Motor, Interstate Batteries &
North Coast Shooting
July 23, 2006
If you wanted surprise endings, Samoa Dragstrip had some interesting ones in the Finals of the Arcata Electric Motor/Interstate Batteries/North Coast Shooting Boss Eliminator on the 23rd. Think of the diggers often seen in the Winner’s Circle this season, a trophy in one hand and a NOS energy drink in the other. Sunday saw some new faces in the Circle.
Speaking of which, the track got treated to a pack of old school rides from Fort Bragg, including Joe Lillard's ’50 Pontiac, Dan Butterfield’s ’68 Galaxie, Jeff Costa’s ’72 Roadrunner- even a flamed and blown Bucket T had some track time. Who is this mysterious bunch from the Mendo. Coast? “The Shifters” was heard mentioned in the pits. Hopefully these motor-vated musketeers will storm our track again soon.
Brad Schiewe had an early effort for Top Qualifier low e.t.’s, his ’74 Mustang running a 9.42 in time trials. “Uncle Gary” Howe flew his front engine dragster straight for 9.21 and 8.93 passes, but Kyle Skillings’ stretched ’94 Berretta cut an 8.62, an 8.58 and finally an 8.53 in Session 3 for a second consecutive Top Qualifier paycheck.
No one racing on the five-tenths tree caught a perfect reaction time, but among the Sportsman Motorcycle ranks, racing on a four-tenths tree, Mike Pettit grabbed a .400 in Round 2 with his ’05 Ski Doo. At the time, Pettit was behind points leader Kirk Speelman by two points.
Running 4th in points was James Surber, aided by a runner-up effort at the Tire Man Eliminator, returning his ’06 Harley Davidson Destroyer to the Finals on the 23rd, this time for a 1st place finish against rookie Jess Walls, his 10 second run against Walls’ break-out run of 10.64 on a 10.70 dial in.
In Sportsman, Takeshi Murakami’s season may continue with hard knocks a-plenty (“I don’t know how I’m up in 4th for points,” he wondered aloud, having lunch in Lane 2), yet still rolls into the Finals with his ’91 Mustang – twice in June, and a busted axle at the starting line once held him at 3rd place). The Boss Eliminator saw him in the Finals against Glen Terry’s ’76 El Camino. A red-lit reaction gave Murakami another runner-up and Terry 1st place, the Oroville “Old Timer” pulling a 17.22 at 77 mph, Takeshi running 14.55 at 73 mph. Even so, the 2nd place finish helped separate him from a 4th place points tie with Alan Ambrosini.
In Junior Dragsters, rookie “Liz Bee” Sjoquist continues to do well; well enough to be running 5th in points on Race Sunday, but well enough for a 6-second 1/8-mile e.t. at 600 mph? A confused 1/8-mile sensor gave her a flattering – albeit non-legit – timeslip. “That’s like flirting with the sound barrier,” surmised junior dragster graduate Mike Wright, who flipped his lid that day – literally – crossing the finish line in his Pro ’87 IROC. Robbie Waddell raced Sjoquist three times to get into the finals. Meanwhile, then points runner-up Kaycee Mela met Melissa Surber in the consolation round, taking first place with an 8.91 run at 66 mph over Surber’s 9.75 at 70 mph. Points leader Waddell faced Mike Pettit in the Final, grabbing victory with an 11.74 e.t. at 52 mph over Pettit’s 9.20 run at 67 mph.
Defending 1st place Pro runner Jim Brodersen got eliminated and spared no time lining up for the Gamblers’ bracket, making his way to Jason Giacone’s early Mustang in the Final. The two ran close to the finish line, Brodersen’s ’63 Falcon just ahead of Giacone’s “Quarter Horse”, 12.22 at 110 mph to the Mustang’s 12.39 at 107 mph.
Earlier, their quarter mile colleagues in Pro, Bart Overson and Dale Cooper faced off in the Final. Then tied for 10th in points with Harlan Tucker, Overson broke that tie, but when Cooper’s ’69 Charger beat out the ’90 GMC, 11.40 at 114 mph to Overson’s 12.04 at 104 mph, it was the Mopar driver’s first 1st place trophy.
Speaking of first-timers, Jacob Wood entered his ’68 Camaro in the Super Pro Final against points leader Dale Waddell. Waddell’s ’27 roadster ran quick: 10.17 quick. 10.178 on a 10.18 dial-in quick, at 129 mph. Wood avoided a red light and a break out, his 9.81 run at 123 mph earning his first 1st place trophy (even if he’d been runner up, it would be a first trophy for him).
Looking at the Boss Eliminator a year ago to the day, it’s interesting. Waddell’s roadster ran runner-up then, running 10.48 (this year: 10.17). Overson runner-up’ed in Pro, 12.33 on a 12.32 dial in (this year, the same GMC ran 12.04). Broderson also ran 1st in Gamblers’, with his F-150. Terry had 1st place in Street running two seconds slower with the just-purchased El Camino. Where has his Slant-6 Dart gone, by the way? Or Crescent City’s Tom Kinney and his ’74 drag Bug, which had a perfect reaction time that day? Someone put out an a.p.b on that guy, as it’s getting late in HDNTA’s 51st season.
Next up is the Q-Kiss Motorsports Fabricating/Fat Rat/ S&H Auto Machine National Dragster Challenge, August 6. Don’t miss out on the drag action the prior night, as the Eureka P.D. Street Legal Drags continue their 4th season, August 5th at 5:30. Come out to the free event and find out more about the new 100 MPH Club they’ve been officiating heads-up racers for, keeping things quick on the Samoa ‘Strip, where your ticket is also the pit pass.
Sometimes I think it’s a sin when I feel like I’m winning when I’m losing again,
-- Tim “in the Tower” O’Brien