FINALLY A RACE IS COMPLETED
It had been a month since the last bracket race was run, and that one didn’t quite get finished due to a late shower. Between weather issues and special events scheduling, the points racers had to sit and patiently wait for a decent Saturday, and this week it happened. The original forecast was for three days of good weather and it looked like for the first time this year we would have a total weekend without moisture. But the Nostalgia race on Sunday bit the dust when rain clouds moved in overnight, but with the way this season has been, two out of three is a pretty good average.
Andrew Bracuto raced his way to the top spot in Super Pro and left the event with the points lead in the bracket. Oddly enough, he also took away the number one position in Pro as well with the same Firebird entry that is rapidly becoming a legend. Rob Zetterberg took the Pro title with a win over Scott Embley at the controls of the Nova owned by Craig Neil. Street honors fell to Frank Armando who fought his way back from a first round loss to Jimbo Romagna and defeated the same driver in the title race. Joe DiPiazza was the best of the Bike division, finishing off points leader Chris Miele in the final.
Bracuto showed the dragster of Wayne Rudy the exit to begin his run to the top, and then moved up with a single in the next round. He got by the quickest car on the property when Dave Hebig broke out at 5.90 seconds and 174 mph in the QF and handled the Dodge speedster of Duane Smith in the semis, 8.45, 95 to 6.63 and 152 where both bailed at the top end trying to force the other to run under. Randy Wendtland and his beautiful Camaro bested George Foster RED entry and the Chevelle of Rich Williams. Foster, back in after a buy back, lost for a second time to Wendtland in the quarters and he soloed in the semis. Wentdland miscued on the final when his -.022 light tossed his 7.28 and 141 ticket too second place as Bracuto collected the top money via his .006 activated 8.50, 115 on the number pass.
Rob Zetterberg and his Monte Carlo jousted with the Nova driven by Scott Embley to complete the Pro action. Embley dispatched the Camaro of Larry Pappas to get out of the QF while Zetterberg was handling Bob Conway. Bill Wackermann advanced his Camaro over the Dart of Mike Franek to make it a three car semi. Zetterberg was assured a berth in the final via a bye and Embley ran quick enough to force Wackermann to break out even though he had a better RT, ,10.90 on a 10.92 dial to Embley’s 9.42 on a 9.41 mark. With only one round’s reaction time for Embley over a.028, the Saylorsburg pilot was late when it counted most and his .105 green coupled with a 9.44, 139 fell short of the mark. Zetterberg put down a 9.62, 132 slip to put on the win light by a margin of victory of just.003 seconds.
Frank Armando fouled out in the opener of Street then returned on a buy back and made it to the final. As it turned out, his first round, and last round opponent was Jimbo Romagna, who fouled in that title race. Romagna got the better of Reggie Whitson for a QF win while Bill Hakucsa beat Mike Speert and Armando sent Jeff Rahner packing. After Romagna put a hole shot win on Hakucsa and Armando ran unopposed, it was rubber round time. Romagna got the head start but Armando got the better light and the Camaro out of Wyckoff recorded an 11.56, 112.48 that dropped the Old Bridge racer to runner-up on an 11.90 and 111.71.
Bike honors belonged to Joe DiPiazza when he won via True Start. Both DiPiazza and points leader Chris Miele recorded negative reaction times in the run for the money, and because Joe was closer to the green he was awarded the victory. DiPiazza carded an 8.80 at 146 to Miele’s 9.25, 146.
Ralph Bosco out of Staten Island in a 2013 Dodge defeated the Camaro of Greg Myers for Trophy class. Myers, out for the first time this season with a new motor in the car, got a late launch and ran under his dial at 9.95, 131 while Bosco drilled a 12.71 at 112.
Saige Embley closed the points gap with Mike Franks in Jr/St by beating his in the eliminator. Embley ran an 8.98 at 76mph versus Franks’ foul starting 11.04, 63.52. And Madison Elsea managed to take a less than one round points lead over Francis Vignola in Jr/Dragster when she took the title with a time of 7.92, 78.33 as Francis ran too quick at 9.33, 69.08.
For the first time this year there were Consolation races completed. Kevin Gnehm won C1 honors by beating Robbie Boyd, 8.18 and 124 for the Camaro while the dragster fouled away the deal on a 6.54, 159. And two cohorts from Midland Park duked it out for C2. Craig Sonderfan in a Camaro took on the AMC entry of Jim Trommelen for the award. Sonderfan’s .006 light converted to victory as the Hugger ran a 9,23, 145for the payoff while Trommelen made it a close race with his losing 11.38 at 110.
In an interesting twist, Andrew Bracuto sits atop both the S/P and Pro points at this time. And his totals are only a single point different, having racked up 1606 points to lead S/P by two rounds over Dave Hebig, and 1605 points in Pro for a one round advantage over Joe Focarino. With a couple more races scheduled before the first half ends, this could get very interesting before it’s all over.