Because of the Saturday rain delay it was a late night followed by an early Sunday morning at Byron Dragway. The weather forecast called for zero rain. With four classes and two sub-classes of one, there was a large contingent of race cars. After the time trials, the Street Eliminator class was the first out for eliminations.
In Street Eliminator there were sixteen cars entered and not saying it was easy, however Rob(ert) France, in his '07 Trailblazer, marched through three elimination rounds in workmanlike fashion to secure a place in the finals against Ted Thompson in his '12 Mustang. In the second and third rounds, Ted had reaction times of .002 and .003, respectively. In the Final, Ted with the slower car, launched first with a respectable R/T of .057 however that was beaten slightly by Rob with a .051. Starting almost a second and a half behind, Rob chased Ted down beating him to the stripe running closer to his dial-in of 12.57 with a 12.662 to Ted's 14.25/14.386.
Both were entered in Sportsman, but were eliminated in that class' third round.
In Sportsman, with twenty-five cars entered, there was stiff competition by a large group of experienced, winning drivers. Through four rounds of competition, Jeff Toepper stood out with consistent reaction times (.049, .052, .077,.057) to make the Finals against Tom Higgins. Tom was not as consistent with the tree and this continued in the Finals when he went red by -.091. This handed the win to Jeff.
In Pro Eliminator, like Sportsman, there many past champions and experienced drivers waiting to take on all. Through five rounds of eliminations, the competition was fierce. Two cars stood out as they consistently cut down the tree. Both cars were green Camaros, Gary Biela and Troy Bogner. These two last met in a final at Route 66. It has been Gary's only win. Today, was slightly different when Troy cut a .018 and Gary redlighted (-.025).
In Super Pro No Box, there was a large contingent of race cars all vying for the right to challenge the Super Pro Box cars in the Final, Final for the big check. After six rounds of eliminations it came down to Shane Pope, Mt. Morris, Il., in his '74 Ford Pinto against Chad Cannon, Winnebago, Il., in his '00 Camaro. Shane had the slightly slower car so he left first. With a .011 light to Chad's .036, he led all the way in a close race running closer to his dial-in, 6.86/6.867 to Chad's 6.39/6.402.
In Super Pro Box, there was a mix of "door" cars vs dragsters. Throughout the seven elimination rounds, there was a consistent match up of the two. In the final, Collin Estes in his '14 Miller was matched against Ed Niemiec in his '00 Corvette. Ed, in the Corvette, left first and was pushed by Collin to the stripe. Ed broke out slightly handing the win to Collin, 5.38/5.378.
In the Final, Final, again, it was a dragster vs a door car. Shane Pope in his 74 Ford Pinto was the slower car and left first by a second and a half. Collin Estes in his '14 Miller dragster, after a reaction time of .005, chased down Shane, who then broke out, 6.85/6.832. Collin took the "Big" check!
In the Pro Elimination class, prior to the final, the two drivers, Gary Biela and Troy Bogner agreed to split the purse and then went racing. At the Winner's Circle, Gary was not going to intrude on his friend Troy's celebration. After the initial Winner's Circle, both cars were maneuvered into the Circle and both crews joined together.
Troy Bogner had a long two days. On Saturday, he raced at Cordova International Raceway getting down to three cars. Then drove home, got up early driving to Byron and winning!
During the event, I saw long time motorcycle race Greg Darm racing a 2018 Mustang. I spoke with him and he stated that he saw the motorcycle racing class shrinking and decided to switch to four wheels selling his motorcycle equipment.
Here is a little of Sunday's action.
Looking at the weather report Friday night for Saturday in the Byron area, it did not look good to be able to race Saturday. The report showed rain starting at 7:00 am and ending sometime around 5:00 pm. I prepared my gear as if there was going to be racing, however I thought if that forecast held there was no way. I woke early and looked at the weather report on my phone and it was totally different. There was some rain forecast for late afternoon, but there was a chance that could miss the track. I got to the track a little earlier than I had in the recent past and the racing started on time with Super Pro No Box leading off. Bob Disch, Verona, Wi., in his 71 Chevy Vega had a triple .000 reaction time to claim a bye into the second round, if necessary.
Unfortunately for Bob, he lost to Mark Nettesheim in the second round. Mark marched through the field, but it wasn't easy. He won his first round when Jim Ilosvay redlighted. In the third round, he was up against Troy Boeke. Troy had a bad 1.00 reaction time to Mark's 0.26. That was the race. In the fourth round, it was a battle of Camaros when Mark won a double breakout against Chad Cannon. Mark was 0.006 closer to his dial-in than Troy. Mark raced through another round and then a bye into the Final against Mark Rosenbaum in the 1964 Corvette. Even though the Corvette ran closer to his dial-in, Mark Nettesheim cut down the tree with a 0.003 reaction time to take the "Holeshot" Super Pro No Box win!
In Super Pro Box, Scott LaBudde just mowed down the tree all day. Through seven rounds of eliminations, his reaction times were as followed: .012, .008, .004, .007, .011, .014 (w/Bye), and .028 to get to the final. His opponent in "Box" Final was Greg Antonioni, who took a slightly different route by redlighting in the first round and taking a "buy back" option. In the Final, Scott had the better reaction time (.022/.036) running a 4.745 on a 4.74 while Greg broke out by .007.
IIn the runoff Super Pro runoff of Box vs No Box for the big check it was Scott LaBudde vs Mark Nettesheim. Mark, in the slower car, left first with a .034 reaction time to Scott's .064. With Scott closing fast, Mark pushed it just a little to hard and broke out .007. Scott was going to be hard to beat with a 4.736 on a 4.73 dial-in.
In the High Stakes Gamblers Race, there was four rounds of competition before Nick Mistrata and Blake Vangsness faced off. Nick had the best reaction (.027/.043). Blake, with the slower car, pushed hard to stay ahead and broke out by .012. Nick ran a 4.797 on a 4.78 to take the win.
Earlier we talked about the weather. Mother Nature did give us a hit of rain in the late afternoon. It was a brief downpour that measured at .41 inches of rain. BJ and the staff fought a lot of standing water with high humidity for nearly 2 1/2 hours to get the track back into racing condition. It was a lot of hard work but the racing was completed.
Blake Vangsness usually drives a Chevy Nova. I took this picture last year and at the request of his Dad, Jeremy, I did a little work on it.
Last week, Blake licensed in a dragster. It seems, the Nova has a transmission problem that is going to take some time to repair. In his first time in competition in the dragster he took it the High Stakes Gamblers Final. Dana Highland asked me to find a picture to commemorate this day for Blake that she could give him. I could think of nothing better than final race against Nick Mistrata.
Don Schomer from Oswego driving his Ford Maverick was double entered in No Box and went seven straight races before losing in the Third and fourth rounds. Not to bad a day.
Here is more of Saturday's action.
Saturday, Mother Nature did try to play games, but but was defeated by the hard working Byron staff. All should be congratulated on a great effort to complete this day's racing. Sunday will be another full day of racing with no bad weather in the forecast.
To see all the day's action please click here.
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Byron Dragway - Midwest Super Comp Series, Two Wheel Speed, Midwest Index Shootout Series, Buick Club and TT
Sunday was another beautiful day to go racing. We have had a great run of wonderful weather weekends! This Sunday was day 2 of Midwest Super Comp and Two Wheel Speed. They were joined by the Midwest Index Series, the Buick Club and a TT.
The Midwest Super Comp Series was represented by seventeen cars, down two from Saturday. Through four rounds the competition was stiff. When it came to the finals it was Dave Livesey against Joey Fuesting. Joey was a little anxious at the line and redlighted by -.050. This gave the win to Dave. In Dave's five rounds of competition, he had a hole shot win over Mark Meier in the first round, two double breakout wins (rounds 2 & 3) and a redlight win in the finals. There are days you would rather be lucky than good!
In 890 Bike, it was another final between Chris Panko and Joe Robbins. Both had a .042 reaction time however, Joe broke out with a 8.876 on the 8.90 index giving the win to Chris.
In SS Bike 950, it was Gil Odjick against Joe Robbins, making another final. Gil had a great reaction time (.015) and continued to the stripe to beat Joe.
In Street Bike ET, there were three rounds until the final. In the final, it was Ted Thompson against Bob Wesley. Ted had lost in the first round, however he took advantage of a "Buy Back" to reach the final. At the start, Bob redlighted handing the win to Ted.
In Drag Bike, for a second day in a row, it was the Mike Krueger. Mike won the race with a singles pass. It was agreed by Mike and Ted Thompson not to have a race off with Mike taking the overall win.
On Sunday, the Midwest Index Shootout Series ran six classes of cars. Below is the class winner and Winner's Circle photo:
Anthony Parks - Street Brawler
Keith Deluca - Street Intimidator
Brian Payne - Street Heat
Jon Reynolds - Street Limited
Lee Kapustka - Pro Avenger
Marty Thornton - Pro Dominator
The Buick Club was represented by eight cars. Dan Rocco was the winner in a bracket style race.
Here are some more of the images from the day's action.
This was another great day of racing. The staff fought through several "oil downs" and should be congratulated for their hard work.
To see all the images from the day, please click here.
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Saturday morning broke to a beautiful day. I had some morning business to attend so arrived at the dragway around 11:30am. There was a slow start to racing activities, so I really didn't miss much of the on-track racing. This day's racing consisted of Midwest Super Comp and Two Wheel Speed with a Test & Tune in between.
Midwest Super Comp
The Midwest Super Comp was represented by nineteen cars from Illinois and Wisconsin. After two rounds of Time Trials it was Delvin Shepard, Colona, Il., earning the first round bye. Near the end of the round, the Chris Lancaster dragster, driven by Dave Livesey, had a problem and had to withdraw. Super Comp went a total of four rounds before the final. Chad Lamont earned the Bye into the finals and would face Delvin Shepard. Delvin had been having consistent reaction times, .025-.028, in the previous four rounds. In the finals, for some reason Delvin went red, giving the win to multiple Super Comp Champion Chad Lamont, .035/8.90/8.960/156.15.
Two Wheel Speed
The Motorcycles were racing in four classes, 890 Bike, SS Bike 950, Street Bike ET and Drag Bike ET with Street and Drag Bikes facing off for the overall win.
In 890 Bike, it was Wisconsin Rapids' Chris Panko defeating Joe Robbins when Joe broke out with an 8.890/8.90 to Chris' .050/8.90/8.893/147.46
In SS Bike 950, It was Joe Robbins, in his second final, against Larry Sargis. Both Joe and Larry broke out with Joe running closer to the index.
Joe Robbins .046/9.50/9.448/135.52
Larry Sargis .052/950/9.441/140.72
Street Bike went three rounds to reach the finals. In the finals it was Rockford's Ted Thompson against Dekalb's Andy Bailey. They had faced off in the first round and Andy had redlighted. He did a buy-back to get back in the race. In the finals, Andy again redlighted handing the win to Ted. Ted had seen the Andy's redlighted and cruised to the stripe.
In the Drag Bike final its Lowell, Indiana's Mike Krueger against Sandwich, Illinois' John Niles. John had the slower bike and started first, however Mike was able to chase him down and take the win light.
Mike Krueger .052/8.41/8.761/123.47
John Niles .185/9.77/10.081/126.71
The two winners, Mike Krueger and Ted Thompson of the Bike ET classes ran off against each other with Mike Krueger taking the win when Ted redlighted.
During the Test & Tune portion of the day, I say a familiar Pontiac Firebird normally driven by Morgan Hixon. However, I knew that Morgan had just recently moved to Tampa, Fl. I looked around and saw her Dad, John, crew chiefing ( who drives a copper colored buick in Super Pro), her mother, Mary. I didn't see her sister Savannah! Sav usually is crew chiefing Dad or Morgan. On closer inspection, it was Sav driving. Sav had never driven on a drag strip and driven this car only once prior in a parking lot. Sav made eight passes this day and by the end of the day, you could see by the look on her face that she caught the racing bug! Good job today, Sav!!
In the Two Wheel Speed portion of the event, Frank Criscione had a ride when the bike popped a huge wheely. Frank did a great job of saving the bike. I was able to catch it from two angles.
I ran into Dave Kovar Jr. I have watched Dave race since he was in Junior Dragsters. Now, he is driving in Midwest Super Comp. His car has a beautiful paint job that for the most part, painted himself. The taping of the car took over forty hours.
Here are some more images from the day's events.
Sunday morning broke with another beautiful day for racing. Thank you Mother Nature for a great weather weekend! The day's racing consisted of four classes: Super Pro (Box/No Box), Pro Eliminator, Sportsman and Street Eliminator. There were two Time Trial runs for all classes except for Super Pro, which had run the previous day.
Super Pro, as usual, was run as two sub-classes, Box and No Box. The winner of each sub-class would then run against each other for the Big Bucks prize of $5,000.00.
In No Box, they ran six rounds to get to the finals. In the first round, Larry Hohn ran a near perfect race against Troy Boeke with a .000 RT/6.52 DI/6.525 ET/103.32.
Dave Perry and Brian Dumdie marched through the field to reach the Final.
This was a fantastically close race with Dave winning by .002.
Dave Perry - RT .035/DI 5.65/ET 5.652/120.07 mph
Brian Dumdie - RT .037/DI 5.99/ET 5.992/114.64 mph
Like in No Box, the competition in Box was extremely close all day. In the second round, the previous day's winner, Vince Mangiaracina, ran a perfect race, RT .000, DI 5.70 ET 5.700, 117.97 mph.
Through seven rounds to reach the Final, Dave Johnson and Vince Mistrata eliminated the competition. In the Final, Dave Johnson took the win with a RT .015, DI 5.67, ET 5.696, 122.03 mph to Vince Mistrata's RT .041, DI 4.67, ET 4.711, 142.04 mph.
As the last race of the day, it was very dark. It was decided to run the race. Dave Johnson in his 2009 Ford Mustang with a perfect reaction time defeated Dave Perry in his 1963 Corvette.
Dave Johnson RT .000, DI 8.67, ET 5.722, 116.74mph
Dave Perry RT .067, DI 5.65, ET 5.667,120.20 mph
The Pro Eliminator class ran five rounds of eliminations to reach the Final. Marty Thornton defeated John Coyle when he broke out.
Marty Thornton RT .061, DI 9.26, ET 9.320, 141.33 mph
John Coyle RT .047, DI 11.97, ET 11.950, 109.64 mph
The Street Eliminator class ran three rounds to reach their Final. It was a battle of SUV's with Doug Goodman in the GMC /Envoy defeating Rob France's Chevrolet Trailblazer. Rob broke out.
Doug Goodman RT .067, DI 17.42, ET 17.443, 82.12 mph
Rob France RT .113, DI 12.50, ET 12.453, 97.90 mph
In Sportsman, it was Rob France, in his second final of the day taking the victory, Rob was entered in Sportsman and Street Eliminator.
As with Saturday, there was a contingent of former Rt. 66 racers attending or participating in the races. I had the opportunity to talk with Bill Larson. Besides racing at RT. 66, he was one of the track announcers. Bill stated he had retired and was now working at an engine shop three days a week.
I was also speaking with Jim Ilosvay who over the off season had rebuilt the car with a new King motor and a new suspension.
Here are some more images of Sunday's action.
I want to congratulate all the winners for putting on a fantastic show. For those who didn't make it to the end, there's always the next race!
To see all the images from Sunday, please click here.
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Saturday at Byron Dragway was a magnificent day to go racing. As Track Announcer Randy Simpson stated "Chamber of Commerce weather". The racing was the season's fifth bracket race for the Super Pro cars along with a Test & Tune. The Super Pro cars are further broken down into two sub-classes of (Delay) Box and No (Delay) Box. The final race was between the Box and No Box cars with the winner taking home the "Big Bucks"! Saturday's winner's check was for $3000.00. Early on it was decided to also have a "High Stakes", no points race.
After time trials, the first cars up were the No Box cars.
After the first round of eliminations, losing drivers have the option of "buying back" into the race. John Coyle was racing Todd Hohn and both redlighted. Larry was closer to green, -.001, than John's -.007, so gained the win. Todd would get to the 5th round before being eliminated by Brian Dumdie. However, John took the option of a buy back and marched through the field with excellent reaction times. His worst was on a single run in the 5th round with .052. Starting in the second round his R/T's were .004, .010, .005, .052, .013. In the Finals of No Box, John was up against Brian Dumdie, who also had been cutting down the tree. John took the win with a R/T .015, D/I 7.63, ET 7.644 and 88.00 MPH to Brian's .029/6.02/6.039/113.84.
In Box, there was stiff competition all day.
After seven rounds of racing, it came down to Vince Mangiaracina in his Monza against Jim Taylor in his Vega. With his .009 reaction time, a 5.70 DI, 5.728 ET at 115.28 mph, Vince took the win and would face off against John Coyle to take home the money.
In the Final, Final
At the start of the race, both John and Vince had exactly the same Reaction Time of .018. At the stripe it was Vince taking the victory by .009. It was a great race and he enjoyed his time in the Winner's Circle!!
In the High Stakes (Gamblers) race there was a surprise winner. TJ Trench normally drives a dragster in Super Pro (Box).
Mid-race, his dragster came to a halt in the shut down lane. When I spoke to him, he stated the car started to hop so he shut it down. They suspect a broken transmission and they were through for the weekend. To my surprise, I see Joe Malfeo's car approach the Tree, except Joe is sitting on the wall watching. Joe offered up the "Widow's Son" Chevy Monza to TJ to run this race. TJ had never driven the car before and it had been several years since he had even driven a door car in competition. He did a great job putting it in the Winner's Circle.
Upon my arrival in the morning at Byron, I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few ex-Route 66 regular drivers. One of the first was John Schober. He stated he was here with Zach Manaseri and Liz Manaseri (who is dating TJ Trench), his grandkids. He will be driving the dragster. Zach and Liz will be sharing the Orange S-10 with Zach doing box and Liz no box. Here is an image of Liz driving and Zach far right.
I saw the Lasik family on the west side of the track with their new dragster. I had heard this was to be their first time out in Jesse's new car. Jesse is graduating from Juniors to a full size car. He earned his Super Comp license at Frank Hawley School at Indy in June. The car launched well however there seemed to be a problem down track. I spoke to Mom, Lisa, then noticed Jesse sitting in the golf cart. Dominic Bowden was testing the car for Jesse to ensure it was ready to go. It is an apparent engine problem, possibly a blown head gasket. I am sure Jesse is a little frustrated waiting to drive the car. An image of Dominic in the car.
Here are some more images of the day's action, including the test & tunes:
One of my favorite of the T & T'ers was Steve Malek's "Xtreme Bird".