FIRST FULL WEEKEND OF THE SEASON
SUMMIT ET EVENT AND SPRING FLING NOSTALGIA
For the first time this season it was possible to complete an entire racing program, from Friday test and tune to the Summit ET Racing Series event on Saturday and the Nostalgia Spring Fling event on Sunday. And it was only the second bracket event to reach a conclusion, with a couple of weeks that came to a premature end due to rain. Not only was there no bad weather to spoil the show, but generally there was little threat of rain which was a most pleasant experience.
Starting off with the Super Pro bracket the finalist ended being the same as the other complete event when Andrew Bracuto and Jason Wilson worked their way to the money run. Wilson defeated 2017 national champ Todd Martin in a quarter final race as Bracuto was dispatching Elyse Climes in her first appearance at Island. Robbie Boyd ran unopposed. Wilson fell into the solo to the final while Bracuto and Boyd squared off in a race that the Pontiac door slammer won on an 8.33, 120 ticket to the dragster’s 6.58 at 156. In the last final pairing of these two the dragster of Wilson emerged with the win light so it was payback time for Bracuto and he managed to even the score. Both drivers left on identical reaction times and it was wheel to wheel to the 1000 foot finish line where Bracuto turned on the win light with a time of 8.33 and a speed of 123.70. Wilson dropped to 1 and 1 when he dipped under his dial with a slip of 6.44 at 154.28.
New faces showed up for the Pro runoff as Greg Myers and Sean Conway got into the final round. Myers handled Jim Trommelen in the quarters and Scott Hakucsa in the semis to earn his spot. Conway beat family member Kelly Conway for a QF advance and then turned back Pat Barbone to moved up to the title run. Conway received the head start in the final and cut a good light but it was Myers with a .009 RT that seemed to have the race under control. Conway bailed out at the top end to take the nod with an 11.56, 104.55. Myers took too much stripe and broke out for a runner-up finish on a 9.989 at 125.23.
In Sportsman eliminator Mike Barbone won his second consecutive award when he outlasted newcomer to the bracket Saige Embley. Barbone bested Bob Gay’s Vette to0 get out of the quarters and Embley drove the family Blazer past the 57 Vette of Jeff Rahner. Bill Doczi was better than Gary Coleman and Jeff Jewell made up the final four. Barbone beat Do0czi when the latter fouled and a similar mistake by Jewell put Embley into her first ever appearance in this bracket. This pairing was a barn burner start to finish when Embley took a .01 RT lead off the line and this race was in doubt right to the end. A double breakout scenario had the machine calculating the differences and Barbone was declared the winner with his less under the dial time of 11.58 and 112.42. Embley ran only slightly further under and too0k second place via her 12.15, 108.77.Keep an eye on this youngster for the remainder of the season as she appears headed for a victory sooner rather than later.
OF the pair of completed races in Bike eliminator, perennial track champ contender Barry Stephens has appeared in both. In April he came up short against 2018 Division 1 champ Don Hookway, but this evening he sealed the deal when he held off Jeff Meyer. The Suzuki of Stephens was moving right along as his opponents either cut late lights or went red on the tree. He eliminated Jacob Teats in the SF round to set up his match with Meyer, who soloed to join the party. The last round was determined fairly early as Stephens picked up 7 hundredths at the start and was never in doubt f0r the win, posting a 9.53, 127.38 time slip while Meyer came up short with his off the number 10.10, 130.
Other class winners included Joe Coss in Trophy as he was better than Chris Valentino. The Old driver ran a 12.95 at 90 mph to take the light from the Chevy that showed a 12.87 and 78 mph .
Junior Dragster was picked up by Haley Parson who defeated Madison Meredith in the race for the cup. Parson covered the distance in 7.97 seconds at an average 79.96 versus the 7.95, 78.46 time ticket for Meredith.
Jaina Embley annexed Junior Street when her Acura faced off with the Mustang of John Hedenburg. The Trustart system picked the winner here as both drivers left before the green was on and the double foul math fell 0to Embley’s 10.38, 71.16 while Hedenburg checked in at 10.02 and 71.38.
Consolation 1 belonged to Carl Brucher and his Bantam roadster over the Impala of John Graziano, 6.92, 147 to a losing 7.82 and 129 in a double breakout. Consolation 2 had Pete Navetta’s Nova with the victory when he took the measure of Bob Levers and his Corvette. Navetta used an 11.82 at 111.54 while Levers hit a 12.64, 114 speed in another double run under session.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Impala Club members ran a pair of races with Keith Burnham winning the opener over Norman Pelton, 15.85 to a losing 12.79. Race 2 agai9n had Pelton in the final, this time against Stew Drozd with the same result. Drozd clocked a 13.57 for the victory as Pelton took his second runner-up of the day with a 13.85.
Sunday action had three nostalgia classes of competition along with the always entertaining NETO circuit racers. James Arata bested Keith Horn to nail down the N1 division whi9le Anthony Picone took out Jerome Hillier in N2 and George Renz was the champ in N3 over Peter Sperock.
New NETO president Brian English made it to the final in NETO Comp but could not catch Ron Baker to finish the deal. Baker’s Chevelle turned an 8.91 on an 8.90 dial that English’s Camaro couldn’t catch in time with hi9s 8.61 lap. In Nostalgia bracket Jerome Hillier was victorious over Greg Schrieiner. Hillier’s Maverick ran up a 12.85, 101.50 to win when the Camaro ran under the number at 11.88 and 114.986.
In left over business from last season, the NETO class winners ran off a King of the Hill one race winner take all for a Wally trophy. Hillier was superb on the tree and nabbed the coveted award with a 12.86, 103.24 time slip. Baker was charging hard at the top end but came up light in the numbers with his 8.85.
All in all it was a great and busy weekend. Here’s hoping for many more throughout the remainder of the season.