Phil Hutchison Drag Racing Action Online  Images: Rob Keister and Amanda Boicesco

The 30th annual Uncle Buck Nationals was held August 12-13 under sunny, but hot Maryland skies. The event, the 3rd and 4th event of 2023 for the Mid Atlantic .90 Association was well attended by racers and fans alike with a car count of 170 on Saturday and 150 returning for Sunday’s action at Cecil County Dragway.

Aerial shot of the Pig Roast shows how packed the party was!

But beside the racing, another reason for the great turnout was after Saturday’s eliminations, the world-famous Uncle Buck Pig Roast was held for all competitors and their families. The roast, named for long time crew chief Ronnie Harple who passed away in 2012, was celebrating its 30th year.  Harple, crew chief for the Donhauser race team, started the tradition in 1993 as a way for all the Super Gas racers to get together and to break bread and get to know each other a little better. The roast has become a staple on the schedule and 2023 was, as expected, a total success. Series President Rob Keister said, “It was the Donhausers, the Harple family, and the Bel Air Moose Lodge 1952 that made all the great food possible.”

The race itself, on the heels of the record breaking Dave Stine Memorial event at Maple Grove a few weeks earlier, had plenty of action and also featured Top Sportsman and Top Dragster shootouts.


Burgess, near lane, was the winner on Saturday in S/ST in his Camero

Dom Burgese from Williamstown N.J. took his ’69 Camaro to the Super Street win over the Chevy Nova of Scott Lang.  Lang out of Slatington Pa., was second off the line with a 0.035 RT to Burgese’s better 0.020 and it cost him as with Burgese out in front, Lang pushed his Chevy a little too much breaking out with a 10.897 to the winning 10.909 of Burgese.

“The series that Rob and the 0.90 Association put together is top shelf’”, Dom said after his win. “It’s well run and fair to everyone. The association feels like a family when we are together and it’s like being home when we are at the races. You may not know everyone’s name but you feel at home. Rob and all the .90 crew put a lot of their time to put this race on.”

Burgese adds, “This could not be done without the great race tracks and their crews. This past weekend it was hot, and the track was great. I would like to thank Cecil , Maple Grove and Rob and the .90 crew for their time and support.”

Smith, near lane, has already lit the red bulb at this point giving Fisher the S/G win

Super Gas champ Jeff Fisher from Homer City Pa. had been cutting down the tree throughout eliminations in his Chevy Beretta taking out recent winner Nick Volpe’s Mustang and Ron Ross in his ’41 Willys to get to the finals. On the other side of the ladder, multi time champ George Smith from Centereach N.Y. in his “Live Wire” Camaro took out George Stack and Jake Barbato to meet Fisher for the money.

It was over at the green as Smith went red with a -0.003 light making Fisher the S/G winner.

First time .90 winner Leahy, far lane, beat Scholl for the S/C title on Saturday

Massachusetts racer Jon Leahy won his first career Mid Atlantic .90 title winning Super Comp over the S&W dragster of Kevin Scholl from Eagleville Pa. Leahy driving his Leahy Excavating Dan Page built car was second off the line with a 0.013 light to Scholl’s better 0.010 but at the stripe, Leahy won with a nearly right on 8.905 to the losing 8.979 of Scholl.

The Bad 8 pitting the quickest Top Sportsman and Top Dragsters on the property went down to the dragster of Scott Luken from Perry Hall Md. up against the Camaro of Dave Muller from Pennington NJ.

Both racers had excellent lights with Muller off the line with a 0.001 to Lukens’s close 0.007. Luken dialed his dragster in with a 3.92 and ran a 3.923 for the win to the losing 4.451 on a 4.43 dial of Muller. It was very close at the finish line.


Fahnestock, far lane, had Boicesco covered in the finals of S/C 

Defending 2022 Mid Atlantic Super Comp champ Chase Fahnestock showed why he’s the champ taking out the always tough Amanda Boicesco’s “Relentless” dragster in the finals.

Fahnestock, in his DWM car, was first off the line with a 0.002 light to Boicesco’s 0.014 and ran a 8.910 for a 0.012 package which Boicesco was for all rights, out of the race at the line and her 8.925 was on the losing side of the race.

“After a rough start to the year, our goal for the weekend was to just go a few rounds to get some momentum going into Maple Grove’s national in a few weeks,” Fahnestock said. “Sunday’s weather was a bit tricky with the wind, so luck always plays a big part in days like those. Fortunately for us, luck was on our side, and carried us to the final, where I felt comfortable enough to set up fairly aggressive and lay down a .012 package for the win.”

Boicesco said after the loss, “Chase and I race all the time. We are like 50/50 on who wins. He was .002 8.910 so .012 total. I was .014 on the tree and knew I couldn’t get there so I dropped him off at the finish line hoping he would break out. No such luck!”

Iggie, far lane, got the gift of an opponents red light in the finals of S/G

Things weren’t all bad for the Boicesco’s, Amanda’s dad, teammate and former Indy US Nationals champ Iggie Boicesco drove his’17 Corvette roadster to a win over the ’03 Neon of Bob Phillips from Oley Pa in Super Gas. It was an easy victory for Boicesco as Phillips left too soon, taking his Mopar out of the equation.  The win, the first for Boicesco since his nasty off track accident at Lebanon Valley in 2022, was especially gratifying for the Warminster Pa driver.

“The car and I were good in the early rounds and then I got lucky in the later rounds especially in the final when good friend and competitor Bob Phillips went .003 red.” Boicesco said, “My air bottle was near empty, and my car was only able to run a 10.14 on the 9.90 index. The expression that I’d rather be lucky than good fit perfectly in this instance.”

Delaware driver DiTeodoro, far lane, loves Cecil County Dragway winning his second event of 2023 in S/ST

Super Street winner Mario DiTeodoro from Middletown DE is no stranger to Cecil County’s winner’s circle. DiTeodoro took his ’69 Nova to a S/ST win at the Spring Lucas Divisional at Cecil but his win Sunday was the Delaware racer’s first ever Mid Atlantic .90 title.

In the finals it was DiTeodoro against second generation racer Kelli Barbato’s Camaro. DiTeodoro got the jump off the line with a 0.009 RT to Barbato’s later 0.022. On the top end it was all Diteodoro winning with a 10.910 to the off pace 11.076 of Barbato.

“In April when I won the divisional here at Cecil, Rob Keister and I joked about when I would finally win one of his races”, DiTeodoro said after the win. “So, it felt good to finally do that after coming close in the past.

“Staying focused on the tree in the heat, using a prediction program I developed at the end of last season and the fantastic job Jimmy (Halsey) and crew do with the track were all key factors in Sunday’s victory.”

Commenting on her loss, Barbato said, “I was having issues with the fuel pump all day. Tried nursing it, hoping it would hold, but it finally let me down in the finals.”

Sunday’s race also featured the Top 32 Challenge, with the winning Top Dragster and Top Sportsman racers competing for the overall title.

After a runner up on Saturday in the Bad 8 it was Dave Muller taking the Top Sportsman part of the show beating the ’67 Nova of Don Teague from Newark DE.

“I’m proud to win another race in Robs series,” Muller said after his Sunday win. “Thanks to my son Tommy for all the help at the track. Big thanks to Rob & Dana for all the effort they put into these races. Also, thanks to Jim Halsey & crew for working so hard to keep a HOT track working so well.

On the Top Dragster side, it was first time Mid Atlantic winner Jarrod Kissinger from Bernville PA, near lane, defeating Mark Kelly in the final of T/D

In the finals of the Challenge, Muller dialed in with a 4.43 and broke out with a 4.426 as Kissinger took the win with a 4.294 on a 4.28 dial.

After the event, Mid Atlantic .90 Association President Rob Keister said. “With the closing of Atco a few weeks ago we had the scramble to find places to conclude our season. We were scheduled to still have 4 more events at Atco including our season finale and racers chose to not include the Stine race at Maple Grove as part of points. This event at Cecil was already on the schedule as it is always held in Mid-August. This was the 30th year for the Uncle Buck Pig Roast.

“After Ronnie Harple’s his passing in 2012 from Pancreatic Cancer, the Donhausers along with friends and family said that the Pig Roast must go on and it did and has grown year after year with new racers and new classes being added to the family.

“It was a hot a grueling weekend on everyone to say the least,” Keister adds, “We tried our best to space the classes out to give ample time for racers to cool down and get hydrated between runs. Racer’s safety is our number one priority with this series when you are running at such a fast pace. Cecil County added a bracket event which drew about 80 cars giving us a little buffer between rounds.”

“We had great racing on both days and three new winners at the end of the weekend. Jon Leahy winning Super Comp on Saturday, Jarrod Kissinger took Top Dragster and Mario DiTeodoro won Super Street on Sunday. I thank all the racers who came out to race. And once again, if you are looking for seat time, want a place to race, and enjoy a family type atmosphere, give the series a shot.  We welcome everyone into the series. We need to keep supporting these promoters & series for them to survive.”