It was kind of a different night at Rt. 66 Tonight for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Test & Tune. The first thing I noticed there wasn't an overabundance of cars. However there were some nice cars, Rocky Ausec's Solid Rock Mach 1, Dave VerShave's Orange Krate, and others.
Tonight, we also welcomed Madisen Dobbs to Route 66. Madison is a local High School student who has a love of photography and wants to learn all the aspects, including photographing motorsports. I really think she enjoyed it.
Several cars had problems hooking up to the track tonight. I talked with several and they were having difficulty figuring it out. Here is Taylor Hanus as she launched and veered to the right, heading straight at me. She had to pedal it to get it straightened out. A good piece of driving!
There were a couple of minor breakdowns, but overall, everything went smoothly including the Beat the Heat Match Races.
Here are a few more images from the night's action.
The day had an auspicious start with a very heavy morning rain storm. The track crew worked very hard to recover the racing surface and by Noon we were ready to start the day. Because of the delay it was decided to have only one "hit" of Qualifying prior to the start of Eliminations. Right after we started an unusual thing happened when one of the LED lights on the tree burned out. A quick replacement of the bulb and we were back to racing. There was one other slight delay when the JFD ambulance was called upon for other than track duties. The track will not run races unless an ambulance is on scene and available. At the start of the racing, it was announced the Troy Bogner had won the Pro ET Track Championship. This did not deter Troy as went to the finals, however he lost in the Finals. Congratulations to Troy on a fabulous season.
The next Championship to be decided was High School. Austin Headrick was leading Fernando Lopez Jr. by one point. In a head-to-head final, Austin Headrick won the race and the Track Championship. Congratulations to Austin
The last three Track Championships were not announced until the completion of the Finals. In Super Pro, Todd Trench had a lead going into the day but tried to make it interesting by being eliminated in the first round, however his lead was large enough that in the end he earned the Championship.
In Pro Bike, with his race win today, Bob Foster Jr., wins the Pro Bike Track Championship'
And finally, in Sportsman, it was Bill Northup winning the Track Championship.
In the actual race, it was a hard fought battle. Here are today's race winners:
Super Pro - Jeff Nelson
Pro ET - Gary Biela
Prop Bike - Bob Foster Jr.
Sportsman - Craig Schober
High School - Austin Headrick
A little funny story, as the event wore on, Gary Biela approached me about taking a group picture of his family in pits when he was done racing and I had a spare moment. Fortunately, Gary surprised everyone and won out. Our group picture was in Victory Lane.
Here are a few from the rest of the day's racing.
NHRA Junior Dragster #5
All the way to the track this morning, I was thinking what a great day it was going to be. Championship day for the Juniors and the weather report was excellent. Upon arrival, I learned that shortly after I left last night, there was a serious crash involving Frank Podlogar. That quickly brought things into perspective. Like I asked in a previous post, please keep Frank in your prayers. Now, onto today's Championship Junior Dragster racing. In qualifications, Katie Rusiniak and Colin Summers in Junior Modified and Junior Sportsman, respectively had Best Reaction Time. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of Colin.
After the Qualification Round, Dave Granger (Rt. 66 Staff) rolled out the future of Drag Racing with two young racers applying for their licenses. This is a program developed and implemented by the NHRA in the last year. Max Bakutis, age 10 and Ayden Lane, age 9.
Their first trees!
At the conclusion of the testing, both Max and Ayden received their NHRA licenses. Congratulations!
After the Qualifications were completed, the Elimination Rounds began. The Modified Division was led by TJ Trench. He had a one point lead over his sister Tori and a two point lead over Sydney Senko. Then things got interesting when TJ redlighted in the first round and was eliminated. This threw the Track Championship up for grabs. In round two both Tori and Sydney were eliminated which salvaged the Championship for TJ. This was his last race in the Juniors and beginning next year he will take over his Dad's car, which is leading the Rocket Brand Racing Fuel ET Bracket Super Pro Series.
We had to hurry with the Victory Lane pictures because the new owner of the car was there to pick it up along with Tori's car. Tori will have a new car for 2016.
The racing continued with Brandon Loeschen winning the race and Julia Hooten being the runner-up.
In the Sportsman Division, Bobby Churchill continued his winning ways with his win today. In addition, he wrapped up the Sportsman Track Championship.
Here are some more images from today's Junior action.
Test & Tune Crash Update
After I left last night, Frank Podlogar had a serious crash. Frank is currently hospitalized. Our thoughts and prayers go to Frank, his family, friends and his Route 66 family. Please keep him in your prayers.
Rt. 66 Test & Tune
It was simply a beautiful night to be at a racetrack. It was a late arriving group of cars. After my arrival, I took a stroll through the pits and saw Tom Motry's Drastic Plastic, a Top Alcohol dragster and a pair of Corvettes (one looked to be a 55 and the other a later 50's). I don't know what class they were running, however they could be Top Sportsman.
Joey Haas was continuing his licensing runs in the Drastic Plastic.
In his first burnout, he got a little out of shape and was heading directly towards the wall where I was standing. I did get a little nervous! Mark Cryer had the Smart Car "Nu Big thing" running tonight. Mark was testing the new configuration of the rear wheels. He shortened the width by three inches.
The night was marred by one incident when a motorcycle crashed after launch. He did a wheelie and the bike just kept coming. Here is the sequence.
Fortunately, there were no significant injuries, however the bike was damaged and had to packed up for the night. I do apologize for not having the rider's name, but at the time he was surrounded by emergency personnel. The bike rider was not the only racer to have problems with over-rotation. Both Dave Menoni in his Monte Carlo and Kenny King in his dragster had issues.
Since I have to be back in the morning for Junior Dragsters, I did leave a little early before all the racing had been completed. Here are some more images from tonight's racing.
Not only is that the name of the Buster Poindexter (aka David Johansen) song, but Troy Bogner is on fire by winning his second Wally in as many days with his win in the National Dragster Challenge in Pro ET. If my count is accurate, that makes five Rockett Brand Racing Fuel ET Bracket wins this season!
Jay Allen was back on track by winning Super Pro.
The rest of the day's winners were:
Bruce Damewood - Pro Bike
Ashley Headrick - Sportsman
Fernando Lopez Jr. - High School
Oh yes, and there was a Midwest Top Sportsman race won by John Lynch!
Despite fighting the weather elements this season, the racing has been fabulous. It's hard to believe its coming to end with only one more ET Bracket left. Well, we will have our memories and I hope we have captured a few for all our racers. Here are some more from Sunday's "fun in the Sun".
The fire was the fire breathing nostalgic dragsters and the rain was obvious as we again battled the elements. Again, we won and completed a great event. The Classic was highlighted by nitro fueled nostalgic funny cars (Drastic Plastic and Runaway), nostalgic pro stockers, Midwest Top Sportsman Series, completion of the King of the Track event Run Tuff Eliminator and at the end of the night Barry Richter's Jet Funny Car.. The only issue with the day was a midday rain delay. The track staff did another fabulous job of drying and preparing the track to continue. Before the rains came, the Test & Tuners were running were some competitive hits.
Then the rains came and Janet was out capturing some interesting skies!
After track drying the racing continued unabated.
In the end, it was Troy Bogner (Pro ET) continuing his successful year by winning the Wally for King of the Track. The other winners were Todd Trench Sr. (Super Pro), Bruce Damewood (Pro Bike), and Bill Northup (Sportsman).
John Hixon won the Run Tuff Eliminator competition, and in Midwest Top Sportsman it was Dave Howard.
The night was concluded with the run of Barry Richter's Hypersonic Jet Funny Car.
To see all the images from the day, including the car show, please click here.
It was another day of battling the elements at Route 66! The racing was delayed just as it was beginning, due to a persistent light drizzle. The weather reports kept predicting thunderstorms, but none ever came our way. Just an aggravating very light drizzle. After several hours, we were actually ready to start. It was decided to go into a hurry-up mode and only run one round of qualifying and go straight into eliminations. Just as the first round of eliminations was ending, the drizzle returned. It was another several hours of waiting around until it finally stopped and track drying could begin. The staff was doing an excellent job of drying the track. Here are some images from qualifying and first round eliminations.
After the track was deemed dry, the racing started again. There were some minor stoppages until the sun finally came out and the rest of the event was run to its conclusion. There was a lot of great racing. Congratulations to today's winners:
Super Pro - Dave Ancel
Pro - Adam Needles
Pro Bike - Greg Darm
Sportsman - Bill Northup
High School -Austin Headrick
Here some more images from Eliminations.
It was a beautiful night to go racing. It was warm with just a slight hint of a breeze and the track was in great condition. The car count was down slightly from the anticipated number, however there was some good cars. One of the anticipated matchups was Dale Letterly in his '57 Chevy gasser "To Hell and Back" vs Dave VerShave in the '55 Chevy "Orange Crate". Unfortunately at the launch, Dave broke a pinion gear shaft on the "Orange Crate". Hopefully we will see these two beautiful cars in another matchup soon. This won't be a long post, so here are some images from tonight.