All day Saturday, there were weather warnings that were foreboding as to any racing happening on Sunday! Again, other than a very light sprinkle during JDRL time trials, the weather forecasters were wrong. As a precaution, it was decided that there would only be one Time Trial instead of the customary two. In the Time Trials, two racers blew motors. The first was Joe Malfeo in his Nova and the other on the start line, a red C-10 truck. Because it was in the O'Reilly lane, I wasn't able to get a picture, so I'm not sure who drives it. Joe's motor let go as he crossed the finish line. He stated he had been a little worried about the motor because of tuning problems earlier in the year. Fortunately, Joe had a motor diaper that caught most of the oil, preventing a major spill. Here is the last launch with that motor.
After the clean for the second blown motor at the start line, the Time Trial went pretty smoothly.
After the Rockett Brand Racing Fuel ET Bracket Series cars completed their time trial, it was time for the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Junior Drag Racing League cars to hit the track. There are two classes in the JDRL. The first is the Junior Modified's, usually driven by the older kids and are a little faster and the Junior Sportsman class for the younger kids and are a little slower. To run, all the kids must go through a program to be licensed by NHRA. For the Route 66 JDRL racers, this was their Big Money race of the season with $500 going to the Modified winner and $200 to the Sportsman winner. I want to thank the following sponsors for their support of the Route 66 JDRL program.
Today’s #1 Qualifier was sponsored by Route 66 Food N Fuel
Today's Modified and Sportsman Classes are sponsored by the following:
Ingalls Park Athletic Club Practice Tree Nationals
Winning Colors Powder and Header Coating
Crash Champions Collision Repair Team
Steve Speiss Farms
John Romo/Joliet Area Community Hospice
Remax 1st Service
In addition, the Route 66 JDRL Program collected and donated $300 for the Joliet Area Community Hospice.
In the time trials, Zack Manaseri cut a perfect light, .000, to claim the #1 Qualifier position and it was Cooper Hamelen's .004 light for the Sportsman class.
At the conclusion of the Time trials, the racing started in earnest with the first round eliminations.
The JDRL eliminations were up next.
The first Eliminations final to be contested was High School with Julie Nettles against Connor Lawson. Julie got the win and with the win maintained her season points lead.
Next up was Junior Sportsman. It was Cooper Hamelen taking the win when Ruby Zolper redlighted.
This was followed by the Pro Bike final and it was Tom Ewig returning to the Winner's Circle by defeating Jonathan Vickers.
From here to the end of the event, it was rapid fire racing of finals. First was Junior Modifieds, where Tori Trench defeated Zach Manaseri. This was Tori's first win at Route 66 in her new car. Also this was Tori's second win in a row over Zach as they had recently raced into the finals at US 41.
Spoiler Alert: There is a rumor, that a 2015 Miller dragster may be up for sale. Watch out guys Tori's coming for you!
Following Junior Modifieds, it was the Sportsman class. Jack Larsen's Underdog got the win over Tony Lyons when Tony redlighted.
Next up was Super Pro, where it was Mike Murray vs Kenny King in the dragsters. I was really looking forward to this race. However, during his burnout, something broke in Kenny's transmission giving the win to Mike. A win is a win, no matter how you get it.
The last final of the day was Pro, where it was Warren Strum defeating Mike Heden. This was Warren's first win at Route 66 since 2014. Warren has been racing at different tracks, but is happy to be back at 66. He stated that it is a beautiful facility and with all the video and pictures it is a fun place to win.
For a day that many were predicting would be rained on, it was a spectacular day of racing. Congratulations to all our winners. See you next Friday for Race Your Ride #2 make-up. And don't forget the upcoming Route 66 Classic on Saturday, August 19th followed on Sunday by the last ET Bracket race of the season.
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