The weather forecast for Sunday's Rockett Brand Racing Fuel ET Bracket race #4 w/Junior Drag Racing League #1 was bleak with thunderstorms predicted. This was also the NHRA.tv Challenge race. When I arrived at the track, the weather was looking good..
However, taking into account the weather forecast, it was decided to forego the normal two time trial runs and have only one. We would then move right into eliminations. Above is Taylor Hanus and Bill Staton during their time trial. Here are some more images from the time trial.
At the conclusion of the time trials, eliminations began. The first class to complete their eliminations and have their final, was High School. It was ETB #2 race winner, Darcy Ancel vs Alex Mullin. At the line, Darcy was a little too quick and redlighted giving the win light and the Wally to Alex.
The next ET Bracket class to complete its eliminations was Pro Bike. In the final it was 2018 Champion Bruce Damewood against Robert Sutterlin, with Bruce taking home the Wally. This was the last final to be completed in the NHRA Drag.tv Challenge as the rain started to fall. Due to the rain, we had an abbreviated Winner's Circle.
Junior Drag Racing League
This was the first race of the season for the Route 66 Chapter of the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League. The Route 66 JDRL wish to thank this years sponsors:
Route 66 Food N Fuel
Ingalls Park AC
Advance Lawn Care
Red Oaks Landscaping
At 9:30 a.m. the Churchill Family made an announcement to the racers and families that at the conclusion of the season, they will be stepping down as coordinators of the program. The Churchill's have enhanced the junior program greatly and will be missed. There was no announcement about a replacement.
Like the ET Bracket Series, the JDRL was in a hurry-up mode. After the one round of Time Trials, the eliminations began. The Junior Sportsman class ran their final with Hayley Becker defeating Ryan Brockman.
Before the Junior Modifieds could complete their eliminations the rains came.
In consultation with all the classes, it was determined that the eliminations would be continued on another, to be determined, Bracket raceday.
As cars were coming to the staging lanes, I found Pro ET driver Mario Caponigro sitting on a golf cart. I thought that odd as Pro ET cars were called to the lanes. Mario informed me that due to home obligations, he had to park the car for the rest of the season. Here is Mario crew chiefing the car for his son, Vince, from ETB #3.
I was talking to Audi Lawson in the Media Center and she informed me that they hurt the Monte Carlo motor and that was why she was driving the black Chevy S-10 while Tyler was driving the Nova. Connor was absent today. Hopefully it will be repaired quickly.
Here are some more images from the entire day:
With all the dire weather prospects, to nearly complete the event is why I am calling this one a tie with Mother Nature. It turned out to be another great day of racing.
To see all the event images, please click here.
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Friday night's O'Reilly Auto Parts Race Your Ride #8 started under threatening skies, again! However after a brief twenty minute light rain, the skies started to clear and Staff quickly dried the track. We were back to racing with a beautiful night. That is Dan Garry and John Haut above.
Before the rains came, Dave Harris came to the line with the car looking different from past years.
I later learned that in the off-season, they switched the engine over to a supercharger, which added another 100 HP. They also made numerous changes to the chassis. Dave stated, "I have been trying to get the car to run in the 7's for five years!" Congratulations Dave, as the car ran a 7.747 @ 178.83 mph.
During the rain delay, I was walking the pits when I saw John Schober sitting in his dragster getting it ready to run. A short time later the car exited the tunnel and approached the line. John was not in the driver's seat! I looked around to see who was missing and it was Liz Manaseri, John's granddaughter. Liz is apparently converting from a junior dragster to a full size one. She drove well, getting better as the night rolled on.
Another car came rolling through the tunnel, which I hadn't seen in a while. It was the Mustang of Tyler Alley. I saw his sister-in-law, Miranda, and my first thought was where is her newborn son Corbin! After confirming he was at the track, I asked about Tyler's car and learned it had a new motor, going from a 302 C.I. to a new small block with a lot more horsepower.
And yes there is a picture of Corbin!
Testing this night was Top Sportsman driver Robbie Van der Woude. Robbie made a great burnout, however as he launched from the line, the car bogged down and stopped. I guess this is why you test!
Testing also this night was the nostalgia funny car Tiffen & Hess Goldigger. It made only one pass, but it was a pretty good one.
Emily Ballard with her crew chief Cody Medeisis was out in her Camaro attempting to license for the ET Bracket of less than 10 seconds. Something looked different and I confirmed with her dad, Mike, there were new wheels on the car. She was running well except on one run where there was a problem with the rev limiter. That was quickly fixed. While she made a several runs, her fastest was a 10.04. She needs a 9.99 to license. I spoke with Cody and he stated they were having an issue with a slipping belt. As soon as they get that fixed she should easily break 10 seconds.
On Sunday in conjunction with the Rockett Brand Racing Fuels ET Bracket race #4, the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League will be running its first race of the season. There were four Junior's testing.
Dave and Maria Kocher were out testing with Plane Insane II. Dave made a couple great runs and appears to be ready for Sunday!
It was a good mix of street cars and race cars that allowed for a great night of racing. It was a fun night! Here some more images from the night's action.
The Milwaukee Mile Returns!
On Sunday, racing action returned to The Milwaukee Mile, after a four year absence, with the ARCA Midwest Tour headlining a card of five series. In their race it was Roscoe, Illinois', Austin Nason taking the trophy.
It was not an easy win by any means. Ty Majeski set the fastest time with a new track record of 28.35 seconds. It was Rowley, Massachusetts' Eddie MacDonald leading the field to the green flag. After a few laps Matthew Craig #54, Kannapolis N.C., took the lead. Ty Majeski was rapidly driving through the pack and took the lead, then driving away from the field. On the lap 40 pit stop caution Ty took tires and restarted in position #3. Within a few laps, he started to drop back out of contention. Dan Fredrickson #36 eventually took the lead. The caution was displayed on lap 71 for another pit stop. When the Majeski car's right rear tire was removed, it was corded.
If I can read lips correctly, the crew chief told the Hoosier tire rep that it went bad ten laps into the run.
Shortly after the restart, Austin Nason #14 took the lead. However, with fresh tires, Ty Majeski, starting 17th, was coming through the pack quickly! At the end, Austin took the checkered flag followed by Ty Majeski and Dan Fredrickson. Who knows what would have happened if Ty had not experienced the tire problem.
Here are some images from the action
In the Mid-American Stock Car Series, it was Ron Weyer taking the victory in the Vercuteren Memorial 20, followed by Rick Corso #88 and Scott Ascher #19. Rick Corso had the fast time in qualifying.
In the Midwest Truck Series, Montgomery Wards 20, it was Levon Van Der Geest taking the checkered flag with Joe Valento, second and James Swan, third.
In the Vintage Stock Car Series, it was Woody Pool driving the 02, who took the victory.
Being a long time fan of Indy Car racing, it was a treat to see the Vintage Indy Registry with its "tribute" cars making laps. To see the famous Offy powered Indy roadsters running on the track, checked a box on my bucket list. Here are some of the cars that made laps.
All told, this was a very successful "Return to Milwaukee". My hope is that others will see the success and a great facility to bring back more action to America's oldest racetrack.
To see all the images from this event, please click here.
Route 66 Race Your Ride-I'm Back!
It had been over a month since I have been able to shoot race cars on a track. To say I was itching to get back at it, is an understatement! I was a late getting to the track, but was able to get a little work done before our "favorite" lady, Mother Nature, decided to visit us, AGAIN! Above is Tom Motry's Fuel Altered "Drastic Plastic", with Troy Martin, driving on its second pass of the night. A pretty good run at 5.576 secs. @ 265.33 mph.
I saw Fred Trombley pull up to the line missing his front bumper. After the run, I caught up to him in the staging lanes. He is doing some modifications to shorten the bumper. Over the off-season, he replaced his 350 c.i. motor with a new 383 c.i. one. He has yet to be able to completely give it full throttle. He has some tweaking to do.
In the licensing department, Morgan Hixon was completing her final two rounds to obtain her 8.50 license. Her Dad stated, "He no longer had the leverage to keep her out of his car!". She did a great job.
Also licensing was Alyvia Saad, youngest daughter of Joe and Amanda Saad. Her older sister Mackenzie was already licensed in the Junior Dragster.
As the night wore on, the clouds started to roll in. The Route 66 staff was watching it closely so the racers would have a safe racing surface. There were two minor stoppages to quickly dry and re-prep the track. As the announcement for the Staging Lanes closing for the night was broadcast, the rain started coming down harder. Everyone realized the night of racing was over with the teams returning to their pits and packing up. It was a good night of racing and I was very happy to return to photographing race cars! Here are more photos from the night's action.
Next up for me is the UMP Summer Nationals "Hell Tour" at the Dirt Oval 66 on Saturday and the ARCA Midwest Tour, Father's Day 100 at the Milwaukee Mile on Sunday as racing returns to the "Mile"!
For Route 66 it is Race Your Ride #8 on Friday, June 21st and on Sunday, June 23rd it is Rockett Brand Racing Fuel ET Bracket Race #4 with NHRA Junior Drag Race #1.
To see all the rest of the photos from the night, 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.