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2013 AED Performance Champions Gala Recap

Published by Johnny Davis on February 3, 2014

Richmond Dragway launches into 50th Anniversary Season with AED Performance Champions Gala

Richmond Dragway kicked off a great 50th Anniversary Celebration with the AED Performance Champions Gala on Saturday, February 1st at The Place at Innsbrook with a full house.  It was an evening filled with celebrating the accomplishments of the talented racers and crews at the track

Taking home Championship honors in the AED Performance ET Points series were champions Jeff Verdi (Top ET), Chris Moren (Modified ET) and Rachael Whitney (Junior Dragster) and Jawan Morris (Motorcycle). Verdi captured his 2nd Richmond Dragway Championship behind the wheel of his trusty Pontiac Firebird and clinched the honors with more than a race to go on the season.   Moren, on the other hand, raced down to the wire in a great battle to the finish with four other Modified drivers at the final race of the season to earn his second consecutive championship.  Rachael Whitney locked her name into the record books becoming the second Junior driver in history to run away with three championships in a row after totally dominating the competition and securing her championship with more than a 2 race margin of victory.  Jawan Morris utterly thrashed the competition in Motorcycles with three event wins in route to first Motorcycle championship in the modern RD era.

Top ten finishers in Top ET included Lee Dixon (2nd), Kenny Young (3rd), Gordon Holmes (4th), Blind Squirrel Motorsports (5th), Jeffrey Root (6th), Bruce Hairston (7th). Wayne Talley (8th), Bruce Sisk (9th) and JB Donati (10th).  Top ET driver Gordon Holmes was also named the Louis “Gue-Gue” Edmonds Sportsman of the Year.  Holmes attended the first race at Richmond Dragway in 1964 and has been a fixture at the track every season since.

The Modified ET top ten Lauterbach & Taylor Racing (2nd), Ronnie Jeter (2nd), Tanner & Dillard Racing (4th), Larry Miller (4th), Atkinson & Bess Racing (6th), Wilson & Smith Racing (7th), Area 51 Motorsports (8th), Mason Racing (9th) and Michael Sams (10th).  Other award winners from the Modified ET Class included Lisa King (From Chris Moren’s Bracket Race Central.com team) the Woman of the Year award for her outstanding contributions to the sport and support of ET Bracket competitors throughout the Mid-Atlantic.  Other winners included  Clark Wilson the Rookie of the Year, Steve Lauterbach the Wrench of the Year and Michael Sams the Most Improved Driver.

Junior Dragster competitors in the Top Ten included Jacob Baker (2nd), Allison Lloyd (3rd), Rachael Weis (4th), Jessica Goodman (5th), Cody Sillmon (6th), Sparkman & Wagle Racing (7th), Roger Thornton (8th), Madison Tuck (9th) and Dalton Hayes (10th).  Rachael Whitney was also named the Driver of the Year for her outstanding accomplishments on the track culminating in a semi final finish at the IHRA Summit World Championship for Juniors in Memphis.

The top three competitors in Motorcycles were awarded Championship Trophies and included Russ Abrams (2nd) and Terrell Taylor (3rd).  Newly announced, Motorcycles will become a full season class and participate in every AED Performance ET Points Event in the 2014 schedule.  Prior to the banquet, Kari Root was awarded her $500 Gift Certificate to Susan McLauchlan Jewelers for her championship in the Ladies Challenge Championship Series.

Larry Moneypenny was awarded the Race Official of the Year award for his contributions to Team RD and all of the outstanding Race Officials were recognized for being totally committed to excellence through Integrity, Service and Innovation.    Johnny White from AED Performance received a one of a kind photo from the first season at Richmond Dragway of track founder Dan Weis being push started in his front engine injected nitro dragster.

A highlight of the night was the great “Ultimate Doorprize” Contest annually conducted.  This year’s version pitted Lee Dixon against Ronnie “Stick” Traylor in a game called “Worm Diving” off of the TV show Minute to Win It.  Dixon took home a 39” TV just in time for the Super Bowl and Traylor got a Kindle Fire for his participation.

A special 50th Anniversary Logo designed by Angry Snail Graphics and Mike Niswonger was unveiled and track owner Johnny Davis highlighted some of the proposed changes for the 2014 season and AED Performance ET Points Series.

Additional information about Richmond Dragway including the 2014 Racing Schedule is  available at www.richmonddragway.com.

AED Performance is a full service carburetor manufacturing facility that includes an onsite Speed Shop, Fuel Station and Dyno Center.   AED Performance has been a supporter to Richmond Dragway for over 30 years.  For more information about AED Performance including information on their award winning carburetors, visit www.aedperformance.com.

For additional photos of the AED Performance Champions Gala Banquet courtesy of Robert Keene and Keene Visuals, CLICK HERE.


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