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Perfect divisional record led
Chesterman to TAFC title
A new, lightweight, responsive Pro Start chassis; a cohesive, veteran crew; an innovative nine-finger lockup clutch; and a multiple-event-winning start to the season propelled Cy Chesterman to the best year of his career, in which he not only won his first Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Funny Car championship but his second straight Division 5 title.

The Coca-Cola and bottled-water facility owner from Sioux City, Iowa, ended Frank Manzo's seven-year reign as champion of the supercharged methanol-burning Funny Car class. With 786 points, Chesterman outscored second place Jay Payne (who led in points for most of the year) by 57 points or about three rounds, while Manzo finished third with 700 points.


2004 Lucas Oil Comp champ Dean Carter
When Dean Carter won his first Comp national championship last season, he did it in a dramatic, nail-biting finish, capping a late-season points rally with a tension-filled, winner-take-all final-round victory at the second to last event of the season. In an almost inverse scenario this year, Carter scored more than half of his points in his first six outings of the season and was the first Lucas Oil champion to lock up his crown in 2004. Carter's back-to-back championships mark only the second time that this feat has been accomplished, following exactly 20 years after Coleman Roddy won titles in 1983 and 1984, and Carter definitely credited his fast start for his success this season.

2004 NHRA Super Stock champion Larry Stewart Jr.
Larry Stewart Jr. is living proof that nice guys don't always finish last. Popular among his fellow Division 4 racers, he's also humble to a fault. Following a breakout season in which he won four races and completed a late-season rally to overtake Dan Fletcher for the national championship, Stewart still doesn't believe his accomplishments merit special attention.

Stock, Super Stock horsepower letter responses
The NHRA Stock/Super Stock Committee has reviewed written requests received by Dec. 1, 2004, from Lucas Oil Sportsman racers in its evaluation of specific Stock and Super Stock horsepower adjustments and has made the noted changes. These adjustments are effective Jan. 1, 2005. Letters received after Dec. 1 will be addressed during the next review.

2004 NHRA Stock champion Lee Zane
After completing a championship-winning 2004 season, Stock champ Lee Zane finds himself with an interesting problem: After reaching the pinnacle of his sport, what exactly can an LODRS national champion set as new goals? Put another way, how is it possible to finish higher than first place? It's a problem, though, that Zane would prefer to deal with personally rather than watch another driver try to figure it out.

Horsepower, index changes for Super Stock, Stock
As a result of runs at the Division 2 Montgomery Open, index and horsepower changes in Super Stock and Stock have been implemented. NHRA's 2004 Automatic Horsepower Factoring System outlines that any run of 1.40-second or more under the index will receive an immediate index decrease or horsepower increase. These changes are effective Dec. 13, 2004.

2004 NHRA Super Comp champion Lyndon Rutland
Leading the Super Comp standings late in the season can be like leading a 1980s NASCAR race with one lap to go: Sometimes, it's better to be second. Doug Doll was the sitting duck in first place when second-ranked Lyndon Rutland, like Cale Yarborough on the last lap of one of those old superspeedway races, slingshot past him to win the national championship on the final day of the season.

2004 NHRA Super Gas champion Jonathan Womack
Jonathan Womack was the leader going into the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, needing only to win three rounds to hold off the only other contender. Tom Stalba. Womack rose to the occasion with a holeshot-aided 9.928 to 9.916 win over Chip Rumis in the third stanza. But it was only after the win light came on in that round that the real drama began.

Sportsman update: Online registration, SPORTSNationals, and more
A new schedule for online registration for NHRA national events has been developed to eliminate confusion over grade-point requirements. Additional news includes a more than 50 percent increase in the number of events at which Super Stock and Stock class racing will be contested, plus news on the SPORTSnationals and a change in the alcohol-class schedule.

Most recent event
Nov. 5-7
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev.
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series on TV
Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
Pomona, Calif.
Dec. 5, 3:30 a.m.

All times Eastern
All shows on ESPN2

2004 Lucas Oil Sportsman TV schedule

NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals

No Problem Raceway
Belle Rose, La.
April 23-25, 2004
Lucas Oil Series News Archive

Perfectly Strange program extended through 2007

Final Stock, Super Stock horsepower adjustments for 2004 released

NHRA releases injected-nitro changes for 2005

Div. 7: Myers, Branch cash in at The Strip

Div. 2: Kelly, Ferro go to winner's circle in Gainesville

Div. 1: McPhillips and Manzo lead winners at Atco

Div. 4: Force takes Division title with Belle Rose win

Div. 6: Lambeck earns Comp win at Southern Oregon Dragway

Four championships up for grabs at NHRA Finals

Division 2 wins record 6th Jeg's Allstars team title

News Archive