After a string of bad luck, funny car driver John Lombardo of Newhall won his first race of the season Monday, beating Dale Pulde of Granada Hills in the finals of the 31st Annual National Hot Rod Assn. U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Ind.
Before an estimated crowd of 75,000 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Lombardo ran an estimated time of 5.786 at 252.38 m.p.h., against a run of 5.870 at 213.98 m.p.h. by Pulde. Lombardo picked his way to the finals after qualifying eighth on Sunday with a E.T. of 5.751 at 251.25 m.p.h.
Tim Grose of Saugus was defeated in the first round by Bernstein. Bernstein ran a 5.70 at 255.24 m.p.h. to Grose’s 5.95 at 209.69.
Newhall’s Press Wins at Mesa Marin
Former Saugus Speedway champion Dan Press of Newhall won a 100-lap open competition stock car race at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield Monday. Another Saugus champion, Jim Thirkettle of Sylmar was third behind Press and Rick Carelli of Denver.
In the “B” main of 40 laps, Rod Johnson of Canyon Country and Don Lindner of Reseda were first and second on the half-mile oval track.
The 25-lap “C” main winner was Harry Brady of Newhall.