Route 66 Junior Dragster Round #1
It was a very eventful and fun day at Route 66 for the first round of the NHRA Junior Dragster League. For some reason we were a little late getting started. Very early, after a run by Tori Trench and others, a problem was found with the Staging light in the left lane. This problem took a little over an hour to troubleshoot and correct. After this fix, the racing continued. During the day there were several minor delays due to some type of timing glitch. I am told a new computer is to be installed this week that will correct these problems. There is something new this year that I was unaware of. Starting in January, NHRA required a licensing issuance procedure before a Junior can compete. For the first time, Route 66 issued two licenses. Brooke Becker and Madison Drafke earned their licenses. Reagan Bolin also attempted to earn his license but was thwarted by a broken throttle on his new car. He will be back again.
The racing continued through the afternoon. Because of the earlier delays, we were pushing the time that the parking lots were going to open for the Team Demolition Derby at the Dirty "O". It looked like we were going to make it with time to spare, however during the Modified Final there was a scoring glitch that caused a re-race. At 3:50 p.m. the race was run with Tori Trench taking the victory over David Roloff. In the Sportsman Division it was Bobby Kernwein over Italy Summers. Best Reaction Time for the day went to Jake Lucky. We made it just in time!
Because of the Modified re-race, we decided to take a picture of both families together in Victory Lane.
Here are some more images from the day.
To see all of today's images, please click here.
Route 66 Test & Tune #6
Today, was the first Friday night O'Reilly Auto Parts Test & Tune of the season. Being Memorial Day weekend, I left a little early, but not early enough. I ran into heavy traffic and when I got I-80, I exited and took the back roads to the track. I arrived just as the cars were making there first runs. I had no idea what to expect for a car count or the types of cars that would run tonight. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount and quality of cars that came to run. In addition, there were quite a few people in the Grandstand and standing along the wall. There was a significant contingent of Top Sportsman cars and at least one hit 200 mph. There was also a large contingent of street cars. There was a very good variety of dragsters. Since I had to be back in the morning for the Junior Dragsters, I left at 9:00 p.m. while there were still cars waiting in staging to run. It was a good night for racing. Next up, are the Junior Dragsters. Here are some of the cars that ran tonight.
As we arrived at Route 66 Raceway this morning around 9:00 a.m., I would have bet the house we would not complete this event. I would have lost! My first view of the track resembled a river!! The track crews did an amazing job drying and preparing the track for racing. At approximately 11:45 a.m. we went racing. Due to continuing bad weather in the area, it was decided to move into a hurry-up mode and hold only one qualifying round. This worked to perfection. The one thing missing today was scoring problems. For the most part everything went smoothly. Early on , John McCoy, driving his silver Mustang, upon launch, apparently broke a left rear axle part and lost the wheel. Fortunately, it veered hard left and just nudged the concrete lane dividing wall and stopped.
That was a quick clean-up and the racing continued. The weather continued to improve all day and the racing heated up. There were some minor delays in the afternoon and only one that took some time to clean up. A Top Sportsman car making a test run, leaked transmission fluid the length of the track. After that, the racing continued until it's conclusion I would like to congratulate our winner's of Bracket Race #3:
Super Pro - Nathan Ford
Pro Eliminator - Bill Chase
Pro Motorcycle - Bob Foster Jr.
Sportsman - Bill Northup
High School - Austin Headrick
Bill Chase defeated Troy Bogner in the finals. Until that final loss, Troy had won every pass he made so far this season. Austin Headrick won his second in a row and was in his third straight final. Again, congratulations!
Here are some of the images from today's action:
This was really a strange day at Route 66 for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Test & Tune. The day started out looking very gloomy. As the time went on, the overcast thinned and at times it was sunny. Because of the rain the night before, the track took extra preparation time so the racing was about an hour late getting started. With four series running, the car count for the test & tune regulars was low. However, what was lacking in quantity was made up in quality. The only problem that I saw was the Series' seemed to be slow getting into staging. In addition, the scoring and timing system was having problems. With both these issues, there was a lot standing around in the morning. As the afternoon approached, the glitches started to work themselves out and the rest of the day went fairly smooth. The only minor glitch was oil detected at the start line and this took a little time to cleanup. There was a surprise (at least to me) when Scotty Heat brought his jet dragster "Fifty Cal" through the tunnel. Scotty made two passes this day, both at 298 MPH and change. He put on a very good show. At the end of the day, I would like to congratulate our winners:
Midwest Outlaw Racing Series - Outlaw Pro - Gino Canallo, Lemont, Il.
Midwest Super Comp Series - Ben Baer, Coal City, Il.
Midwest Top Sportsman - Alex Bosak, Chicago, Il.
Chicagoland Chapter, Buick Club of America - Keith Egan, Hartland Wi.
Here are some images from today:
To see the rest of today's action please click here.
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Also I would like to wish Miranda Lawson a Happy 21st Birthday. She spent her Saturday racing at Route 66!
Drag Racing Art
Over the years that Janet and I have been using our cameras to record race track memories, she has always been more artistic than me. A friend of ours is the publisher of a well-known racing magazine, and I have always followed his axioms for what photographs to publish. Several photographic elements may apply only to circle track racing, but there is crossover to drag racing. Basically, you record what the fan actually sees. If the track is flat, don't tilt your camera to indicate otherwise. Don't turn night into day or change the colors in Photoshop. Minor adjustments are okay, but no major photoshopping.
However, every once in awhile, it's fun to play around. The results can be disastrous or great, depending on your point of view. The first time I saw High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, I was totally blown away and really excited to see photography "art." However, after awhile, many photographers jumped on the bandwagon. In my opinion, it was just a little too much! I still believe there are good ways to use HDR or photo processing software to make "art." One good use is for sponsors of the race cars. An artistic, stylized photo looks good in the corporate office! In our spare time, Janet and I have been playing around with a few of our photos to make them more artistic. Below are some examples of our work.
We can "stylize" almost any photo. So if you see something you like, just email me at
email@example.com or click on the mail button at the top of the page. We do not have set pricing for this work because the costs depends on the time involved. But like all our other pricing, we try to keep it reasonable.
And we hope this weekend's weather forecast gets better, so we can see everyone at the track.
Sunday was a very pleasant day at Route 66 for the second race of the season for the Rockett Brand Racing Fuel ET Bracket Series. Originally, the weather was supposed to be sunny and 80. As it turned out, it was slightly overcast to cloudy most of the day, with a warm breeze blowing. With the overcast and consistent light, it was almost perfect for photography. The bad part was my go-to lens decided to have an auto-focus problem and late in the event on Saturday, it broke. Fortunately, I had some alternatives that I think worked, but those who view the photos will be the final judge. Now, onto the racing part of the day. Unlike Saturday, we did not have any on-track crashes. About the worst thing that happened, was during the Pro Motorcycle final when Bob Foster's engine starting spewing oil as it approached the launch point. He immediately shut it down and the win was awarded to Tom Ewig. This necessitated a stoppage for the oil cleanup. Late into the event there was a 10-15 minute stoppage for rain at the end of the track. The racing continued until completion. I want to congratulate all our winners:
High School - Austin Headrick
Anthony Riley - Sportsman
Tom Ewig - Pro Motorcycle
Troy Bogner - Pro Eliminator
Jim Sevik - Super Pro
To demonstrate the family aspect of Route 66 Drag Racing, as we all know High School usually completes its Final earlier than the rest. We immediately do Victory Lane. Sunday we were unable to do that because the Headrick family was still racing! I couldn't get an exact count but there were at least three others, including Dad John, still in the event. John and Ashley made it to the Finals in Super Pro and Sportsman, but eventually lost to Troy Bogner and Anthony Riley, respectively.
Here are some images from the event.
It looks like we finally turned the corner on the weather! it was a beautiful day for racing. Upon my arrival, I immediately toured the pits and was a little disappointed with the car count. There were the big hitters with Dale Creasy Jr., Luigi Novelli, John Lawson with Runaway, Tom Motry's Drastic Plastic in primer color and the Nostalgic Funny Cars, Solid Rock and Afternoon Rush Hour Roadshow. However, after shooting on the line for awhile, I noticed a large number of cars that I hadn't seen earlier. I can only assume it was a late arriving issue. The morning was marred by three accidents, the last involving Dale Creasy Jr. While the cars were damaged, all the safety equipment worked, the Safety Safari did an excellent job and everyone was uninjured. In addition to the Nitro cars and Nostalgic Funny Cars, there was a group of my personal favorites, the Top Sportsman class. Here some images from today's action. To see all the images please click here to go to my Flickr account page.