The Samoa Championships - September 25, 2005

The Golden Anniversary season had its curtain call basked in sunshine and hot racing, Sept. 25th, in the Pepsi Bottling/Humboldt Petroleum/Power 96 Samoa Championships- a day with two sets of eliminations and consistent winners.

Scott Anderson’s ’03 front engine dragster slung him to Top Qualifier status with an 8.80 run in Time Trials Session 1. John Antongiovanni sealed the Pro points championship along with a 1st place win in Pro over Troy Beck. Beck became a points champion himself in Quick Street, while tying for 2nd in Pro points with Harlan Tucker, but 1st place on race day in Quick Street belonged to Doug Atkins, whose 13.14 beat out runner up Troy Folkenberg (12.22). Atkins’ ’69 Z28 and Folkenberg’s beefed up Pinto later rematched in Championship eliminations, with Atkins’ continued victory on a 12.26 pass over the Pinto’s 13.72. In that Samoa Championship-Street final round, both racers came within a thousandth of a second from matching their dial-in. Gordon Sjoquist, 2nd place in points, raced his ’63 Studebaker through a Championship field of Quick Streeters, along with Joe Scheel’s Duster, who took 2nd place in Quick Street Points for the year. 

Sjoquist’s ‘Stude got him into the Street semi-finals, but the final was between father & son-in-law, as Pop-in-law Jackie Allen schooled Mike Pettit’s supercharged F-150 in his Focus for a 1st place win. Allen also sealed the deal for Street points championship for the year, Pettit placed 4th.

Ana Toledo was Third in Quick Street Semi-finals, and she drove her ’69 Mustang through a massive Catch-all bracket to runner-up against Mike Marlin’s ’66 Ranchero in the Catch-all final. Toledo charged into a lead, but broke-out with a 13.85 e.t. against the Ranchero’s 13.90.   The Marlin brothers’ success with the Ranchero have them flirting with the idea of a quicker bracket, next year. In Motorcycles, George Brooks beat out Dave Smith with a 1st place win. Bomber John wasn’t out in force on his drag bike, but joy-rode Chopper Magnussen’s Yamaha against Wayne Cox, who flew his drag Kawasaki in the mid-8’s in the Motorcycle Championships.

In the Junior Dragster final, Krisy Pesenti and Malli Blasdell finished their first full season in a race for the consolation win, with Pesenti the winner. Junior veteran Robbie Waddell went home not only the Juniors points leader, but with a 1st place trophy, after his 15.24 win over runner-up Kaycee Mela.  For Mela, it wasn’t a bad way to wrap up her first full-season at the Samoa Dragstrip, especially when she returned in the Junior Championship to beat out veteran Kara Pettit for the 1st place win

Dale Waddell, for one, had a great day at the office. He faced off against Shelby Allen in Super Pro semi-finals – who returned with the fan-favorite flamed  ’68 Mustang -, and met up with Tom Wood’s leaping ’68 Camaro in the finals, where Wood straightened out after his launch for a 9.87 pass, but not enough to out run the ’27 Pro T, which took Waddell to victory in 10.30 seconds. Dale, snagging the points championship in Super Pro, later raced Scott Tucker’s ’68 Barracuda in the Samoa Championship-Pro final. Tucker, placing 2nd in Super Pro points, suffered a .499 red-lit reaction time in the Championship-Pro Final, and his 10.73 pass was 2 thousands away from his dial-in. After his Super Pro win of 10.30, Waddell took his roadster to a 10.29 win in Championship-Pro, earning the Best Package award as well for an earlier run of 10.226 to his 10.22 dial-in, after a .503 reaction time.

Perfect reaction times were caught by Gordon Sjoquist before his 15.69 run, and Tom Wood after leaping his Camaro high into a 9.79 run.

By day’s end, they trailered their chariots for the season at Samoa, and many got an early start on the bench racing season in the pits.

More of that will continue, no doubt, at the 2005 Awards Banquet, to be held Sunday October 30th, at the Elks Lodge in Eureka. Be sure to RSVP the Wrights, at 442-6753. Be sure to bring some hand-sized busted parts that didn’t make it through the whole season - and the stories that go with it.

Photo: Dale Waddell (Super Pro Champion) by Gene Lagge

            Tim O’Brien
The Beard and the Voice from the Tower above.