It would be hard to find a more perfect day to go racing than Sunday at Route 66 Raceway! The weather was absolutely beautiful and the car count was high. This led to some incredible racing at the fifth E.T. Bracket Race of the season. In conjunction with the bracket race, the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League conducted its second race of the season.
The day began with the customary two rounds of Time Trials.
At the conclusion of the Time Trials, the racing began in earnest. The first class to complete its eliminations and have its final was High School. It was Connor Lawson of Elwood up against Brandon Elliot of Coal City. The race was won by Connor at the start with his .085 reaction time to Brandon's .231. This was Connor's second final in a row and second victory of the season.
Next up was the Pro Bike class. It was Thomas "Turtle" Cole of Davenport, Ia., up against last year's Bike Champion Tom Ewig from Oak Creek, Wi. This was a very competitive race with both "breaking out", however Thomas' 9.226 was closest to his 9.203 dial-in giving him the win.
After the Bikes, it was Sportsman turn to run its final. It was Jack Larsen of Cropsey, Il in the 72 Mercury Comet "Underdog" against Andy Brodzinski Jr. This race was won on the start as Andy "red-lighted" giving the win to the "Underdog" Jack.
In a field of 57 very competitive cars, Super Pro was the next class to complete its eliminations and go to the Finals. It was Dominic Bowden of Channahon versus Mike Murray of Crestwood. This was a very exciting and close race. Dom's .005 reaction time gave him the win. Look at these times: Bowden-.005/7.48/7.491/170.51 to Murray-.032/7.67/7.672/173.34! This was Dom's second career Route 66 win. If you remember a little while back, Dom had his first victory the same day as son Braden won in identically painted dragsters.
By my count, there were 143 Pro ET cars racing today. To say the competition was stiff, is an understatement! In the Final, it was John Haut against Frank Valencia. John took the victory and posted numbers that are very hard to beat!
In conjunction with the "big" cars the Junior's were running their second race of the season. They follow a similar format, with two classes, Junior Sportsman and Junior Modified. The Juniors were sponsored today by the following:
Sportsman Class - Speiss Farms
Modified Class - John Lawson's Auto Rebuilders
Best Reaction Time - Route 66 Food 'n' Fuel
Also Winners and Runner-ups will receive products sponsored by Lucas Oil.
Their day started with their Time Trials.
After Time Trials, it was time for eliminations to begin. The first Final was the Sportsman Class and was between Cooper Hamelen of Tinley Park and Holden Grimes from Braceville, Il. It was Cooper who took the win light. Cooper was also the #1 qualifier.
In the Modified Class, it was Ryan Elberts, Morris, Il., against Tori Trench, Alsip, Il. The race was a double break-out, however Tori went -.004 on the tree giving the win to Ryan.
Bobby Churchill was the #1 Qualifier in the Modified Class.
Miranda Alley (Lawson) was back behind the wheel of the Blue Nova today after her sister Audi decided to go to Norwalk to watch some Nitro. Miranda was almost giddy to get back in the car she gave up to Audi last year. Her brother, Connor, won High School.
If you happen to follow the Bowden family on social media, you will know that Super Pro Winner Dom's wife, Ann, is a Younique dealer and is close to being awarded a Caribbean vacation. She has this week to close the deal. So, if you use, need, or desire to try Younique products get a hold of Ann so she can reward Dom for his win with a Caraibbean vacation! Also the Bowden Winner's Circle are a lot of fun!!
We also had a nostalgia Pro Stock car driven by Tony Gillig. His dad, Bob, was a long time Pro Stock competitor and they decided to build a replica of Bob's Olds Cutlass. They obtained the car from Don Ness and this was its first time on the track.