DOUBLE DAY WEEKEND PUSHES POINTS CHASES
With some decent weather both Saturday and Sunday the second half of the season points chase progressed with a double header. Old and new faces mixed in the money brackets in what proved to be an interesting and rewarding weekend.
The Super Pro victors were old hands at the pay window as Ralph DeBruin cashed in on Saturday while Jason Wilson won the title on Sunday. DeBruin had to get around the dragsters of Scott Lorish and Jason Wilson to meet up with Richard Rice driving an S-10 Chevy in the semis. After eliminating that threat, DeBruin went head to head with the RED entry of Bob Willing in a battle of the BBC powered dragsters. DeBruin’s near perfect RT of .003 was enough to accomplish the goal as he ran up a winning 6.35 at 158.58 mph. Willing, who bested Mike Novitsky and Barry Moyer in the preceding rounds, took runner-up on a card of 6.54 at 154.79.
Sunday’s program belonged to Jason Wilson after he sent Matt Bonocore to the showers in the quarters and had a solo in the semis. Final round opponent Sal Della Ventura, making his first appearance of the season, came out of the QF on a bye then overtook the S-10 entry of Phil Judd in the semifinal to make it an all dragster final once again. Using a superior RT Wilson cranked by Della Ventura at the big end, posting up a 6.42 and 153.33 for the money. Second place went to Della Ventura on a 6.85 pass at 147.78 mph.
A big contingent of Pro cars showed for first round Saturday night and for the first time in the season the 57 Corvette of Ben Carducci emerged with the title. The Purchase NY racer held off Dave Harvey and Randy Pobutkiewicz on route to the trophy dash while the other finalist, Joe Dukin was taking care of Rich Martin and Mike Williams. Dukin’s S-10 was making consistent wheels-up launches that were extra fun to watch and it was even money as to whether or not he could capture the little plastic Chevy in the final. Carducci’s light and close to the number 11.89 and 110.42 got him the nod. Dukin ran a bit under at 9.42 and 136.90 in the losing effort.
The Pro final on Sunday was between two first round losers who invested the money to buy back into the bracket. Jim Young and Frank Maffiore Jr recovered from their initial errors and ran through the field to contest the class. Young gunned down Bob Conway for a QF win and byed the semis. Maffiore advanced from the quarters on a solo pass and disposed of Bernie Kelly to get out of the semis to face Young. The pair was welded together on the start, both drivers launching on .022 reaction times, and both ran their dials. Young flashed the win light when his 10.830 at 120.60was exactly on the dial. Maffiore made it close as his 11.146, 115.32 was just .006 off his number.
Frank Maffiore Sr won the Street eliminator Saturday over Dave Harvey. Having taken out Bill Hakucsa in the SF, Maffiore was on a roll and worked his tiny starting line advantage into a victory at 15.04 and 87.69. Harvey beat Bill Doczi on his way to face Maffiore and then dropped the race on an 11.59 at 107.75. Sunday’s winner was Russ Picone and his Mustang over the Buick ragtop driven by Jeff Rahner. Winning over Bill Hakucsa and Eric Stewart in the late going, Rahner had a bye and then got the best of Bill Voelzke. On his best light of the day, Picone left in just 5 thousandths of a second on the green and chased the Buick down, taking the race on a break out 11.60, 114.05. Rahner was a bit further under his dial and lost via an 11.73 at 110.38.
Bike bracket held a few surprises when points leader Barry Stephens lost in the first round on both days. Taking advantage of that to close the points gap a bit, Scott McGrath took the measure of Dave Ferguson to win on Saturday, 9.72, 128.33 against a 9.78, 123.16 for the loser. Ferguson came back on Sunday to close the deal as his sled took on the comparable unit of Charlie Koenig for the title. Koenig went red on the tree and tossed away a 10.14, 124.87 for second place. Ferguson notched a few rounds of points as well as the top payout with a ticket of 9.820 at 129.02.
Matt Cestra beat Troy Holzworth in Trophy eliminator of Saturday, the Nova clocking in at 10.78 to a late and losing 11.59. Ronnie Owens came through for the Sunday bracket win as he outlasted Maureen Lennon. The Camaro recorded an 11.82 at 106 to the Mustang’s 13.45 and 100.23 to come up just short.
The Consolation One contests went to Robbie Boyd over Mike Canova on Saturday and Pete Jepson downed Boyd for the Sunday win. Brandon Nicholas sent solo to win Consolation Two on Saturday when Jean Ann Zetterberg was unable to answer the call to race for the final. Craig Sonderfan sent Matt Cestra packing on Sunday when his 10.10 effort was enough to down the 10.67 for the loss.