FULL HOUSE OF RACING MAKES GREAT WEEKEND
For the first time all eliminators with the exception of juniors were on the same fight card on the same day. Along with the regular class structure, this weekend added the two Index classes, as well as Pro Dial and Modern Muscle. With that many classes sharing space in the staging lanes it could have been a traffic nightmare, but between the staging crew and the racers themselves keeping things straight everybody got to race when and where they were scheduled.
The Super Pro class returned to 1000 foot racing this week but that didn’t seem to be a negative for any of the entrants. Jason Wilson came through for the victory in the class when he defeated Randy Wendtland in the final. Wendtland and his Camaro beat Gregg Georges in the quarters and Wilson took out Joe Algieir to move one. Robbie Boyd and his new mount, a RED, sent Donny Algieri’s similar racer to the trailer and Scott Lorish made the semis a three dragster affair when he chopped down last week’s winner Dave Hebig. Wendtland put the only doored car into the final by downing Lorish in the SF and Wilson easily won over Boyd when the latter fouled out. Wilson then drilled a great start in the final and held on for the light at 6.68 and 158.54 to make Wendtland a second place racer at 7.42 and 141.33.
The Pro bracket was headlined by Jim Young who collected yet another trophy for his case. His last victim came in the form of Steve Gillan, who had his best outing of the season in his Monza racer out of Stillwater. Gillan bested Cliff Howey and Carl Milano took out Ron Keegan in the QF round as Young got even with Scott Embley for a final round loss two weeks back. Young and his Chevy-Olds combo was better than Milano’s Mustang for a semi win and Gillan was unopposed on his side of the ladder. Young ran his record for the season to three of five final rounds and two of three wins by recording an on the dial 10.70 at 118.23 that held off the charge of Gillan’s runner-up ticket of 10.20, 131.33.
After winning the class on opening day, albeit with a bye back effort, Bill Hakucsa has struggled hard since, not getting even close to a repeat attempt. That changed this evening in the Street class when the Camaro driver from Flanders, and the defending points champ from last year, went wire to wire for the title over Bill Wackerman. Hakucsa put the hurt on the previous winner Russ Picone to get out of the quarters and Bob Gay did likewise to Gary Coleman. Bill Doczi slapped a loss on Bill Voelzke while Wackerman was better than Keith Burnham. Hakucsa took the nod over Gay and Wackerman captured Doczi before the stripe to pair off the two Camaros for the money. Hakucsa hung out a steady pass of 11.67 seconds at 116.84 mph to take the measure of Wackerman, who runner-uped with an 11.74, 115.53.
Thus far Bike has seen two racers dominate the class. Barry Stephens and his Suzuki has not been in four of five finals while Dave Ferguson has raced twice for the payout. In the semifinals Ferguson meet up with Stephens and made the most use of a couple of hundredths on the tree to go to his second final in three weeks, the sled hustling a 9.87, 130 to drive the bike under the dial at 9.52, 135. Scott McGrath ran solo from the semis and prepared to take on Ferguson for the trophy for the second time this year. Unfortunately for McGrath, the results here were the same as previously and Ferguson parlayed a 9.91 at 128.97 into a victory slip while McGrath is now 0-2 in final rounds with his 9.76, 135.48 second place finish.
The 10.0 Index racers were led by Mo Bolduc and his Pontiac, who used a smaller breakout to defeat the Buick of Keith Reis Jr in the title run. Reis had beaten Vinny Laurita in the semis with a close 10.01 effort but dropped the last race when he dipped under to a 9.96, 133.39 and threw the light on for Bolduc who was less below the dial at 9.97, 135.73.
In 11.50 Index racing the determining match included the rare as hen’s teeth perfect time slip. Rich Shuleski and his Corvette soloed the semis while Bill Voelzke’s Dart survived when Lew Weeks broke out in his Malibu. When the light went green in the final Shuleski was off and running with a .000 RT and then proceeded to stop the timers at exactly 11.500 seconds and 116 mph to pocket not only the win but a perfect time slip package as well. Voelzke never had a chance and was second best on an 11.45, 110.56 effort.
Pro Dial presents a slightly different type of racing. It still uses a dial your own handicap system, but drivers have to react to a .500 Pro Tree. It takes a little getting used to when you usually utilize the .500 Sportsman Tree, and it is interesting to see how the reaction times change, or in some cases do not change that much. Bill Doczi headed this class after getting a bye in the semis and Mark Sussiho sent Rich Shuleski home. Doczi picked up a big starting line advantage and then carded a close to the number 12.29 at 104.11 to turn back Sussiho’s 10.02 and 136.12.
Anyone with an EFI equipped unit can compete in Modern Muscle so you never know what you might see on the starting line. George Ays, in his 09 Charger faced off with Tracianne Scharfenova and a 13 Mustang to see who would survive the challenge. The Dodge was victorious here with a slowing 12.86 at 83.41 when the Ford ran way off the mark at 14.73, 104.42.
Trophy class went to Pat Campomizzi and his Dodge truck over the Chevy of Bob Strader. Winning time of 13.06, 103.43 turned out okay after the loser went red on the tree to toss a 12.91 and 102.81 in the loser’s bin.
Second chance racers seem to try harder for some reason which is why Consolation Two often provides some of the best racing of the day. After having gone out in the semi of this bracket a week back, Rob Zetterberg was on a mission to do better, and he was successful. Zetterberg got by Joe Theodore to take on Brent Long in the last race for the class. Zetterberg, with a little help from Long, grabbed the ring this week, putting the Monte Carlo through its paces on a 9.58, 138.68 pass. That would have been a loss except for the fact that Long covered the distance a little too quickly and broke out by .003 seconds with an 11.977 at 108.96.