Whew...It Was a Hot One!
And I'm not only talking about the racing. It was a very hot evening. I was expecting a larger turnout of cars because of the upcoming NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing. However, it appears that the warm weather kept many away. While the car count wasn't the highest we've had this year, there was some quality cars, as witnessed by the above Tom Motry's Drastic Plastic driven by Buddy Hull. Randy Adler showed up to test his '57 Chevrolet Pro Mod.
Eric Vollmer with his Top Alcohol Dragster and John Biagi with his Top Dragster were also testing.
Ron Potenzo had his 1963 Corvette Pro Mod with Bobby 'D' driving out tonight. It had a problem with its first attempt and had to pushed back and towed back to the pits. The second time it came off the line, but then started wheel hopping and Bobby 'D" had to back out of it.
There were some Juniors out practicing tonight. Becky and Bob Churchill were celebrating their wedding anniversary by testing with their son Bobby. Bill Freis was also testing with son.
There was some licensing runs being made including a Junior going through the program.
What we lacked in numbers of cars, was made up by the variety. Everything from Juniors to the World Record holding Fuel Altered Drastic Plastic. Here are some more images from tonigjht.
It was a great day for Ricky Pena but before we tell that story, the rest of the story must be told.
Under beautiful skies and cooler temperatures, Route 66 Raceway had a great day to run the Rockett Brand Racing Fuel ET Bracket Race #7. In addition, the Midwest Top Sportsman Series ran its race #4 of the season. And to cap the day, we had the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League running. A super day of racing.
The Bracket races start in the morning with two rounds of qualifying for all the series. In the NHRA JDRL it was Mikayla Highland with the Best Reaction Time.
After the qualifying, the round robin eliminations started and the racing was hot and heavy.
At the end of each Rockett Brand Racing Fuel Bracket elimination round the Midwest Top Sportsman Series hit the track.
The first final to be completed was JDRL Sportsman Division. Cooper Hammelen edged out last race winner Braden Bowden to take the win light.
The next final was High School that matched Derek Lyons against Julie Nettles. It was a good race with Derek Lyons taking the win. This is Derek's second win of the season at Route 66.
Next up was the JDRL Modifieds. Allison Furman defeated Jack Nolan to take the trophy.
After the High School final, the rest of the classes continued their eliminations. Here are the results:
In Sportsman, it was Route 66 part-time announcer Bill Larson taking the win. Bill raced hard through the eliminations, but in the final round his competition broke prior the race and it was a walk off for Bill. This was Bill's first win this season. It was a popular win for the Route 66 staff!
In Pro Eliminator, it was the AMC AMX of Ricky Pena finally taking the win light. Ricky had finished in the runner-up position four times before taking this win. In the final, he was up against Bill Chase. At the Tree, Bill red-lighted giving the well earned win to Ricky. I wished Ricky had decided to run for points this year, because with his consistency, he could very well be leading the points race for the championship.
In Pro Bike it was Bill Homuth going up against Mike Bostic. There was good field of bikes today and in the end it was Bill Homuth taking the win light.
In the last of the bracket finals, it was the Super Pros going at it. It was Kenny King's dragster up against the door-slammer of Dave Ancel. It was a great race with Kenny King eking out the win.
In the Midwest Top Sportsman Series, it was Tony Grzelinski going head-to-head against Bob Romano, with Tony taking the light. It was another great race.
On a side bar to the day, we had the 2015 Australian Pro Stock Champion Nino Cavallo testing the car he will run in the 2016 11th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing to be held at Route 66 from July 28th through the 31st. Nino was here with his family, wife (Amanda), son (Dion) and daughter (Laura), racing and vacationing for five weeks before returning to Australia to defend his title. The car he is driving is a former V. Gaines Pro Stock car. Here is a link to Nino's racing Facebook page.
On top of a very successful day of racing, we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset!
After seeing the cars that were in the pits, I was really excited about tonight's O'Reilly Auto Parts Race Your Ride. There was Randy Adler with his 1957 Chevrolet Pro Mod car, Bruno Massel, Host of Garage Squad, NHRA National announcer and Two-time Competition Eliminator World Champion, with his Pro Stock Chevrolet Cobalt and Joe Zolper with his wife Jennie's Plymouth Duster. None of these cars got to run because when Brian Beck with his Top Sportsman Pontiac came to the line, it started to rain.
After a short delay, we were able to start running again. The second time Brian came to the line after his burnout...
...it started raining again!
After an hour of delay, the track was almost dry when it started raining again and the event had to be canceled. We did get in about an hour or so of racing. Here are some images:
Notice the red light on the front Frank Krauss' blue Pontiac. The lights are the Knight Rider Kitt lights!
To see the rest of the images from today's shortened event, please click here.
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Next up, is tomorrow's Rocket Brand Fuel ET Bracket Race with Midwest Top Sportsman and the Junior Dragsters.
We started day 2 of Rockford Speedway's Outlaw Clay Classic under the threat of impending rain storms. In conjunction with the WOO Latel Models, the Wisconsin Legends Racing Dirt Series was running. We were able to get the hot laps, Late Model qualifying and the Late Model Heat races before it started to rain.
While the anticipated thunderstorms did not develop, it did rain enough to sufficiently wet down the dirt track. After three hours, the Rockford Speedway and WOO staff were able to get the track in good enough condition to continue the night's program. Due to the late hour and the condition of the track, it was decided to shorten the program. The Late Models completed the Last Chance Showdown followed by the Legends Feature Race of 15 Laps. The Legends started 14 cars. Minneapolis' and 9 time Dirt Legends Champion Tom Brokehouse fought off all challengers taking the checkered flag.
At the conclusion of the Legends race the Late Models hit the track. Brian Shirley led the field of 24 to the green flag. He immediately grabbed a lead. During the race the track started to deteriorate and the cars were bouncing around.
Brian Shirley maintained his lead throughout the 30 lap event taking the win.
While the weather did hamper the racing, the competitors managed to put on a great show. Let's hope the World of Outlaws decide to return to Rockford next year!
To see all the images from the day, please click here.