HEBIG LEADS SHORT SESSION AS POINTS NEAR CLOSE
Dave Hebig led the field of winners on a Saturday afternoon that was threatened from start to finish with weather issues. The Orefield Pa dragster pilot, who finished up as the number one seed in last year’s batch of S/P racers, has had a less successful 2017. Appearing in his third final round showing for the season, Hebig ran his record to two wins against one defeat and give him a shot at a repeat trip to the Champ Race if he can do well in the next two, and last, points races. He would likely have to clear the table in the last two events and the others at the top of the chart would need to make early exits, but a slim chance does exist. Randy Wendtland was the last car standing in the way for the dragster after posting up reaction times of .004 and .002 in earlier races and drawing a bye run in the semifinals. Terry Kimball and Rich Wilk had been unable to stop the Camaro from advancing even in the face of the common belief that dragsters have an inherent advantage in a race with a doored car. Hebig bested Ed Korpos and his Nova, James Baggiano in a street roadster and the Hugger entry of Robbie Boyd to make it to the deciding round. Wendtland fell victim to the curse of the good lights when he triggered a foul start at-.007 to toss a loss in the match with Hebig, whose dragster slowed from the 6.0 numbers of earlier rounds to a 6.42 and 123 mph to take the trip to the pay window.
Bill Wacklermann nailed down the Pro victory for the second time this year when he outlasted the Camaro of Bill VanGoor. Wackermann’s 02Camaro hadn’t been in the final since the end of June and VanGoor was making his first appearance in the bracket final. Lou Buxbaum had fouled out to Wackermann in the QF as did Andy McCauley to VanGoor. Gerard Hemlich dispatched the Mustang of Steve Shadis to become the third F-body entry into the semis. VanGoor edged out Hemlich after spotting him .15 on the tree in RT and making his 9.59, 139 ticket a winner against a 10.92 at 121. Coming off a solo in the semis, Wackermann then took a starting line advantage that he almost gave away when he broke out on his dial at 10.936, 121.66 (10.95 dial). VanGoor was only .002 seconds further under on his pass as he dropped to runner-up with a time slip of 9.574 and 140.14 against a handicap of 9.59.
Street bracket came up big for Bill Doczi as he was victorious in his first title dash. Doczi moved out of the QF on a solo and Bob Levers, who was destined to be the second place finisher, took out Bill Hakucsa. Steve Baker was better than Gary Coleman and Bill Voelzke handed Connie Wackermann a loss. Doczi and Baker ran one of the best races in the semis as they left on identical reaction times and the Camaro from Clifton flashed the win light on a 12.36, 106.16 slip while Baker sent slightly under at 12.11 and 108.32. Voelzke caught a foul light that sent Levers on with a 13.11 and 110.11 in his Corvette. Another almost dead even start in the final was a bit anticlimactic when the Corvette slowed perhaps in fear of breaking out to lose the round on a 113.32, 108.58. That gave Doczi the trophy with his on the brakes 12.51, 94.47.
Charlie Koenig has missed a lot of races during the season and hasn’t made many waves when he has competed. But this weekend he rode his sled to victory in the Bike division. The Edison racer eliminated Gary DeGrange and ran unopposed to face off with Don Hookway who was trying to make up points ground on Barry Stephens, who exited in the opening round. After Hookway beat Dave Ferguson in the SF he saw an opportunity to draw within under two rounds of racing on the leader. He ended up just under three rounds as Hookway lost the final to Koenig as both left before their green lights under the Trustart system in effect this year. The bigger foul was in Hookway’s lane and his on the dial 9.59, m141.62 turned into a loss. Koenig carded a 9.97 at 127.75 to gather in the title.
Competition finished up with Bryan Mirsky topping Consolation One and Steve Gillan heading up Consolation Two.