Rain suspends racing in season finale at Rockingham Dragway

ROCKINGHAM — Winston-Salem’s Tommy Plott overtook Joe Julsrud of Stony Point to emerge as the 2016 Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition Champion in Top Eliminator after Saturday and Sunday racing in a rain-shortened series finale at Rockingham Dragway.

Plott won Saturday’s title over Mitchell Harkey of China Grove and was among the 39 drivers still in contention on Sunday when continuing rain forced track officials to cancel the remainder of the event. Winner of the first Carolina Coalition title in 2003, Plott finished in a second place tie last year.

It was a weekend for familiar names in Carolina drag racing, as Troutman’s Ernie Humes added a second Coalition Footbrake title to the one he earned in 2013 and 11-year-old Isaac Bridges of Shelby won the Jr. Dragster title over Jason McCandless of Burlington.

Bridges, competing against older drivers but with a speed handicap because of his age, is the son of John Bridges, winner of the first B&M Bracket Series title. McCandless is the grandson of Pro Stock great Herb “Mr. Four-Speed” McCandless.

Plott and Willie Buie of St. Pauls were the only racers all weekend long to get a final round win light.

Plott got a gift in the semifinals when Shannon’s Brandon Collins wasted a .006 reaction time with a .001 of a second breakout and another in the final when Harkey went red by .002.

Racing was suspended after the third round in both Top Eliminator and Footbrake on Sunday. Jr. Dragster didn’t finish either day, but Bridges was among the last six on Friday and the last eight on Saturday.

Final results from the 2016 Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition Bracket Series at Rockingham Dragway:

SATURDAY TOP ELIMINATOR — Tommy Plott (.009, 5.754 on a 4.720, 82.13 mph) def. Mitchell Harkey (foul).

SATURDAY FOOTBRAKE — Willy Buie (.047, 6.895 on a 6.890, 98.54 mph) def. Will Walton (.130, 6.763 breakout on a 6.800, 98.72 mph).

SATURDAY JR. DRAGSTER — Noah Johnson and Gavin Whisnant opted to split the first and second place top money and share the title.

SUNDAY JR. DRAGSTER — Racing stopped by rain with Saylar Bustle, Gavin Whisnant and Jason McCandless splitting the remaining points and purse.

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