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.
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