What a day of bracket racing at Route 66. The weather was spectacular, a little warm, none the less a fun day. In addition to the bracket race, the NHRA Summit King of the Track Championship was scheduled. The King of the Track is an annual one-time event that matches the winners of Super Pro, Pro ET, Pro Bike and Sportsman in a heads, up with dial, race. The winner receives the coveted golden Wally. More on this later.
To get to the King of the Track, you first have to win your class. This started with the usual two rounds of Time Trials.
After the completion of the Time Trial runs, first round Eliminations started. The first class to run it's final was High School. It was Jon Lankford versus Tori Trench. Tori's dial-in was a little slower (15.20/15.06) so she launched a first and had a slightly better reaction time (.252/.259). Jon caught Tori at the top end and passed her to take the win light. (15.130/89.98 to 15.352/89.87). It was a good race. This was Jon's very first race. A cool way to start racing!
After High School, it was the Sportsman Class' turn to run its final. It was Meghan Hurley up against the reigning Sportsman Track Champion Steve Flounders Jr. This was almost a heads up race and at the stripe it was Meghan illuminating the win light. Steve broke out by .014. Meghan was going to be hard to beat because she ran a 12.191 on a 12.91 dial-in. This was Meghan's very first win!
Next up was Pro Bike. In this final, it was Bruce Damewood against Bob Foster Jr. Bruce had the slower dial-in (8.80/7.53) to Bob so he launched first. Bob was quicker on the tree (.018/.029), but immediately after launching he started experiencing some problems. Bruce took the win light. This was Bruce's second win of the season and Bob's second runner-up in a row. Bruce was not able to stay for the Winner's Circle pictures, so the picture on the right is from his first win in April.
Pro was the next class to run its final. It was Terry Heller up against Bill Macke. Bill launched first with the slower dial-in and better on the tree than Terry (.044/.061), however at the stripe Terry ran closer to his dial-in (10.57/10.610) to take the win. This is the first time Terry has raced at Route 66 since 2011.
The last class final of the day was Super Pro. This matched Bill Chase against Eddie Banderowicz Jr. Bill launched first with the slower dial-in. Eddie launched second, but left .006 too early causing the red light to illuminate giving the win to Bill. At the stripe both broke out.
As the last of the finals started, some ominous clouds started rolling in. As we got the four King of the Track competitors back to the staging lanes and as they were being directed to the tunnel, it started to rain. An attempt was made to save the track but it was lost to the rain and lightning. After discussions between the drivers and staff, it was decided to run the King of the Track races in conjunction with the next bracket race on Sunday, August 19th.
It was an interesting weekend for Dave Ancel! On Friday, at the Race Your Ride, he was breaking in new tires for Saturday's bracket race. I believe it was his third pass of the night, when he suddenly backed out of the water box. Apparently there was a problem with the dry sump system. Dave took the car home and overnight change the motor, went to work at 5 A.M and then came to the track to race. Dave made it to the Semi-Finals of Super Pro! All this on no sleep!!
The Trench family was supposed to be at two places this weekend. Tori was going to race at Byron in the Midwest Junior Super Series, however last weekend she broke the motor. TJ was scheduled to race in this bracket race. Tori jumped in her Aunt's car and drove in the semi-finals of High School and TJ went four rounds in Super Pro losing to eventual Super Pro winner Bill Chase.
Pro winner, Terry Heller, normally doesn't race at Route 66. In talking to him in the Winner's Circle we learned that his car was on the cover of Car Craft magazine in 1976. He purchased the car in the 80's and has been running it successfully. He jokes about the wiring and people have asked him why doesn't he change or update the car. His reply? "Why, I'm winning with it!"
If it wasn't for that bit of a thunderstorm, it would have been a near perfect day. Congratulations to all our Class Winners and good luck next Sunday in the races for King of the Track.
To see all the images of the event, please click here.
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