Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Medical Lake's Cooper collects 'Wally' win



Justin Cooper, flanked on the left by NHRA Division 6 director Mike Rice, car owner Tom Clark and to the right by his dad Steve Cooper and sister Stephanie Frisch, shows off the coveted "Wally" trophy he won at Woodburn Dragstrip July 16.

Justin Cooper of Medical Lake drove to an elapsed time of 8.907 seconds at 172.11 miles-per-hour to defeat Joe Kapler of Tacoma (8.891, 167.87) and win the Super Comp title July 16 in a National Hot Rod Association Lucas Oil Division 6 race at the Woodburn Dragstrip in Woodburn, Ore.

Kepler ran just .009 seconds under the class 8.90 minimum "index" for the Super Comp class, "breaking out" and thus losing.

Cooper, however, was quicker off the starting line. "Due to my reaction time advantage I still got to the finish line first and ran on the dial (with the 8.907)."

"As far as this win all I can say is that the car was on rails," Cooper said. "Throughout six rounds of competition it ran right on the 8.90 index five times, only missing once to run 8.89."

Cooper, who races regularly and is a past champion at Spokane County Raceway, drives both the Super Comp dragster and a Chevrolet Chevelle which runs in Super Street and is owned by Tom Clark.

With the Woodburn victory, Cooper collected his second career divisional title and "Wally" trophy, named for NHRA founder Wally Parks. His first came in 2015 at Yellowstone Dragstrip in Acton, Mont. near Billings in the Super Street class.

In addition to the win in that class, Cooper was the runner-up to Mike Shannon of Kelowna, B.C. Canada in Saturday's Super Comp Shootout by an 8.921 to 8.932 margin.

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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