With only two more races in the points season to follow, this weekend saw some interesting movements in all the brackets, not only for a spot on the finals team but for the number one qualifying position. While last year had some of the smallest separations to determine the ROC contenders, this year could be just as close, or perhaps even more so. Here’s hoping the last two events can get completed so that everyone has the best opportunity for a championship.
The guy with the hot hand recently in Super Pro has been Richie Williams, who earlier piggy backed a pair of eliminator titles to shoot his numbers way up, put together another fine night by outlasting Wayne Rudy to run his record to 3 out of 4 in the past month. And he added a C1 title on the off week. Williams and his Chevy took down Ed Korpos and Paul Crispyn in the preliminary rounds to finals race with Wayne Rudy’s dragster. Cranking out a hard to beat 7.78 on the dial time with a RT of .001, Williams annex the bracket over Rudy’s 6.83, 246 effort that fell far short.
Leigh Ratzkovich piloted his old Mustang to Pro honors, eventually besting the Dart Swinger of Mike Franek. Ratzkovich took out Zane Forman’s Mopar in the quarters and ran solo in the semis. Franek squeezed by Joe Theodore’s Monza and then got around Joe Focarinio’s Monte Carlo to earn his way into the final, all the while counting up points that brought him ever closer to the goal of top dog. Franek had not cut the best of lights during the event and tried to put up a good number but turned on the red bulb to throw away a 10.17, 123.31 pass for second place. Ratzkovich stayed ion the pedal for the win with a time slip of 10.54 at 125.58 mph.
Sportsman competition is showing some of the closest racing of any bracket with several entrants battling for every point available. Steve Baker and Bill Hakucsa have been racking up rounds lately in a fight between the last two champions who were pressuring Russ Picone this year. Baker took out Picone in round three and got by Bill Doczi in the QF and had a single in the semis. Hakucsa byed the quarters and then fell to Saige Embley on a foul start set up the match between Embley and Baker for the money. Baker drove his Camaro to victory when his 11.95, 107.09 was sufficient to best the 12.18 and107.43 ticket for Embley.
Bike was a different story as the top three in points were set to see just how tight a race it could be. But after faltering in mid-season, Barry Stephens was out to exert his dominance with a little help from Don Hookway. Chris Miele, who was the champ for 2018 but had been struggling this year, has made a move in the past month and looked to challenge for the title, if only Stephens and Hookway would go out early. Stephens had no such intention and once he beat Hookway and ran solo, took his Suzuki to the final with Miele’s Suzuki. Miele won this match that only narrowed Stephens lead by one round as the winner ran a 9.39, 144.09 to a losing 9.73 and 131.81. For all practical purposes, Stephens has racked up another track championship. Even if he were to lose in first round the next two weeks, Hookway would need to run the table both times to win the title based on an average of four rounds for this class. As for Miele, even if he did win both weeks he would wind up a round short of Stephens’
Michelle Zetterburg was once again the Trophy class champ when her opponent failed to appear to race and she legged up a 10.44, 125.44 aboard the S-10 mount.
Consolation One went to Andrew Bracuto over Robbie Boyd, the Pontiac hitting an 8.38 at 123 versus a break out 6.54, 153.26 after a better light. Consolation Two belonged to Gary Coleman as his 31Ford defeated the Dart of J.R. Sprecher when the coupe ticketed a 12.86 at 104 to the Mopar’s sub-dial 10.76 and 119.
Alexis Waid, who won her age bracket at the division race, took J/D honors over Gavin Roth. Victory came on a perfect light and 7.98, 82.03 pass when the opponent fouled out on an 8.44, 75.47. And J/ST went to Evan Wackermann over Theo Myers. Wackermann needed only a 9.65, 66.20 to flash the win light as Myers saw a time slip of 11.13, 63.35.
Here’s hoping we get good weather the next two weeks because thi9s ear’s points competition looks to be a barn burner for seats and position on the finals team.