WEATHER WEARY FIRST HALF CLOSES
NEW HUNT FOR POINTS STARTS SOON
The points series is broken down into two parts for most of the brackets, and this weekend marked the end of the first half for the season. With nine races originally scheduled to be contested, only a little more than half, just five events, were completed due to a variety of weather situations that had major impact on those vying for a finals spot.
Having a good outing in S/P was Jeremy Dittmar, who put together some great passes to win the bracket and propel himself to the number one spot in the category. Dittmar took out Dave Hebig in the final, no small deal as the dragster was the fastest and quickest machine on the property, running high 5 second times at over 170 mph all through eliminations. Bill Wackermann was the best of the Pro division and finished off Bob Conway for the title as both drivers made it into the top four positions for the bracket. And Doug Eberhart jumped up into0 second place in Street when he outlasted John Dickson for the title in Street. And after some hard times for perennial champ Barry Stephens, he got back into form with the win in Bike, taking down Jim Totaro in the final.
Dittmar moved out of the quarters when Todd Martin went red on the tree to lose the match, and Dave Hebig left on an identical RT with James Arata in a double break out race that the dragster won with a 5.97, 171 to a further under 8.10 and 126. Rudy Gnehm ran alone to go into the semis. Hebig ran another 5.97 and 171 to blow by the Camaro’s 8.31, 120 pass by Gnehm, and Dittmar hit the final unopposed. The title race was over early as the orange Chevelle received over 2 seconds on the tree and the RED entry threw on a red light, negating another stout 5.98, 171.47 effort to give Dittmar the win light on an 8/10, 125/42 slip, and the first position in points. Dittmar was joined by Todd Martin, Bryan Mirsky and Barry Luyster in the top four of the class.
Bill Wackermann moved up to Pro from Street this season after putting some extra horsepower into his Camaro. And it is paying off big time. He gunned down Kevin Pelanne in the QF round while Bob Conway was taking care of Chance Almind, Sean Conway outlasted Lou Buxbaum and Jim Young turned back Craig Sonderfan. The Conway boys went off against each other in the semifinal with Bob winning easily when Sean turned on the foul light. Wackermann then disposed of Young with a superior reaction time and 10.93, 120.96 ticket as Young dropped out via a 10.43, 128.79. Although Wackermann was vulnerable in the final with a slower go mode, he was close enough to the dial to push Conway out at the top end, the Monte Carlo posting up a break out 10.33 at 126.39 that made the Camaro’s 10.92 and 117.30 the winning combination. The qualifiers were headed by Sonderfan, followed by Rob Zetterberg, Bob Conway and Bill Wackermann.
There was a lot at stake in Street as well. Doug Eberhart drove his Chevelle past Bill Hakucsa’s Camaro in the quarters, effectively ending Hakucsa’s chance to get one of the two available qualifying positions for the half. Bill Doczi was better than Matt Lisa, Jeff Rahner won over Anthony Picone and John Dickson edged out Connie Wackermann via a near perfect light. Dickson repeated his .001 RT in the semis and dusted off Bill Doczi’s Camaro, 11.67, 110.52 versus a 12.33 at 110.63. Eberhart then sent Rahner to the showers, making up for a later launch and winning the brake light game at the big end, a 12.24 and 110.26 besting an 11.63 at 111.64. Dickson’s flirting with the perfect light caught up with him in the final when he went red and threw out an 11.61, 11429 time slip. That gave Eberhart the victory via a drive through 16.06, and moved him into the number two in points and a guarantee of a finals seat. Steve Baker held onto his top position on the strength of his two consecutive victories in the class while chuck Henion dropped from two to three and Hakucsa fell to fourth.
Bike eliminator began with Barry Stephens holding a slim four point lead over Don Hookway. By the end of the night that lead had spread to over three rounds of competition. Stephens hooked up with Hookway in the opener of the bracket and the Suzuki from Sussex County used a .005 light and 9.57, 125 to put away the Flanders racer’s 9.52, 147. Stephens then showed Dave Ferguson the exit in the SF while Jim Totaro was taking care of business against Neil Smith. The final was over fairly quickly when Stephens took over a tenth on the reaction timers and breezed to the title at 9.56 and 128.63. Totaro marked up an 8.95, 158.35. Thus far it is Stephens, Hookway and Ferguson heading the list.
Junior competitors were out again and Francis Vignola bested Savannah Kinney for J/D honors. Vignola handily won this one when Kinney was super late on the tree, and almost blew it with a sub-dial 9.11, 68.88 that was only saved when Kinney ran further under her number at 11.29 and 55.75. Vinnie Yannone was the best of J/St as he notched a title over Dillon Renz. The 2013 Mustang laid down a 9.36 at 76.61 that sent the Camaro under the handicap with a losing 9.44 and 69.69.
Bryan Mirsky drove his 66 Chevy to the Consolation One win by pushing the dragster of Wayne Rudy into a break out lap. The Chevy hit a 10.05 and 102.95 while the RED entry recorded a 6.88, 146.45.
Greg Myers and his 69 Camaro got by Rob Zetterberg’s Monte Carlo to take the money in Consolation Two. Zetterberg lent a helping hand by fouling out on the run to waste a 9.73 at 126.79. Myers cranked out a time of 10.72 and a speed of 124.59 for the victory.
So the next race begins with a clean slate, and another opportunity for the racers to land a chance to represent the track at the bracket finals. Let us hope that the second half weather is better than the first. And good luck to all those who will struggle for those valuable points.