This past weekend, Byron Dragway presented the first ever no box door car only shootout for $10,000 to the winner both Saturday and Sunday. The impetus for this event was the complaints that the lower-level door cars didn't have a "Big Bucks" race of their own. All the cars had to be a door car, no dragsters, and no delay boxes. If your car had a delay box, it had to be disabled. The racers were divided into two classes, foot-brake and trans-brake. Since there were more trans-brake cars, when the foot-brakers were whittled down they would blend in with the trans-brakers. At the end of the day there was only one winner.
To get to the Saturday final, it took seven rounds of tough competition with Ricky Pena and Richard Mason racing through the competition to get there. Both were tough at the tree all day. In the fifth round Richard cut a .001 second light. Ricky wasn't a slouch with a .004 second light. In the sixth round, Richard had a bye and Ricky had a bye in the seventh round. This was set for great match. As the lights came down, Richard launched first trying to get that perfect light and went red, -.003. He ran his number perfectly 6.75/6.750/100.79 to Ricky's, .027/6.24/6.271/101.36. They were almost a perfect match. If Richard hadn't redlighted, it's likely he may have won. You can't take anything from Ricky, he was strong all day. On this day, he wasn't going to be beaten and took home the $10,000 "Big Check".
After the third round of competition, it was announced that a "Gamblers" race would be run. Only those racers already eliminated were eligible to run. The winner was Jace Deering.
Sunday's racing was a repeat of Saturday's, taking seven rounds to get to the final. Through rounds 5, 6, and 7, Brett Williamson's worst reaction time was .002, in both 6 and 7, with a perfect .000 in the 5th. Chad Cannon was nearly as tough as Brett as he had a .005 in the sixth. In the semifinal 7th round, Chad had a bye into the final. With the slower car, Chad launched first in the final with a reaction time of .060. However, Brett had a .012. In trying to stay ahead, Chad broke out, 6.22/6.219, only .001! Brett with a 5.94/5.971 took the win and the $10,000. In the Winner's Circle, Brett's dad was heard to say, " The car wasn't the best car out there, but Brett drove his butt off!".
At the start of Sunday's event, it was again announced the running of the Gambler's race. The same rules applied as Saturday. The winner was Dusty Winrich.
On Saturday and Sunday, Savannah Hixon was licensing in her dad's, John Hixon, Buick. It wasn't that long ago that she drove a car at a dragstrip for the first time. She got bit by the bug! John commented that it's strange seeing her in his car. Besides college, Savannah also works for NHRA and NMCA in their events. She did qualify for her license!
On Saturday, after he was eliminated, I saw Roman Sakas making several test & tune runs. Near the end of the event, I saw his dark blue Camaro approaching the water box. I looked beyond the water box and Roman was standing there, observing. I took a closer look at Roman's car and it was Stephen Mroz driving. I later caught up with Stephen and asked if he was testing Roman's car. He replied,"Sort of." He explained Roman was having trouble with the Christmas Tree and so the car was there so why not run it!