Tim's Dragstrip News For June 5, 2016
Pictures coming soon
Summit Series #3 6/5/2016
If you follow bracket racing, you may know how unusual no red-lit starts can be (racers leaving before the green light), as bracket after bracket has their round. Not only was Round 1 void of under-.500 and under-.400 reaction times through first three brackets, Sportsman committed no reaction time refractions that day.
In that first bracket, Rich Givens had best package with his pickup truck's Round 2 second consecutive perfect reaction time (.000 on .500 tree), running 16.69 on a 16.65 self-imposed ceiling. In the Semifinals he out-tree'd Jason Giacone, though Giacone persevered with his '66 Mustang for the win, making the Finals for the second straight time- this time to race Bryan Goodman.
A finalist on May Day's season opener, Goodman advanced in Race #3 on Eric Wright's Round 1 breakout- a big race for an unopposed run in Round 2. A win over Ana Toledo in the semifinals put top-qualifying Goodman in the Finals. Both he and Giacone ran under their dial-in, and though Goodman bested Giacone's RT, .017 to Jason's .162 light, his '72 Nova ran further under his dial-in than his blue-oval powered opponent, Giacone championing the double-breakout Final with a 12.24 pass (12.25 dial). He is now 2-for-2 in Finals this season.
Street Motorcycles (special): An extra bracket of Street bikes featured an 18-bike field being whittled down to a pair in the Finals. Samoa veteran racer Mike Pires, Sr. and Michael Ruff. Both ran under their dial-ins, Pires coming out winning. Notable: Brian Thrasher made it through two double-breakouts before Mike Pettit's red-lit offense sent Thrasher to a Semifinals against Ruff. Four of those 18 bikers were also contesting in Sportsman Motorcycles, including Pieres. In Round 1, his son Mike, Jr. red-lit against him, Sr. then won a double-breakout match against Brian Bognuda (the latter's first competitor of the day). At this event last year Bognuda won in the Finals against Pires. Pires moved on in this year's event to breakout against the day's Best Package on two wheels: Jason Garza.
Garza's Round 2 bye run featured the day's fifth perfect reaction time (.400 for motorcycles), coupled with a 9.82 ET on a 9.81 dial in. His next run – a 9.816 pass on the same dial [.071 RT] – was a win light putting him in his second consecutive Finals, this one against Mike Pettit. In his second consecutive Finals in Motorcycles, Pettit red-lit, handing Garza a pass to the Winner's Circle.
Pro: Time Trials saw two drivers achieve perfect reaction times: Mitch Marlin and John Antongiovanni, the latter running two back-to-back 10.69 passes Marlin's black 13-second Thunderbird won a match against Pat Riemers'11-second '50 Olds for a Round 2 bye run, red-lighting against his second competitor, Nick Giacone, in the Semifinal. No bye run for Nick's path, his orange and black Maverick racing brother Eric's Ranchero en route to his second straight Finals. Antongiovanni was Nick's Finals challenge at the previous Summit Series event, getting as far as the Semis this time around,his green Chevy II red-lighting by -.00002(!) on the .500-starting tree against Mike Wright. San Franciscan Wright ran his '87 Camaro drag car dead-on his 10.68 dial in with a .061 RT. Between that pass and a Round before, with Wright keeping within .005 of his dial in [.046 RT] against Mike Marlin's breakout, Wright had the best packages in Pro that day.
In fact, Eliminations' first red-light of the day – Brian Stone – was Wright's first win light, though the dastardly red bulb would tell on Wright's blood red Bowtie in the Finals, granting Giacone's Ford a second straight 1st place win in Pro.
Hybrid/Electric (special): For the second annual such special bracket, co-host Northwood Chevrolet armed Mark Shuler with a red 2011 Chevy Volt as co-host Mid City Motor World supplied inaugural champ Mike Shapiro with a red three year old Toyota Prius (McCrea Motors also co-hosted the special bracket). Shuler won two out of three ultra modern drag races against defending '15 champ Shapiro. In Time Trials, the Volt ran a 17.11 and 16.98, the Prius made passes of 17.44 and 17.56 (have personally had lots of people ask How Quick They Run ). In doube Eliminations, Shuler ran close to his dial twice: 17.41 on a 17.40 dial in and 16.902. In the end, Shuler won two out of three races, the sportsmen opting to split the purse.
Juniors Dragsters: With a .056 reaction time in Time Trials, Chet Keasey achieved Top Qualifier status, making it as far as the semifinals to race his competitor from last event's Finals: Hunter Blevins (Hunter's brother Billy and sister Trinity were finalists in last year's event). Blevins champions the match to head to his third consecutive Finals of the season.
Areilla Adams had Best Package with a 8.02 pass on a 8.00 dial in (.074 RT) for a win light over Trinity Blevins, becoming Hunter's third Finals competitor. Blevins would take a win there, being 3 for 3 after Summit Series Race #3.
Super Pro: Hunter's dad Jessie was busy in Super Pro trying to get to his third consecutive Finals, and he'd attain it after a lucky win against fellow Mopar digger Mitch Valentine, Brookings racer Valentine red-lighting his purple '72 Barracuda as Jessie ran his purple '70 Duster than his dial in.
Dennis Lindstrom was Top Qualifier with a .002 RT in one of two back-to-back 10.76 ET passes. Kaycee Mela became the day's Best Package in her bracket with a Round 2 pass of 7.71 off a 7.70 dial in (.011 RT), her dragster taking a win over Lindstrom's '72 Chevelle. He was her first competitor, as Round 1 saw her make a single-pass 7.73 run on same dial (.006 reaction time in that one), as absent Richard Betournay's silver Nova was to be her Round 1 match. The dragster then streaked the quarter mile at 172 mph against Blevins, but his .010 reaction time on the .500 tree faired better than her -.005 red-lit launch, sending her rail to the trailer.
His first day out for the season, Curtis Daniels had no Bye runs or single-passes on the way to the Finals. His '69 Chevelle exploited John Widmann's foul-light at the tree, his So Hum turquoise Altered T pouncing off too early. Daniels overtook Steve Poponi's yellow and white chopped '56 Bel Air for a win light before ousting Harlan Tucker's hot stepping Daytona drag car.
At this event last year, Jessie Blevins won his season's first First'er in two Finals, that one against Leonard Daniels. Blevins current shot at a three-peat was halted by a red-lit start (a mere .001 under the tree's .500 perameter), to start Curtis Daniels' season off with a 1st place trophy.
In a season containing more two-timers and three 'peaters in the Circle, the next date at the track is the first of several double-race weekends to come: Saturday June 24's Summit Series Race #4 includes a special Mustang-only bracket hosted by Harper Motors. Sunday the 25th's Summit Series Race #5 contains the coveted King of the Track race: the first of only two race dates where the famous Wally Parks trophy is up for grabs. Following Saturday's eliminations is O'Reilly Auto Parts' Saturday Street Legals, so save those lil' yellow receipts from O'Reilly's: you can turn them in for free timed runs (all other non-timed passes are free).
See you at the drags, June bugs.