Picillo and Zrust Earn Dodge Top Finisher Awards
Sportsman racers took center stage throughout the weekend during the NHRA Route 66 Nationals, with Mopar® power advancing deep into the elimination rounds in both the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock categories.
Justin Picillo, a native of Warwick, Rhode Island, and two-time defending Division One champion, went all the way to the final round of Stock Eliminator in an FS/D 2010 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak belonging to Jeg Coughlin Jr. In the final, Picillo made a lap of 10.010 seconds at 126.93 mph after a 10.02 dial-in, meaning he broke out by just .010 and had to settle for a runner-up finish to multiple-time world champion Brad Burton. Picillo’s reaction time was .041.
Dan Zrust was the top Mopar performer in Super Stock, driving his GT/AA 1968 Plymouth Barracuda featuring a 426 Hemi® engine to the semifinals. Zrust, who hails from Maple Grove, Minnesota, bowed out after going red at the start in the semifinal round. However, he still turned in a solid pass of 9.253 seconds on a 9.08 dial-in. He reached a speed of 125.10 mph.
Thanks to their efforts in the Stock and Super Stock categories, Picillo and Zrust were named the recipients of the Dodge Top Finisher award. The program awards $500 to the driver in each category who advances the farthest in a Dodge or Plymouth vehicle at all 24 national events in 2017.
In addition, this weekend’s events featured the special JEGS Allstars program in which top Sportsman drivers competed for individual and team honors. Two Mopar-powered drivers competed in the eight-car Stock Eliminator category, with Picillo advancing to the semifinals, while Burleson, Texas’ Austin Williams went out in round one in his F/SA ’72 Plymouth Duster.