As you will notice from the title, this is Day 3 of the 45th Annual US Bracket Nationals. You might be wondering, Day 3? What happened to days 1 & 2? Well day one, Saturday, I had to leave the track earlier than anticipated and day two was a weather day. These will be discussed in Track Bites.
So, onto Day 3. The racing on Monday consisted of a non-points, Super Pro race for a NHRA TV.com Challenge Wally for each class of Super Pro (Box/No Box) and for the overall winner, a $5,000.00 "Big Check". The No Box cars led off the day with their one round of qualifying for the entered 43 cars. The Box cars followed with their 72 cars. In between the end of qualifying and the beginning of eliminations, a small contingent of Test & Tune cars hit the track. After Round 2 of eliminations, the Test & Tune group got larger as eliminated cars joined the group. After six rounds of eliminations in No Box, it came down to Jesse Leonard, Hastings, Mn., in his 67 Camaro against David Strepek, St. Charles, in his 63 Chevy Pick Up truck.
David was slightly quicker off the line than Jesse, (.028/.030), however, Jesse ran closer to his 6.01 D/I with a 6.019 to take the Wally. David ran a 7.335 on a 7.32 D/I.
After seven rounds of Eliminations in the Box category, it came down to Johnny DiPiazza in his Chevy Vega against Steve Folk in the 65 Chevy Nova wagon. Johnny cut a .003 light and Steve had a very respectable .028. Johnny's quick light led to Steve trying to make up the difference and breaking out, D/I 6.11- E/T 6.097. The breakout gave the Wally to Johnny.
In the Box/No Box runoff race for the "Big Check", it was Johnny in the left lane and Jesse in the right. Both had respectable lights, Johnny .029 and Jesse .039. They pushed each other hard to the stripe where both broke out. Jesse ran closer to his D/I (6.00/5.999) to Johnny's 6.24/6.237 to take the big money payout.
Winner's Circle was a happy place for both drivers.
On Saturday, Day One of the US Bracket Nationals was a great day of racing. As I stated earlier, I had to leave the track and did not see the finals of the Super Pro points race. It was Johnny DiPiazza taking the win and the "Big Check". With two wins, one for a Wally and another for the big money, I would say Johnny had a great weekend!
On Sunday, Day Two, it started raining overnight and into the morning. Mother Nature wasn't playing nice as track personnel dried the track three times! The cars didn't hit the track until 4:30 pm and ran as many rounds as they could until halted by darkness. At that point, it was decided that the competitors would split the money and the Wally's would be awarded at a later race. Kudos to BJ and his staff for all the hard work it took to get cars on track.
On Saturday, Brian Dumdie had a very close call after his '57 Chevy starting spewing transmission fluid at the launch causing Brian to have a wild ride.
It was great to see Brian back on track Monday, no worse for the wear and in the same lane!
On Monday, it was time to welcome another young driver to the sport of Drag Racing. Jackson Lang of Hincklely, Il. was licensing his junior dragster. These kids in the Junior Program are the future of the sport!
Even with Mother Nature throwing us a curve on Sunday, it was a very successful weekend and we did get to hand out two Walleys. Here are some more images from Monday.