While this was listed as Race Your Ride #4, due to this Spring's unusual weather, it was actually the second of the 2019 season. However since this is an "open" night of racing, one never knows who is going to show up. With a scheduled Midwest Top Sportsman race on Saturday, several of their drivers made an appearance to test. Above is Robbie Vander Woude with his T/S Chevrolet Camaro. There were street cars who just wanted to drive the track to Junior Dragsters practicing and testing for upcoming races. One of those, was Cooper Hamelen, 2018 Route 66 Junior Sportsman Champion. Cooper is moving up and joining the 8.90 class this year in Junior Modified.
As I watched the cars roll under the tunnel, I saw Mark Marusak's pale yellow Nova roll towards the water box. I really didn't think anything strange until I saw Mark crew chiefing the car. The way the driver handled the car, it was evident he/she was no rookie. After the run, I spoke with Mark and learned his cousin, Matt Sackman, was driving. Matt is a Don Shumacher Racing developmental driver who recently licensed in Top Fuel. On NHRA Nationals race weekends, Matt is the cylinder head specialist on the DSR Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster of Antron Brown. At last year's, Route 66's NHRA Lucas Oil Division 3 race Matt took home the Wally for Top Alcohol Dragster. In the team picture, Mark is standing fourth from the left.
Early in the event, I made a sweep through the pits and found Greg King's Nostalgia Nova Funny Car, "Deuce on the Loose". If you recall, this was the car that was built and featured on the now Motor Trend TV show "Garage Squad". Route 66 Track Announcer, Greg Nickleski drives the car. The plan was to make two runs. However, after a tachometer and oil issue after the first run, it was decided to better be safe than sorry and call it a night.
Another driver who is moving up or maybe could be said down a number, Tyler Lawson. He was out attempting to obtain his 9 second license in the family run Nova. The last few years almost the entire Lawson clan has driven the Nova. I believe, his first run was a 10.04. He followed that with the two required 9 second passes to obtain his license. In the first image that is Dad, Mike, in the background.
After the sun went down, it started to cool rapidly, however the racing continued unabated and overall it was a fun night of racing. Here are more images from the event.
What a magnificent day to be at the race track for Route 66's second round of Rockett Brand Racing Fuel's ET Bracket Series. The day broke with beautiful, partly cloudy skies and warming temperatures. Overnight the track experienced some unexpected rain and with the rising temperature, it caused a little seepage. As soon as it was detected, the Drag staff got to work to make the track safe for our drivers and teams. Even though the racing was delayed, when it did start it was evident everyone brought their "A" game. As was customary, the race day began with two rounds of time trials. As the teams made their way to the staging lanes, it was evident there was a large contingent of Pro cars. It was going to be a Pro day!
After completion of the time trials, the racing began in earnest. The smallest class to run Saturday was High School. In the Final, it was Darcy Ancel against Dylan Hensley. Darcy was the slower car and launched first. Dylan in his haste to catch Darcy left early gaining a redlight and Darcy taking the win.
The next class to complete its eliminations and go to the finals, was Pro Bike. It was Bob Foster Jr. versus Bill Homuth. Bill had the slower dial-in and launched first. He had a very good light, .035. However, Bob had better one, .031 and ran closer to his dial-in to take the win (7.58/7.614).
The Sportsman class was the next to run its final. It was Jeff Sandowski against Stephen Mroz. Steve had been cutting great lights all day and Jeff had been very consistent running close to his dial. Steve launched first, making his only mistake of the day by going red, -.043. Jeff already had the win as he launched and still ran another consistent pass, 12.00/12.039. This is Jeff's first win in a very long time! If you remember on Route 66's opening day, Jeff got engaged to Marilyn at the track. He has had a good couple of weeks!
Super Pro was up next. It was the dragster's of Kenny King and Jay Allen up against each other. Both are long time competitors at Route 66 and Kenny won last week's ET Bracket race #1. Both cut good lights, Jay .011-Kenny .030. This was a great race with Jay running slightly closer to his 7.85 dial-in to take the win.
The largest class was the last class to complete it's final, Pro. It was Valparaiso's Adam Needles, last week's finalist, against Symerton's Owin Proffit. Just before going through the tunnel, I spoke with Owin and he was not confident of being able to beat Adam. At the top end, it was Owin taking the win light. In the Winner's Circle Owin stated, "Sometimes you get lucky!" There may be a little talent involved.
The Lawson family was out in force, except for Miranda (Lawson) Alley and her husband Ryan who were at the hospital having a baby. All day Mom (Michelle) was sending out updates. (not pictured Connor)
I am happy to announce the birth of Corbin Michael Alley! Congratulations to Ryan, Miranda, the Alley and Lawson families!
Born May 5, 2019 @ 4:16 a.m.
On that happy note, I want to welcome back to Route 66, Don Yonkers. Its been about three years since Don has raced at Route 66. He has been extremely busy traveling the world for his work at Palmgren.
Today's win for Darcy Ancel was her first since 2014, when she was in Junior's. That is a long wait between wins! The Ancel family are long time racers and car builders at Route 66. Pictured are Darcy and Dad, Dave, driving Saturday.
We always talk about luck in racing. Five time champion including 2018, Herman Zehnder has had terrible luck in the first two races of the season. He has had two first round losses. Last week he lost to Troy Bogner when Troy ran a perfect pass. He was nearly perfect himself except for a -.010 red light. This week he went red by .001 and almost ran his number. Herman is too good a drag racer for this to continue!
With Saturday's storms hitting northern Illinois, there were a lot of questions as to Sunday's Rockett Brand Racing Fuels ET Bracket Series opening event. With the Route 66 staff monitoring the weather, a decision was made to make the attempt to have Opening Day. As the teams entered the gates, there were rumors abound about what the day was going to bring, from cancellation to one timed round with 1/8 mile runs. In the end, it was decided to have the full schedule of two timed runs and the full 1/4 mile. It was the right decision as witnessed by the above video with Troy Bogner in the green Camaro going wheelie-to wheelie with the gray Buick of Andy Brody! The competition was this tight all day. Here is some of the time trials action.
After completion of the time trials, it was time to start the round robin elimination rounds. Before the start of the racing, Track Announcer, Greg Nickleski, asked for a moment of silence in honor of Terry Stapleton who passed away on Saturday. Terry was the crew chief on Rocky Ausec's Nostalgia "Solid Rock" Mach One. Terry was a Marine Viet Nam veteran. Terry and I were in Viet Nam at the same time. Semper Fi!, Terry.
The competition was tough as the rounds began. The first class to be completed was High School with Samantha Senko defeating Randy Adler Jr. Sam ran a 12.214 on a 12.08 dial-in with a .155 response time and 92.02 mph.
The next class to complete it's competition, was Pro Bike. Tom Ewig was going up against Greg Darm. Greg had the better response time, however in his effort to catch Tom, he broke out by .017. Tom took the win win a 9.063 on a 9.01 dial-in, 136.08 mph.
Now it was Super Pro's turn to run their final. It was Kenny King versus Brandon Toma, both driving dragsters. Brandon was driving the slower car, it was up to Kenny to catch and pass him without breaking out. Kenny had the better light, .010 to Brandon's .043 and ran a 7.534 on a 7.50 dial-in at 172.06 mph to take the win.
After Super Pro, it was Pro ET's time to shine. The competition was fierce. In the end, it was John Coyle against Adam Needles. This was an extremely close race with John edging Adam at the finish to take the win light. John had a .036 response time and ran a 9.484 on a 9.48 dial-in at 141.37 mph to Adam's .042 response time, 11.524 on an 11.52 dial-in, 114.37 mph.
And the final class to compete was, the Sportsman Class. This race was 2018 Sportsman Champion, Paul O'Keefe against Stephen Mroz. In an effort to keep ahead of Paul, Stephen pushed it a little too hard and broke out. However, it might not have made a difference as Paul continued his dominance by running a 12.067 on a 12.06 dial-in, 110.26 mph.
In the first round of Pro ET competition, Troy Bogner, was racing against five-time Track Champion Herman Zehnder and made the Perfect Pass: .000 response time with a 9.360 on a 9.36 dial-in at 142.94 mph. Herman was no slouch in his ET by running 9.960 on a 9.96 dial-in and 133.20. However, Herman went red by -.010!
While walking the pits before the racing began, I struck up a conversation the soon-to-be-first-time Dad, Ryan Alley. His wife, Miranda (Lawson) is due soon. I inquired to any changes in the car and he pointed out the only change were the front wheels. I hadn't noticed, but upon closer inspection, they are some great looking wheels!
Speaking of the Lawson's, they have new drivers in the cars this year. Autumn (Audi) is driving the white Monte Carlo and Tyler is driving blue Nova.
While shooting the action, I spotted Nichole Medeisis spectating. Nichole was home from the University of Iowa to watch the racing. She is just completing her Junior year. I inquired about her car and learned the motor was out of the car to be freshened up and had just returned Wednesday. They should be installing it soon so she can get back to racing.
This was a great day at Route 66. The staff of Route 66 should be proud of the work it took to complete this event.
To see all the images from Sunday's action, please click here.
If you see something you want to order, please click here or on the "Ordering" link at the top of the page.
After last week's inclimate weather cancelled the first Race Your Ride of the season, everyone was anxious to get started. The day began with blues skies, a little cool with a strong wind. That didn't douse anyone's spirit to hit the track! The first to cars to take a pass were Palos Hills' Michael Wasik in his 2011 Camaro and Shorewood's Danny Vasilopulos in a 1993 Mustang. Welcome to the 2019 season!
Michael had a little problem getting the Camaro to hook-up to the track, allowing Danny to take the first win light of the season!
The cars continued to roll through the tunnel and there there was everything from street cars to Top Sportsman cars.
The fun part of the day, was catching up with everyone's off-season.
The Trench family, Todd, Sandy, TJ and Tori had an interesting offseason. At the end of last season Tori was starting to transition from a Junior dragster to a full-size dragster. Todd and Sandy bought her a car. However, there was a motor problem with TJ's car. They took the motor from Tori's car and put it in TJ's so he could finish the Bracket season. Then that motor got hurt, causing both motors to have to be rebuilt. Then their trailer, while they were temporarily parked in front of their house, was hit by a passing car. Result: trailer totaled! So, for the first time both cars were going to be on the track. Tori had never driven her car. So it was decided TJ would make a couple of passes to shake it down.
As the time approached that Tori was going to make her first pass in the new car, they decided she should race against TJ for the first time since Juniors. Sandy was noticeably nervous for Tori. And what about Tori...not so much!
During a delay in the staging lanes, Tori used TJ's jacket and appears to be asleep!
Finally, it came time for their time on track. Tori didn't make a full run as she learned how to drive the new car. However, she did well for the first time in the car.
Former Pro ET Champion, Troy Bogner, decided to make an upgrade to his Camaro. He removed the front sheet metal and replaced it with a fiberglass front end. It lightened the car by 275#'s. The car looks great and looked to perform well!
Another Junior transitioning to a full size car, is Brandon Loeschen. It was decided to skip the High School class and go right to Sportsman driving a Mustang. His first four lights were .4, .3, .009 and a .1. Here is Brandon driving and Dad looking on! Good luck Brandon!
I saw 2018 Sportsman Champion, Paul O'Keefe, come to the line. Something was different, however I wasn't able to figure it out. During a break, I sought out Paul and learned he had the car repainted. A different green and now the racing stripes are white vs the previous tinted green. The car looks great!
And finally, at the end of the day, there was a very happy event when Sportsman driver, Jeff Sandowski proposed to his girlfriend Marilyn Kopchik! And... she said YES!! Jeff had talked to me earlier in the week and we were able to make it happen. Congratulations to Jeff and Marilyn!
Today was the opening day for the Rockford Speedway with the running of the WXRX 200 Lap
Enduro. This is the first of three Enduro's which make up the Iron Man Challenge. The event led off with the "Beauty Contest", with eight cars vying for the $50 prize.
And the winner was...The Clown Car!
The race invocation was given by recently retired Jimmy "A" (Ambruoso Sr.) Jimmy worked for Rockford Speedway for 59 years! It was good to see him back at the track!
This was followed by the National Anthem, sung by Courtney Gors. Courtney did a beautiful job.
Then it was the racers turn to take center stage. The field consisted of 72 four cylinder cars racing for two hundred laps. There are no caution laps, only red light stoppages for specific incidences. The race is started on the oval and at the half way break the track is converted to the Monza course with a kink in the back stretch. When the race started Ryan Lagestee, driving the 34 car, went to the lead, followed closely by South Elgin's Billy Rud in the 01 car. It stayed that way for about the first two-thirds of the race, until Billy took the lead. At Lap 95, the halfway break was taken with Billy leading.
At the restart on the Monza course, it was Billy in the lead followed by Ryan. Shortly thereafter, it was Ryan reassuming the lead. At this point, Billy got in trouble. He had a dust-up with another car coming out of turn two breaking the right front spindle. That ended his day and a good run. It was then, Jay Orr's turn to take a run at Ryan. He passed Ryan for the lead, however Ryan passed him back to take the lead, again.
From this point Ryan cruised home to the victory taking the checkered flag!
In his victory interview, Ryan dedicated the win to his friend, Matt Arvia, who had passed away. The number 34 was Matt's number and had the blessing of the family!
Second place was #18 Jay Orr and third place #3, Jason Kurth
Saturday was the fourth annual Ingalls Park Athletic Club Practice Tree Nationals benefiting the Route 66 Raceway NHRA Junior Drag Racing League. The "Juniors" traditionally run five races in the summer in two classes, Junior Sportsman and Junior Modified. This year's practice tree races consisted of three classes Junior, Sportsman and Pro Tree. In addition to the racing, this event has become a big social event for the racers to gather, catch up and talk about the upcoming season. This event was organized by the Churchill family and they want to thank the following sponsors:
Midwest Junior Super Series
Route 66 Raceway
Patty Brown's Tire Covers
Jeff & Dana Highland
Sontag Speed Supply
Core & Main Waterworks
Dave & Pat Beimfohr
After lunch and the social time, qualifying began in all three classes when Rt. 66 Track Announcer Greg Nickleski called the participants to the Staging Lanes.
After qualifying there was a break while the brackets were set. Door prize giveaways announced and continued throughout the event.
It started getting serious with the start of eliminations.
In the Junior Finals it was Bree Covell against Ruby Zolper, with Bree taking the win light.
The Pro Tree Final was next up with TJ Trench going against Troy Bogner. Troy took the win.
In the Sportsman Class Final, it was Troy Bogner in his second final up against Autumn Lawson, with Troy taking his second win.
With his double win, Troy Bogner swept the Practice Tree Nationals.
During competition there was a $50 award for a perfect light. The only perfect light of the day was junior, Brinny Covell. Brinny's sister, Bree won the Junior Class. Congratulations to the Covell family
One of the event sponsors was Car Chix and Jeanette Desjardins. She had just returned home from the South Georgia Motorsports Park's Lights Out 10 event. With upcoming events, the schedule is starting to get busy! Car Chix will be hosting four 2019 race events:
June 8th - Ladies Only No Prep @ Anarchy No Prep, Great Lakes Dragaway
June 22nd - Battle of the Sexes, Great Lakes Dragaway
August 17th - Ladies Only Drag Race & Breast Cancer Cancer Fundraiser, Byron Dragway
October 12th - Car Chix Outlaw, Cordova Int'l Raceway
A visitor to the event was Danny Sullivan. Danny drives the Chicago Rush Jet Dragster.
I spoke with Jim Luckett driver of the "Beat the Heat" car. Jim hurt the motor last season and is about ready to reinstall it in the car. And like most racers, when the motor was out of the car, his motor "grew"! (Jim is on the left in the below image)
I also spoke with Joe Zolper and asked about his Charger Pro Mod. He said while it is coming along and should be out this year, it's his wife's, Jenny, car which is going to be fast. He recently installed a new Hemi motor in the car. (Joe and Jenny (l); Jenny racing at Great Lakes Dragaway (R)
This was a great event for an even better cause! I am looking forward to a great season and this is always a super way to kick it off!! See everyone soon, at the track!!!
To see all images from the event, please click here.
This past Saturday's 2018 year banquet, as in the past, was led off with the social hour. This gave the racers, guests and families time to gather and talk. It was good to catch up, reminisce and talk about the upcoming season.
Sam Martin, Manager of Route 66 Raceway Operations, officially opened the banquet.
Sam introduced Track President Scott Paddock, for a few remarks, thanking all the racers and families for their support. He also announced a little tease of some new upcoming events which should be exciting.
This was followed by Track Chaplain Bill Beagle giving the dinner invocation. Bill has been the long time Route 66 Raceway Chaplain.
On to Dinner!
Near the conclusion of dinner, Greg Nickleski, Rt. 66 Track Announcer was brought to the podium to begin the presentation of awards.
The first class announced was the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League Junior Sportsman. This year's champion was Cooper Hamelen with two wins and one runner-up.
1. Cooper Hamelen
2. Holden Grimes
3. Hayley Becker (tie)
3. Cole Campbell (tie)
5. Ava Valencia
Next up was the Junior Modifieds Division of the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League. This year's Champion was Ryan Elberts with one win and one Semi.
1. Ryan Elberts
2. Allison Furman
3. Sydney Senko
4. Nate Kelley
5. Tori Trench
Also announced, were the 2018 NHRA Junior Drag Racing Challenge Winners: Kyle Mackie, Junior Modified and Cole Campbell, Junior Sportsman.
The next awards to be announced was High School. The High School Champion was Connor Lawson with four wins and 2 runner up finishes.
1. Connor Lawson
3. Samantha Senko (tie)
3. Russell Gomien (tie)
5. Jonathon David
Bill Larson, the Rockett Brand Racing Fuel E.T. Bracket Series Announcer, was brought to the podium to announce the Series Awards. The first Award was the 2018 Route 66 Raceway Spirit Award. This year, three members of the racing family were selected to receive the award. The three gave an overwhelming effort that resulted in Route 66 winning the Division 3 Team Spirit Award at the Indy Finals. In addition, the three have been extremely supportive of their Husbands, Sons and Daughters in their racing efforts for many years. The recipients of the award are:
Renee Bogner, Sandy Trench and Denise Hooten!
Continuing with the racers, the next class to be announced was Sportsman. This year the Sportsman Class was dominated by Paul O'keefe with two wins, three Runners up and one semi-final.
1. Paul O'Keefe
2. Tony Lyons
3. Raymond St. Pierre
4. Steve Flounders Jr.
5. Andy Brodzinski Jr.
6. Jack Larsen
7. Meghan Hurley
8. Stephan Mroz
9. Joe Cesario
10. Roman Sakas (tie)
10. Bill Larson (tie)
The next class to be announced was Pro Bike. The 2018 Champion was Bruce Damewood with three wins, one runner up and two semis.
1. Bruce Damewood
2. Thomas Ewig
3. Frank Linders
4. Bob Foster Jr.
5. Mike Krueger
The next award was for the 3rd Annual Run Tuff Eliminator. This was run at the Route 66 Classic in August and the winner was Mark Marusak. Mark defeated his good friend Troy Bogner in the race.
The next class was the Pro E.T. Class. This class was very competitive all year and came down to the last race and almost the last pass to crown Herman Zehnder the champion. Herman is the first five time Champion in the history of Route 66 Raceway!
1. Herman Zehnder
2. Tony Lyons
3. Bill Macke
4. John Coyle
5. Cory Dunkin
6. Mike Heden
7. Troy Bogner
8. Don Swanson
9. Frank Valencia
10. Ricky Pena
Before the last class was announced, Eddie Banderowicz Jr. was awarded Rookie of the year. Eddie finished 14th in points and actually took out his Dad in the semi-finals of the King of the Track event.
The last Class Championship to be awarded was Super Pro. The Championship was taken by Dave Ancel with two semi-finals and one runner up. Dave has been a long time racer at Route 66.
1. Dave Ancel
2. Bill Chase
3. Dominic Bowden
4. Jim Fredericks
6. Vince Mistrata
7. Nick Mistrata
8. Brandon Toma
9. John Woolwine
10. Al Kuefler
One of the more prestigious Awards, is the Family of the Year. This year's winner was a family that started in the Junior ranks and has continued on to aggressively compete in the Super Pro Category. The father is the busy leader of his two car team. They had two top ten cars this year, including an event win and two semi-final round finishes. They have represented Route 66 well at Indy over the years.
The Mistrata Family is the Route 66 Raceway Family of the Year!
Before the last award of the night, Route 66 Race acknowledged the NHRA All Access Challenge Winners.
High School - Connor Lawson
Pro Bike - Greg Darm
Sportsman - Stephen Mroz
Pro E.T. - Cory Dunkin
Super Pro - Jim Fredericks
Route 66 also acknowledged the King of the Track winners
Winner: Super Pro - Bill Chase
Sportsman - Meghan Hurley
Pro Bike - Bruce Damewood
Pro E.T. - Terry Heller
The last award of the night was for Driver of the year. This award was presented by Jack Day of Rockett Brand Racing Fuel.
This racer makes a six hour 300 mile round trip with his family to race at Route 66 Raceway. This season he had three event wins, a runner up and two semi-final finishes. He was also runner up at the King of the Track event. At Indy, he won the Race of Champions and went to Pomona for the second time representing Route 66 Raceway. His third trip to the ET Finals overall.
The Driver/Rider of the Year was Pro Bike Racer Bruce Damewood.
At the conclusion of the event, Scott Paddock made a special presentation of the Rockett Brand Racing Fuel ET Bracket Series canvas print that was on display during the banquet. Every winner from the Series was represented on the collage.
It was a rough weather weekend for Rockford Speedway's 53rd National Short Track Championships. I was originally scheduled to attend all three days of the event. But due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to attend Friday and Saturday. Rockford's staff did a great job and completed Friday's events, but on Saturday they were unable to complete the scheduled events. The Great Northern Sportsman Series, Modified Feature and the Big 8 Series races were postponed until Sunday morning. This was a lucky break for me!
Sunday morning broke with cloudy skies. As soon as I arrived, it started to rain again. This delayed the 9:00 a.m. scheduled start. Finally after several hours, the program was set to begin with the running of the 35 lap Great Northern Sportsman Series race.
There was one caution early in the race and on lap 5, Jason Thoma took the lead and held it to the checkers.
Next up was the Big 8 Series. To accomodate the schedule, this was reduced from a 108 to 88 lap race. The race was marred by several wrecks that took out perennial front runners Matt Lundberg, Jon Reynolds Jr. and Jeremy Miller. Michael Bilderback took the lead and battled Dale Nottestad to keep the lead. Michael at one point stretched his lead, however as the laps wound down, it was Max Kahler, coming from the back, to challenge Michael and closed it down to one car length at the finish. This was Michael's second victory of the NSTC, as he also won the Weekly Warrior Late Model race Friday night.
To complete Saturday's schedule, it was the 25 lap Modified Feature.
This was a small but competitive field of modifieds with the lead being swapped numerous times. In the end, it was Jackson, Michigan's Justin Okruhlica taking the win.
It was now time to start the Sunday program. With Mother Nature threatening it was decided to run the NSTC Feature 200 Lap Super Late Model Race first.
It was Lomira, Wisconsin's Alex Prunty taking his second consecutive NSTC Championship. Alex started sixth and took the lead on lap 10. From there it was just holding off the field through six cautions, including one with ten laps to go. He was challenged by former NSTC Champion Casey Johnson, but was able to bring home the checkers.
Alex's comments in Victory Lane to a question asked by Stan Kalwasinski, Race Star Publications.
A little video from the race.
Next up was the 40 lap Mid-American Series. There was a twenty-five car field and numerous cautions in the opening laps. In the end, it was Richfield Wisconsin's Bill Prietzel taking the win.
In the final race of Rockford's 53rd National Short Track Championships, it was the Northern Outlaw Vintage Series. It was a small field of eight cars, but very competitive with former NSTC 200 lap Feature winner Steve Rubeck taking the win.
Ol' Mother Nature tried her best to stop the racing, but by perseverance and hard work by the Rockford Speedway staff, the National Short Track Championships were completed. Kudos to Rockford for a job well done.
To see all the results from all this past weekend's racing click here.
To see all the photos from Sunday's events, please click here.
If you see something you would like to order please click on the "Ordering" link at the top of the page or here.
Sunday was the Plote Invitational 2018 annual drag racing day celebrating the 50 years of Beverly Materials. The racing was led by Dan and Dave Plote sharing their Dodge Demon SRT. To be honest I can't tell who was driving in the above photo due to the burnout smoke. I am guessing that there were around 50 cars broken down by class. This is a bracket style event with two rounds of time trials followed by the start of eliminations. Here is some of the action.
When in between rounds and not racing, there was plenty of conversation and just hanging out with each other.
The racers were all shooting for a little cash and one of these.
And the winners:
During the first round of Time Trials there was a special award of $100 for Ed Frost who cut a perfect light.
It's sad when a racing season comes to an end! It's hard to believe that it will be five and half months before I shoot another racer "getting it done" at Route 66. Friday night's Race Your Ride was another reason I enjoy what I do. The weather was beautiful, another great Chicago sunset and some super racing. Midway in the event we had a stoppage which took some time to clean up, but that gave everyone the time gather and reminisce about their season, discuss their cars and everything social. It's very unusual that I enjoy a race stoppage, but this one was fun for me! As is usually the case at a Race Your Ride there is a mixture of street cars and race cars.
Greg King was out with the "Deuce on the Loose" nostalgia funny car with Greg Nickleski driving. Greg was making his licensing runs in the car. This was the car that was built on the Velocity Channel's Garage Squad. It was announced that Greg had successfully completed the requirements for his license
Speaking of Garage Squad, Joe, Jenny and Ruby Zolper were out this night with Jen's Pro Mod. She made a couple really good runs.
In the second photo, Jenny is racing against Joe Malfeo in his green S-10. Joe built this truck over the last off-season and has been dialing it in. He stated he is now ready to take it Bracket Racing full time next year. The truck is extremely consistent!
I saw Dave and Maria Kocher on the line. They were out checking on track conditions as they were getting ready to run the Plane Insane II. They stated they were out testing as they had just redone the motor. They had been having problems for sometime and decided to rebuild it themselves. Dave made two pretty good runs!
A little later in the event, I was asked to come to the Race Control for a photo op. Don Swanson had a perfect light in the last bracket race and was picking up his Hollywood Casino Lucky Light Award. Congratulations Don!
All told it was a very good night and a fitting end to the Route 66 season. I want to thank the Route 66 staff for all their help this season and to all the Drivers/Teams for allowing me to stick a camera in their faces all season long. If not at another racetrack, I hope to see everyone at the Banquet.
To see all the photos from Friday night's action, please click here.
To see all the Route 66 photos from this season and past, please click here.
If you see something you would like to order, please click here or on the ordering tab at the top of the page.