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Photos Courtesy of Chris Dake, Creative Resource and Design

Utah Racers Take Home Wallys at RMR's Night of Fire

By Rocky Mountain Raceways | Posted - Oct 3rd, 2014 @ 5:47pm

WEST VALLEY CITY - After a rained-out event on Saturday night, Rocky Mountain Raceways was able to cap off its 2014 Young Kia Drag Strip season with the crowd-favorite Night of Fire, which included the Lucas Oil Divisional Series and jet cars.

Ralph Van Paepeghem, from Garden Valley, Idaho, won in Competition Eliminator, posting a 7.560 e.t. at 168.66 mph over Utah local, Alan Ellis' 6.836 e.t. at 195 mph. Van Paepeghem parlayed a starting line advantage and held off Ellis' hard-charging effort.

Utah locals, Ed Olpin and Doug Watts faced off in the final round of Top Sportsman. Olpin bested Watts for the win, running a 7.577 e.t. on his 7.57 dial-in at 182.62 mph. However, the race was over on the starting line as Watts red lit, ending his hopes of victory. Olpin took home the Top Sportsman Wally at this same event in 2013.

Doug Johnson, also from Utah, claimed the Top Dragster win over Barbara Burt, from Laramie, Wyo., running 7.417 e.t. on a 7.38 dial-in.

In the final round of Top Fuel Harley, Damian Cowden not only took home the Wally, but also set a new mile-per-hour track record, running 215.72 mph. The previous record of 212.41 mph was set on August 9, 2009 by Phil Schmidt.

Additional Lucas Oil Divisional winners included: Jimmy DeFrank (Super Stock,) Mark Faul (Stock Eliminator,) Steve Casner (Super Comp,) Barry Willoughby (Super Gas,) John Dexter (Super Street,) Benjamin McEwan (Sportsman Motorcycle,)Bill Bentz (Pro Fuel Harley,) Lance Bonham (Pro Gas,) Matt Bluett (Hot Street,) Larry Fore (Draggin' Bagger,) and Edward Golson (Screamin' Eagle Motorcycle.)

Drag Racing on the Young Kia Drag Strip will continue on Friday, October 3 with the Young Subaru Midnight Drag Bash. Participants are invited to bring their cars, trucks, and motorcycles to drag race from 6pm-midnight. This will mark the end of the Young Kia Drag Strip's 2014 season.

Rocky Mountain Raceways
Entering its 18th season of racing, Rocky Mountain includes a short-track oval, quarter-mile drag strip, and a motocross park. For more information about Rocky Mountain Raceways' schedule of events, please visit

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