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".