Saturday was the once rain delayed Rockett Brand Racing Fuel ET Bracket series with JDRL #1 at Route 66 Raceway. After the night before's Race Your Ride, there was a bleak weather report of 80% chance of severe thunderstorms with damaging hail. When I awoke, I saw blue skies and immediately checked the weather report and learned over the five hours since I went to sleep the weather forecast had changed to 50% for scattered thunderstorms. While the track was prepared to go to a hurry-up schedule, there was no need. Other than some clouds around 11:30 a.m., it was a magnificent day without a single drop of rain.
The racing started with two rounds of Time Trials.
This was followed by the JDRL. For this race the Junior Sportsman were sponsored by Ingalls Park A.C. and the Junior Modifieds were sponsored by Art & Judy Lake (racer Bobby Churchill's Great- Grandparents).
As a result of the time trials, Austin Begyn (Junior Modified) and Cooper Hamelen (Junior Sportsman) won the Route 66 Food and Fuel Best Reaction Time Award.
Cooper is a local racer from Tinley Park, however Austin, age 12, is from Andalusia, Il. along with his 14 yoa brother, Evan, 12 yoa sister Briece and friend 11 yoa, Lucas DeCook (Taylor Ridge,Il.). They all race together and normally race at the Tri-State Raceway in Earlville, Ia. I want to thank the Begyn's for coming to Route 66 and supporting the NHRA JDRL.
Eliminations started and continued round after round. The first two classes that crowned their winner were High School...
Where points leader Julie Nettles defeated Nate Kelley. Next was Junior Sportsman...
Where Cooper Hamelen took the win light over Ruby Zolper. This was Cooper's second win of the season. He also had Best Reaction Time.
The racing continued with Bruce Damewood defeating Greg Darm in the Pro Bike class. Greg almost got Bruce with .001 reaction time.
The next final was in Sportsman when Steve Flounders Jr. in his 1973 Roadrunner bested Jeff Toepper in his 1969 Camaro.
This was followed by Junior Modified racer Elizabeth Manaseri defeating Jack Nolan. Jack had a problem on the start line and was not able to stage in time.
In the Pro ET class, it was Mario Caponigro, in his 69 Plymouth Roadrunner defeating Dave Kaczmarczyk in his 86 Dodge Pickup . Earlier in the day, Mario was "busting my chops" about only having one picture of his car from the last ET Bracket Race. I reminded him that to get more images, he needs not to get eliminated in the first round! After this win, Mario demanded that I tell that to him at each upcoming race!!
In the final race of the day, it is was Jerry Cotton taking the win light over Nick Cryer in Super Pro. This is Jerry Cotton's second win of the season at Route 66.
Today was a magnificent day for racing! The weatherman could not have been more wrong in the forecast. I want express my congratulations to all our winners.
To see the rest of the day's action, please click here.
To see all our images, please click here.
I f you something you may want to purchase, please click here or on the Ordering tab at the top of the page.
Tonight at Route 66, it was Race Your Ride #5 Presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts. When we arrived at the track, the first thing I noticed was the two Lawson nostalgic funny cars, Runaway and Quickdraw. Parked next to them was Drastic Plastic. All three cars were testing for an event to be held at Eddyville Raceway Park later in the month. As we prepared for the evening's racing, more cars started to arrive, including the Beedy & Malloy front engine A Fuel dragster and the Ramcharger Nostalgic Funny Car.
There was an abundance of street cars and dragsters.
There was also a contingent of JDRL cars preparing for Saturday's race.
Damian Begler showed up with his new car. This was a car that was given to him by the family of the original owner Jerry Elwell, who had passed away. They wanted to see the car back on the track and only requested that Jerry's name be on the car. Damian did a lot of work and the car is back racing.
Tonight also marked the return of Dave and Maria Kocher back to Route 66. If you remember back in September 2016, Maria lost control of the Plane Insane Ford Maverick, bouncing off the walls. Maria was injured in the crash. They brought their new car, Plane Insane II to the track for a test. The new car has a 660 c.i. 1200 HP. The car was able to make one pass while working to improve the car's performance.
It took a perfect light for Troy Bogner to defeat Jay Allen in the final race of the day to take home the King of the Track Wally. This was the type of competition that was seen all day. The funny thing of it all, was that earlier in the day, Troy told his wife, Renee, she might as well start packing up because they were going home early. Troy had two bad time trial runs and just couldn't get a handle on what the car needed. He had no confidence at all. I guess perseverance pays off! Before racing Jay Allen for the Wally, he had to first march through the field of Pro cars and win the class. He won the class by defeating Matt O'Connell.
After defeating Matt, he drew Mike D. Krueger and his Pro Bike in the semi-final of KOT
It was then that he pulled the perfect light and defeated Jay Allen.
There was a lot of racing before the KOT race, with each run being hotly contested. Here are some images from the time trials and the bracket racing.
In addition to the "big" car racing, the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League, held its first Route 66 race.
In the Junior Sportsman class, it was Cooper Hamelen taking the win over Madalyn Highland. Madalyn was also #1 Qualifier.
In the highly competive Junior Modified class it Samantha Senko taking the win light over Nate Kelley.
Throughout each elimination round, the competition in all the "big" car classes was incredible. In the end it came down to two cars in each class. In the High School class, it was Nate Kelley defeating points leader Julie Nettles. Nate was also the runner-up in Junior Modified.
In Sportsman, it was Larry McMullin in the AMC Pacer defeating Steve Flounders Jr. when Steve redlighted. Larry had a near perfect light of .003. It was ironic that the night before at the Race Your Ride, a fan approached me and was surprised to see a Pacer racing!
In Pro Bike, it was Mike Krueger defeating Tom Ewig. Both pulled near perfect lights, .004 and .006 respectively.
As earlier talked about it, in Pro, Troy Bogner won the class defeating Matt O'Connell
In Super Pro, it was Jay Allen defeating his long time friend Al Kueffler.
For the King of the Track, the Sportsman, Pro Bike, Pro and Super Pro winners face off against each. Here is a moment of comraderie before the final eliminations started.
I can't say enough about the competition today. It took Troy's perfect light in the last race to win it all!
To see all the images from today's action, please click here.
To see all our images, 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.
Mother Nature tried to impede tonight's Race Your Ride program, however through hard work by the Dragstaff, the one shower was handled within an hour and we were back to racing. There were a couple more minor stoppages, but overall the night was a success. In addition to the street cars there were some very good dragsters. There was the Beedy & Malloy front engine dragster.
Over the off season, the car was converted to a NHRA Heritage Nostalgia dragster. Tonight was a test of some of the new components. With Dave Brown at the helm, they were able to make one pass, however they were unable to repeat because of technical issues with the car.
Tim Cullinan drives his own front engine dragster and Tom Motry's Drastic Plastic.
Unfortunately, Drastic Plastic did not make it on track tonight. There was Marv Cresson in his newly re-done Camaro looking very good.
Scott Hoffman was testing his Midwest Nostalgic Pro Stock Car
Overall, there was a great mixture of street cars and purpose built dragsters.
There was also a contingent of Junior Dragsters preparing for Saturday's Rt. 66 JDRL race #1.
Saturday will be an ET Bracket race and there were several drivers/teams testing their setups. One in particular was Gary Biela in the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro "Frogie". Over the off-season Gary upgraded his motor from a 396 c.i., 500 hp powerplant to a 489 c.i. 700 hp engine. Gary is tuning on his launch to keep the car from over-rotating.
It was a very good night of racing and I'm looking forward to a great Bracket race Saturday.
To see all the images from tonight, please click here.
To see all our images, please click here.
If you see something you would like to purchase, please click here or on the Ordering tab at the top of the page.
Sunday was Day 3 of the NHRA Lucas Oil Series Division 3 racing. Today's racing consisted of the eliminations and the finals. All the cars racing today were the best performers of the over 500 cars present this weekend. Like all weekend, there was no quarter given as every driver/team/car gave its all to win the Wally. Here's the action.
The great racing continued all the way into the finals. I want to congratulate all the winners of the Wallys!
Super Street - Mark Smith
Stock Eliminator - Bob Gipson
Super Comp - Jacob Elrod
Super Stock - Jeff Dona
Super Gas - Dave Dahlen
Top Alcohol Dragster - Marty Thacker
Top Alcohol Funny Car - John Lombardo
Top Dragster - Wayne Sleger
Top Sportsman - Badeye Brinegar
Comp Eliminator - Troy Galbraith
I do have to say that this was one of, if not the best, Lucas Oil Div. 3 races I have attended. Combined with the Burndown at Sundown, it was an thoroughly enjoyable weekend of racing.
Next up for us is next Friday's O'Reilly Auto Parts Race Your Ride and Saturday's Rockett Brand Racing Fuel ET Bracket Series at Route 66.
To see more of today's action, please click here.
To see all our images, please click here.
To purchase any photos, please click here or on the Ordering tab at the top of the page.
Under hot skies, everything got hotter at Route 66 Raceway with the second day of NHRA Lucas Oil Series Div. 3. As the sun started to go down, trackwise, it got even hotter with the Burndown at Sundown. With a great crowd on hand, the Nostalgic Pro Stocks started the festivities followed by the KC Jones wheel stander car and the jet cars. There was Dave Moder's Dragon Fyre, Barry Richter's Hypersonic jet funny car, Scotty Heat's Fifty Cal. dragster and KC & Linda Jones' Chattanooga Choo Choo and Cannonball Express.
Here is a video that Janet took during the show.
Surrounding the two sessions of the Burndown at Sundown, NHRA Div. 3 put on some great racing. Here are some images from the days action.
The crowd was really into all the activities of the day.
On a local note, "A" Fuel Dragster driver/owner/builder Marina Anderson completed her required runs and was issued her NHRA license. This is the last pass!
The night ended with fireworks and Brittany Braker's Fireater Show on the Midway.
Friday, at Route 66, was a day of returns. It was the return of the NHRA Lucas Oil Series Div. 3 and the return of Janet to the track. She hit it running into the staging lanes,
She struck up a conversation with the contingent of Shelby Cobra Mustang owners.
While Janet hit the staging lanes, I hit the track to capture some action.
You probably have heard about when a car loses traction. I was able to capture a sequence of images as an example.
It was a great day one of racing! Saturday the action will continue along with one of the premier events at Route 66, the Burndown at Sundown. This will include jet cars, Wheel Standers and events influenced by fire!
To see all of Friday's action, please click here.
To see all our images please click here.
If you see something you would like to purchase, please click here or on the tab at the top of the page.
Wednesday was the opening night for oval racing at the newly reconfigured Dirt Oval Route 66. This is an event I have been anticipating for years, bringing back oval dirt track racing to Route 66. When I say reconfigured, I mean the track was taken from a 1/2 mile oval to a 3/8 mile oval. The night's action involved the POWERi series with the National Midgets, WAR Sprints and the D II midgets. In addition, the UMP Late Model series were also running. I have to admit that I am not as familiar with this type of racing as I probably should be, however I did recognize a few faces, Kenny Wallace, David Stremme and Rico Abreu.
Being unfamiliar with this type of racing, I started wandering around the pits trying to pick up some tidbits and learn.
The format for the night's action began with hot laps, followed by qualifying. After qualifying, each series ran their heat races. The number of heat races per series was based upon the number of entries. They were two or three heats per series. After a track prep the four "A" Main Features were run. Here is action from the night.
In the end, it was Michael Pickens, from Australia, winning the National Midgets.
Next up it was the UMP Late Models, with Allen Weisser taking the checkers.
This was followed by the WAR Sprints. This was a competitive race with Landon Simon, from Troy, Oh., taking the win.
In final race of the evening, the D II Midgets, it was Andy Malpocker of St. Charles, Mo., taking the checker flag.
Having never photographed these types of cars on this track, it was interesting learning experience. I can't wait until the World of Outlaws show up later in the month of June. I want to congratulate all our winners and the Dirt Oval staff for doing a great job of promoting this event. It was gratifying to see the Oval being used for what is was originally designed to be.
To see all the photos from the event, please click here.
To see all our photos please click here.
If you see something you would like to order please click here or click on the Ordering tab at the top of the page.