WILK FIRST REPEAT S/P WINNER
FRANEK, WACKERMANN AND STEPHENS GRAB TITLES
Rich Wilk became the first repeat winner of the season in Super Pro eliminator when he outlasted Kurt Bauer for this week’s title. Bauer had a streak of luck that began in the opening round and like magic continued on through the rest of the event, at least until the final. Bauer fell into a solo in the quarters and beat John Graziano’s Chevy in the semis when the latter red lighted away his 7.92, 127 that gave the dragster dibs at 6.66 and 153. Graziano had come out of the QF round by besting Wilbur Hooper’s Chevy while Wilk punched out the Vega of Steve Spencer. After Wilk was unopposed in the SF he was loaded up for the money round and made the most of his head start with a .005 RT in the Olds Cutlass and pushed through the traps at 7.54, 130.22 for the light. Bauer ran his luck over the edge with a too quick 6.64 at 151.34 mph.
Pro bracket’s Mike Franek had the hot hand as he methodically mowed down all comers for the ultimate prize, Franek ousted Paul Northrop in the QF segment while Tom Spangler handled the challenge of Terry Benton. Tanner Kootsares axed Craig Sonderfan to move up and Bill Wackermann ran solo. Wackermann caught a foul start against Kootsares making his 10.11, 130 slip a winner and Franek posted a 10.17 and 119.56 in a takedown of Spangler’s 11.30, 119.62 to complete the semis. Kootsares had the better light in the trophy run but ran a little further off his dial with a 10.16, 130./49 that was topo 0little and too late. Franek collected the bigger check with his time of 10.16 at a speed of 126.28.
Connie Wackermann upheld the family honor by grabbing the Sportsman class over Anthony Picone. Bill Hakucsa fouled out to Wackermann and Scott Franks was better than Steve Baker in the QF racing. Picone show Paddy Conway the exit in their pairing. And then there were three. Wackermann had the bye run on the ladder and that left Picone and Franks to fight it out for the other spot. Franks had the raced covered start to finish but a quick look at the numbers showed a break out of 12.44, 103.64 that sent Picone to the final on an 11.71, 11199 in the old 47 Mercury. For the gold Wackermann had the tree and never looked back although she did dip below her dial at 11.72 and 113.38. But those were the winning numbers when Picone ran further under the dial at 11.68 seconds and 111.88 mph.
Bike class finished off as so many have over the years in a clash between Barry Stephens and Don Hookway. Don Anderson, Chris Miele and Jeff Meer were gone before the SF and Dave Ferguson’s sled lost to Stephens in the next to last round on a breakout where both racers had identical reaction times. Stephens moved first by .03 on the start and needed all of that as he barely flashed the win light via a 9.78 at 130.38. Hookway was charging hard at the finish line and just lost on a 9.32 and 144.94 effort.
This was the week for Pro Dial and it was the week for Phil Longo to shine. Longo maneuvered his Malibu into a final clash with Joe Moreno’s Camaro. Racing on a .5 Pro Tree with handicaps takes a little getting used to but i9t can be exciti9ng just to see who can change from a full tree to one bulb racing. Longo came through with a final time of 10.81 and 121.87 that defeated Moreno’s breakout ticket of 11.117.20.
John Whitosky was better than Barry Van Scoten for Trophy on a double breakout race where Whitosky hit an 11.64, 116.76 and Van Scoten went further under his number at 10.41 and 121.10. Bill DeBlasio bested Keith Burnham for Impala 1 honors while Karl Ellwein got by Scott Franks to walk off with Impala 2.