Sunday broke as another beautiful day for racing. It was partly sunny with temps in the 70's. It was to be the second day of Two Wheel Speed and a Test & Tune with the addition of the Midwest Index Shootout with six classes competing.
First up is SS Bike 950. This is a 9.50 index race. Larry Sargis gained his right to the Finals with a bye run and Gil Odjick made it in when Chris Panko redlighted. At the start, Gil was just slightly better with his reaction time, .084 to Larry's .087. Larry made it up at the stripe running closer to the index, 9.714 than Gil's 9.763.
Up next, was another index class, 890 Bike. Chris Panko received a bye to make into the finals. Where he was to face Thomas "Turtle" Cole, who defeated Bruce Damewood, when Bruce redlighted. At the start, it was "Turtle" with the faster response time, .024, to Chris' .055. Chris made up that time by not by much, 8.941 to Turtles 8.975. That was a .003 win for Chris.
Street Bike is a Bracket style race. The riders each select a time they cannot go less. If they are under the Dial-in (D/I) they breakout and lose. To get to the Finals, Larry Sargis defeated Ted Thompson and Jeremy Murphy had the Bye. Larry had this one from the start with a .026 light to Jeremy's .057. At the stripe, Larry ran closer to his D/I of 9.45 with a 9.505 as Jeremy ran hard to catch Larry and brokeout by .002, 9.20/9.198. This gave Larry his second win of the day!
Drag Bike is like Street Bike in that is a Bracket race. The finalists were Thomas Cole and Bill Homuth. "Turtle" defeated Bruce Damewood in the Semi-final and Bill defeated Bill Baker, Bill had the better light (.010/.031. However Turtle ran significantly closer to his D/I, 8.293/8.27 than Bill at 9.358/9.28 to take the win.
As the final race for the bikes, the Street Bike winner, Larry Stargis, faces off against Drag Bike winner, Thomas "Turtle" Cole for the overall Bike win. Larry was going for the triple. Larry had a D/I of 9.45 and "Turtle" at 8.28. Turtle had the better light, .042, to Larry's .069. At the stripe it was Larry running closer to his D/I, 9.487 to "Turtle's" 8.346 to take the win. This gave Larry three wins for the day. I would say that was a good day.
The Midwest Index Shootout runs six classes of Index racing. The first was Street Intimidator. In the final it was Jeff Smith against Brian Hampton. Jeff had a much better light than Brian, .054/.149. Brian had to push to overcome the bad light and ended up breaking out giving the win to Jeff.
In Steet Heat it was an all truck final. Damien Hampton, from Mendota, against Rockford's DJ Jones. DJ had the better light. .032/.042, however Damien made up the difference by runing closer to his D/I to take the win.
In Street Limited, it was Alyx Kemp versus DJ Matiecka in a classic Mustang against Camaro race. Street Limited uses a 10.80 dial-in. DJ was a little quick on the throttle and redlighted giving the win to Alyx, who was driving the Mustang.
In Pro Avenger, it was Jimmie Moore from Byron against Elgin's Scott Frost. Jimmie had the better light .027/.106. Scott didn't have as good a light and actually came closer to the 10.20 Index with his 10.212 to Jimmie's 10.227. Scott could not overcome an R/T of .106 with Jimmie taking a "Holeshot" win.
It was Lenny Anderson, Genoa, against Rockford's Kelly Spears. Lenny had the better light .020/.040, but Kelly came closer to the 9.50 Index but could not overcome the slower reaction time. This was another "Holeshot" win in Pro Dominator for Lenny.
In the final race for Midwest Index Shootout, Pro Extreme, with Jim Hickey against Darryl Appel. Darryl had the better light, .051/.055, but Jim ran closer to the 8.60 Index. Jim's victory was by .004!
In between the Series' runs, there was a Test & Tune.
Junior driver Allie Coonan completed her NHRA licensing requirements to be able to compete in the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League. Congratulations Allie and welcome to the drag racing community.
In the Bike runoff it was Larry Sargis and Thomas "Turtle" Cole. In the first round eliminations in each of their classes, both riders lost. They both purchased a "Buy Back" to be able to return to competition. I think it was money well spent because they won their classes and earned their run off positions.
You can only hope for good weather and good racing. Sunday, both were on display at Byron Dragway making for a great day! Next weekend is Labor Day Weekend which means it's US Bracket Nationals at Byron. Within the restrictions of Covid-19, I hope to see as many folks as are able to come and while practicing social distancing.
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Saturday was the first of two days of Two Wheel Speed. This day, the bikes were competing in four classes, 890 Bike, 950 Bike, Street Bike and Drag Bike. Several of the riders were competing in more than one class. There were six competitors in 890 Bike. The Finals were an all Iowa race with Bruce Damewood, Clinton, against Thomas "Turtle" Cole, Davenport. Bruce had the better light (.012/.037). They pushed each other into a double breakout where Bruce ran closer to the 8.90 index to take the win.
In 950 Bike there were only four competitors with Larry Sargis, Midlothian, against Byron's Gil Odjick. in the Final. Larry was better on the tree with an .031 to Gil's .068. At the stripe it was Larry with the win by .003.
In Street Bike, there were six competitors going two elimination rounds before reaching the Final. In the Finals it was Rockford's Ted Thompson against Larry Sargis, Midlothian. Ted had the slower ET and therefor left first. Larry gave it his best, but at the stripe he brokeout by .036 handing the win to Ted.
In the runoff between the two bike classes it was Bill Baker, Drag Bike, against Ted Thompson, Street Bike. Ted had the slower bike so he left over three seconds before Bill launched. Bill was playing catch up while Ted was trying to time his race to beat Bill to the stripe. Ted was just a little fast and broke out, 12.30/12.262, handing the win to Bill.
In addition to the bikes, there was a relatively good number of Test and Tune cars.
Allie Coonan, age 5, started her NHRA Junior Drag Racing Licensing training. NHRA has developed a complete training program to ensure children are safe driving a junior dragster. NHRA sanctioned tracks have designated trainers who teach the kids the rights and wrongs.
During the Test & Tune portion of the day, it was announced Greg Darm had brought a contingent of racers to the track. They call themselves the Streator Streakers. Here is Greg racing with one of his streakers. Greg is in the white car and racing against Steve Quickel.
Saturday was one of those days when something happens and you realize you are growing old! Julia Hooten was licensing in the family Chevrolet Nova racecar. Julia, who is 21, used to drive a junior dragster. And this was on her parent's, Tom and Denise, wedding anniversary. First, Congratulations to Tom and Denise and second, Congratulations to Julia on licensing in the "big" car!
Great weather and good racing make for a fabulous day. Looking forward for another great day on Sunday, when Two Wheel Speed, Midwest Index Shoot Out and Test & Tune run at Byron.
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Sunday was Byron Dragway's NHRA Summit King of the Track race. The Summit King of the Track is a bonus program, normally, run in conjunction with an existing weekly program. Sunday was one of the weekly Bracket Races. The winner of the four classes, Street Eliminator, Sportsman ET, Pro and Super Pro, face off for the right to claim the title of King of the Track Champion. Of course, with this title comes the "Wally"!
In Street Eliminator, there were four elimination rounds leading to the Finals. In this race it was Naperville's Ted Thompson against Bartlett's Robert France. This ended up being a "Hole Shot" win for Ted. Robert ran closer to his Dial-in but couldn't over Ted's .003 light. Their numbers were Ted .003/14.40/14.473 and Robert's .120/12.75/12.781.
The Sportsman Class ran four rounds of eliminations to reach their Finals. Racing their way to the Finals, was Jeff Toepper, Channon,Il., and Steve Quickel, Streator, Il. Jeff and Steve were close on the tree, however Jeff ran closer to his Dial-in (12.00/12.012) while Steve broke out (.15.12/15.116) to give the win to Jeff.
The Pro Eminator Class ran five rounds to reach their Final. It was Brian Dumdie, Sycamore, against Tim Flynn, Naperville. Tim had a better response time than Brian, .019/.029. Unfortunately for Tim, it continued all the way to the stripe, where he broke out by -.04. Normally, Brian's dad, Don, drives this '57. Don decided Brian should try the big car. It looks like Brian's car will be sitting now.
The Super Pro Class was sub-divided into Box (electronics) and No-Box. Each runs against their sub-class cars until each have a winner. At that point, the two race against each other for the Class win and the right to represent Super Pro for King of the Track. Since this is a Big Bucket race the winner takes home $5,000. In that Final it was Bruce Van Stratten representing Box in a dragster and John Coyle representing No-Box in a Camaro doorslammer. Bruce had a better light (.010/.023) than John and ran closer to his Dial-in.
At the end of the race Bruce decided to let John represent the King of the Track from Super Pro. This meant no dragster would be the running for King of the Track.
Ted Thompson, Street Eliminator
Jeff Toepper, Sportsman
Brian Dumdie, Pro Eliminator
John Coyle, Super Pro
It was Jeff Toepper and John Coyle advancing to the Final to take home the Wally.
In the Final Jeff had the better light, .009/.040 and they pushed each other to the stripe. Both drivers broke-out with Jeff running closest to his Dial-in.
Jeff Toepper 7.60/7.595
John Coyle 7.66/7.609
Earlier in the day, I saw Mark Marusak's cream/yellow Nova doing it's burnout. Then I saw Mark crewing not driving the car. I caught up with Mark a short time later and learned that Dave Ancel was driving. Dave wanted to have some fun!
Ted Thompson was having a strange race day driving four wheels. Ted normally races a motorcyle winning both last Saturday and Sunday in Street Bike ET Class.
As the day began, I was listening to the PA system as Brett Williamson was introduced as he was starting his burnout. I looked up, but did not see the Black '57 Chevrolet. I learned later that he had spun a bearing in the motor and had to borrow a car to race today.
This weekend, with two days of racing, ending with the awarding of a Wally for Summit King of the Track and handing out Big Bucks cash, what could be better? The great weather contributed to fantastic races. Congratulations to all the winners.
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Saturday was the first Byron Speedway, She Speed Ladies-Only Event. I had some questions for Byron General Manager Randy Simpson.
The event that precipitated this event was the cancellation of the Car Chix Ladies Only race on August 15th due to Covid-19. In the She Speed event, there were two classes, Pro and Street. Pro was divided in to Box/No Box classes.
In the Street Class, after four rounds of eliminations it was Darcy Ancel, Morris, II., against Byron, Illinois' Kristin Vincent. Darcy had the better light and drove closer to her D/I to take the win (.130/16.55/16.562) over Kristin (.168/13.81/13.846).
The Pro Class ran its rounds of Box/No Box eliminations. At the end of each sub-class:
In Box, the winner was Chelsey Simpson and in N0-Box, it was Jurnee Bennett from Neenah, Wi.
Chelsey and Jurnee then faced off for the overall Pro Class winner. Chelsey left with a great light of .040 and then ran a 6.685 to break out, however, Jurnee went red by -.001! This gave the win to Chelsey.
The Super Pro race, like the She Speed Pro class, was divided in Box and No-Box. There was some great racing and both sub-classes went six elimination rounds to get to the final. In the No-Box class, it was Rockford's Ray Smith against Byron's Jeff Billeter. Ray cut a great .001 light and ran a 6.301 on a 6.29 D/I to take the win after Jeff had -.309 redlight. I can only think something happened to Jeff's car because throughout the eliminations he cutting down the tree
The Finals for Box was one of the best races of the day. It put TJ Trench, Alsip, against Orland Park's John Schober. John had a R/T of .005 to TJ's .021. TJ ran a 4,791 E/T on a 4.79 D/I to John's 4.999 E/T on 5.00 DI. John broke out by .001 to give the win to TJ.
In the Super Pro faceoff between TJ Trench and Ray Smith, it was TJ taking the win, .016/4.78/4.791 to Ray's .035/6.29/6.302.
In the High Stakes (Gamblers), it was Grant Park's John Haut taking the win.
In between the racing, there was a Test & Tune. Two of the more interesting cars were the Plymouth Barracuda of Launching Larry and Steve Malek's Pro Mod Plymouth Road Runner Super Bird.
There was also another Junior Drag Racer licensing Saturday. It was Olivia Kreyer, age 11, of Beloit, Wi.
...and come Sunday, there will be a complete Bracket Race with all the bracket racers racing against each other to win this King of the Track Wally
Here is a little video from today's action.
Sunday was the second day of the Two Wheel weekend. The bikes were joined by the Midwest Index Shootout, Buick Club, second day of Super Comp and a Test and Tune. Above is Cameron, Wi's, Joe Robbins. Joe had a phenomenal day by winning both 890 Bike and SS Bike 950. In 890 Bike, he was up against Dave Spears. While Dave ran closer to the 8.90 DI with a 9.387 to Joe's 9.421, however he couldn't overcome a .238 light compared to Joe's .060.
In SS bike 950, Joe was up against Saturday's 950 winner Larry Sargis. Joe (.066) and Larry (.073), both, had good lights and they pushed each other to a double breakout. Joe with his 9.421 was closer to the DI than Larry's 9.387.
In the Street Bike ET class, there was three rounds of eliminations before Ted Thompson, Rockford, Il, and Leon Robinson, Mapleton, Il, met in the Finals. Ted Thompson took the win (.097/12.31/12.338) when Leon had a -.047 redlight. This was Ted's second weekend win in Street Bike ET.
Next up was Drag Bike. Like Street Bike, there were three rounds of eliminations. In the Final, it was Tom Ewig, Oak Creek, Wi, against Bill Baker, Sherrard, Il. This was a great race with Tom having a slightly better response time, .056 to Bill's .058. At the line, it was eyelash victory with Tom running at 9.056 on a 9.03 DI to Billl's 8.853 on a 8.82 DI. Tom has previously represented Division 3 at the Pomona championships.
In the runoff race between Tom Ewig and Ted Thompson, Ted nailed the light .014 to Tom's .057. However Tom ran an ET of 9.018 on a 9.00 DI to Ted's 12.33/12.402 to take the overall win.
Here is a little of the day's Bike racing.
The Buick Club was on hand this Sunday with a club competition. After two rounds of eliminations it was Dan Weiland driving his '70 Skylark against Jim Peterson's '66 Special. Jim had the better light, however at the stripe he was a little too fast and broke out giving the win to Dan.
The Midwest Index Shootout is a group of "doorslammer" racers, who on this day, competed in six classes. I am only going to go into the finals of each class:
This was race was between Jen Rosendahl and Tracy Reeder. Both were close with their response times and pushed each other to a double breakout. Jen came closer to her Dial-in to take the win.
It was Jeff Smith vs Trevor Beer. Both were close on the light but at the stripe Trevor pushed it just a little too hard and broke out giving the win to Jeff.
In Street Heat, there were two elimination runs leading to the final. DJ Jones took the win in a double breakout, running closest to his dial-in.
Again there were two rounds of eliminations with Bob Disch, Verona, Wi, against Byron's Emma Ballard. Bob was quicker at the light, however Emma was a little quick getting to the stripe, breaking out, giving the win to Bob.
This class went three rounds to get to the finals. It was Roselle's Lee Kapustka against Jimmie Moore. Both had good lights and pushed each other to a double breakout where Lee took the win. Jimmie, in his Vega, did have some of the best wheelstands all day.
This class also ran three rounds of eliminations. In the Final it was Lenny Anderson, Genoa, against Shannon, Ilinois', Kevin Lancaster. While Kevin had a quicker RT, he broke out at the stripe giving the win to Lenny.
In between the various series, a contingent of various cars were making Test & Tune runs.
The last series to report on, is Midwest Super Comp. Overnight one car was added to the field, Randy Etheridge, for a total of 19 cars. There were four rounds of eliminations until the Final. Jeff Spierling of Streator would be in his second final in two days along with Jesse Smith, Elkhorn Wi. Jeff had a great light, .011 and ran 8.906 on 8.90 index to take the win, Jesse also had a great run, .053/8.912. This was a great race to end the day.
There were a lot of different cars and classes that ran Sunday. Like Saturday, there was a lot of variety for every drag racing fan. It was a great day of racing.
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Saturday, was the first day of the Two-Wheel weekend. The bikers raced in three classes, SS Bike 950, Drag Bike and Street Bike ET. After the individual classes the Street Bike winner raced against the Drag Bike winner. In addition to the bikes, Midwest Super Comp was running the first of two days this weekend. We had Juniors, Corvette Club of Chicago and a Test and Tune. There was a little bit of everything for the drag racing fan.
In SS Bike 950 there were four entrants, In the final, it was Larry Sargis, Midlothian, Il. against Andy Bailey Dekalb, Il. This was a convincing win by Larry .094 RT/9.523 ET to Andy's .147 RT /9.671 ET. Larry had the better light and ran closer to the number.
In the Drag Bike Class there were three entrants who raced two elimination races leading to the Final. In the final it was Jarron Christionson, Clinton, Iowa against Paul Summers, Joliet, Il. Paul beat Jarron on the light, .066/.074, but Jarron made it back by running closer to his dial-in, 9.03/9.08 take the win.
In Street Bike ET, There were three rounds of eliminations prior to the Final. In the Final, it was Rockford's Ted Thompson on his 2008 Kawasaki against Leon Robinson on his 2000 Kawasaki. Ted took the win when Leon went -.006 red. Leon was inconsistent with previous lights and this could have led to the foul.
In the race-off between Drag Bike winner Jarron Christianson and Street Bike winner Ted Thompson, it was Jarron taking the win with a .026 RT and 9.092 ET on his 9.00 DI.
Next up was Midwest Super Comp with sixteen entrants. Through three rounds of competition the racing was intense. In the Finals it was Lake Villa, Il.' Jim Glosson against Streator, Il.' Jeff Spierling. This was a great race with Jim's .009 RT and Jeff's .014 RT. Both pushed each other to the stripe for a double break-out with Jim closest to the 8.90 index to take the win!
In between all the racing their was a Test and Tune.
And the Corvette Club of Chicago was out racing.
There was a good contingent of Juniors racing in two classes today, Novice and Elite.
The Novice Class raced three eliminations rounds to get to the Final. There, it was Wyatt Bacon of Kingston, Il. against Gaven Adams from Prophetstown, Il. Both drivers were doing well on their response times but in this Final, Gaven fired off a little early giving the win to Wyatt, Gaven went -.063 red.
In the Elite Final it was Morrison, Il.' Brady Wolf against Plainfield, Il.' Kamryn Schubbe. Both Brady and Kamryn had been doing well on the Tree. Brady had a perfect light in the third round. This trend continued with Brady's .044 and Kamryn's .069. With Brady slightly ahead, Kamryn pushed her car and just slightly broke out, 7.894 on a 7.90 DI to give the win to Brady.
We also had two new drag racers licensing today. Norah McCloud of Galt, Il, age 7 and Riley Malek of Beloit, Wi. age 6.
On Sunday, Byron Dragway hosted the final day of three days of racing for the Protect the Harvest, Midwest Junior Super Series. Today's racing consisted of four classes of Index racing and 330 Outlaw, followed by the $1,000.00 to win Pro Sportsman Race. This race has all the classes running against each in a Ladder type system.
There were seven cars in the 1390 Index Class. There were two elimination rounds followed by the finals. In the finals, it was Nash Rachford of California, Ky. against Carson Wied, Neenah, Wi. Both Nash and Carson beat their earlier opponents with better reaction times. That held true when Nash's .137 RT was better than Carson's .163. Carson had the better elapsed time but was beaten by the "Hole Shot"
In the 1190 Index Class, like the 1390 Index there were two rounds of eliminations followed by the Finals. Jackson Summers, Franklin, Ky., faced off against Landen Brown, Brandenburg, Ky. Even though Landen's Elapsed Time was better, 11.925 to Jackson's 12.017, It was Jackson's .087 RT to Landen's .285, that took the win light.
In the 890 Index Class, there were fifteen entrants which took three rounds of eliminations to get to the finals. In the Finals, it was Tyler Reid, Neenah, Wi., against Oswego, Ilinois' Madalyn Highland. In the races leading up to the Finals, Tyler was consistently cutting down the tree, while Madalyn was struggling with hers. This continued in the Finals, with Tyler's .028 RT to Madalyn's .093 to take the win even though Madalyn's ET was .035 better. There is hope because Madalyn's .093 RT was her best of the day.
For today's racing, the 790 Index Class was the largest of the Index Classes with 17 Entrants. It took five rounds of eliminations to get to the Finals. In the Finals, it was Kewanee, Illinois' Hannah Ince against Channahon's Braden Bowden. Braden ran the number perfectly with a 7.900 ET, but could not overcome Hannah's .001 RT. Her ET was 7.937. It was a great race!
The final race before the Pro Sportsman race was the Outlaw 330. There were nine entrants which allowed for three rounds of eliminations to get to the finals. It was Caleb Burns, Fredericktown, Oh. against Brent Wagner, Imperial, Mo. With a .036 RT, 4.366 ET, Caleb defeated Brent, .095 RT, 4.376 ET.
The last race of the day, was the Pro Sportsman. This race is open to any class of driver with the winner taking home $1,000,00. The drivers race against their class until a pre-determined number are left. At that point, a ladder system is implemented. Thirty-nine drivers entered. After six rounds of hard fought eliminations, the Finals approached. It was Blaine Bazell against CJ Kilkenny. In the six eliminations leading up to the Finals, CJ had phenomenal Response Times, .004, .003, .005, .007, .000, and .005. Unfortunately for CJ in the finals he was a little too quick and he -.004 redlighted giving the win to Blaine and the big check!
This concluded the Midwest Junior Super Series weekend at Byron. Due to my past scheduling conflicts, I was never able to attend one of these. This was a great event for the families. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Since this was such a family oriented event, I will post some more working Mom and Dad images from today to honor their sacrifices to allow their children to participate in such a great sport.
The schedule for the second day of the Midwest Junior Super Series consisted of the Quick !6, the age group classes followed by the Sportsman race. The Sportsman race consisted of all the cars running in their age groups through a series of elimination rounds. When the groups reached eight, they were put into a Ladder system with all the cars running against each other, regardless of group/class.
In the Quick 16, it was Jesse Lasik against Madison Drafke, with Jesse taking the win light.
In the 6-9 age group, it was Nash Rachford taking the win light over Griffin Kroening.
In the 10-12 age group, Gavin Adams defeated Lane Fisher.
In the 13 and over group, it was Jordan Ancel over Caleb Burns.
After the age groups completed their competition, the Sportsman Race began it's eliminations.
In the finals, it was Sarah Bazell against Alyssa Marten. Sarah is 16 years old and comes from Lancaster, Oh. If Alyssa's name sounds familiar, she won Friday night's $500 Gambler race. She was going for a double.
With Alyssa in the far lane and Sarah, the near, it was a close race, however Alyssa took the win light to complete the double!
During the event, I was trying to think of something a little different to shoot that I don't normally do. It dawned on me that shooting the cars and documenting the races didn't tell the whole story. So I thought I would photograph the Mom's and Dad's as they prepped the cars to run. Without them, the kids wouldn't have the fun of racing.
After nearly a year away from any racetrack, it was finally time to get back to work. As a return, I chose the Protect the Harvest, Midwest Junior Super Series. This Series does not run at my home track of Route 66 and I'm almost always working at 66 when it makes it's only Illinois appearance. The Series travels the midwest hosting races for youths, age 6 to 17., in various classes. The above links will take you to the Series sponsor and Series website.
Friday, the schedule was a Test &Tune and a $500 Gamblers race to close the day.
At 5:00 o'clock the call came from the tower to start lining up the cars for the Gamblers race, $500, winner take all.
I want to reassure everyone that in the above photo folks were social distancing. It may not appear that way, but they were!
The racing was very competitive with the kids giving it their all.
After seven rounds of competition it came down to the final two cars, Alyssa Martin of Beaverton, Mi. and Caleb Burns of Fredericktown, Oh. In a very competitive race it was Alyssa taking the win light.
The above photo is the finals, with Alyssa in the far lane. I have to apologize for the quality of the image, however by the time the race was run, it was very dark!
The weekend's events continue on Saturday starting at 8:00 a.m. You can check the schedule on the Byron Dragway website or Facebook page.
To see all the photos from Friday, please click here. If you see something you would like to purchase please click here or the Ordering link at the top of the page.