ET Dragracing

National Open at Fontana, California

Season Begins on West Coast

Words and photos by Bob Johnson

The first of three NHRA Pacific Division National Open events took place March 22-24 at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, CA, with great weather and an excellent turnout of West Coast drag racers.


Seventy cars entered the Super Stock/Stock combo race, with Joe Kohorst of Grand Terrace, CA, taking the premier category title.

Kohorst ran a 9.681, 136.33 (9.70 dial-in) with his GT/FA ’88 Camaro, defeating Bakersfield racer Mark Kirby in the final round. Kirby was .004 too quick at the ‘tree, drawing a redlight with his F/SA ’73 Plymouth Duster. Kirby defeated Jack Bystrom in the semifinal while Kohorst got a bye run into the final.

Zach Meziere of Escondido, CA, won the Top Comp title, beating Rich Okerman’s ’89 Beretta in the final. Meziere ran a perfect 7.580 at 173.38 on his 7.58 dial as Okerman was .003 too quick on his 7.08 dial. Okerman beat Chris McNicol in the semifinal while Meziere advanced to the final with a win over Mike Mendenhall.

During the off-season, Steve Parsons traded his Super Comp dragster for an 8.90 ’68 Camaro and put it in the winner’s circle on its first race. Parsons ran .021 off the index to stop James Warden as he lost with an 8.948.

Greg Martin won a double-breakout race with Val Torres Sr in the Super Gas final, driving his ’95 Lumina to a 9.882 win to a losing 9.848 for Torres.

Super Street honors went to Mark Simonian as he drove his ’89 Firebird to a 10.917 winning time to Jim Lirones’ ’33 Ford, losing with a 10.932.

Motorcycle: Brandon Cowan – bye run

Pro ET: Pedro Valadez, ’87 Camaro, .063, 9.772, 133.13 def. Trey Sommers, ’56 Chevrolet, .088, 9.875, 133.58

Sportsman: Daniel Sweitzer, ’15 Mustang, .065, 12.219, 113.87 def. Neal Blair, ’69 Camaro, .081, 12.728, 106.48


Saturday gambler action included Las Vegas racer Keith Winters beating Greg Ventura for the Electronics title, and Pedro Valadez beat Randy Wilson for the Non-Electronics win. 



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