MIR Strong Effort at WDRA Team Finals

September 21st, 2023

   Story courtesy of:  MIR



MECHANICSVILLE, MARYLAND MARYLAND (September 21st, 2023) Ė The WDRA Summit Racing Equipment Team Finals brought a change of scenery as Team Maryland International Raceway (MIR) made the trek from Southern Maryland to Keystone Raceway in New Alexandria, PA. The energy was felt first thing Thursday morning as racers from (MIR), Sumerduck Dragway, US13 Dragway, Keystone Raceway, Empire Dragway, Lancaster Motorplex, Beaver Springs Dragway, and I-64 Motorplex would be ready to duel it out all weekend long.

Thursday would start with a Test & Tune from 1pm to 6pm giving a chance to all racers to make the needed adjustments to the cars for the weekend. After testing, a Pit Bike race would be held. And Team MIR would set the tone for the weekend with Team MIR member Nathan Mendenhall taking the win.

Fridayís activities would start with the Track Operators race. Royce Miller, Owner/Promoter at MIR, would enter with is 2023 Chevy Silverado to earn Team MIR a point to start the weekend. He would also take the win in the Track Operators race over Keystone Raceways Greg Miller. Team photos would be taken after the track operatorsí race and the Race of Champions would be called to the lanes. Current MIR points leaders Ray Snoots (Top ET), Stephen Cross Jr (Mod ET), and Peyton Bunch (Junior Dragster) would represent in Box, No Box, and Junior Dragster. Snoots and Cross Jr would be eliminated early, while Bunch would make it to the final and runner up.

Time trials for the Gamblers Race would start after the Race of Champions is completed followed by eliminations. Shannon Heaberlin from I-64 would win Box over Beaver Springs Steve Lenig. Tony Mattera representing Team MIR would win in No Box over Lancasterís Mason Fix. Jordan Denny would take the win over MIR Teammate Kaiden Groves with the Junior Dragsters.

Saturdayís Gamblers race would start at 930am with first round for all racers. But, after a schedule change due to the threat of weather on Sunday, first round of the Main event would start after first round of the Gamblers Race would be completed. The Juniors would put the MIR team on the right track and give MIR a solid lead early on. Team MIR would continue the trend in first round of No Box. But the trend would end in Box and a chunk of MIR racers would be eliminated in first round. Nick McGowan made it to fourth round to be the final points earning car in Box, and Rickey Nelson would take it to the semis as a blocker and take out key cars that MIR was fighting with for points. In No Box, Francis Reynolds would be the final Team MIR car standing bowing out in fifth round. The Juniors, however, dominated the field. Six of the final ten cars were from Team MIR. And the final would be between MIR Teammates Austin Keys and Gillian Mattera. Mattera would take the win and become the first ever two-time Rod Winner in WDRA history!

The points fight would be tight between Team MIR and Team Keystone. While MIR would take an early and commanding lead, Keystone would fight back and tie MIR multiple times. The Championship would come down to the final four cars left in Top ET with two cars being from Keystone, one from MIR (Rickey Nelson), and one from US13, Tommy Ketterman. Nelson would be eliminated in the semiís by Tom Scott (Keystone), and Ketterman would take the other Keystone car out to go the final. The final run of the event was set and MIR would have a half point lead over Keystone. If Ketterman wins, then MIR would win the team championship. If Scott wins, then Keystone would win the championship. Ketterman would be -.001 on the tree to runner up and Scott would win the race and the Track Championship for Team Keystone. Team MIR would runner up by half a point.

After the Main event was completed, the Gamblers race would be picked back up starting with Re-Entry. Racing would continue but would be halted after third round was completed with cold temperatures and dew settling on the track and be picked back up Sunday morning.

Sunday would see a threat of showers, but the Keystone and WDRA staff would have the track ready to go and racing would continue from the night before. Two MIR racers would win their respective classes with Bradley Tippet winning No Box, and Brandon Jenkins winning Junior Dragster against teammate Calvin Weaver. All three Junior Dragster races saw an all MIR team final.

Best Appearing and Best Engineered judging would be selected by WDRA officials as they would judge each car in the lanes during eliminations on Friday and Saturday. Below is who won each respective award.


  Award Name Track  
  Best Appearing Open Body John Rietscha Keystone  
  Best Engineered Open Body Ron Calhoun Sumerduck  
  Best Appearing Full Body John Porterfield I-64  
  Best Engineered Full Body Mike Pinder MIR  
  Best Appearing Motorcycle David Leaf US-13  
  Best Engineered Motorcycle Jeff Santin Beaver Springs  
  Best Appearing Jr Dragster Austin Able Lancaster  
  Best Engineered Jr Dragster Brooklynn Bunch MIR  
  Best Team Spirit   Lancaster  
  Best Appearing Team   Sumerduck  
  Best Decorated Grandstand   Keystone  

Team MIR may have runnered up by half a point in 2023, but we will be back and looking to bring the championship back to MIR! Congratulations to Team Keystone on their team Championship in 2023.