18 The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit SuperSeries program crowns a true Top (Box), Mod (No Box) and Junior Dragster World Champion each year. The two ways to qualify for the annual IHRA Summit World Finals held in October at Memphis International Raceway are to win the Summit SuperSeries track championship at one of the participating member SUMMIT SUPERSERIES Top (Box) MIKE NELSON JR., a 59-year-old from Mechansville, Md., is the Top ET champion at the Budds Creek track. The driver of a 1981 Chevrolet Camaro featuring a 632 cubic-inch engine and a powerglide transmission gave a monstrous performance at the last event of the season to claim the title. Known as “Mr. Clutch,” Nelson was tied for fourth place and 20 points out of the lead. He won six rounds to claim the championship with 470 points before losing in the quarterfinals. It was his second straight championship. His future plans include racing as much as possible, enjoying life and playing with the grandkids as much as possible. Junior Dragster CHAD BURCH, now 18, was the 2017 Hubble Motorsports Jr. Dragster championship. He drove a 2001 Spitzer to his first track championship, racking up 552 points and finishing 22 points ahead of the second-place driver. Burch picked up event wins on April 8 and August 27 before claiming the championship at the second-to-last race of the season. His future plans include building a car with his father for Mod ET and Midnight Madness and to be competitive with his dad and brother as well as the rest of the great MDIR racers. Mod (No Box) TONY MATTERA, a 42-year-old also from Mechanicsville, drove his hard- charging 1968 Camaro, powered by a 509 cubic-inch engine with a Turbo 400 transmission to the Mod (No Box) championship. He was the model of consistency going deep into elimination rounds all season long. He finished the season with 550 points, giving him a 59-point margin over the runner-up. Mattera has plans to become a two-time Maryland champion. He would also like to win some big-money footbrake races and help his daughter Gillian win a Junior Dragster championship. tracks or by winning the IHRA Summit Team Finals in your division. Many track held banquets to recognize 2017 IHRA Summit SuperSeries track champions including those featured here from Maryland International Raceway.