Dobson doubles up as Phillips sets new national record

This article brought to you by:


Allan Dobson reached his second A Final in as many nights to secure the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy for Rapisarda Autosport International while Gary Phillips set a new national record for Top Alcohol Funny Car on his way to another ANDRA Drag Racing Series win.

It was an emotional victory for crew chief Santino Rapisarda who said he was just happy to get the win for his father Santo.

“It feels great,” he said. “Two of two Christmas Trees and we’ve never won the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy so that is a milestone in itself for Rapisarda Racing.

“It’s great for the family, great for morale, great for the crew and great for Dad with the amount of money he invests in this sport with two cars and the amount of effort that goes in to all the crew working full time.”

“I think my father is very deserving of a win like this.”

Allan Dobson was the only driver to make a clean pass during qualifying on a 4.713 at 282.60 mph with everyone else destroying inventory in a costly night.

Dobson himself would blow an engine crossing the line during eliminations on a 4.717 at 287.35 mph to defeat Phil Lamattina who summed up his troublesome weekend with an early shutdown.

That set the stage for a fifth Rapisarda v Lamattina Top Fuel Racing duel of the night as Phil brother’s John Lamattina reached the A Final with a 5.629 at 172.63 mph from Damien Harris who shut down to a 9.951.

With the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy awarded to the driver with the most aggregate points over both nights already secure, Dobson then set about taking maximum championship points with a 4.789 at 238.75 mph to defeat Lamattina as the engine shut off at half track on a 5.422 at 173.32 mph.

“(It’s) unbelievable,” said Dobson. “I don’t want to say it’s better than sex, that’s probably overdoing it but it’s just a beautiful thing to be able to do it for Santo.”

“I’ve never concentrated so much continuously for so many hours. I just had my game face on. I was massaging as much as I could in the cockpit, raising my seat, pushing my shoulders forward and trimming head clearance. I was just absolutely into the race zone.”

“Santino, I was looking at his face in the pits while we were warming up. His eyes, he just had his race face on. He was just so damn serious and earlier on something happened in the lifter or the valve train (in the elimination pass) and we had to pull a motor in 25 minutes to tow.”

“The motor was changed, blower on, started it, warmed it up, changed the oil, buttoned it, tagged it and just sent it. It was like off you go mate, it was just an awesome, awesome weekend.”

garyphillipswin2Gary Phillips turned it on in his Top Alcohol qualifier going within a whisker of the national record of 5.467 on a 5.47 to top the field. On his solo elimination pass he sliced and diced that mark to set a new record of 5.438 despite touching the wall across the line with his qualifying run enough to back up the record.

John Cannuli had the task of taking on Phillips on the back of a pair of 5.59s to reach the A Final but it would end in an anticlimax as Cannuli failed to fire while Phillips spun the tyres to win on a 21.45.

“Number one qualifier, national record, low ET, top speed and took the points,” said a beaming Phillips. “Two in a row over two nights it was bitchin’, really good.”

“We’re back to square one where we should be.”

On his record setting run Phillips pulled to the center before correcting to the left scraping the wall just after passing the finish line. But that wasn’t enough to stop the seventeen-time national champion from claiming the win.

“The track is really dark and if you look there is a couple of lights out. If you look at the replay you can see dark spots and when you’re hauling there is a bump down there.”

“I hit the bump and when I went through the lights I missed the chute on the first hit and then it went over and touched the headers in the braking area. We bashed the headers out, left them on there and came out in the final.”

Steve Reed took the win on a solo in the B Final with a 5.596 at 252.28 mph after Darren Fry could not start due to damage to the blower sustained in his elimination win.

The Top Fuel B Final was a nonstarter as Phil Read was unable to take the light due to damage sustained in his previous two passes.

Images courtesy


Aeroflow Performance Parts Catalogue

Drag News Magazine