Tim's Dragstrip News For June 20, 2010        





            The South Coast Tire Shootout continued Sunday, June 20 with the annual King of the Track,with North Coast Tire sponsoring one of two races this season featuring the legendary Wally trophy.

            Top Qualifier was newcomer Mike Benner, his '96 front engine dragster seemingly light as a feather in the front end, running 7.96 at 164 mph in Time Trials Session 1.  In Motorcycles, Sylus Girard was TQ with the quickest reaction time of the bunch with an .004 (.400 tree), also in Session 1.  Crescent City racer Alfred Larson had the solo perfect reaction time of the day with his Pro '63 Nova, in Round 1. Also in Round 1, Bill Wood ran dead on his 9.10 dial-in.

            What was most remarkable for the road to King of the Track elimination was each bracket's Final - with the exception of Super Pro - featured a second consecutive Finalist, and one of them turned out a follow up First Place win.

             In Pro, Harlan Tucker made it a second time, that weekend, into the finals, this time racing points leader Jerry Toledo. Tucker's '67 Barracuda ran 11.16 under his 11.19 dial-in, Toledo's '70 Maverick taking a winning pass of 11.20 in his fourth Finals appearance in the season's five races, so far.

            Leticia Hill's first weekend at Samoa, this year, saw the Redding racer ascend her '71 Camaro to the Super Pro finals, taking on Ray Rapp's '71 Vega. On the way there, he squeaked out of a double under-.500 start against Rich Givins' new '65 Mustang drag car, then nearly matched Curtis Daniels .010 RT with an .011, winning an even drag race. He had a better reaction time than Hill - .025 to her .087 -, and it helped him to a First Place win, running 10.13 at 130 mph to her 9.96 run at 134 mph. Not only was it Rapp's third finals, appearance this year, his third First Place win, too.

            Sylus Girard returned to the Motorcycle Finals, this time racing Wayne Cox.  Ironically, in a the 11-bike field both finalists had a bye run along the way. Off the line, Top Qualifier Girard tree'ed Cox with an .009 to Cox' .081, but Cox' Kawasaki over came it running 9.15 on an 8.90 dial-in at 118 to Sylus' 10.69, not only taking First Place but joining three other Finalists to the King of the Track rounds.

            In Junior Dragsters, Mikie Pires and Justin Wells returned to the Finals. Saturday Pires took First, but Sunday Wells took his turn, running 8.63 (1/8-mile) to Pires' 10.30, his .052 reaction time narrowly better than Pires' .053.

            John Terry returned to the Sportsman Final, this time his '70 Nova taking on Ken Sanborn's small block Chevy stuffed '78 Datsun 280Z. While everyone leading up to the Final brokeout against Sanborn (he survived a double breakout against Andrew Howard's '62 Valiant gasser, Howard running 13.28 on a 13.33 d.i. to Sanborn's 12.17 on a 12.20), Sanborn remained close to his dial ins throughout. Terry maintained better reaction times than Rick Beck in Round 1 and Erik Jackson in Round 2 and Mike Marlin in Round 4 (earned a bye run in Round 3). In the Final, Sanborn had the better reaction time but Terry stayed ahead for the win, his 15.34 to the Datsun's 12.76.

            In the extra eliminations for one Wally Parks King of the Track trophy, Terry had a better reaction time (.039 on .500 tree) to Wayne Cox (.132 on .400 tree) before Cox brokeout, 8.78 under the Kawasaki's 8.85 dial in, Terry's Nova running 15.06 just over his 15.06 dial in.  Jerry Toledo raced Ray Rapp, but brokeout, sending Rapp to a King of the Track final against Terry, where Rapp would red-light and Terry would earn a Wally with a 15-flat second run.

            Coming up is the third test-and-tune date of the season, Saturday July 10. Along with it, on the spectators' side and on the track Bikes By The Bay has its annual motorcycle show at Samoa, sponsored by Rocky's Off Road. That summer evening starting at 5:30 the Budweiser Racing Street Legal series rolls forward with free-to-race/free-to-watch opportunities, compliments of North Coast Mercantile.  The points race continues the following Sunday morning, the 11th, as Finnegan and Nason of Eureka and Ken's Auto of Arcata team up to host the Carquest Top Eliminator.

            An extra note about the Street Legal Series: the Friday, July 9th date on the schedule-posters has been cancelled with the track serving as test and tune for that weekend's Samoa Weekend of Speed, as the West Coast Top Sportsman racing tour now includes the historic Samoa Dragstrip, time trials and eliminations from Saturday July 31 through Sunday August 1.

            Sooner than that is the race weekend of July 10 & 11, see ya at the Samoa 'Strip,

                                                         -- Tim O'Brien

                                                       Track Announcer