Doll, Smith & Mayers claim .90 Championships
Story Rob Keister Photos Rob Keister and Phil Hutchison
Maple Grove Raceway – Mohnton, Pa – The Mid Atlantic .90 Association closed out one of its most successful seasons on the books at Maple Grove Raceway.
As Race # 8 got underway under abnormally warm conditions for October, the Super Comp battle saw a possibility of 21 drivers still mathematically alive for the championship. As the rounds progressed, drivers hoping for a championship bowed out one by one leaving only 2016 Comp World Champ Doug Doll Jr & 2x MASGA Champ Don Bangs to claim the title. What looked like a collision course for the two to meet in the finals Doll & Bangs were on opposite sides of the ladder going into the semi-finals. Bangs would get by a red-lighting Angelo Di Tocco while John Bruzzo put the hopes of a Doll-Bangs final round to rest with a nineteen thou package to make Dolls .021 light mathematically ineligible. In a colossal final round match-up Bangs would take the hole shot victory (.005 to .012) over Bruzzo 8.911 to 8.908 to claim his second win and a 4-point lead over Doll going into Sunday.
On Sunday, Doll and Bangs once again found themselves on the opposite side of the ladder and were mowing through the field until third round, knowing if either one lit the win light and the other did not the championship was theirs. Doll was out first against the tough Greg Hays, and it was Hays who pushed the tree a little too hard going -.001 red with an 8.902. Now with the pressure on Bangs, he matched up with the ever-tough Kara Stine. Stine who was coming off a runner-up at Race # 6 did not give Bangs any room as she laid down a 9 thousandth package with a perfect 8.900 to claim the win and hand Doll the championship, his first with the series. Doll would take that momentum all the way to the final round where he would take down Jeff Stricker in the borrowed Gold Rush Trailers dragster after Jeff went -.008 red. This was Doug’s 2nd ever win with the series and one that had taken many years to get.
Turning our attention to Super Gas, 2020 Champion Hank Smith came in with a 3-round lead over 7x Champion Iggie Boicesco. Smith extended that lead with a third-round finish after Boicesco lost in Round 2, ironically both lost to eventual runner-up Rich Price. Price took that momentum of taking down the top two in points to the finals where he matched up with Donnie Miller of Dover, Pa. Miller and his DWM Construction Camaro laid down a 7 thousandth package with a .003 light and 9.904 to basically box out Price who was right there on the tree with a .014 but, slowed to a 9.938 to hand the win to Miller who hadn’t visited the winner circle since 2016.
On Sunday, the stage was set. If Smith lit the bulb first round the championship was his and Rick Homan would grant that wish as he would go -.009 red to hand the second championship to Smith and wife Lorrie. With the championship set both Smith and Boicesco would go out in 2nd & 3rd round to open the door for a new winner. Dave Muller out of Pennington, NJ would take his multi-purpose Top Sportsman & Super Gas Camaro to the final round against Jay Cepelka’s Dodge. Muller got the jump on the tree (.027 to .039) and legged it out to a double breakout 9.981 to 9.885 victory. Dave wanted to dedicate the win to his girlfriend’s cousin Eric who lost a battle with COVID on Saturday before Race # 8.
Rounding out the final classes was the 10.90 folks of Super Street. For once, Keith Mayers rolled into the final event behind in points to Rick Mattioli. The only problem was Mattioli was absent from the track as a cracked head at the Virginia D1 race would sideline Rick from competition. Keith saw that opportunity and jumped on the chance to claim his 6th Championship. Mayers and his famous 1985 Porsche would overtake that lead with a win in the semi-finals and unless Mattioli found a ride for Sunday, the championship would return to Delaware again. In the finals Keith lined up against Bracket / Index racer James Moshier’s 2005 Mustang. Mayers and Moshier were almost even on the line (.011 to .017) but, Keith edged out the win with a 10.911 to 10.926 victory.
Rick Mattioli couldn’t mount a charge to unseat Mayers, the Middlesex NJ driver still came in second in S/ST
On Sunday, Mattioli could not find a ride sealing the deal for Mayers to claim his sixth championship in the series. With the championship in hand and a win in hand already for the weekend, Mayers rolled once again to the finals to match-up once again with Moshier. Moshier, learning what he did the day before in the finals were ready for Keith. James got a slight jump on the line (.008 to .009) and what looked like a second career victory for the Williamstown, NJ racer came up just short when the scoreboard showed 10.899 to Keith’s 10.918 to claim his second victory of the weekend and taking home over $3,000 in winnings.
In closing, President Rob Keister wants to thank all the racers and sponsors who made the series the most successful on date in the 11 years he has been president. They increased membership by over forty-seven members, handed out over $55,000 in race winnings including the biggest payout in .90 history at the Dave Stine Memorial event in May. Look for news on the 2022 season in the next few weeks including the 2nd Annual Dave Stine Memorial, which will be held at Maple Grove Raceway on May 20th to 22nd, 2022. For more info you can find the series on Facebook or e-mail Rob at BKSG1198@gmail.com.