RACE CARS ARE GOOD, BUT BETTER BY THE DOZEN
There are plenty of things that are good all by themselves. And race cars surely qualify under that heading. But when you can put together a few dozen race cars to populate an eliminator’s first round, the results are simply amazing.
While the Super Pro division currently suffers from a sort of iron deficiency with relatively small car counts, the Pro and Street brackets fill up the staging lanes for the opening of competition. Pro bracket started off with almost four dozen entries this week and Street counted over two twelve packs of cars. When you add the ability for first round losers to buy back for a chance to get back into the action, six rounds of racing provides plenty of opportunity to showcase a driver’s talents, and give the fans an interesting show as well. In addition, the Bike troops began the night with a baker’s dozen of entries.
Pro eliminator moved into the quarterfinals with six cars remaining in contention from an initial forty four first rounders , with only one making it that far after an initial loss. Randy Pobutkiewicz opened the round against Mark Santee who had made it to the final last weekend. Randy P parlayed a better RT and a 10.47, 121 pass into a victory by pushing Santee’s Comet under his dial with a losing 10.48, 124. Joe Dukin had his S-10 truck honking as he bested Mike Olson’s Duster, 9.17 at 137 versus a 9.77 and 138. Jim Young, at the controls of his familiar Oldsmobile, got by Craig Sonderfan’s Chevelle as he recovered from a starting line disadvantage, the Olds clocking a 10.71, 122 while the Chevy came up just shy on a 9.71, 133.47. Young slipped into the final on a SF bye and Dukin got by Randy P when his 9.12, 140 passed the C10’s game but losing 10.50 and 122. The starting line reactions of the finalist were close to identical and this was one of those races where you just toss a coin and wait to see what the timers say at the end. This time young emerged with the win light, hitting a 10.66 and 123.59 break out margin of .022 that was less under than Dukin’s -.029 ticket of 9.07, 143.34.
Street competition saw 28 cars answer the call to go racing. As the QF came around, three of the five entries had been losers in the opening stanza but were hopeful of pulling off the ultimate second chance maneuver. Tom Woods and his T-bird faced Doug Kelly in his Mustang were the only pair that had all Ws on the record, and Woods had an easy time here after Kelly saw red and the Vernon NJ driver moved up a notch. Keith Burnham drove his Caprice past Bob Gay and his familiar Corvette, 15.77 at 84 to a run out 12.15, 110. Russ Picone ran solo in his Mustang for the third spot in the SF. Woods handily got by Picone when the red light claimed another victim, this time knocking Picone into the loser’s pool and sending Woods to his first final in some time. Burnham tuned up with a bye run and then it was time to race for the title. Woods took a .12 second advantage on the tree and was never better at running the table, annexing the victory with a 12.95 elapsed time at a speed of 100.17 mph. Burnham took the runner-up money via a 15.76 at 92.13.
Last week the Bike gang had fourteen entries, and this weekend saw a turnout of thirteen for first round. In this category while some things change, some things seem to stay the same. George Bailey managed a runner-up last week, but this night he exited in round one. Barry Stephens however, coming off a victory one week ago, made it to the rubber round to make his second straight final round appearance in two races. As the night wore on, Stephens maintained his efforts and took down the sled of Dave Ferguson for a SF win, the Suzuki running 9.50 at 136 while the Arctic Cat went foul on the tree and tossed away an 11.04, 111.25. Charlie Koenig took a solo on his sled and paired off with Stephens to determine who would reign supreme this week. It looked early like Stephens was a shoe in when his RT was about half of Koenig’s. For whatever reason, Koenig slowed quickly at the finish line and recorded an off the dial 10.35 at just 98 mph that should have given the win light to Stephens. But would a, should a, could a does not cut it every time. Stephens dipped under his dial by .008 and dropped to second place when his bike went 9.492 at 124.26 mph. Koenig found out that a little luck is always welcome when it comes to drag racing. Stay close, do your best and trust to luck that good things happen.
Super Pro went four rounds and ended up with Jason Wilson corralling another trophy to go with so many he has earned over the years. Joe Algieri drove his Corvette into the semis after having survived a match up with son Donny in a most unusual race. Donny had been having trouble hooking up the tires on his dragster all day, that is until the first round pairing with Joe. The Vette was late off the line and it looked like that was all she wrote until the RED motored by on a too quick 7.51 pass. Michael Sulc was having a good outing in his Dodge and put away Barry Luyster’s RED entry to take on Algieri in a contest to see who would race for the money. A little bit of reaction advantage by Algieri turned into a loss ticket when the Corvette ran under the number at 10.03 and 132.23 to give the light to Sulc’s 8.97, 147.62. Wilson and his dragster scooted to a 7.76 solo and then he staged up with Sulc in the decider. Wilson was better on the tree this time and when he coupled that up with a slip of 7.67, 172.30, the Dodge’s 8.64, 154.76 sub-dial ticket was good only for a second place finish.
Helba Masker drove a 65 Chevelle Malibu to the Trophy class honors with a final round takedown of Jennifer Vimola and the 2013 Challenger. Both racers were a little too quick down the track and Masker got the nod with a less under 11.39 at 115 to the Mopar’s 12.28, 114.60.
As expected with so many Pro and Street entries, Consolation Two provided a pretty good car count. Rich Martin in his Ford Fairmont went off against the Chevelle of Scott Embley for the bucks and bonus points. Just about dead even on the start, Martin stretched out a 9.63 time with a speed of 139.50 to emerge with the victory. Embley actually got to the finish line first, except his 9.37 at 133.71 constituted a too quick pass.
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