SECOND POINTS SEASON TAKES OFF
BOYD, YOUNG, GAY AND STEPHENS SCORE
It seems almost impossible that half the points season is over and the second round is now underway, but it is the truth. With a handful of racers now guaranteed a spot on the bracket finals team, the remaining racers need to score early and often and solidify their positions for a chance not only to go to the races, but perhaps nail down the most points to also compete in the race of champions. So, with reputations on the line and images of earning a gold card, the hopefuls lined up for the first go round of the summer.
Robbie Boyd has been running regularly in Super Pro but has been unable to get as far as the final, until this weekend that is. Boyd and his BBC-powered Camaro out of Quakertown strung together a batch of solid lights and passes just a few hundredths off the dial to collect his first title of the year. And he had to work for every win light as he faced the always competitive dragster of Jason Wilson in the QF round and another tough opponent in the form of Don Algieri in the semis. Boyd won on a hole shot over Wilson, 7.73 to a closer but losing 6.41. And the same scenario played out with Algieri when the Chevy pilot ran a 7.76, 128 to edge past the RED entry’s 6.12, 167, a MOV of .001 seconds. Meantime, Brien Bielen and his Camaro made the short trip from Great Meadows to challenger in the final. Bielen dispatched James Arata’s Mustang in the quarters, 8.59, 118 to an 8.33 and 123. Bielen then cut the better RT against Jeremy Dittmar for a SF victory as his 8.60 and 118 card just held off the 8.20, 121 pass by the loser, again reflecting a MOV of just .001. So the final shaped up to be a really close contest, on paper at least. With the drop of the lights Bielen, who received the head start, popped a red light by .001 and lost the round on an 8.59, 119.15. Boyd made the trip to the winner’s circle with a time of 7.79 seconds at a speed of 132.50 mph.
Any time Jim Young makes it past the early rounds of competition you had better watch out. He and his Oldsmobile entry just get tougher as the day wears on. He proved that once again by garnering the Pro eliminator honors over a fouling Rich Martin. Young turned back Craig Sonderfan and his Chevelle in the quarter finals, 9.58, 140 to a too quick 9.79 and 138. Wayne Nicholas got an easy win over Bob Dukin when the latter fouled out his 9.58 and sent the Camaro on with a 10.59. Young fell into a bye for the round. Young and Nickolas squared off in the semis and they left on identical .005 reaction times. Young ran a little closer to his dial at 10.72 and 123.32 to defeat Nickolas’ 10.64, 125. Martin ran solo at 9.57, 140.91. Martin wanted to put his Fairmont into victory lane for the first time but jumped the tree to foul out and coasted down the track. Young picked up the top money on a slowing pass of 10.95, 104.30.
Bob Gay was also a first time winner in the Street eliminator, ending the day with a win light over Bill Voelzke, who was in his first final round of the year. Gay put away the Caprice of Keith Burnham to go into the semis as Voelzke was disposing of Jeff Rahner. Bob Levers took care of Bill Doczi and Mark Ketterer was better than Bill Wackerman to complete the final four field. Gay and his 85 Vette bested the 85 Vetter of Levers when Levers fouled out and Voelzke gunned down Ketterer, 11.59 and 108.36 to a 12.18, 110.27. The final was never in doubt after Gay strapped a huge hole shot on Voelzke, who was exceptionally late in reacting to the go signal, and the plastic Chevy almost tossed the race when it ran under the handicap at 12.22 and 110.91. Voelzke was also under at 11.541 and 110.22, in a race that was determined by the thousandths digit taking into consideration who ran further under the dial.
If you were expecting something new and different in Bike racing, you would have been sorely disappointed. Barry Stephens opened up his points lead even further with yet another title to his credit. This win was his fourth in a row and sixth final round appearance out of eight completed races thus far this year. Stephens defeated Scott McGrath to open the eliminator and then disposed of Charlie Koenig in the semifinal. Last round opponent Jim Totaro sent Don Hookway packing and then put away Dave Ferguson to get a shot at the champ. Totaro, perhaps trying a little too hard to get an edge, jumped the green and fouled away a time of 9.10 at 137.54. With the check pre-printed in his name Stephens went to the pay station on a 9.68 at 120.94.
Thomas Krieger rolled up the Trophy class when he finished off John Crowley for the cup. Crowley helped a bit with a red light and 12.55, 105.08 that left Krieger at the top on a 13.27 and 100.18 pass.
James Pete Jepson made a solo run for Consolation One, sending his Dart-powered Buick through the timers at 7.43 and 140.99. Consolation Two started with a nice field and ended up as a race between Kevin Pelanne and John Dickson. Pelanne, whose Chevelle runs in Pro gave a couple of seconds head start to Dickson’s Nova out of the Street bracket and was able to chase down the slower car at the big end. A 9.53 second, 134 mph ticket was good enough for Pelanne. Dickson made it a race and settled for second place with his time slip of 11.86 and 112.15.