It was a warm afternoon night on October 28th at Barona 1/8th Mile Dragstrip when there was anarchy in the kingdom. Drivers from all over Southern California gathered, all trying to lay claim to one throne: The King of the Track. To the king, a coveted NHRA Wally trophy is granted, as well as a Barona Drags Gold Card: Letting the King race here free for an entire year. The racers will be split into 4 categories. The Summit style Sportsman, Pro, and Super Pro categories, as well as the anything goes Gambler. The winners of those brackets will compete in a mini, 4 car bracket, with the winner of that being declared King (or Queen) of the Track.
Round 1, the Sportsman bracket, as Paul Wagner's 70 Dart went up against Peter Stoddard's 73 Nova. Peter would launch first, getting off the line decently well with a .036 light. Paul slept a bit on the line, getting a .110 launch. As Peter finished with a 9.327 E/T on a 9.2 dial, Paul still had a chance. He had to get his E/T within 5 hundredths of a second of his 7.56 dial...but his 7.619 was not, as Peter takes the Sportsman win, and gets a spot for the King of the Track.
Peter Stoddard (Far) in his 70 Nova against Paul Wagner (Near) and his 70 Dart in the Sportsman final.
Next up, in the Pro bracket Valadez's 81 Camaro went up against Noel Cuevas' 71 Camaro. Much like in the Sportsman bracket, reaction time is the biggest difference maker. Pedro got a mere 4 hundredths of a second advantage, but when the two evenly matched Camaros made their way down the track, Noel was better...but only by 1 hundredth of a second, making the 4 lost at the starting line the difference maker. Pedro takes the Pro win, and will be at the King of the Track final.
Noel Cuevas (Near) in his 71 Camaro up against Pedro Valadez (Far) in his 81 Camaro in the Pro final.
In the Super Pro Bracket, Rick Reynolds brought his 66 Fairlane up against Vincente Generalao. Both cars were nearly evenly matched, and on the tree, so were both racers. Rick had a slight advantage with a .040 light compared to Vincente's .055, but Vincente made it up on the track. His 5.820 E/T on a 5.80 dial was dead on compared to Rick's 5.967 E/T on a 5.91 dial. Those five hundreds of a second would give Vincente plenty of room to slide in after losing the tree, and take the Summit Super Pro win,giving Vincente a shot at King of the Track.
Vicente Generalo's dragster (far) against Rick Reynold's 66 Fairlane (near) in the Super Pro final
And the final category left, the Gambler. RJ Simrock brought his 70 Nova and all of it's extreme launch wheelies to compete, but Todd Ferguson's 64 Falcon wanted a shot at the crown too. Todd had the slightly faster car by around a tenth of a second, as RJ launched first. But, Todd left around one hundredth of a second early, getting a red light and gifting RJ Simrock the Gambler win, and the last spot in the King of the Track final.
RJ Simrock (Near) in his 70 Nova up against Todd Ferguson (Far) in his 64 Falcon. RJ would take the Gambler final win.
And finally, the four champions would duel it out to determine who was King this year. Peter Stoddard was doomed, with a lethargic 0.168 reaction time, and Vincente Generalao took care of himself, launching 7 thousandths of a second early and fouling out. All that were leftwere Gambler winner RJ Simrock's70 Nova and Pro winner Pedro Valadez's 81 Camaro. This finale all be about who could go the fastest. And RJ's extreme wheelies would get off the line first with a fast .014 reaction time, getting a good lead over Pedro's .092. RJ would ride that to a 6.472 E/T, beating Pedro's 6.610 and giving RJ the crown. RJ Simrock is King of the Track.
And to the winner go the spoils, as RJ gets to take home a coveted NHRA Wally Trophy, as well as a Gold Card to grant him free access to the track for an entire year. Until he has to defend this title.
With the King crowned, we're looking towards what's coming up. In one week, motorcyclists from all over Southern California will be heading here for the Race on the Rez! And on November 11th, the Renegade will return to Barona. See you there!