VOLUME XX, NUMBER 5 - MAY, 2018
DRAGRACINGOnline will be published on or around the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
DRAGRACINGOnline owes allegiance to no sanctioning body and will call 'em as we see 'em. We strive for truth,integrity, irreverence and the betterment of drag racing. We have no agenda other than providing the drag racing public with unbiased information and view points they can't get in any other drag racing publication.
Editor & Publisher, CEO Jeff Burk
Managing Editor, COO Kay Burk
Editor at Large, Bret Kepner
Editor at Large, Emeritus Chris Martin
Bracket Racing Editor, Jok Nicholson
Motorcycle Editor, Tom McCarthy
Nostalgia Editor, Brian Losness
Contributing Writers, Jim Baker, Steven Bunker, Aaron Polburn, Matt Strong
Australian Correspondent, Jon Van Daal
European Correspondent, Ivan Sansom
Poet Laureate, Bob Fisher
Cartoonists, Jeff DeGrandis, Kenny Youngblood
Senior Photographer - Ron Lewis
Contributing Photographers - Aaron Anderson, Donna Bistran, Steven Bunker, Pam Conrad, Adam Cranmer, James Drew, Don Eckert, Steve Embling, Mike Garland, Joel Gelfand, Steve Gruenwald, Chris Haverly, Rose Hughes, Bob Johnson, Bret Kepner, "Bad" Brad Klaassen, Jon LeMoine, Eddie Maloney, Tim Marshall, Matt Mothershed, Richard Muir, Joe McHugh, Dennis Mothershed, Ivan Sansom, Paul Schmitz, Dave Stoltz, Jon Van Daal
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Editor & Publisher
CEO Jeff Burk
COO Kay Burk
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
Contact: Casey Araiza
Burk Blasts once more
DRO Editor Jeff Burk has some kind words for NHRA and the nitro team owners ...
Outlaw Drag Wars returns to ...
The second season of Outlaw Drag Wars gets under way on Friday, June 8, on ...
Oddy and Ward repeat U.S. 131 ...
Owner Jim Oddy and driver Junior Ward set a gasser record of 4.75 seconds ...
Reisterer tops at TOPMA outlaw show
Outlaw Pro Mod racing is alive and well at the famed Texas Motorplex, where ...
New NHRA track prep level challenges ...
Tim Wilkerson just has to make a short trip from his hometown of Springfield, ...
New track surface proves fast at ...
The European FIA/FIM-E drag racing series kicked off for the bulk of the four ...
Gassers will add to PDRA ...
The Supercharged AA/Gassers of America will bring their period-correct ...
Lancaster finally opens season ...
Any memories of the long, cold and wet Western New York winter were melted ...
ET DRAG RACING
Worth the Wait
Words and photos by Brian Losness
For years Don Hudson and his “California Hustler” team was that team you never took lightly. All the other teams knew the possibility of the Hustler running hard was always there. But for some reason or another the team could not reach the brass ring.
This year brought another driver change to the team. Canadian transplant Jeff Arend joined the team and brought with him experience of winning four times in the big show, and a quiet confidence, which is what crew chief Ronnie Swearingen always has. Not to say this is a match made in heaven, but it might be said that the two have a very good understanding of one another.
The two showed flashes of this at the March Meet in their first outing together. But an uncharacteristic tardy light by Arend gave Ryann Kohno a first-round gift. So, as the team made their way to Boise for the 48TH Annual NAPA Auto Parts Ignitor, the second stop of the Heritage Series, many did not have this team on their radar for winning the event.
That honor fell to Bucky Austin and Bobby Cottrell as they had taken the wins at the March Meet along with the NFCA Event in Tucson. They were on a roll and had no intentions of stepping off the gas.
After Q1 that domination seemed to be fully intact as Cottrell ran a 5.81/242.71. His final-round opponent in Tucson, Tim Boychuk, was second at 5.98/241.76. Arend was fourth at 6.15/178.83. Rounding out the eight-car field was Idaho’s own Jon Rice at 10.74/75,82
The afternoon brought warmer temps and still with heavy broken clouds.
This seems to be in Swearingen’s wheelhouse as Arend hammered out a stunning 5.68 at 255.78. The quiet, shy Mark “Mr. Explosive” Sanders slid into the number two slot at 5.77/226.58. Three-time DRO AA/FC Challenge champion Shawn Bowen was third at 5.78/250.18. Jon Rice still held down the bump spot, however he improved three seconds to 7.16/197.92.
Saturday evening in Q3 was the run that really got everybody’s attention and just made everybody in the stands, in the timing tower, and in pit area stand up and cheer. Scott Stanger from West Point, Utah, has one of the most period correct funny cars in all of nostalgia drag racing. No forty-inch nose, no aero-inspired rear spoilers, no tucked in fenders -- none of that. Stanger, to the delight of a great many, does things the old school way, and with a lot of hard work from his crew (and reportedly some phone call advice from Dale Pulde). The beautiful blue white and yellow Plymouth Cuda named “Bad Manners” pulled up into the right lane in Q3. At the hit the Cuda went straight and true and stopped the clocks with a 6.04 at 232.31 mph. The entire place erupted in applause. The best run by the team by nearly half a second.
To say that Stanger’s budget is small, would be an understatement. It could be said that his budget would not equate to some of the bigger team’s catering bill for the weekend. However, his team works hard and they have loyal and dedicated crew members. So, it was great to see the team’s joy and enthusiasm when the car made such an outstanding pass. That run moved Stanger into the number six slot for eliminations.
Sunday was a bit warmer, but the high heavy overcast gave way to a broken ceiling and some gusty winds.
Round one did not have any upsets. Stanger’s day came to an end unceremoniously as the parachutes shook out of their packs on the burnout. A bad break, but a great weekend for the team.
Can you guess that Jon Rice is from Idaho?
The most interesting aspect of round one is that all the quicker cars took the right lane and won, except for one, Ronnie Swearingen. Swearingen walked the left lane for quite a while as the track crew prepped the lanes. He pulled Arend into the left lane. He knew he had the Jon Rice but he did not overlook the team from Idaho.
“Yeah, we should win this, but I have been beat from the number one position by a slower car, so you don’t take anybody lightly. I just like the way this (left) lane looks,” Swearingen explained.
Arend was second off the starting line, but by 60 feet had run down Rice and set low ET of the round by six hundredths, a 5.72/247.66 to cover Rice’s 6.37/218.87.
There was going to be no gimmies with this group as Arend and Cottrell face off, but first it would be Sanders and Bowen.
However, this one would be over way before it started, as Sanders for some reason went -.323 red giving the win to Bowen his 5.89/206.46 to cover Sanders 6.55/152.78.
When asked back at the hauler why Dad was so early, crew chief Jake Sanders’ response was an understandably short “I have no idea. I just need to load the trailer so we can get out of here.”
The other match up in round two was the battle of the titans. Cottrell and Arend, Austin vs Swearingen. Arend was up on the wheel all weekend, and Swearingen had found his grove. Cottrell was on a winning streak and was confident. However, the Bardahl car was acting more like Dr. Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde this weekend, so it was going to interesting which car was going to show up to meet the “California Hustler”.
STOCK: Darrick Ellam, Ridgefeild, WA, '76 Pinto, W/SA, 16.737, 78.30 def. Mick Alley, Eagle, ID, '69 Camaro, A/SA, 10.626, 123.59.
SUPER GAS: John Dalrymple, Sunnyside, WA, '04 Corvette, 10.161, 160.18 def. Jason Heard, Battle Ground, WA, '86 Mustang, 10.152, 153.37.
TOP SPORTSMAN: Jake Neibauer, Billings, MT, '63 Corvette, 6.978, 191.84 def. Dan Lafferty, Wendell, ID, '69 Camaro, 7.081, 184.07.
TOP DRAGSTER: Craig Blaisdell (far lane), Anderson, CA, '18 Miller, 6.869, 155.78 def. Dave Jackson, Poulsbo, WA, '14 Mullis, foul.
SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE: Rick Newport, Bluffdale, UT, '95 Suzuki, 8.309, 149.73 def. David Wood, Eagle, ID, '16 Arctic CAT, 9.173, 132.91.
SUPER PRO: Juliet Barnhart, '00 Soran, 7.604, 173.85 def. Chris Jaggers, '02 Soran, 7.962, 166.11.
SUPER PRO CONSOLATION: Tanner Theobald, Saint George, UT, '14 Trick, 9.247, 161.11 def. James Warden, Santa Ana, CA, '04 Worthy, 9.311, 151.10.
PRO: Levi Burlile, Nampa, ID, '63 Falcon, 10.289, 127.70 def. Carl Youngstrom, Caldwell, ID, '70 Trans Am, foul.
HEAVY: Rex Petersen, '99 Corvette, 12.542, 111.15 def. Zak Pedraza, Boise, Idaho, '89 Chev S10, 12.395, 98.59.
SUPER COMP SHOOTOUT: Mike Shannon, Kelowna, BC, '15 American, 9.179, 164.93 def. Justin Cooper, Medical Lake, WA, '06 Undercover, 9.133, 168.85.
SUPER GAS SHOOTOUT: Steve Laskowske, Tigard, OR, '63 Corvette, 10.177, 161.98 def. Chris Cannon, Bothell, WA, '63 Corvette, broke.
SUPER STREET SHOOTOUT: Todd Sims, Puyallup, WA, '66 Nova, 11.163, 134.64 def. Christopher Northup, Boise, ID, '68 Camaro, 11.136, 132.75.
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