It seemed an eternity since the last points race when Saturday dawned with great weather and it was time to see who could get back into the swing of things most quickly. What with weather issues and special events creating a mid-summer moratorium on the bracket program, second half points got back on track with only about one more month left to qualify for the division finals.
While a few drivers exhibited signs of have lost the edge on the tree, most were quickly into go mode and the rest caught up in a couple of passes. Richie Williams drove his gorgeous purple Chevelle to the top of the Super Pro division when he finished off Steve Jepko’s Cavalier in the final. Andrew Bracuto improved on his points count by besting Ed Tice for Pro. And Steve Baker was in championship form in Sportsman competition in a takedown of John Dickson. Don Hookway moved up ever closer to0 the top of Bike with his win over Jeff Meyer.
Super Pro quarters featured the dragster of Wayne Rudy beating Mike Sulc’s Dodge, Steve Jepko ousting Mike Franek and Richie Williams running unopposed. Jepko was a solo runner in the semis as Williams sent Rudy home, 7.72 versus a 6.78. Williams held the starting line advantage in the final and never relinquished the lead to flash the win light with his 7.73, 126.21 against Jepko’s 7.31 at 142.90.
The Pro players were hot on the mark as Ed Tice sent Craig Sonderfan packing in the QF round; Andrew Bracuto was better than Dan Tice; and Tanner Kootsares bumped out Joe Theodore. Getting no easy runs, Tice had to face Kootsares in the semis with the aid of a better RT took out the regular racer, 11.22, 115.33 against a 10.18 and 130.35. Bracuto used his bye run to tune p and then treed Tice and caught him before the finish line to grab his first title of the season in this bracket, posting a 10.13 at 132.19 to down the runner-up’s 12.20, 112.92.
Auditioning for racer-announcer of the year, Steve Baker took the money in Sportsman. Baker spent some mic time on Friday night but was at the wheel of his 2017 championship Camaro on Saturday and made the best of it. Baker took care of Ralph Savapese in the QF while Patty Franek was besting Bell Wachermann and John Dickson got by Jim Young. Baker’s 11.37 and 106.15 was sufficient to down Franek’s 11.64 at 113.02 and Dickson soloed the semifinal. When Baker took the head start and a better light into the title dash Dickson was hard pressed to make up the distance. Running right on the handicap of 11.84, 110.64 sealed the deal for Baker, sending Dickson to the number two spot via his 11.59, 110.68 ticket.
Don Hookway, the defending Division One Bike champ, closed to within a round of the points leader, Barry Stephens, by winning this evening’s eliminations. When Stephens went out in the second round it opened the door for Hookway, and he only needed to walk through it to tighten the numbers. And walk he did, putting aside Scott McGrath and Neil Smith, along with a solo pass to face Jeff Meyer in the final. Meyer got to this point with wins over ,Art Romaliysky, and Joe DiPiazza along with a bye run in first round. Meyer had six hundredths on the tree but co0uldn’t run close enough to his number to defeat Hookway who got the win at 9.44 and 142.34 against the 9.15, 144.89 slip for Meyer.
Chris Valentino took Trophy class over Bobby Pip. The Camaro pilot broke out at 10.85 and 122.36 but won anyway when Pip pushed his Mustang further under the dial on an 11.69, 113.11.
Robbie Boyd dusted Dave Hebig for Consolation One, 6.65, 141.25 versus a 7.49 at 136.43. And Scott Embley was better than Chris Valentino for Consolation Two honors, the Chevelle hitting a 10.12. 132.73 as the Camaro ran under with a 10.59 at 129.17.
Juniors were racing for their final points for position before the division race and in J/D, Alexis Sanseverino needed only to stage her racer to guarantee she would go as the number one seed. Lucky for her that is all she needed to do as she lost her first round race with brother Shawn . Ultimately Shawn squared off with Joe Cirillo in the final and he used his 8.95, 75.50 effort to take the cup. Cirillo ran a 7.93 and 80.32 for second place.
John Hedenburg protected his lead in J/St coming into the day with a handful more points than Jaina Embley. When Hedenburg won is first round and Embley didn’t, it was all over. Hedenburg went on to win the bracket at 9.79, 72.31 after Rylee Eberhart went red on the tree to waste his 9.17 at 73.18.