HAKUCSA FILLS DOUBLE BILL
RACERS FINALLY GET TWO COMPLETE RACING DAYS
When you are in a weather pattern that seems to target weekends with wet it was nice when finally two back-to-back days dawned with high clouds and sunshine. And not a drop of moisture in the forecast. It was almost too good to believe. The only bracket with a double winner was in Street, where Bill Hakucsa took both victories, albeit one of them coming with a buy-back that cost him some round points, but still left him in command of the chase for the time being.
Jason Wilson was the best of the Super Pro entries for Saturday night, eventually taking down the hard working 56 Chevy driven by Mike Canova. In a bracket that generally is dominated by dragsters, the majority of the competitors were piloting cars with doors. John Tesori and his Camaro took out Rich Wilk’s RED machine in the QF round, while Wilson disposed of Frank Duplissis and Canova worked his way past Ralph DeBruin. Wilson soloed the semi and Canova worked his magic again to best Tesori when the latter driver fouled. In a live by the light and die by the light scenario, Canova went red in the final, wasting a 7.81 and 131.31 tickets to give Wilson the money, and the points at a slowing 6.52, 130.49.
On Sunday another full-bodied racer made it to the winner’s circle when Bryan Mirsky held off Ralph DeBruin to take the title. Mirsky and his 66 Biscayne showed the exit to the 66 Impala of John Graziano to advance out of the quarters. Joining him was Chris Hunt’s Vega as a result of beating Phil Judd’s S-10, and DeBruin edged out A J Frankel’s Malibu while Robbie Boyd took the measure of Mike Canova to fill the four-car semis. Mirsky ran an 8.30 at 123.53 to defeat Boyd’s too quick 7.61 and 134.38. DeBruin moved into the trophy dash when he used a great RT and 6.32, 155.94 in a win over Hunt’s 7.99 and 128.41. Mirsky sealed the deal early when he got the head start in the final and his green light was followed by a red light by DeBruin, making the 8.30 at 123.18 the victory time card and leaving DeBruin as runner-up on a 6.30, 163.71.
Having been fairly quiet thus far this season, Larry Pappas brought his A-game on Saturday and moved up the points sheet with a Pro win. Pappas was on the mark when he needed to be and motored his 69 Camaro past Mick Lucas’ Chevelle to get to the semifinals. Mike Franek’s Dodge and Andy McCauley joined him with wins over Wayne Nicholas and Gerard Lisa respectively. Pappas hit an on the dial 10.04 and 125 to end the day for Franek and after McCauley had a bye they squared off to decide the issue. A superior light and 10.08, 123.43 was all Pappas needed to put the light on as McCauley had too little and too late when his Mustang recorded a 10.39 at 131.63.
Randy Pobutkiewicz was the best of the Pro bracket on Sunday, finishing off Mike Kwiatek to end the event. Randy P was better than Joe Theodore and Andy McCauley as he marched to the title, while Kwiatek moved his 68 Super Bee Dodge past Matt Cestra and Joe Dukin on his side of the ladder. Something went wrong for Kwiatek as he prepped for the title race as it seemed he couldn’t keep the Dodge from burning out across the starting line. Finally he was forced to shut off the big block Mopar and Pobutkiewicz ran solo for the trophy, pushing the Sonoma pickup through the traps at 11.80 seconds at a speed of 114.12 mph.
A couple of years ago Bill Hakucsa was the track champ in Street and went on to win the Division One crown as well. During that run he simply dominated the class, starting early and never letting up. He appears to be on a similar course this season, leading the points by a big margin. And his lead would be bigger except for the fact that while he won on Saturday night he had to buy his way back in after a first round loss so only earned the extra 100 points for the victory. Hakucsa punished the Henion family by beating Chuck Sr. in the semifinals and then dropping Chuck Jr. to win the bracket. Henion the younger was better than Bill Doczi to earned the opportunity to race Hakucsa and the result was almost pre-ordained. The winner handily took the light on an 11.59 and 114.19 to Henion’s 11.60 at 111.68.
Coming back for the Sunday deal, Hakucsa had his eagle eye out and repeated the feat of victory. Tom Woods won his QF race over Chuck Henion , Ron Zang was better than Vince Gould and Tom Woods bested Chuck Henion Jr. After Hakucsa byed into the semis he overcame a near perfect RT by Woods when the T-bird driver went too quick. Zang automatically got the win when Picone found out the foul light was working on his side of the tree. Zang made a race of it when he left on a .009 RT to Hakucsa’s .014. Zang came up a bit short when the scoreboard showed a 14.075, 95.35 against a 14.08 dial. Hakucsa ran to the pay window with a card of 11.55 at 121.38.
Barry Stephens figured in both Bike finals, losing to Vinny Cianci on Saturday and rebounding for the win on Sunday over Dave Ferguson. Cianci nailed the trophy over Stephens when he pushed his Kawasaki to a ticket of 9.18, 140.66 forcing Stephens under his dial at 9.97, 102.23. Ferguson and his Arctic Cat entry got a late start in the Sunday final and his 9.79, 125.11 could not prevail and Stephens opened a little points gap, hustling a 10.05 at 112.10 mph.
Joe Franek beat Troy Holzworth for the Trophy cup on Saturday and John Crowley was better than Jeff Hall in the class on Sunday. Saturday’s Consolation One winner was John Graziano while James Jepson took it on Sunday. And Consolation Two was a shootout between Eric Stewart and Randy P with Stewart emerging with the win for Saturday. Bob Dukin was the C-2 victor for Sunday when he outlasted Gary Coleman. The 80 Malibu cranked out a 9.38 and 139 to the loser’s 13.05, 102.81 from the 31 Ford Hot Rod.
Here’s hoping the weather improves down the road, especially for the July 4 weekend events and the Don Garlits record weekend in August. The pattern has to change sooner or later. The question is, does it get better or worse. Stay tuned to find out the answer to that one.