It was a busy weekend at Barona 1/8th Mile Dragstrip, as Nitro Night was the meat in a Junior Drags sandwich over the weekend. Juniors had race #5 and #6 to get through and on Saturday May 27th, it was time for #5.
Saturday started with little Carlie Ball and Ethan Molletti meeting in the Group 1 final, as the youngest of our speedsters lined up, with Ethan Molletti getting a short headstart with his 12.30 dial, compared to Carlie's 12.03 dial. Carlie would get a good headstart off the line, having a .097 reaction compared to Ethan's .126. And while Carlie was less than ten, he raced like a veteran, pushing his car to a 12.033 E/T on that 12.03 dial, leaving no room at all for Ethan to catch up, forcing him to break out, and getting the Group 1 win.
In Group 2, the final came down to Morgan Clinton's 01 Spitzer and Adan Costanza's Halfscale. Both had their dials set, with Adan getting a small headstart. But, before Morgan's light turned green, she won the final, as Adan launches nearly a tenth of a second early, red lighting and giving Morgan the win.
In Group 3, Maverick Mollow and Typer Smith met in the final. It'd nearly be headsup, with near equal dials. Maverick would get a good start with a .036 reaction time, but Tyler wanted to be closer than that. And by trying to push the light, his side lights red, as he launched 3 thousandths of a second early, giving Maverick the Group 3 win.
And with the older teens left to go, Group 4 lined up, ready to go. Dylan Horridge and Ethan Gates would have a duel of 05 Halfscales. Dylan would get off the line faster, with a .023 reaction time compared Ethan's .038, and he's run that out to a 7.954 time on a 7.90 dial, enough to edge out Ethan and take the Group 4 win.
And with Saturday wrapped up and the excitement of Nitro Night still hanging over the dragstrip, the Juniors came back for another go.
In Sunday's Group 1 matchup, Carlie Ball was back, hoping for a weekend sweep, with Chase Sullivan there to try and get a win for himself. Chase would get a faster start off the line, but nobody ever accused Carlie of being anything but brave, as he tried to chase him down to take the stripe. Unfortunately, with a 12.106 E/T on a 12.15 dial, Carlie took a bit too much stripe, giving Chase the Group 1 win.
In Group 2, Caden Ball tries to avenge his litle brother's loss in Group 1, and he'd attempt to do so against Dylan Hegwood. Both would have similar starts, with Caden getting a very minor headstart with a 8.95 dial compared to Dylan's 8.90. But, Dylan would win the reaction battle by a small edge, with a .059 against Caden's .067. Both racers would push their cars to the finish, but Dylan's 8.931 E/T would beat out Caden's 9.004, as Dylan gets a well-deserved Group 2 win.
In Group 3, Maverick Molloy set out to do what Carlie failed to do in Group 1: Come back after a victory on Saturday and take the final again for a weekend sweet. Nolan Oliverirza had other ideas, though, as both Halfscales met in the Group 3 final. Maverick ran a 7.986 on a 7.96 dial, with a .025 reaction time, while Nolan Oliveirza ran a 8.085 on a 8.07 dial with a .036 reaction time. Adding the reaction times with how over their dials they are (which is how winners are usually determined), we'd see that both of them were .051 seconds awy from a perfect run. Or in other words, by the thousandths of a second: It was a tie. Only by going into the ten thousandths of a second was this photo finish of a race able to be determined, and it'd go in Maverick's favor, getting him the Jr. Group 3 sweep on one of the closest finals at Barona 1/8th Mile Dragstrip in years.
And finally, in Group 4, Derrick Hegwood would meet up with the elder Oliveirza, Dylan, to close out the weekend. Both teenagers came ready to race, as as soon as the green lights hit for both of them, both were already out of the gates in under a hundredth of a second. And Derrick had no intention on being anything less than perfect, as he took his 7.90 dial and ran a 7.908 E/T, which combined with his .005 reaction time, left him merely 13 thousandths of a second away from a perfect run. That would be far too small a gap for Dylan to fill, as he pushes his Halfscale into a 8.040 E/T on a 8.09 dial, breaking out hard, as Derrick takes a very hard earned Group 4 win.
And after one absolutely exciting weekend of racing, fans won't have a lot of time to recover, as in two weeks the NHRA Summit Series comes back to Barona, taking over the dragstrip for a full weekend of action! See you there!