FIRST HALF POINTS SECURED
STILL LOTS OF OPPORTUNITY FOR THE REST
The first half of the points race for the 2015 season is officially finished but there is plenty of opportunity for those who have not yet secured a spot on the bracket finals team to grab a place. With nine races completed there are four positions clinched in Super Pro and Pro and a pair guaranteed in the Street bracket. Bikes and sleds compete over the entire season for their seeding at the finals.
Super Pro featured a tight contest for the top spot right up to this last race of the stretch. Todd Martin held a slight lead going into the race but did not make an appearance and that opened the door for Jason Wilson to step up and nail down the number one position. Wilson did it in style as he marched through the eliminations and ultimately won the bracket. His RED entry sent Wayne Rudy packing in the quarters as James Arata’s Mustang handled the Camaro of John Tesori and Greg Georges got the better of Robbie Boyd. With his QF finish Boyd landed in the third points position after all was tallied up. Wilson then won a close race with Arata in the SF, 6.44, 150 to8.33 and 123. After Georges soloed he put his Camaro up against the dragster and even took a hundredth of a second on the line. But the tale of the calculator favored Wilson who picked up his third victory in five trips to the final when he ran under his dial by a smaller margin to put on the light with a 6.42 and 158.63. Georges was further under his number as he ripped off a 7.42, 141.80.
Joe Theodore had his best event of the season when he pulled off the title in the Pro ranks. Driving his fastback Monza, Theodore ousted Bob Lennon’s Nova in the QF while Ben Carducci’s 57 Vette got the drop on the Nova of Bob Lennon. Craig Sonderfan, looking to overtake points leader Jim Young received a single run in the round. Theodore was a solo contestant in the semis while Sonderfan and Carducci squared off for the other berth in the final. These two racers were super close to their respective dials and Carducci edged out Sonderfan by triggering a small advantage on the tree. As good as Big Ben had been on the tree earlier his final performance was found wanting at a time when Theodore was on his game. With a great light Theodore handily won the race with a 10.13 at 121.56 that left Carducci with second place on a card of 11.81 and 114.89. Sonderfan’s semifinal exit was enough to gain him the number one standing and move Young to number two. Carducci’s runner-up finish got him into a guaranteed seat as he moved from fifth to third on his performance.
Street bracket ended with a first time winner for the year when Bob Gay put his Corvette past the Maverick of Jerry Ackerman. Gay overtook Dave Nowak and Ackerman beat Maureen Lennon in the eight car quarterfinals as Points leader Bill Hakucsa was better than Tony Golonka and Doug Eberhart handed Chuck Henion a loss. With an insurmountable lead for the number one seed Hakucsa was favored in his semi match with Ackerman. And while Ackerman was a tiny bit slower to react, he punched out an on the dial 13.20 that had Hakucsa handcuffed at the finish line where he bailed out to prevent going too fast and lost the race on an 11.72, 112.42. Gay show Eberhart the exit with another great pass of 12.31, 110 to a 12.19, 11. Gay sealed the deal early in the title dash when Ackerman tried to take a little too much head start and turned on the red bulb for the loss at 13.13, 103.87. Gay collected the honors on a ticket of 12.27, 110.80. Hakucsa still finished up number one and Patty MacDonald held on for number two even with a second round loss.
Bike bracket is turning into rout as Barry Stephens continued his dominance of the division again this week. Stephens, who has been in seven finals and has now won six of them, extended his points lead by taking the measure of Scott McGrath in the last race. Vinny Cianci fell to Stephens in the QF and McGrath dispatched Jim Totaro. McGrath send Don Hookway home to advance out of the semis while Stephens was handling Art Romaliysky. The Busa rider out of Newton, McGrath, was competing in his fourth final of the season and was looking to corral his first victory. He made a good effort and carried the bike through the traps first, but his 9.83, 131.38 turned out to be under the handicap of 9.85. Stephens cut another notch on his handlebars when he turned in a 9.63, 132.05 effort.
It was a full house of brackets this week as the Index classes, Pro Dial and even the Impala group came out to play. Vinny Laurita won the 10.0 Index event when he outlasted Carl Ungaro with a great light and a 10.03, 128.86 against a too quick 9.95, 130.87. Rich Shuleski was the best of the 11.50 racers as he came through for the title over Jeff Ranher. Shuleski’s Vette clocked a super 11.500 with as RT of .004 that Rahner’s Buick had no chance to beat and he dropped to second best with an 11.44, 116.93. And Bill Doczi was the champ in Pro Dial when he finished off John Lobosco in the title dash. Doczi’s Camaro ran under the number at 12.45, 110.67 bur prevailed as Lobosco was also below the dial for a losing 10.19, 129.33. Of the three races for these classes thus far, Laurita has been in two finals and won them both. Shuleski has also picked up a pair of titles while appearing in all three deciding matches. And Doczi ran his record to two and one among the .5 pro tree set.
John Crowley made a single pass to take Trophy eliminator, sending his Nova through the beams on a 121.66 at 104.82. Robbie Boyd caught John Graziano to take Consolation One as the dragster recorded a 6.40, 152 to a 7.98 and 127 for the Impala. And Mike Franek took on Mike Olson for Consolation Two honors and ended up with the money and the extra 100 points. Franek made the grade with his Dodge to the tune of a 10.18 and 116.47. The Chevy-powered Duster of Olson was late to leave and late to the party with a time slip of 9.97 at 136.03 mph.
The East Coast Impala group ran their usual double race event and when all the smoke cleared, Bill Deblasio walked away with the win in Race One and Race Two. These mid-90s Impalas and Caprices always have a good time when they come to Island and we are pleased to host them several times a year.