Byron Dragway-Monday 10k Super Pro
On Monday at Byron Dragway, it was the final day of the Triple $10k's Memorial Day Weekend Brackets. In speaking with many of the drivers and teams, the weekend was a great success. Three days of Super Pro racing with $10K to win, what was there not to like!
In Super Pro Box, after a round one loss and a buy back, Dion Degnitz marched through the field to reach the Final runoff. In his round one loss, Dion had a .052 reaction and broke out by .001 trying to catch Steve Marquis. In round two, he started a string of reaction times that left the competition in the dust. Look at these reaction times:
Round 2 .006
Round 3 .003
Round 4 .007
Round 5 .014
Round 6 .005
Round 7 .005
In the Box final, Dion was up against Zach Lewis, who lost in his first round, but did a buy-back . In the second round, he beat one of the faster cars driven by Dennis Divalerio. To get into the final round, he faced Josh Goike in a close race, Zach .024/463/4.648, Zach .022/5.36/5.377, to take the win light.
In the final, it was a very competitive race, Dion had a R/T of .002 and Zach .005, with Dion taking the win light.
In the No-Box class, it was Brian Folk who raced through five rounds to reach the Final against Jace Deering. In the five rounds, his opponents redlighted four times! He must have been making them very nervous! Jace Deering had more of a traditional route. He lost in the first round, did a buy-back and in the third round took out Troy Bogner, Sunday's $10k winner. In the Final, Brian had a .011 light with the slower car to Jace's .029. Jace tried to run Brian down and at the stripe lost by .002. That put Brian in the Final Runoff against Dion.
In the Runoff, it was Dion with another great light, .008 to Brian's .031, that he couldn't make up at the stripe. Dion took home the $10k Big Check.
On Friday night there was a Test & Tune and Blind Squirrel Race. The winner was Ryan Fasano.
.On Saturday, Troy Bogner won the Super Pro No-Box and the Overall Big Check, $10K. Gary Siedschlag won Super Pro Box (no photo).
After the completion of the Sunday Racing Program, it was decided to run a golf cart race. I was told 58 golf carts were entered with double entries and buy-backs. The golf cart racing went late into the night with Nate Kelley taking the win. Here is Nate driving his "Gone Batty" Super Pro dragster.
As I was leaving the track Monday evening, my wife notified me that a Flight for Life helicopter was flying a driver from Great Lakes Dragaway to the hospital after an accident. When I arrived home, I learned Dave Douthit driving the Douthit Motorsports wheelstander "Scallywag" had crashed and caught fire. Dave suffered some burns, but is in good shape, but will need some time to recover. Dave and his team were at Byron a week ago Sunday, licensing a new driver, Dave Gates, in the jet funny car, "Quartermaster". Please keep Dave, his wife Robyn and daughter Kathryn and the entire Douthit Motorsports Team in your thoughts. In the below image Dave is on the far right with Dave Gates licensing.
The Memorial Day Weekend at Byron Dragway was a four day event of all types of racing, Test & Tune, Blind Squirrel, Pro Eliminator, Super Pro and don't forget golfcarts! Mother Nature was kind to the racing community this weekend with great weather. What a weekend!
To see all of Monday's images please click here.
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Memorial Day weekend at Byron was the cause of excitement as the Super Pro bracket racers were going for $10,000 to win, three straight days-Trip 10 K's. It was an all-out battle in both Box and No-Box to make into the runoff for the $10,000 Big Check! Above is Charlie Hamma blasting by Kevin Swartz to take a second round Box win. Charlie's closing rate caused Kevin to take too much of the stripe and he slightly broke out, 7.284 on a 7.29 dial-in. In the Box class, Charlie had it going all day, both in his door car and his dragster. It was the dragster that took him to the runoff. All day he was cutting down the tree with his worst reaction time being .022! In round 4, he cut a .001 against the dragster of Hayden Bailey. In the Box final, it was Charlie Hamma in the dragster against Nick Folk in his dragster.
Nick ran closer to his dial-in, 4.56/4.573, to Charlie's, 4.52/4.538, a difference of .005, however Charlie beat Nick on the tree, .016/.024, a difference of .003, to give a holeshot win to Charlie.
In the No-Box class it was Shane Pope's day. In round one, there was a scoring era in his race against Patrick Hill. In the re-run, Patrick was a little quick on the tree redlighting by -.012. From there through all six rounds he was unbeatable. The same could be said for Jim Laughlin. He beat all comers, to reach the No-Box final. It was a great final with Shane just edging out Jim for the win: .030, 6.76, 6.763 to .038/6.41, 6.418.
.That put Shane Pope in his Pinto against the dragster of Charlie Hamma in the runoff. Shane launched first in the slower car and Charlie had to chase him down. At the stripe it was Charlie Hamma taking the win light and the Big Check. Since both drivers were winners, they decided to have both cars in the tower Winner's Circle.
In the Pro Eliminator class, Dusty Winrich and Mark Langfoss were the cars to beat through the six rounds to get to the final. Mark had a slightly easier route with two single runs in the fifth and sixth rounds to Dusty's second round single run.
As the Christmas Tree lights ticked down Mark was a little anxious went red by -.027 to give the win to Dusty.
Here are some of the images of the days action:
About two thirds through the scheduled event, it was decided to have a "Gamblers" race. Jason Schadt took the win and the cash!
When I arrived at the track Saturday morning, the first thing I saw was a light blue, chopped top 1967 Buick Regal, the Wine-O. The week before at the Sportsman/Street bracket race, I forgot take ask Steve Mroz if he was intending to bring out the family race car normally driven by his brother, Bill. Bill had a medical issue over a year and a half ago, is still recovering and currently unable to drive the car. As Steve put it, Bill was allowing him to drive the car Saturday in Super Pro! It was good to see Bill at the track.
When I saw Jeff Highland pull his dragster into the water box, it reminded me of a story that Dana Highland related to me from the previous week's Junior race. On Saturday, Jeff had to work, so Dana and family took care of getting Maddie and her car to the race track. Dana had to leave for a graduation party and the Bacon family, Ben and Michelle took over the crew chiefing job for Maddie. They took her to the Finals! Upon returning to the track Mom, Dana, was not allowed to touch the car.
All told it was a great day of racing and competition. Congratulations to all the winners! In a way, we were all winners to participate in and witness this day's racing.
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The day at Rockford Speedway started as cold and blustery. It didn't take long for the action to heat up the track as Dale Nottestad won his third Spring Classic race in the Big 8 Series. In the first half of the race there were a couple of dustups. Here is one.
Both Randy Sargent in the #11 and the #99 Trevor Robinson would be able to continue. However, Trevor would do so without his hood and Randy would play a part later in the race.
As the race neared the halfway point, Nottestad had worked his way to the front to battle with Jeremy Miller for the lead but had to settle for second at the break.
At the break, there was a flurry of activity preparing the cars for the second half of the 88 lap affair.
At the restart for the second half, Jeremy Miller was off to the races and without any cautions for the next 39 laps took a straightaway lead.
In the meantime, Nottestad was battling with Jon Reynolds Jr. for second place.
Nottestad was finally able to get by Reynolds Jr., however by that time Miller was gone. As the race was nearing the end, I noticed two cars in mid-pack putting on a great race and were leaning on each other quite heavily at times, Randy Sargent #11 and #49 Jerry Mueller.
This culminated on lap 83, when in turn one Mueller went spinning suffering what was reported as a broken oil line, which resulted in this!
The caution closed up the field and gave Nottestad the chance he had been needing. At the restart Nottestad got under Miller.
It took several laps but Nottestad finally was able to pass Miller for the lead. Just when he thought he was in the clear Max Kahler #14 and Miller got together causing a Green-White-Checker.
At the final restart, Nottestad claimed the lead and battled two former Classic champions, Jon Reynolds Jr. and Alex Papini to take the win.
And the spoils!
Second and third place Jon Reynolds Jr and Alex Papini with Track Announcer Eric Huenefeld.
In the companion races, the Mid Am Racing Series held a 44 lap race with Lockport, Ilinois' Josh Nelms taking the win over Clay Curts, Clay led a good portion of the race. Third place was Dale Lectus Jr.
Some of that action.
In the 25 lap Bandits Blast it was Nick Schmidt from Watertown, Wisconsin taking the caution filled race. Schmidt was followed to the checkered flag by Bart Brockman and Zachary Chanda.
More of the action.
Before the race, I met with Alex Papini. Alex was the Rockford Speedway 2013 Track Champion and Spring Classic winner.
A few years back Alex moved to Pensacola, Florida with his wife Jamie. He has done a little racing there and I was curious about his return to Rockford. Here is the interview.
As I was leaving the track, I looked back and saw Alex drive his racecar and stop between Turns one and two. As many know, Alex' dad Al passed away from a heart attack while racing and crashed there on April 1, 2001. Alex always pays tribute to his Dad!
As I said earlier, it was a cold and blustery day with light snow flurries during the day, however the racing was excellent! It is sad that this will be the last Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway. I hope the memories that have been created over the years will be remembered!
New Era for Byron Dragway
On August 19, 2022, the long-rumored sale of the Byron Dragway was announced. Kevin Robertson, a Byron Dragway racer, banker and Port Washington, WI. resident with his wife Lori, made it official. Kevin's background is in the health insurance industry and currently the Senior Vice President of the HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank, N.A. Kevin has been a long time Super Pro bracket racer.
In the announcement, Jake Steder was made the General Manager and Jeff Spierling was appointed as Race Director. Jake is a long time, intermittent small tire drag racer and Jeff is a Midwest Super Comp Series competitor and the Byron Dragway Chief Starter. When Jake was asked how he and Kevin got hooked up, he stated that he thought about purchasing Byron himself. He just could not get the numbers to work out. When Kevin stepped in, he was looking for a management team. BJ (Vangsness) told Kevin he knew someone and the rest is history.
As Byron moves forward, we would be remiss for not mentioning it's past. In 1964, Bob Metzler, Dick Paul (owners of Great Lakes Dragaway) and Don Love built the Rockford Dragway, later renamed to the Byron Dragway. The dragway was originally built as a four-wide racing surface. In 1969, the legendary Ron Leek purchased the Dragway. As a boy in Chicago, Ron had a rough life. In an effort to improve his life, Ron migrated to Rockford. There he met Hugh and John Deery. Hugh took a liking of Ron and told John he should give the kid a chance. Having no place to live, Hugh and his wife, Jody, offered a free furnished apartment. They literally adopted Ron. If you are not aware Hugh and Jody built the Rockford Speedway. This was later repaid as Ron gave the Deery's a 10% interest in Byron. With an interest in cars, Ron took an entry level job at Byron which led to his purchase. In the early years of his ownership, Ron hired a ten-year-old boy to clean up around the track. That boy was BJ Vangsness. We know what that led to!
When I arrived at Byron on Wednesday, the first noticeable change was the missing ticket building.
The concrete pad for the new building was there along with the construction materials. The plan is to complete the construction soon, along with the new Souvenir and Fuel Sales building. Jake's wife Veronica will take over the duties that Rhonda used to have. She stated for 2023, the entrance to the track will be different in that they are currently installing a Point-of-Sale computer system from Trackside Ticketing & Event Technology. This will allow drivers, teams and fans to purchase tickets and sign their waivers by whatever computer device they use, ahead of time. Upon arrival, their QR code will be scanned allowing a quicker access to the track.
As I was walking around the track, I came across the new scoreboards along with the old.
To mount the new scoreboards, the supports had to be extended as can be seen in the below images. There is one extension left and it will be installed when the wind settles down. There is hope they can be up and running for the early events. If not, the racers can still run because the scoreboard does not affect timing and scoring.
The track surface is currently being prepped for the start of the season. The launch area has been ground and is ready to start taking rubber.
Down track, the entire quarter mile is being scraped and prepared for opening day. Jeff, Terry and Ian were scraping on Wednesday
One of the questions I have seen asked, was about the lights for night racing. The 2023 schedule is an expanded schedule that includes many night events. For this year, the lighting will be provided by temporary but expanded lighting. It will be there for use all season. The plan is to eventually install permanent lights. This could not be accomplished this year.
While we are looking forward to a New Byron Dragway, we have to thank BJ, Rhonda and their family for ensuring we have a racetrack to go to. Many racetracks have closed recently due to the fact the land has become more valuable for other uses than keeping it as a racetrack. Bj and Rhonda have spent their lives providing Byron to the racing families. Thank you!
I, for one, am looking forward to the upcoming race season and all the future holds for Byron Dragway. Now. LET'S GO RACING!
Check back throughout the season for race updates and photos on Facebook and at terrymcgrawphotography.com.
Sunday was a beautiful day for racing. The weather was so good the old saying came to mind, "Chamber of Commerce weather"! For myself, after missing nine race dates due to health issues, it was great to get back to my happy place, the racetrack! Enough, back to the racing. Sunday's racing consisted of Street Eliminator, Sportsman Eliminator, Pro Eliminator and Super Pro Box/No Box. The Super Pro sub-classes would face off for the $5,000 Big Check.
In Street Eliminator, it took four rounds of competition to reach the Final between Steve Quickel and Brian Hampton. In looking at the result sheets, it wasn't an easy trip for either driver. In the first round, Steve won a double red light foul, when his competitor Carla Reynolds, went red first. Brian faced some tough competition before getting a bye into the Final. There, Steve was quicker off the line, .105/.113 and ran closer to his dial-in to take the win, 12.50/12.624-17.59/17.776.
The next class up was Sportsman Eliminator. They took five rounds to reach the Finals, between Steve Mroz and Fred Trombley. Both Steve and Fred had similar routes to reach the Final. They either beat you on the tree or ran closer to the dial or both! They were tough all day. Steve had a bye in the fifth round to get into the Finals. There, they both came to the tree and only Steve launched to take the win. It seems in staging, Fred timed out. With the automatic start feature, after Pre-stage, you have ten seconds to Stage. Fred exceeded that time. Afterwards, Fred said, "I probably have been close many times! Steve won, he deserved it!"
Next up was Pro Eliminator. The competitors went five rounds to reach the Finals between Corey Duncan and Brando Carlson. The competition in Pro was tight all day. Both Corey and Brando were on their game with good lights and running close to their dial-ins. For Corey, the round 4 race win against Marty Thornton was strange. As they were Staging, Marty revved his engine as he preparing to launch. I thought that strange, being that he was the faster car and would start second. Corey then revved and launched. Marty did not. At the time, it was thought, after Marty Staged, he rolled back into Pre-stage causing a foul. In the Final, Corey was quicker on the light, .023 to Brando's .091. Brando pushed it a little too hard breaking out by 0.014. Cory took the win.
Next was Super Pro, with No Box first. Reaching the Finals was Grant Zimmerman and Shane Pope. Both Grant and Shane were excellent on the light this day. Grant's worst light was a .041 to Shane's .080. Those lights were in the No Box Final. At the stripe, Shane was pushing and broke out by .001 with Grant taking the win.
In the Box sub-class, it took seven rounds to reach the Finals between Dion Degnitz and Charlie Hamma, both in dragsters. Both had fantastic reaction times all day with Charlie having a perfect light (.000) in the second round. Through the seven rounds to reach the Final they had a combined ten .00_ lights! In the Final, Charlie was just a little too quick and went red -.007 to Dion's .013 giving the win to Dion. This put the door car (No-Box) up against the Box dragster.
In the Final, Final, Grant Zimmerman, driving the slower car, launched first with a .018 light to Dion's .015 reaction time. At the stripe, Grant ran his number with a one to take the win, 6.47/6.471. Dion was 5.38/5.397. It was a great race!
As chronicled earlier, Steve Mroz won this day's Sportsman's race. This was Steve's first Sportsman win as he was a previous Street Eliminator winner. Steve's brother, Bill, recently required brain surgery for a treatable brain tumor. Bill is currently recovering. Bill drives the family chopped top Buick Regal. They are holding a "Race to Recovery" raffle to assist Bill in his recovery. The tickets are $20 with a drawing on August 31st with a grand prize of $2,000. If you can help, contact Steve.
This day also brought Herman Zehnder back to driving. Herman was a long time bracket racer alongside his brother Joe. I believe Herman was a six-time Route 66 Champion in his red Mustang. After selling the car to Autumn Lawson, Herman had taken a break from driving. Since his brother Joe went back to driving a Camaro, he convinced Herman to return to driving with his Mustang convertible. Joe has successfully driven the Mustang to track championships. It's good to see Herman back behind the wheel.
This day also brought Kamryn Schubbe's debut in the big car, a super pro box car. Kamyrn graduated from the Junior Dragsters. In the first round she lost when she broke out by .002. She had a respectable run, .028/4.86/4.858 @ 139.36 mph. She bought back into the race and in the second round she had another respectable run. She had a -.004 redlight, but her numbers were great, -.004/4.85/4.861 @ 142.36. Give her a little more seat time and she will start turning on some win lights. Congratulations Kam!
The competition was extremely tough on Sunday! There were a large contingent of very good bracket racers. One little slip and you lost. A great day of racing.
To see all the images of Sunday's action, please click here.
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Last Sunday was race #2 of the Big Bucks Bracket Bash. After Saturday's nearly four hour rain delay, it was nice to have a beautiful day to race. On the schedule were all the classes:
Super Pro Box/No Box
Only Super Pro would be racing 1/8 mile with the rest the 1/4 mile. First up was Street Eliminator. They went four rounds to reach their Final. In the Final, it was Stephen Mroz from Summit, Il. in his 2014 Camaro against Ted Thompson in his 2012 Mustang. The classic Pony car matchup.
Steve was very consistent all day. In Round 2, his opponent was a long time friend and frequent competitor, Bill Larson. Bill was a little anxious at the start and redlighted. In Round 4, Stephen had a bye into the Final. Ted was also very consistent with his reaction times and running close to his Dial-in. In Round 1 he was aided when his opponent, Ken Rosebrook redlighted. In the final, Ted had the better reaction time, .046/.069. However, both broke out and Stephen ran closer to his Dial-in enough to overcome his reaction time.
The next class up was Sportsman. This class went four rounds before the Final. In the Final it was Jeff Toepper against Dennis Wrosch, another classic pony car matchup, Camaro vs Mustang.
Jeff's route to the Final was a little up and down. In Round 2, Jeff was up against Ted Thompson and both broke out, however Jeff ran closer to the dial-in to take the win. In Round 3, Jeff had the bye into Round 4. There, he was up against a tough competitor that he has raced on many occasions, Fred Trombley. Fred got a little anxious at the start and redlighted handing the win to Jeff.
Dennis took a more traditional route to the Finals. He consistently had better lights than his competitors. When he didn't run closer to this dial-in he beat them at the start.
In the Final, Dennis, again, was faster at the light than Jeff, .032/.051. At the stripe both broke out with Jeff, again, running closer to the dial-in to take the win.
Next in the queue was Pro Eliminator. They went five rounds to reach their Final, with Troy Bogner and Jordan Ancel facing off.
Troy earned a Round 1 bye with his qualifying in Time Trials. In Rounds 2 and 3, his opponents, Jessie Albright and Fred Berardi Jr., both redlighted. Rounds 4 and 5 were both more traditional wins to include a .001 light in Round 5.
Jordan, through the first three rounds, had better or tied her opponent's reaction times to take the wins. In Round 4, Mark Langfoss beat her on the tree, .039/.067, but broke out giving the win to Jordan. This led to a bye round to the Finals against Troy.
In the Finals, Troy cut a .006 light and Jordan went -.055 red to give the win to Troy. This was Troy's second win in as many tries this season.
Onto the Super Pro Class. Super Pro is broken into two sub-classes of Box and No-Box. After both sub-classes determined their winners, those then faced off for the overall Super Pro winner and the big check. Leading off was the No-Box class, which went five rounds to reach the Final. The Final pitted Kevin Lancaster against Bob Disch.
Kevin was racing well with great reaction times and having his car dialed in. In Round 3, he earned a Bye into Round 4, where he faced off against Brian Dumdie. Brian redlighted handing the win to Kevin. In Round 5, Kevin bested his opponent, Steve Marquis, on the tree and dial-in, 0.23/6.03/6.031, to reach the Final. Kevin had his worst light of the day, .057, which is still very good, but it didn't matter as Bob Disch went red by -.029 to give the win to Kevin and a place in the Final-Final.
The Box class went seven rounds to reach their final. In the Final, it was Dennis DiValerio against Saturday's big check winner Tim Vincent.
Dennis, in Round 1, lost to Scott LaBudde, but, with a buy back, came back in Round 2 to defeat Jim Laughlin, who broke out. In Rounds 3,4,&5, Dennis was chopping down the tree with a worst being a .012 light. That earned him a bye in Round 5. In Round 6, he continued his great R/T's with a .001. His opponent Monty Fisher went red by -.003.
Tim cruised through the competition with great lights and dial-ins through six rounds. This gave Tim a bye in the seventh and a place in the Final.
In the Final of Super Pro, it was Dennis DiValerio against Tim Vincent. Both took different routes to make it this far. At the start, Tim left first with the slower car with a respectful .022 light. However, Dennis cut a .003 light. With Dennis chasing, he forced Tim to push it causing Tim to break out, 4,84/4.829, giving the win to Dennis.
In the Final-Final of Super Pro it was No-Box winner, Kevin Lancaster against Box winner Dennis DiValerio. They both cut great lights, Kevin .006 and Dennis .014. Kevin ran closer to his dial-in, 6.03/6.052 to Dennis' 4.29/4.321 to take the win and the $5,000 big check.
In the Pro Elimination Final, it was Jordan Ancel's first final since graduating from the Junior ranks and driving the "big" car. I have been shooting the Ancel Family Racing for a long time. Below is the first time I photographed Jordan racing, May 5, 2013. Her sister, Darcy, had driven this car the previous year and had gotten a new car. Jordan got the seat in this car. It was renamed from "Dynamite Darcy" to the "Agitator". She has come a long ways, celebrating in the Winners Circle with her Mom and Dad and the Bogners at Byron Dragway to commemorate her first Final !
All weekend long, there was a lot of discussion about the upgrades made by Dennis DiValerio to his dragster that allowed him to pull a wheelie. While going through Sunday's images, I found another dragster doing wheelies driven by Charlie Hamma. It's unusual to have two dragsters pulling wheelies as much as these two.
Racers will travel all over to race on any given track. Most do have a home track which is normally the closest to where they live. On Sunday, there was a group of racers that I have worked with a very long time. We first met at Route 66 and now they congregate at Byron Dragway. It was a good day to get together with two of them, in the photo, winning this day. And this does not include the Pro Eliminator final with Troy Bogner and Jordan Ancel.
Byron Dragway-Mother Nature and I Got Fooled-Big Buck Bracket Bash-Super Pro & TT
On Saturday morning, as I was preparing to leave for the Big Bucks Bracket Bash at Byron Dragway, my General Manager, wife Janet, asked if I had checked the weather report. I replied, "I did last night." She stated you better check it again. When I did, I saw that the report changed with rain expected around 2 pm instead of later that night. I made the call to head to the track. With the impending rain, the Byron personnel moved swiftly to get the event started. There would be two rounds of qualifying with eliminations following.
As soon as Time trials ended there was a quick turnaround to start eliminations. The first cars out were the No Box cars. The No Box cars would run five rounds to reach its Final. However, in between the rain hit causing a rain delay of almost four hours. In their Final it, would be Terry Heller from Morrison, Il. in his 71 Chevrolet Vega against John Hixon from Plainfield, Il. in his 70 Buick GS.
Terry got to the Final, by being very consistent with his hitting his Dial-In, except in Round 2 when his opponent, Shane Pope, redlighted by -.007. John got to the Final on the strength of his Reaction Times. Except in Round 1, when his opponent, Jordan Ancel had a problem getting off the line, his worst R/T was .034. In Round 2, John received a bye with his .000 R/T in Time Trials.
In the Final, John cut another good light, .022, however Terry had a great light, .008. Both ran over their D/I .006. Terry won on the strength of his Reaction Time. This was a great race!
In the Box class, there would be six rounds of competition to reach the Box Final. In the Final, it would be Tim Vincent against Shane Pope.
The path for Tim and Shane to the Final appears to have been through their Reaction Times. Tim's worst was .020 and Shane .026.
In the Final, this held true when Tim had a holeshot win when Shane ran closer to his dial-in, 4.75/4.751 to Tim's 4.89/4.896, however Tim's .006 R/T beat Shane's .015 by .009. This race was won on the start line.
This set up Tim Vincent against Terry Heller in the Final, Final of Super Pro for the $3,000 big check. In the race, it was Terry, in the slower car, to leave first being chased by Tim. At the stripe Terry broke out by .007 giving the win to Tim.
Just for complete disclosure, I left this race early. After watching the radar for quite some time, I never thought this race would be completed! I will never doubt BJ again!!
In the second round, Nate Kelley driving the "Gone Batty" dragster, after launching, broke and pulled off the track. Normally, that would end his day, however his opponent, John Schadt, redlighted by -.002 to give the win to Nate. They found a broken part in the distributor and were able to quickly repair the motor. Nate made it to the semi-final against Shane Pope. Sometimes it is better to lucky than good!
In addition to the Super Pro race there was a Test & Tune.
After the Saturday rain, it was nice to have good weather to race. Sunday it was the Diesel vehicles turn to hit the track. The Diesel Drags is a little different event, in that there are not any elimination rounds. It's more of a "show" event. There were five rounds of qualifications for the Awards at the end.
In the three brands of diesels the following were the winners:
(1) #302 TJ Frey
(2) #616 Walker Knight
(3) #603 Dustin Fowler
(1) #608 Dan Bigelow
(2) #601 Tyler Davison
(3) #617 Craig Grisolia
(1) #614 Ron Saltzma (also Best Blackout)
(2) #613 Joe Tordai
(3) #606 Derek Patterson (also Best Appearing GM)
Wayne Maurer III
In addition to the Diesels, there was a Test & Tune:
The Ness family brought two junior dragsters to Byron today. One was their son, Cohen Ness, age 12, testing and his sister, Lennox, age 9, was licensing.
As part of the day of racing, it was decided to offer a Diesel Bracket Race. Only two trucks decided to race. It was Gil Odjick and Brandon Schmidt. The race was won at the start when Gil had a .106 reaction time to Brandon's .736. Brandon could not overcome that.
One of the more interesting cars testing today was the 1951 Studebaker Starlite Coupe, Silver Stude", driven by Calvin Johnson from Hollandale Wi. The car has a 468 c.i. Chevy engine. When Calvin puts on the side mufflers and street car tires it becomes street legal.
The diesel that won the Most Unique award was the Mudtang of Wayne Maurer III. It is a 2000 Mustang body hung on a 2000 Ford F250 frame. The vehicle began it's life in Michigan and was bought by Wayne and brought back to Hampshire, Il. for completion.
With the great weather, it made for a great show with quite a few fans in the stands.
This weekend at Byron Dragway was the Memorial Day Triple $10K races. Each day, the winner of the Super Pro run-off between Box and No-box cars, would win $10,000. On Saturday, it was the No-box car of Shane Pope taking the win and on Sunday it was the Box car of Dion Degnitz.
On Monday, Nick Folk was the winner, but it wasn't exactly easy getting there! In round one he lost to Brent Vincent when at the stripe he broke out by .003. He was able to buy back into the race and in the second round defeated Anthony Lane with a Holeshot (.022/4.59/4.639-.059/4.90/4.926). The next two rounds Nick ran good numbers and won by his opponents breaking out. In round 5 he was up against the Saturday winner Shane Pope (in a box car). Both had outstanding lights and both ran close to the dial-ins, with Nick winning by .003 at the stripe. Nick had a solid win in Round 6 which gained him a bye in Round 7 and a spot in the Box Final against Johnny DiPiazza. Nick took the win, but look at these numbers Nick, .001/4.62/4.628-Johnny, .002/5.46/5.470! Onto the winner of the No-box category.
In the No-box category, it was Rockford's Brett Williamson taking the win. His route was just as treacherous as Nick Folk's. In the first round, he lost to Mark Rosenbaum in a double break-out, when Mark ran closer to the number. After a buy-back, he faced a very tough opponent in Kamryn Mason. Both had outstanding lights (.013/.016). Brett won by .005. In Round 3, Brett was up against Todd Hohn with Todd running closer to his dial-in, but couldn't overcome a slower response time (.099/.027). Brett took the win. In Round 4, Brett took the win when his opponent, Mike Cole, redlighted. In Round 5, Brett faced Saturday's $10K winner, Shane Pope. Both redlighted but Shane went first giving the win to Brett. In the Box Final it was Brett against Ricky Pena. Both broke out at the stripe with Brett running closer to his dial-in. This set up the $10K showdown with Nick Folk.
Brett had the slower car and left first. Nick chased down the Chevy to take the win.
A little more of the day's action.
A week or so ago I ran into Lisa Lasik and she told me that her son, Jesse, was transitioning to a big car from the Junior ranks. They had been having problems with the car as it seemed every time they brought it out something broke. Today, things started looking up as they were testing the car. On the first pass Jesse had a perfect reaction time, .000. The day went well!
It is understandable that Brett Williamson could be disappointed by the weekend, however he made it to the finals twice, Sunday and Monday. While not $20,000, it still was a good paycheck!
While I couldn't make it to the first two days, Monday did not disappoint. It was a great day of racing.
To see all the day's racing action, please click here.
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On Sunday, we finally got a good day to go racing! Not too hot, not too cold and most importantly no rain! After last Sunday's rain shortened event and Saturday's rainout, it was time to do some racing. Sunday had the Junior Dragsters, Midwest Index Shootout, Two Wheel Speed and a Test & Tune. The day's action was started by the Juniors running their two-time trials/qualification runs to set the field for both Novice and Elite classes.
The Novice class ran two rounds of eliminations to reach their final. In the final it was Wyatt Bacon, Kingston, Il. against Leighton Kreyer, Beloit, Wi. It should be noted that Wyatt had to defeat his sister, Ellie, in the second round to make it to the finals. As the lights flashed on the Tree, Leighton had a great reaction time of .009 to Wyatt's .155. At the stripe, it was a double breakout with Wyatt running closer to his dial-in, DI 8.95/8.935 to Leighton's DI 13.90/13.784 to take the win. This was Wyatt's second win in a row.
In the Elite class, they ran three rounds of eliminations to reach the finals. In the second round, Danny Ellis, Burbank, Il. had a perfect light, .000, in defeating Brindy Jo Covell, Dixon, Il. After a third round win, Danny earned his spot in the Final. Molly Lane, New Lenox, Il. ran her Dial-In on the first round of eliminations, giving her a bye into the third round where she defeated Madyson Goike. In the Final, Danny had a better reaction, .034, to Molly's .101. At the stripe, Molly broke out, 8.71/8.699, giving the win to Danny.
After the Finals, it was decided to have a Junior Fun Run. All the cars would run and the best two drivers with the best package in both classes would run for the Fun Run Win.
In Novice, it was Ellie Bacon against Leighton Kreyer. Ellie had a .070 RT to Leighton's .174 and at the stripe Leighton broke out giving the win to Ellie.
In Elite, it was Tanner Listen against Wyatt Bacon. Wyatt could not pull off the second win of the day by redlighting and handing the win to Tanner.
The Bacon family had a good day with two family wins.
I'm going to apologize to our motorcyle riders as there was some confusion, probably on my part, as to who was doing what. There were some great races, I just don't have all the information. Saying that, in Bike 9.50, it was Byron's Frank Criscione against Dekalb's Andy Bailey in the final. Andy was better on the tree with a .094 to Frank's, .196. However, at the stripe it was Frank running close to the 9.50 index, 9.745/9.871.
In Bike 8.90, it was Bill Baker vs Andy Bailey. Both riders had very good Reaction Times, Bill .045 to Andy's .033. At the stripe, Bill ran closer to the index than Andy 9.053/9.151.
In the ET Bike Final of Drag bike vs Street bike it was again Bill Baker against Andy Bailey. This time, Bill had a much better light, .032/.104, and ran closer to the Dial-in. Andy went to three finals, but couldn't seal the deal. That deserves something!
Midwest Index Shootout
This was the second race of the 2022 race season for the Midwest Index Shootout. Last Sunday's race was rain shortened. The MIS runs six classes of racers. The first up this Sunday was the slower cars of the Street Brawler class. There were two rounds of eliminations to reach the Final. In the Final, it was Anythony Parks, Franklin Grove, Il., against Streamwood, Illinois' Travis Beer. Anthony was a little slower on the reaction time to Travis, .236/.130. At the stripe, Travis broke out and Anthony ran 15.672 on a 15.60 DI to take the win.
In Street Intimidator, there were four entrants. In the Final, it was Trevor Beer, Elgin, Il., against Brett Michael, Byron, Il. Both drivers had identical .043 reaction times, both racing hard to the finish with both breaking out. Trevor ran closer to his 12.25 DI to win.
Next up was Street Heat, with cars no faster than eleven seconds. There were two rounds of eliminations with Martin Rosendahl of Sandwich getting the bye into the Final alongside Greg Darm. Greg was a staple in motorcycle racing and now is on four wheels. This was a great race with Martin running closer of their both 11.50 Di's, but Greg had a significant better reaction time, .047-150 to take a holeshot win.
Up Next, was the Steet Limited 10.80 Index. There was one round of elimination before the Final. The Final was between Mark Brannick, Shorewood, and Michael Chucky Olson, Stoughton, Wi. While Chucky had a great .028 light, Mark was better with a .006. They both raced hard to the stripe causing both to breakout, however Mark was closer to the index to take the win.
In the Pro Avenger 10.20 class, there were three rounds of eliminations to reach the Final. In the Final it was " Gentleman" Jim Laughlin vs James Holder. James had a better light, .067-.110, but Jim ran close to the Index with a 10.202 to James' 10.246 to take the win.
In Pro Dominator, 9.50, the fastest class, there was two rounds of eliminations prior to the Final. It was Rockford's Kelly Spears versus McHenry's Derek Moser. Kelly was the number one qualifier. Kelly had the better light, .039-.107. They both raced each hard all the way to line and both broke out, however Kelly ran closer to the Index with a 9.471 to Derek's 9.364 to take the win.
With all the competition there was also a large contingent of Test & Tune cars getting ready for next weekend's Memorial Day Triple $10K's Bracket Race.
There was a new racer licensing at Byron this weekend. Zev Riley, 10, from Dakota, Il., was being assisted by his grandfather to obtain his NHRA Junior Dragster License. He did a great job. Congratulations Zev!
I saw Junior Driver Katie Dolbeer and family with Katie driving a different car. I spoke with Katie and learned it was her new car purchased from an Antron Brown team member.
With the weather cooperating, finally, it was a great day of racing. Next weekend is the Memorial Weekend Triple 10K bracket race. Three days of non-stop action. Make your plans to come!
To see all of Sunday's action please click here.
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