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Chaz Silance gets biggest share of ATI Performance ‘Big John’ purse at Rockingham Dragway

Matt Ward took the top spot in the Footbrake category at Rockingham Dragway. Photo by Rockingham Dragway

ROCKINGHAM — Eight years after taking home the biggest share of the purse in the ATI Performance Big John Memorial Weekend Bracket Championships at Rockingham Dragway, Carolina hog farmer Chaz Silance did it again Sunday, beating Troutman’s Ernie Humes III in the Top ET final for a $10,000 payday in the 24th renewal of the holiday classic.

Then, just as he did in 2014, the Jacksonville driver applied an exclamation point, claiming a winner-take-all showdown with Rockingham track champion and Sunday Footbrake winner Matt Ward that earned him a little extra hardware.

In 2014, the bonus trophy was an IHRA Ironman. This time, it was an NHRA Wally trophy just like those awarded to Top Fuel and Funny Car winners at events on the Camping World pro tour.

Although he was the only driver to take home a double-digit check, Silance was not the only one to leave with a Wally. The PDRA Top Dragster standout was joined by Jamie Freeman of Westville, South Carolina, who won the initial Wally on Saturday, Lake Waccamaw’s Perry Green, who won one for the Footbrake crowd on Monday when he upset Top ET champ Joe Hartsell of Stanfield, and Gavin Whisnant of Dallas who won the only Wally on the line in Jr. Dragster.

Whisnant, whose brother Cam made it to the round of six Monday in Top ET, narrowly missed a clean sweep of the Jr. races. The winner on Saturday and Monday, he was a semifinalist on Sunday before beating Ava Ward, daughter of Sunday Footbrake winner, in the Run for the Wally.

Silance was not the only repeat winner. Freeman added this year’s victory to the one he earned in 2018 when he and son Ross won on the same day. They almost duplicated that feat on Saturday when the younger Freeman took his 1970 Chevy Nova to the Footbrake final before losing to Cordova’s Trey Sikes on a breakout foul.

Hartsell got the Monday Top ET win when final round opponent Joel Hinson, a winner at the 2011 event, was guilty of a narrow .004 foul start.

Results from the 24th annual Big John Levenir Memorial Weekend Bracket Championships at Rockingham Dragway. Hometowns are North Carolina unless otherwise indicated. Results include reaction time, track time, target time and finish line speed:

MONDAY NATIONAL DRAGSTER CHALLENGE (Run for the Wally) – Perry Green, Lake Waccamaw, 1971 Chevy Nova, .033, 7.093 on a 7.090, 95.50 mph, def. Joe Hartsell, Stanfield, .004, 5.617 on a 5.580, 119.69 mph.

SUNDAY NATIONAL DRAGSTER CHALLENGE (Run for the Wally) – Chaz Silance, Jacksonville, .009, 4.632 on a 4.630, 147.88 mph, def. Matt Ward, Anderson, S.C., 1969 Chevy Camaro, 017, 6.324 breakout on a 6.330, 103.87 mph.

SATURDAY NATIONAL DRAGSTER CHALLENGE (Run for the Wally) – Jamie Freeman, Westville, S.C., .041, 4.692 on a 4.680, 146.77 mph, def. Trey Sikes, Cordova, 1968 Chevy Nova, .011, 6.869 breakout on a 6.880, 98.08 mph.

MONDAY JR. DRAGSTER CHALLENGE (Run for the Wally)

Round 2 – Ava Ward, Anderson, S.C., .064, 8.988 on an 8.980, 73.09 mph, def. Gavin Whisnant, Dallas, .072, 8.158 on an 8.150, 79.80 mph; Tripp Phipps, Kenansville, .088, 9.070 on an 9.090, 70.29 mph, def. Jaidyn Phillips, Evans, Ga., foul; Gavin Whisnant #2, Dallas, not time, def. Lane Morgan, Angier, no time.

Semifinals – Whisnant, .038, 8.259 on an 8.140, 74.00 mph, def Phipps, .135, 9.156 on a 9.090, 67.15 mph; Ward, bye.

FINAL – Gavin Whisnant, Dallas, .042, 8.203 on an 8.140, 77.43 mph, def. Ava Ward, Anderson, S.C., .043, 9.069 on a 9.000, 71.10 mph.

MONDAY TOP ET

Round 5 – Joel Hinson, Monroe, .001, 5.645 on a 5.660, 123.80 mph, def. Gabe Taylor, Elizabethtown, foul; Cody Strickland, Raeford, .007, 4.620 on a 4.600, 149.17 mph, def. Danny Hoff, .009, 7.809 on a 7.790, 91.79 mph; Connor Caulder, St. Pauls, .009, 4.951 on a 4.920, 121.65 mph, def. Robbie Patterson, Lillington, 1985 Chevy S-10 truck, .051, 6.040 on a 6.020, 113.25 mph; A.J. Currie, Charles City, Va., 1962 Chevy Nova, .017, 5.487 on a 5.480, 122.53 mph, def. Kevin Warwick, Lumberton, 1969 Chevy Nova, .010, 5.977 breakout on a 5.980, 113.97 mph; Joe Hartsell, Stanfield, .010, 5.612 on a 5.580, 115.43 mph, def. J.P. Britt, .027, 6.319 breakout on a 6.320, 105.41 mph; Cam Whisnant, Dallas, .010, 5.243 on a 5.220, 135.76 mph, def. Jason Parker, Mechanicsville, Md., .026, 6.046 breakout on a 6.050, 112.64 mph; Shannon Joseph, Eden, .002, 5.701 on a 5.680, 116.83 mph, def. Jemine McCaskill, Elgin, S.C., 1997 Chevy Camaro, no time; Buddy Dial, Rowland, .081, 4.794 on a 4.770, 144.03 mph, def. Chaz Silance, Jacksonville, no time.

Round 6 – Strickland, .003, 4.675 on a 4.650, 139.20 mph, def. Whisnant, .022, 5.252 on a 5.220, 136.51 mph; Hinson, .022, 5.652 on a 5.640, 123.36 mph, def. Dial, .016, 4.766 breakout on a 4.770, 143.64 mph; Hartsell, .018, 5.564 on a 5.590, 119.52 mph, def. Caulder, .002, 4.880 breakout on a 4.920, 130.47 mph; Joseph, .012, 5.678 on a 5.690, 119.53 mph, def. Currie, .019, 5.459 breakout on a 5.480, 122.92 mph.

Semifinals – Hinson, .012, 5.646 on a 5.640, 123.19 mph, def. Strickland, .047, 4.615 breakout on a 4.620, 144.29 mph; Hartsell, .019, 5.564 on a 5.580, 123.45 mph, def. Joseph, foul.

FINAL – Joe Hartsell, Stanfield, .010, 5.580 on a 5.580, 123.63 mph, def. Joel Hinson, Monroe, foul (-.004).

MONDAY FOOTBRAKE

Round 6 – Chris Thompson, Cordova, .005, 8.192 on an 8.180, 85.99 mph, def. Ross Gould Jr., Newport, 2021 Ford Mustang, foul; Perry Green, Lake Waccamaw, 1971 Chevy Nova, .005, 7.045 on a 7.060, 95.66 mph, def. Chris Leary, Warsaw, 1978 Chevy Monza, foul; Willie Buie, St. Pauls, 1972 Chevy Nova, .011, 6.661 on a 6.660, 100.47 mph, def. Bill Clardy, Loris, S.C., 1974 Chevy LUV truck, .082, 6.467 breakout on a 6.470, 105.23 mph; Rickey Greer, Pleasant Garden, 1980 Chevy LUV truck, .008, 5.783 on a 5.790, 118.48 mph, def. Dwayne Rozier, Sophia, 1991 Ford Mustang, foul; Michael Ritchie, Kannapolis, 1975 Chevy Camaro, bye.

Round 7 – Thompson, bye; Green, .015, 7.111 on a 7.040, 95.13 mph, def Ritchie, .062, 6.887 on a 6.820, 100.19 mph; Greer, .025, 5.811 on a 5.780, 115.79 mph, def. Buie, .062, 6.672 on a 6.650, 98.18 mph.

Semifinals – Thompson, .057, 8.193 on an 8.200, 86.38 mph, def. Greer, .057, 7.078 on a 7.040, 95.98 mph; Green, bye.

FINAL – Perry Green, Lake Waccamaw, 1971 Chevy Nova, .076, 7.101 on a 7.080, 95.64 mph, def. Chris Thompson, Cordova, foul (-.002).

MONDAY JR. DRAGSTER

Round 5 – Gavin Whisnant, Dallas, .065, 8.123 on an 8.170, 80.78 mph, def. Asher Carroll, Clayton, foul; Lane Morgan, Angier, .022, 7.832 on a 7.910, 83.05 mph, def. Ava Ward, Anderson, S.C., foul (-.001); Maxson Locklear, Rowland, bye.

Semifinals – Whisnant, .074, 8.203 on an 8.150, 79.01 mph, def. Locklear, .111, 8.991 on an 8.940, 71.31 mph; Morgan, bye.

FINAL – Gavin Whisnant, Dallas, .021, 8.180 on an 8.150, 79.33 mph, def. Lane Morgan, Angier, .066, 7.976 on a 7.900, 72.56 mph.

SUNDAY TOP ET

Round 6 – Dale Sanders, Eagle Springs, .047, 7.472 on a 7.380, 93.10 mph, def. Chip Johnson, Fayetteville, 1985 Chevy Camaro, .008, 6.290 on a 6.150, 110.69 mph; Todd Baker, Taylorsville, .008, 4.830 on a 4.790, 142.06 mph, def. Chris Childress, Spartanburg, S.C., .033, 4.607 on a 4.580, 144.60 mph; Chaz Silance, Jacksonville, .107, 4.732 on a 4.630, 124.59 mph, def. Connor Caulder, St. Pauls, .481, 4.842 breakout on a 4.860, 134.58 mph; Ernie Humes III, Troutman, .016, 6.093 on a 6.080, 109.80 mph, def. Ron Phipps, Salisbury, 1968 Chevy Camaro, .041, 5.789 on a 5.780, 116.88 mph; Hayden Lambert, Albemarle, .006, 4.809 on a 4.790, 143.69 mph, def. Jonathan McCandless, Burlington, 1978 Plymouth Barracuda, .003, 6.793 breakout on a 6.810, 98.19 mph.

Round 7 – Silance, .013, 4.661 on a 4.630, 142.24 mph, def. Baker, .062, 4.792 on a 4.790, 144.47 mph; Humes, .021, 6.082 on a 6.080, 111.49 mph, def. Sanders, foul; Lambert, bye.

Semifinals – Silance, bye; Humes, .009, 6.095 on a 6.070, 110.81 mph, def. Lambert, .012, 4.795 on a 4.770, 141.59 mph.

FINAL – Chaz Silance, Jacksonville, .005, 4.639 on a 4.630, 146.96 mph, def. Ernie Humes III, Troutman, .016, 6.075 breakout on a 6.080, 111.39 mph.

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SUNDAY FOOTBRAKE

Round 6 – Allen Furr, Richfield, .077, 6.481 on a 6.390, 92.16 mph, def. Ross Freeman, Westville, S.C., 1968 Chevy Nova, foul; Jamie Carroll, Clayton, 1971 Chevy Nova, .011, 6.253 on a 6.260, 108.66 mph, def. Matt Ward, Anderson, S.C., foul; Keith Dunkum Jr., Richmond, Va., 1991 Ford Mustang, .038, 5.930 on a 5.930, 114.86 mph, def. Ernie Humes III, Troutman, .028, 6.185 breakout on a 6.190, 107.68 mph; Chad Hodge, Asheboro, 1971 Ford Maverick, .089, 6.450 on a 6.660, 102.01 mph, def. Mark Dudley Jr., Winston-Salem, 1974 Plymouth Duster, foul; Matt Ward #2, Anderson, S.C., 1969 Chevy Camaro, .068, 6.359 on a 6.350, 98.74 mph, def. Rickey Greer, Pleasant Garden, 1980 Chevy LUV truck, .045, 5.827 on a 5.790, 118.13 mph.

Round 7 – Ward, NA, 6.469 on a 6.350, 87.74 mph, def. Furr, NA, 6.380 breakout on a 6.390, 106.28 mph; Hodge, .056, 6.671 on a 6.670, 102.08 mph, def. Dunkum, .064, 5.936 on a 5.930, 112.03 mph; Carroll, bye.

Semifinals – Ward, bye; Carroll, .027, 6.263 on a 6.250, 106.93 mph, def. Hodge, .011, 6.709 on a 6.670, 102.28 mph.

FINAL – Matt Ward, Anderson, S.C., 1969 Chevy Camaro, .008, 6.344 on a 6.340, 103.65 mph, def. Jamie Carroll, Clayton, 1971 Chevy Nova, .023, 6.254 on a 6.250, 107.10 mph.

SUNDAY JR. DRAGSTER

Round 5 – Tripp Phipps, Kenansville, .039, 9.100 on a 9.090, 67.60 mph, def. Charli Branton, Conway, S.C., .227, 8.887 breakout on an 8.950, 75.66 mph; Jaidyn Phillips, Evans, Ga., NA, 7.960 on a 7.910, 81.64 mph, def. Corey Reed, Winder, Ga., NA, 8.907 breakout on a 9.160, 74.10 mph; Gavin Whisnant, Dallas, .043, 8.194 on an 8.160, 75.58 mph, def. Kamryn Majors, Evans, Ga., .036, 7.953 on a 7.910, 81.34 mph.

Semifinals – Phillips, .020, 7.937 on a 7.930, 81.97 mph, def. Whisnant, .083, 8.227 on an 8.160, 72.45 mph; Phipps, bye.

FINAL – Tripp Phipps, Kenansville, .021, 9.124 on a 9.080, 69.82 mph, def. Jaidyn Phillips, Evans, Ga., foul.

SATURDAY TOP ET

Round 6 – Hayden Lambert, Albemarle, .007, 4.768 on a 4.760, 143.23 mph, def. Barry Nall, Eagle Springs, .004, 5.815 breakout on a 5.820, 118.96 mph; Thomas Cain, Lumberton, .042, 4.993 on a 4.990, 136.03 mph, def. Bill Fordyce, Harmony, 1968 Chevy Camaro, .027, 5.781 breakout on a 5.800, 119.47 mph; Darryl Joye, Marion, S.C., 1985 Pontiac Trans Am, .023, 5.138 on a 5.120, 134.51 mph, def. Unknown #6047X, foul; Jamie Freeman, Westville, S.C., .011, 4.700 on a 4.690, 146.37 mph, def. Cody Strickland, Raeford, foul; Cody Strickland #2, Raeford, .013, 4.607 on a 4.610, 143.03 mph, def. Isaac Bridges, Shelby, .007, 4.904 breakout on a 4.910, 139.49 mph.

Round 7 – Lambert, bye; Freeman, .027, 4.685 on a 4.690, 146.54 mph, def. Cain, foul; Strickland, NA, 4.590 on a 4.580, 149.98 mph, def. Joye, NA, 5.164 on a 5.130, 134.39 mph.

Semifinals – Strickland, .018, 4.610 on a 4.600, 145.17 mph, def. Lambert, .011, 4.768 on a 4.750, 138.54 mph; Freeman, bye.

FINAL – Jamie Freeman, Westville, S.C., .004, 4.692 on a 4.680, 144.74 mph, def. Cody Strickland, Raeford, .020, 4.598 breakout on a 4.600, 145.16 mph.

SATURDAY FOOTBRAKE

Round 5 – Robby Stewart, Coats, .078, 6.789 on a 6.770, 100.30 mph, def. Jacob Ritchie, Kannapolis, .014, 7.217 on a 7.090, 84.89 mph; Ross Freeman, Westville, S.C., .019, 7.411 on a 7.410, 90.04 mph, def. Levi Boozer, Kannapolis, .022, 6.288 breakout on a 6.290, 104.20 mph; Jerry Cline, Kannapolis, .019, 5.844 on a 5.840, 112.24 mph, def. Jamie Carroll, Clayton, 1971 Chevy Nova, .047, 6.240 breakout on a 6.250, 108.79 mph; Andrewe Greer, Lexington, S.C., 1987 Ford, .037, 6.265 on a 6.250, 102.04 mph, def. Brandon Williams, Eagle Springs, .063, 6.533 on a 6.520, 105.07 mph; Mark Dudley Jr., Winston-Salem, 1974 Plymouth Duster, .032, 6.710 on a 6.710, 99.18 mph, def. Matt Ward, Anderson, S.C., .036, 6.338 breakout on a 6.350, 100.73 mph; Trey Sikes, Cordova, 1968 Chevy Nova, .036, 6.922 on a 6.890, 93.61 mph, def. Jacob Ritchie #2, Kannapolis, .075, 7.170 on a 7.080, 86.53 mph; Scottie Tyler, Rowland, .026, 7.230 on a 7.230, 93.73 mph, def. Tyler Sears, Holly Springs, 1984 Ford Mustang, .105, 6.835 breakout on a 6.840, 99.78 mph; Rick Terry, Burlington, .036, 6.787 on a 6.770, 100.31 mph, def. Jamie Carroll #2, Clayton, 1971 Chevy Nova, .036, 6.249 breakout on a 6.250, 105.46 mph.

Round 6 – Freeman, .006, 7.422 on a 7.390, 91.35 mph, def. Stewart, foul; Sikes, .016, 6.892 on a 6.880, 98.46 mph, def. Dudley, .032, 6.688 breakout on a 6.700, 99.94 mph; Cline, .040, 5.818 on a 5.840, 116.73 mph, def. Greer, foul; Tyler, .015, 7.275 on a 7.220, 94.63 mph, def. Terry, .073, 6.834 on a 6.770, 100.35 mph.

Semifinals – Freeman, .024, 7.465 on a 7.400, 85.29 mph, def. Cline, foul; Sikes, .063, 6.871 on a 6.880, 93.38 mph, def. Tyler, foul.

FINAL –Trey Sikes, Cordova, 1968 Chevy Nova, .042, 6.888 on a 6.870, 97.60 mph, def. Ross Freeman, Westville, S.C., 1970 Chevy Nova, .050, 7.427 breakout on a 7.430, 91.41 mph.

SATURDAY JR. DRAGSTER

Round 4 – Ava Ward, Anderson, S.C., .020, 9.007 on s 9.000, 72.47 mph, def. Brandon Sullivan, Radford, Va., foul; Gavin Whisnant, Dallas, .034,8.219 on an 8.190, 77.78 mph, def. Budd Trammell II, Aynor, S.C., .159, 7.928 on a 7.900, 79.56 mph; Charli Branton, Conway, S.C., .037, 9.043 on a 9.030, 72.29 mp, def. Waylen Bennett, Tyrone, Ga., .119, 11.957 on an 11.900, 54.11 mph; Jaidyn Phillips, Evans, Ga., .023, 7.922 on a 7.900, 81.89 mph, def. Kate Ward, Anderson, S.C., .056, 12.083 breakout on a 12.090, 52.04 mph.

Semifinals – Whisnant, .038, 8.192 on an 8.180, 74.00 mph, def. Phillips, .010, 7.919 breakout on a 7.920, 82.06 mph; Ward, .027, 9.021 on an 8.990. 72.51 mph, def. Branton, .038, 9.024 breakout on a 9.030, 74.58 mph.

FINAL – Gavin Whisnant, Dallas, .025, 8.203 on an 8.160, 77.98 mph, def. Ava Ward, Anderson, S.C., .058, 9.018 on a 9.000, 72.63 mph.

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