Saturday, was my return to Byron since last September's US Brackets. The racing was the Spring Bracket Nationals, otherwise known as the Big Bucks Bracket Bash. It consists of three days of bracket racing, with the first day being a Super Pro Box/No Box race along with a test & tune. For the uninitiated, the "Box" refers to a delay box for open wheel cars or door cars.
After a rainy Friday, I awoke to a beautiful, sunny morning for the hour drive to Bryon. As I arrived, cars were going through technical inspection and the track was being prepped
The racing was scheduled to begin around 10:00 a.m., however when I spoke with track staff, I learned they had been there all night working on the track because of Friday's rain. At the top end of the track, it had developed "weepers". As the morning warmed, weepers tend to get worse. Staff was pulling out all the stops to get the track ready to race. After three hours, they felt confident they could race safely. As an extra precaution, they stationed personnel down track to watch for any signs of water. Because of the delayed start and weepers, it was decided to run one Time Trial ( instead of the normal two) and an 1/8th mile. Let the day begin!
After an hour of racing, a car in the right lane blew a valve cover gasket and oiled down that lane. That took an hour to clean and re-prep the track for racing. Staff again did an amazing job. The Time Trials were completed and after a short test & tune session the Elimination action started.
After the first round of Eliminations, I decided to head down to the top end of the track to shoot the area of the finish line. Byron is unique in that along the right lane, it has a berm that starts at the end of the grandstand and extends to the finish line. This allows for an excellent view and photo opportunity at the finish line.
The racing action was great and staff was in a type of hurry-up mode to beat the impending darkness, as can be seen by these images.
In the end, it was Brett Williamson defeating Ricky Pena in the No Box Class with a .006 light and a 6.21 on a 6.20 index. In the Box Class, it was Ed Niemiec defeating Jeff Jones, when Jeff red-lighted. Ed ran a 5.20 on a 5.20 index. Normally, the final race of the day, for the overall win is a race between the Class winners, however with the time to cool the engines and run the race, it would be too dark to race safely. The track will work out the finish issue with the two class winners.
I want to give kudos to the Byron dragstaff for all the work it took to get this day completed.
As a sidebar to the day, it was Chelsey Simpson's birthday and when I arrived at the track, I learned it was also her mother's birthday, Rhonda Vangsness! How cool is that to have mother and daughter sharing the same birthday!!
To see all the images for Saturday's racing, please click here.
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On Sunday, I will not be at the track, but I will be back on Monday. The Sunday races, in addition to Super Pro Box/No Box, will include Pro Eliminator, Street Eliminator and Sportsman.