DECARLO MAKES HISTORY
“QUEEN” OF THE TRACK THE KING IS DEAD
Another history making event for Island Dragway occurred this week when for the first time ever the King of the Track award became the Queen of the Track. Elyse DeCarlo, who has raced with us for the past several years in her Super Pro dragster “Hottie Girl” won her first S/P title in her second appearance in the final this year, and then went on to win the four entrant runoff for the KOT trophy. Only once before was there a chance for a female driver to take this coveted title and that effort fell sort by one race. Just getting to this elite stage is a story in and of itself.
The Super Pro gang had some heavy hitters in the first round with the likes of points champ Richie Williams, recent winner Connor Hebig, a first of the year appearance by John Graziano, Rich Wilk, Andrew Bracuto, former national champ Todd Martin, 2020 Division champ Robbie Boyd and Bryan Mirsky. By the end of round one, only Graziano and Mirsky remained in the bracket to take on DeCarlo. Two relative newcomers stayed around into the semis as Nick Pierson edged Jake Knarr, 5.05, 133in the RED machine over a 5,40, 126 for the Mustang. DeCarlo legged out a 5.01 at 134 to end the evening for Graziano’s Impala, 6.01 and 112. Take note that this eliminator was run over the eighth mile course for this event. DeCarlo had posted RTs of .031, .006, and .023 in the preliminary rounds, but saved her best for last. As she lined up against Pierson in the final and with just .03 seconds head start. DeCarlo left with a perfect .000 light and clocked a 5.016 at 135.25 mph against a dial, of 5.01. That would have been tough to beat in any respect but it was over early when Pierson went red by a negative .003 and ran a second best 5.03, 137. So, beginning phase of the drive complete.
Paddy Conway worked his magic in Pro when he took down John Hedenburg in the title race. Hedenburg had ousted Chris Mains in the QF while Conway showed Scott Franks Sr the door and Joe Focarino did away with Andrew Bracuto. Hedenburg soloed into the final and Conway edged out Focarino in an 11.78, 109 to a 9.90 and 134 for a margin of victory of just .009 seconds. Hedenburg was a tad too early and went red in the final taking runner up at 10.84 as Conway made his way to the window at 11.77 at 114.67.
Scott Franks Sr had a better time in Sportsman as he went all the way to finally defeat Patty Franek. Franks handled Jim Young for a quarters win as Franek got the better of Paul Northrup and Mitch Speert ran unopposed. Franks jumped on Speert for a SF victor, 12.44 and 97.66 easily besting 14.41 at 98.63 and left Franek to run solo. Franks again left better on Franek and the Malibu got there first on a 12.37, 98.51 that gunned down the Gremlin’s 11.60 at 112.93.
A rare appearance by Scott McGrath paid off for the Newton rider as he took Bike eliminator from Barry Stephens. McGrath beat points champ Chris Miele in the opener and Don Hookway fell to Frank DiNapoli so that both the number one and number three riders were done early. Stephens was better than Jacob Teats and DiNapoli in the preliminary rounds and looking for a strong finish in what for him had been a less than stellar year. Stephens actually had the better launch on McGrath but ran too quickly to lose at 9.87, 124.41and gave McGrath the award with his 9.34 and 141.39 ticket.
Francis Vignola was better than Anna Sawicki for the Jr. Dragster honors as his 8.06 and 73.48 bested the losing 8.04 and 74.61 for Sawicki. Sawicki had a chance to double up as she was a finalist in Jr. St as well but again luck was with her opponent as Sean Conway Jr took that title. Sawicki fouled out her 9.04, 80 mph run to give Conway the cup on a slowing 14.79.
The KOT rounds pitted Pro winner Conway against Bike titlist McGrath and SP’s DeCarlo facing Sportsman’s Franks. Conway barely bested McGrath and Franks fouled out to DeCarlo. Conway met a similar fate in the dash for the honors and bragging rights as DeCarlo carded a 5.02 and 134.95 to become Queen of the Track, 2021. Congratulations to the school teacher with the hot shoe on being the first to accomplish this feat. And as she finished number two in points for the season, watch for this young lady to be a force to be reckoned with for the future. Long live the Queen.
As this was the final points race for the year, the drivers who qualified for the Division One Finals are now set. Check the final standings on the Island Dragway web site to see who made the cut and who didn’t. Congratulations to those who are making the trip to the finals and good luck to all. As for those who missed the cut, thanks for racing with us this year and better luck next season. We appreciate your patronage and hope you have enjoyed racing here at Island Dragway. We’ll look for you down the road.