Keith Cleveland scored a major drag racing accomplishment last weekend when the Cheektowaga-based driver won the Top ET final at the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals held at Memphis International Raceway in Millington, Tenn. He was crowned 2019 IHRA Top ET World Champion.
Cleveland represented New York International Raceway Park (formerly Lancaster Speedway) against top drag racers from nearly 100 other tracks throughout the U.S. and Canada. He bested Paul Peterson of Ohio's Dragway 42 in the finals. Cleveland pocketed $20,000 for the win along with other prizes, including a trip to Aruba.
"Unbelievable," Cleveland said. "I don't know what to say. I want to thank IHRA, my family, my father and my fiancée for supporting me. I'm going to Aruba!"
On the dirt track stock car front, drivers Mat Williamson, Erick Rudolph and Kyle Inman each earned recent accolades.
Williamson, of St. Catharines, Ont., and a regular at Ransomville Speedway, won the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series Billy Whittaker Cars 200 on Oct. 13., the marquee event of NAPA Super DIRT Week at Oswego Speedway.
"This is wild," Williamson said. "You only get one shot to win it every year so it means a lot to win this one."
Reigning Ransomville Speedway DIRTcar 358 Modified champion Rudolph also clinched the traveling Super DIRTcar 358 Modified Series championship for the third time in his career. He had two series wins in 2019.
"Our 358 program was really good this year," Rudolph said. "At Ransomville and Utica-Rome Speedway our 358 car was the one to beat. I'm really proud of my team. I'm real happy we were able to get it done this year."
Local racer Kyle Inman of Darien, also made his mark during NAPA Super DIRT Week winning the DIRTcar Sportsman Chevy Performance 75.
"The communication with the team is key," Inman said. "You have to get the feel for the car, watch for changing track conditions and be patient."
Story topics: Lancaster Speedway