McMurray & Son Roofing’s

NHRA King of the Track Super Eliminator

June 25, 2006

In the drag strip lore that Samoa is inherently a part of, there were once several Wally trophies in a given season. Not that the bronze statues were growing on trees, or anything, but the trophies are now sparse- in fact there was only one to be had, June 25th, for example, for McMurray & Sons NHRA King of the Track Super Eliminator.

Yesterday’s diesel racers were mostly gone, but wild rides were still in the cards. In the first session of Pro time trials, Celeste Boyd’s ride was not the straightest of arrows. After roughly the 60-foot mark, her ’74 Pinto drifted towards the spectator lane. She corrected, but following that was a wider drift, and she spun around and slid into the 1/8-mile cones, pointing towards the tower and alongside the guard rail as she hit it, her passenger side smacking aside it. Despite the shake-up, she and the Pinto were later good to go for more racing.

Perfect reaction times (.500) were caught by Mike Wright and Ray Rapp- Wright caught two of them consecutively in time trials (if a printer won’t print the first time, sometimes one has no choice but to go back for evidence). Saturday’s Top Qualifier, Gary Howe, had a quick dragster, but Sunday the lowest e.t. came from Brad Schiewe’s ’74 Mustang, a streak of blue and orange cutting a 9.41 e.t. at 139 mph. Sacramento racer David Beedy’s Super Pro ’69 GTO came close, as the newcomer put on quite a show of 9-second performance.

Being runner up in Consolation, Saturday, must’ve been fuel for Kaycee Mela’s inner fire, as the Junior Dragster slung into 1st place over points leader Robbie Waddell, her 9.64 e.t. up the 1/8-mile as Waddell red-lit into his 11.53 run at 53 mph. Rookies Elizabeth Sjoquist and Krystal Hughes ran for Consolation, and Sjoquist caught a winning e.t. of 12.79 at 48 mph, Hughes also running 48 mph for a 13.24 e.t.

Among motorcycles, Mike Pettit out-biked George Brooks with his ’05 Ski Doo Mach Z, racing his way into King of the Track Sportsman. In Pro, Jim Broderson had his hands full taking on John Antongiovanni, the current Pro points leader. Broderson’s ’63 Falcon was quick up the Samoa ‘strip, but first to finish was Antongiovanni’s ’65 Chevy II, running a 12.57 at 99 mph to Broderson’s 12.03 at 109 mph, to meet Mike Pettit in the King of the Track semi finals.

That road to King of the Track was paved in part by a Sportsman Final between Gordon Sjoquist’s ’63 Studebaker Lark and Dustin Perras’ ’70 Malibu, with the Stude getting a winning timeslip of 15.60 at 86 mph over the Maverick Racing Team driver’s 12.03 at 109 mph. Then came the Super Pro final between Joe Scheel’s “Wedge Warrior” ’73 Duster and Ray Rapp’s ’71 Vega. Rapp sent Scheel to the King of the Track final once he broke out (11.235 under a 11.24 dial in) as Scheel took First with a 10.86 pass at 121 mph.

Meanwhile, the Gambler’s Final had Troy Beck’s ’69 GTO running for the money against Curtis Daniels’ ’69 Chevelle, with the “Nappy” Chevelle getting there first, carried at 109 mph for a 11.36 e.t. against Beck’s 11.66 e.t. at 112 mph.

For the track’s first time, a snowmobile was in the King of the Hill final, as Mike Pettit revved up along side the infamous green Wedge Warrior, but couldn’t outrun it, as Joe Scheel earned King of the Track status – and the historic Wally trophy – with a 10.87 run. Did he keep the timeslip? Is it on his tool chest? His ‘fridge? Ask the Mopar man of quarter mile royalty on Sunday, July 9, during the Les Schwab Tire Man Eliminator.

Scheel’s also been seen running his Duster at Eureka Police Department’s Street Legal Drags series, which continues this Saturday, July 8. No Thursday Night Drags will be held on the 6th (but will continue next week), so save it up for the E.P.D. show on Saturday. For its celebrity-racer series, a mayoral race is rumored to go down in August, but who will be featured on the 8th? The last show featured KSLUG’s Monica Topping’s VW Jetta wagon against BiCoastal Media Group’s Kimberly O’Brien re-matching each other (O’Brien experiencing the dragstrip for the first time with her new Pontiac. In her first run, the company magnet blew off the side as she sped ahead of the Jetta.). The series even has KVIQ’s Dave Silverbrand reportedly tempted and scoping for competition. The free fun starts at 6 pm, Saturday.

Points racing continues Sunday, as the Les Schwab Tire Man Eliminator gets under way at 9:30 a.m., where burnouts are done with an art, champions are crowned in the oddest match ups, and every ticket is your pit pass.

Loving the smell of racing fuel in the morning,

-- Tim O’Brien