Banaski Crowned King of Track at Bracket/Top Sportsman Event

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JOLIET, Ill. - Donnie Banaski had plenty of reasons to be exhausted. The aircraft maintenance inspector for Southwest Airlines finished up his shift at Midway Airport at 6 a.m. Sunday morning, drove home to Hobart, Ind. and came straight to Route 66 Raceway for the ET Bracket Series NHRA King of the Track event.

He's also fresh off the NHRA Full Throttle Series tour, where he's only missed one career race as a crew member of his brother Craig Treble's Pro Stock Motorcycle team.

So if he would've been a little sluggish, we would've understood. Instead, he went four rounds in the Bike category on his 1996 Suzuki, then won one more to be crowned “King of the Track.“

The special event puts each category winner against each other for ultimate honors, and a famed Wally trophy.

Banaski, who launched his own drag racing career in 1993, rode his Suzuki to an 8.646-second finish at 151.15 mph to earn the ultimate crown after his opponent Paul O'Keefe, the day's Sportsman winner, fouled out at the starting line.

He had a bit of momentum going after defeating Dawn Florey in the final round of the Bike competition, where he recorded an 8.643 finish at 137.51 on an 8.60 dial-in to Florey's 10.271 at 125.95 on a 10.14 dial.

He made this trip with crew members Scott Williams, his best friend, and Nate Jordan, his nephew.

O'Keefe earned the Sportsman title when he motored his 1972 Chevy to a 13.693 at 97.01 after a .037-second reaction time to Fred Trombley's 12.924 at 106.40 (.116 RT).

“Amazingly, everything went well,“ said O'Keefe, who had a handful of wins under his belt already. “I was on the tree well all day and the car ran consistently all day. It was just a good day.“

Jason McGrady-Szromba kept his tight hold on the High School standings with a win over Eva Henderson. McGrady-Szromba converted his starting-line advantage (a .144 light to Henderson's .462) to drive his 1996 Mustang to a 15.853 at 76.13 for the win.

The always-humble McGrady-Szromba said he'd celebrate only by adding the trophy to the collection on his piano.

Don Swanson earned the regular-event title in the Pro Category when his opponent, Steve Flounders, red-lit in the final round. Swanson turned in a 9.607 at 136.72 en route to the Winner's Circle.

In Super Pro, Al Kuefler drove his 2006 Spitzer dragster to a 7.311 at 184.65 on a double red-light finish against Paul Pisanko (7.722 at 172.43).

The Midwest Top Sportsman title went to Brian Brown and the 2002 Camaro he drove to a 9.478 at 96.58 after his opponent Tim Kirman red-lit.

It was Brown's second final round of the year in the car owned by Indicom Electric's Greg Hill and tuned by crew chief Billy Longden.

SUPER

PRO

 

Al

Kuefler

259

Justin

Ford

207

Larry

Bokal

199

Bryan

Campbell

193

Paul

Pisanko

178

Dennis

Navarro

156

John

Braasch

145

Jim

Oliver

143

Dave

Ancel

141

Kenny

King

133

Kerry

Lundberg

120

Jeff

VanDeVoorde

116

Jay

Allen

111

Jim

Taylor

111

John

Schober

111

Bob

Chase

110

Scott

Blazekovich

109

Alan

Wagner Sr.

107

Chris

Riester

107

Bill

Butusov

106

Nick

Cryer

105

Dominic

Bowden

99

Ken

Rapacz

98

Bill

Hurst

95

John

Schmitz

95

Jeffrey

Torbeck

95

 

 

 

PRO

 

 

Ken

Kamba Jr.

269

Ed

Marquardt

222

Troy

Bogner

220

Pete

Kreinbrink

214

Michael

Roppo

201

Greg

Bosak

192

Jenna

Weidner

184

Don

Swanson

182

Rich

Singleton

182

Ricky

Pena

181

Mike

Heden

173

Wade

Headrick

169

Dale

Letterly

159

Herman

Zehnder

156

Steve

Henderson

149

Jim

Buschman

145

Gerald

Scruggs

144

Steve

Flounders

143

Jim

Fredericks

141

Keith

Long

138

Matt

O'Connell

133

Robert

Gibson

126

Ron

Headrick

124

Frank

Krauss

122

Don

Schomer

122

 

 

 

BIKE

 

 

Tom

Ewig

170

Robert

Sutterlin

159

Greg

Darm

149

Paul

Waters

118

Dawn

Florey

101

Donnie

Banaski

96

Bill

Homuth

85

Nicole

Florey

85

Tom

Florey

72

Frank

Linders

66

Tom

Gaffney

61

Brian

Foster

56

Mike

Bostic

51

Tim

Kuehlem

41

Richard

Monroe

10

Paul

Summers

10

 

 

 

SPORTSMAN

 

Paul

O'Keefe

309

Michael

Slaviero

230

Kyle

Riley

222

Michael

Szromba

188

Anthoney

Riley

168

Steve

McDonald

156

Dan

McCarrin

148

Steve

Opielinski

132

Jeff

Clark

131

Ryan

Alley

131

Bill

Northup

124

Bill

Macke

119

Jesse

Brady

118

Todd

Paine

109

Stephanie

Somer

97

Andy

Brodzinkski Jr.

95

Bill

Larson

95

Michael

Pryka

95

Jeff

Sandowski

87

Craig

Jones

86

Joseph

Zehnder

84

Tony

Lyons

76

Matt

Combes

74

Anthony

Pogliano

72

Chris

Runowski

70

 

 

 

HIGH

SCHOOL

 

Jason

McGrady-Szromba

181

Jake

Hoelscher

132

Cody

Johnson

109

Eva

Henderson

107

Scott

Flounders

83

Craig

Schober

51

Ashley

Santoro

10

Zachary

Breyne

10

Roy

Murphy

10

 

 

 

MIDWEST

TOP

SPORTSMAN

Tony

Grzelinski

206

Tim

Kirman

201

Brian

Brown

156

Tom

Donovan

129

Bill

Gibson

87

Alex

Bosak

77

Daniel

Howorth

75

Mike

Radtke

73

Don

Baxter

66

Sean

Brady

66

Dave

Granger

64

Rick

Sojka Jr.

64

Michael

Donato

53

Lee

Ebersole

53

Andre

Harris

51

Jeff

Fleming

46

Nick

Scavo

43

Bill

Rotz

43

Dan

Stevenson

42

Erik

Carlson

33

Davy

Dins

31

Mitch

Smith

31

Mike

Kokenes

31

Brandon

Baxter

31

Edward

Kurth

31

Steve

Johnson

31

 

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