ONLY JULY RACE SHAKES UP POINTS
As the second half of the points season was just getting underway July already had several dates set aside for special events that would cut short the counting. The holiday weekend, a grudge race and swap meet left only two dates to earn points, and when one of those came with bad weather, it left only a single race day to add to the tallies. It brought with it some great racing that did lead to some changes in the standings but with a lot of racing yet to be completed before the final totals are processed.
All the leaders in Super Pro fell to the wayside when Luis Martinez showed up with his Vega and marched through the field to take the top spot. Martinez, a second generation racer, gunned down Robbie Boyd’s dragster in a QF match while Todd Martin advanced his dragster past the Chevy of Steve Jepko and Jason Wilson took out Connor Hebig to complete the semifinal class. Martinez got to take a bye in that round and Wilson edged out Martin in a race what separated them by just .003 seconds at the finish. Martinez then closed the deal when he hit an 8.711 on a dial of 8.71 to take the win light over Wilson’s 6.317 (6.31) and 159.14.
Dan Tice showed up in Pro and after a first round loss and a bye back win ran the table to take home the top purse. Tice was unopposed in the quarters and Jim Trommelen continued his march with a victory over Mike Franek. Rob Zetterberg was better than Ralph Savarese and Rich Secula bested Shane Sweigert top make a full field for the semis. Tice hung a light on Zetterberg ion that round and advanced to the final on an 11.93, 105 to 9.54 and 134. Secula, reaching his first title round in some time took out Trommelen when his 9.79, 138 pushed the AMC entry under the dial at 11.22 and 117. Tice played a little top end cha-cha after giving the better RT to Secula in the last race and then turning an effort of 11.93 seconds at 109 that held up to a slowing 9.86 and 138.40 pass by Secula.
Dan Baker continued to roll along in Sportsman when he defeated Scott Franks Sr to the bracket. Baker beat Bill Hakucsa with a superior light to move from the quarters while Scott Franks Jr downed Ralph Blauvelt and Franks Sr won over a fouling Gary Apar. Baker was assured of a final berth with a solo and Franks Sr hit a 12.37, 106 ticket to oust Franks Jr’s 11.50 at 115. The determining contest was decided early when Franks went red on the tree to toss out his 12.38 and 107 and provide Baker the trophy with a 15.31 at 87.48.
Bike totals shuffled a bit without much change at the top two positions but two new names appeared in the title dash. Charlie Koenig and Neil Smith faced off after some fancy racing earlier in the eliminator. Smith, making a rare appearance, took out several heavy hitters along the way in the form of Don Hookway, Joe DiPiazza and Barry Stephens. Koenig slammed newcomer John Liefer and points leader Chris Miele before soloing the SF. Smith ended his journey quickly against Koenig when his negative RT ruined a 10.86 118 slip and gave Koenig a victory at 10.19 and 126.47.
Riley Parson was the best of Jr., Dragster as she finished off Shawn Sanseverino . Shawn fouled out in the final to waste an 8.49, 77.76 time slip and Parson turned in an on the dial 8.00- with a speed of 83.24. Pat Myers kept the heat on Jaina Embley in Jr./St by winning the event. Embley moved too soon in the last race and slowed to a 9.50 as Myers legged an 11.01, 66.14.
Rich Wilk defeated Bryan Mirsky for Consolation One and Terry Benton drove through a big field for Consolation Two honors to beat Anthony P:icone in the final.