.  Mike Bell posted a 4.11 at 182 mph in his debut pass in the series, and was the top qualifier for about a single minute.  Immediately following Bell was Adler and Rogers.  For round one, Adler went to the top spot with a 4.019 with Rogers going to the second spot with a 4.03.

In the final qualifying session Rogers picked up to take the top spot away with a 4.00 at 181 mph, while Adler was unable to improve.  Mike Bell remained third, while Cathy Belcher posted a 4.14 and Monte Grace took the fifth spot with a 4.33.  Joe Priola took his pro charged ’66 Chevelle into the sixth spot with a 4.37 at 154 mph.

Rogers and Belcher lined up for the first pass of eliminations for the all-Chevrolet field.  Both cars were near even off of the line, however, Rogers slowly pulled away for the win and posted the first 3 second pass in the series, a 3.97 at 187 mph.  Rogers credited crew chief, Amanda Werdehausen, “We’ve got to give all the credit to Amanda, she’s the one who makes the call, and makes the tune up of the car, and she is very talented.”

Also in the first round Bell defeated the Priola in an exciting match.  At the hit of the throttle, both vehicles ran into tire shake and were forced to pedal the throttle.  Bell recovered first and took the win in his ’68 Camaro with a 5.11 second lap at 160 mph.  Adler defeated Grace, with Adler slowing from his qualifying effort to a 4.09, while Grace appeared to have finally started getting a solid tune up for his orange ’68 Camaro and posting a 4.22 at 172 mph.  Grace was plagued with issues last weekend in ERP.

Since the field was short, it was decided that to prevent single runs, the fast loser would return to competition.  Cathy Belcher was given the nod with the quickest losing pass, and again was lined up against Rogers.  Again, both cars were closely matched off of the starting line, and again, the Chris Duncan Race Cars built Corvette of Rogers pulled away for the win, this time with a 3.98 at 186 mph.  Adler’s ’57 Bel-Air posted a 4.03 second lap at 186 mph to easily defeat Bell who struggled with a 9.70 at a coasting 44 mph.  Bell did manage to advance to the semi-finals on the first weekend with a converter in the car instead of a clutch, and Bell seemed happy with the results.

In the final round it was the now friendly rivalry of Rogers and Adler.  Rogers had captured both no. one qualifiers, the elapsed time record, and a runner up, while Adler had captured the event win at ERP.  When the green light flashed, it was Rogers with the .018 reaction time to give him the advantage over the .069 of Adler.  Adler’s ’57 Chevrolet was closing the gap at the 60 foot market, but from there Rogers began pulling away again and posted the quickest run of the weekend for the new ET record of 3.970 seconds with the quickest side by side pass as Adler runs a 3.995, with both drivers posting a speed of 186 mph.  Rogers, after the win exclaimed, “We really want to thank Chris Duncan for sponsoring the seires, for all the help, and for building a great car.”

Also on track in competition at the Nitroblast and Jet Warz were the Mickey Thompson Tires Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car Challenge.  Paul Romine put the crunch on the field as he drove his Man O War ’79 Ford Mustang to the top spot with a 5.83 at 244 mph.  John Hale qualified in the second position with a 6.10 at 240, while Troy Martin’s ’73 Charger qualified third with a 6.73 at 220 mph.

Racing started with an upset win in round one as Doc Halladay defeated John hale.  Haladay’s Telestar ’78 Plymouth Arrow posted a strong run a 6.06 seconds at 233 mph.  Hale struggled and coasted to an 8.23 at 112 mph.  Paul Romine collected the single run, and lifted to a 6.52 at 149 mph.  Joe Haas won on a hole shot with his 6.67 defeating the 6.33 of Brian Stewart.  Haas didn’t have a strong light, mustering a .124, but Stewart’s Corvette launched .527 seconds after the green light flashed.  Troy Martin’s ’73 Charger ran a 6.47 to defeat Mike Lewis for the final race of round one eliminations.

Doc Halladay cruised to an 8.72 on a competition break single as Joe Haas had problems in semi-final action.  The opposite side of the ladder, however, provided the most exciting race in the class all weekend long.  Paul Romine, the odds on favorite to win, lined up against no. three qualifier, Troy Martin.  When the tree came down, Romine’s Mustang instantly blew the tires off and headed for the centerline, then instantly came back and with the lightest of contact hit the left side wall for a disqualification.  Martin slowed down to track to post a 6.80 at 178 mph.

The final round ended quickly.  Martin’s Charger turned on the red light by just .025 seconds and Minnesota resident Hallday cruised to the win with a 6.29 second lap at 230 mph.

Other vehicles on hand at CDP included front engine Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters, Fran Peppler’s Jet Funny Car, Jet Dragsters, a Jet Truck, the Geezer Gassers, and the Mid West Super Stock Mafia.  This event was just a warm up for what is upcoming in just a few months at CDP for the 58th running of the O’Reilly Auto Parts World Series of Drag Racing.

About the author

Sam Martin

Growing up in the Midwest, Sam was always around various types of motorsports. While attending Lindenwood College, he followed his passion and interned at Gateway International Raceway before it's unfortunate closing. Today he can be found covering and shooting photography for various dirt and drag strip events.
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