While this was listed as Race Your Ride #4, due to this Spring's unusual weather, it was actually the second of the 2019 season. However since this is an "open" night of racing, one never knows who is going to show up. With a scheduled Midwest Top Sportsman race on Saturday, several of their drivers made an appearance to test. Above is Robbie Vander Woude with his T/S Chevrolet Camaro. There were street cars who just wanted to drive the track to Junior Dragsters practicing and testing for upcoming races. One of those, was Cooper Hamelen, 2018 Route 66 Junior Sportsman Champion. Cooper is moving up and joining the 8.90 class this year in Junior Modified.
As I watched the cars roll under the tunnel, I saw Mark Marusak's pale yellow Nova roll towards the water box. I really didn't think anything strange until I saw Mark crew chiefing the car. The way the driver handled the car, it was evident he/she was no rookie. After the run, I spoke with Mark and learned his cousin, Matt Sackman, was driving. Matt is a Don Shumacher Racing developmental driver who recently licensed in Top Fuel. On NHRA Nationals race weekends, Matt is the cylinder head specialist on the DSR Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster of Antron Brown. At last year's, Route 66's NHRA Lucas Oil Division 3 race Matt took home the Wally for Top Alcohol Dragster. In the team picture, Mark is standing fourth from the left.
Early in the event, I made a sweep through the pits and found Greg King's Nostalgia Nova Funny Car, "Deuce on the Loose". If you recall, this was the car that was built and featured on the now Motor Trend TV show "Garage Squad". Route 66 Track Announcer, Greg Nickleski drives the car. The plan was to make two runs. However, after a tachometer and oil issue after the first run, it was decided to better be safe than sorry and call it a night.
Another driver who is moving up or maybe could be said down a number, Tyler Lawson. He was out attempting to obtain his 9 second license in the family run Nova. The last few years almost the entire Lawson clan has driven the Nova. I believe, his first run was a 10.04. He followed that with the two required 9 second passes to obtain his license. In the first image that is Dad, Mike, in the background.
After the sun went down, it started to cool rapidly, however the racing continued unabated and overall it was a fun night of racing. Here are more images from the event.
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