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Winners Crowned At Inaugural Summit Sportsman Spectacular
7/10/2011
Budds Creek, MD
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Over the past 40 years thousands of different drivers from all corners of North America have hoisted trophies and celebrated victory with the International Hot Rod Association.

None, however, have done it more than Anthony Bertozzi.
 
Bertozzi, a native of the small town of Ashland located in the heart of Virginia, has compiled an impressive resume during his lengthy drag racing career that includes a record 16 IHRA championships and over 60 national event victories, all of which sweeter than the last.
 
So when the IHRA decided to celebrate the past four decades with a special race held over the weekend in southern Maryland featuring a record payout and other prizes just a few hours from Bertozzi’s home, it was only fitting that the winningest driver in IHRA history participate.
 
And even more fitting, win.
 
 
 
Anthony Bertozzi
 
Anthony Bertozzi won Super Stock Sunday at the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Spectacular at Maryland International Raceway
 
Bertozzi was one of nearly half a dozen winners from the inaugural Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Spectacular held at Maryland International Raceway over the weekend, winning the Super Stock class and pocketing a cool $5,000 in the process awarded to class winners at MIR.
 
Other winners from the first Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Spectacular included Don Rudd (Top Sportsman), Brett Nesbitt (Top Dragster), Myron Piatek (Stock), John Dustin (Quick Rod), Scott Lawton (Super Rod), Jeff Martin (Hot Rod), Dave Brodsky (Top ET), Ronnie Proctor (Mod ET) and Blair Buckler (Junior Dragster).
 
“This was a wonderful weekend and a great event,” Bertozzi said, hoisting his special edition Ironman trophy in victory lane. “We were fortunate enough to have a good showing and come out of here with a big win. We were very much looking forward to this event and it was certainly worth it. I appreciate the IHRA going out on a limb and giving us a race like this. We have won a lot over the years and this is right up there with all the others.”
 
Bertozzi qualified 23rd on the Super Stock ladder in his 1998 Grand Am and began the weekend with his first round win on Saturday to advance to championship Sunday. Bertozzi advanced via wins over Barry Allen, Bryan Worner, Richard Mace and Thomas Fletcher before meeting Gil Carty Jr. in the final.
 
In the final round Bertozzi was nearly perfect on the tree, hitting a .001 reaction time, but it proved unneeded as Carty ran into trouble on his run and slowed near mid-track, giving Bertozzi a surprisingly easy win. Bertozzi crossed the line with a 9.808, 103.63.
 
 
Brett Nesbitt
 
Brett Nesbitt lost in round one, but went on to claim the Top Dragster crown thanks to a second chance Saturday night
 
While Bertozzi received a free pass into victory lane, other drivers had to work overtime to reach the finals including two drivers that had to overcome losses to pick up a win.
 
Both Brett Nesbitt in Top Dragster and John Dustin in Quick Rod lost in round one on Saturday before winning their way back into the field via a rare national event buyback program and both drivers took full advantage, winning their respective classes and pocketing the $5,000 prize.
 
Nesbitt (Burlington, N.C.) began the weekend from the third spot on the Top Dragster ladder, but a breakout in round one advanced opponent Tom Cable into Sunday. A few hours later Nesbitt was back on the track and this time he made it stick, winning a close battle with Steve Furr to win his way back into competition.
 
On Sunday Nesbitt defeated Ricky Harbaugh, Troy Williams Jr. and Ricky Adkins before meeting Wesley Washington Jr. in the final. The pair was just a thousandth of a second apart at the light and just as close on their dials, but Washington broke out giving Nesbit the win. Nesbit ran a 6.895 on a 6.89 dial at 184.09 mph to Washington’s 7.367 on a 7.37 dial at 173.32.
 
Sunday’s other big winner was Dustin who took the Quick Rod crown with a win over Chip Johnson. Both Dustin and Johnson lost in round one, but won their way back into the field with re-entry round victories Saturday night.
 
Dustin (Rockville, Md.) qualified fifth on the charts, losing to Bobby Spence in round one before winning his way back at the expense of Jerry Langley. Once back in the field Dustin eliminated Marc Combs, Scotty Bodmer and Matt Weston before meeting up with Johnson in the final. With the big prize on the line Johnson was uncharacteristically late on the tree while Dustin posted a .009 reaction time and ran a 8.959, 157.78 in the 8.90 class. Johnson broke out with an 8.885, 163.39.
 
 
Don Rudd
 
Don Rudd had one of the more interesting roads to victory, but he still came away a champion in Top Sportsman
 
In IHRA’s other fast class Don Rudd from Montpelier, Va. piloted his 2009 Lexus to a victory over Bob Philips in the Top Sportsman final. Rudd had one of the more interesting roads to the finals, defeating Bruce Thrift in rounds one and two after Thrift won his way back into competition on Saturday, before meeting and downing eventual Mod ET winner Ronnie Proctor, Chad Morrison and top qualifier Todd Fontana.
 
In the final Rudd and Phillips put on a good show for the fans as both were solid on the tree and ran two very quick laps, but Rudd ran closer on the numbers. Rudd ran a 7.484 on a 7.47 dial at 179.30 mph while Phillips ran a 7.414 on a 7.37 dial at 185.13.
 
Stock winner Myron Piatek also had an interesting road to the finals, besting the largest field on the property to get the win. Piatek, who logged one of the longest trips to be in MIR over the weekend from Holly Hill, Fla., qualified 27th behind the wheel of his ’75 Dart and worked his way through a field of heavy hitters including Gene Jordan, Lisa Bolton, Junior Bryant, Anthony Bertozzi and Jack Zimmerman before meeting Brandon Peterson in the final.
 
The two drivers were sixth thousandths apart at the light and just over a thousandth apart at the stripe leading to the closest finish of the afternoon, roughly two inches at the line. Piatek ran an 11.448 on a 11.43 dial at 114.63 mph to Peterson’s 11.003 on a 10.99 at 117.27.
 
The two final $5,000 to win classes were Super Rod and Hot Rod as Scott Lawton and Jeff Martin rolled to victory.
 
 
Myron Piatek
 
Myron Piatek battled the biggest field of the weekend and topped them all in Stock
 
Lawton (Sanford, N.C.) won Super Rod from the final position on the qualifying charts, eliminating Jack Schnitzer, Calvin Butler, Steven Klock Jr., Dickie Allen and Frank Falton before meeting defending class champion Cameron Manuel. In the final Lawton had a .011 package to pick up the win, running a 9.905, 137.61 to Manuel’s 9.884, 149.98.
 
In Hot Rod Martin (Hollywood, Md.) advanced from the 10th position past Bert Lewis, Robbie Welch, Michael Bailey and Eddie Bolton before meeting Richard Payne in the final. Martin ran a 10.929, 136.06 in the 10.90 class to take the win over Payne who turned on the red light.
 
In other competition Dave Brodsky (Sykesville, Md.) won Top ET over Scotty Bodmer with a 7.068 on a 7.08 dial at 191.19 mph and in Mod ET Ronnie Proctor (Harpers Ferry, W.Va.) defeated Peter Kivett with a 10.002 on a 10.00 dial at 133.84 mph. Wrapping up Sunday’s competition was Junior Dragster winner Blair Buckler (Bushwood, Md.) who defeated Dink Holmes in the final. Buckler ran a 7.957, 76.31 in the final.
 
All class winners earned $5,000 to win and IHRA members earned a spot in the year-end Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions. The second Summit Racing Sportsman Spectacular will take place the same weekend as the World Finals in October at Virginia Motorsports Park.

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