The start of April is normally associated with the pleasant scent of springtime, pollen allergies leading to an intense increase in sneezing, and hair-pulling excruciating pranks, but at Barona 1/8th Mile Dragstrip, April 1st was a day of lightning fast cars old and new, intense competition, and all sorts of fun as the NHRA Summit Series began with a weekend of intense racing.
On Saturday the First, we started with the Gambler, where Barry Brown and Pete Wrieden dueled to see who'd bring home some some big cash. Both cars were nearly even in their power, but Pete was a little more eager to launch, as when the amber lights dropped, Pete got a red. Pete launched 44 thousandths of a second too early, giving Barry Brown the Gambler win and pot.
Now, the Summit Series may begin. First, are the Summit Motorcycles. Cathy Silva and Russ Collins Jr. met in the final here, with Cathy's 03 Kawasaki a few seconds slower than Russ' 08 Suzuki. Cathy had a 4 second head start, getting off the line fast with a .084 reaction time.But, Russ Collins rocketed off the line, chasing her down in his 129 MPH speed machine, as Cathy had to speed up.. and crossed the line too early. Cathy got a 9.739 E/T on a 9.76 dial, breaking out and giving Russ the Summit Motorcycle win.
With Motorcycles done, next came the Summit Sportsman, the open category for all sorts of cars. Gary Harfield and Lance Soliday. Both were near equal rivals, only a third of a second separating their dials. Gary got a faster start, with a .051 reaction compared to Lance's .181 one, which he rode to a 7.994 E/T on a 7.96 dial, while Lance went 7.613 on a 7.69, breaking out while trying to catch up. With that, Gary gets the first Summit Sportsman win of 2017.
Gary Harfield (Near) against Lance Soliday (Far) in the Summit Sportsman final. Lance would break out, giving Gary the Summit Sportsman win to start off the season.
Next comes the Pro class, where Gary Harfield would go for a second win, dueling Paul Wagner in the final. Paul had the faster car, as Gary's 7.96 dial would give him over a second head start on Paul's 6.70. Gary got a head start off the line, his .013 reaction putting a decent lead over Paul's .027. Gary pushed his car to the finish line, his 7.979 E/T on a 7.96 dial meaning that Paul had to finish faster than a 6.705 on a 6.70 dial, and not go any faster than that dial. He may have done it, too, if he did not let off at the last possible moment, gliding in at a 6.712, and giving Gary the very, very narrow Summit Pro win.
Gary Harfield (Near) lining up against Paul Wagner (Far) in line before the Summit Pro final. Paul would break out, giving Gary the SUmmit Pro win.
The last event on Saturday was the Summit Super Pro series. Perennial powerhouse Rick Reynolds was ready in the final, and his challenger, Noel Cuevos, was looking to take him down to take an early lead in the Summit Super Pro series. The two were well matched off the line, as Noel had a short lead, with a .074 reaction time compared to Rick's .088 start. However, Noel slowed down as he made his way towards the finish line, as Rick sped faster and faster, undercutting Noel just barely, by getting a 5.949 E/T on a 5.93 dial. Rick Reynolds is still on top of it all.
And that was just Saturday.
Sunday, the racers at Barona were at it again for the second half of this Summit double-header. It was also a day of Imports, as international cars raced along in a preview of the Import Top 10 series coming later this year.
But alongside them the Summit series racers, starting with the Summit Motorcycles, as Cathy Silva tries to get redemption for her Saturday final breakout. She'd be up against Joe Silva and his 1980 Suzuki GS. Joe had the faster bike, so Cathy would launch first. But, Joe won before he even had to step on the gas, as Cathy launched 65 thousandths of a second early, giving Joe the Summit Motorcycle win.
The Summit Sportsman also had a returning finalist, as Gary Harfield was ready to repeat, while Wayne Johnson stood up to the plate to try and stop him. Wayne's 72 Ranchero and it's 9.20 dial was a little slower than Gary's 7.97. However, much like Cathy, Wayne launched off a bit too early. By going off the line 11 thousandths of a second earlier, Wayne giftwrapped the Summit Sportsman bracket win to Gary Harfield, giving him the weekend sweep.
In the Summit Pro, we have Daniel Munoz and his 71 Vega lining up against Ernesto Covurnices's 01 Camaro. Daniel got off the line quite fast, taking an early lead with his .015 reaction time. That, with a 6.806 E/T on a 6.78 dial was enough to beat Ernesto and his 7.361 E/T on a 7.29 dial, giving Daniel the Summit Pro win.
Daniel Munoz (Near) making one of his two finals wins against Ernesto Covurnices's 01 Camaro (Far) in the Summit Pro final
But Daniel was not done yet, as he was also ready to go in the Summit Super Pro bracket, going up against Jorge Couarrubios and his 07 GTO. They were nearly even off the line, with Daniel having a small lead, pushing Jorge to break out, with a 5.892 E/T on a 5.90 dial, breaking out and giving Daniel the second win for the day.
Daniel Munoz's 71 Vega, burning out before he took the Summit Super Pro final.
With the Summit off to a hot start, the track is getting a bit of a fever. And that'll break out into a crazy pitch, as Match Race Madness infects the track on the 15th! The Gambler and Test and Tunes will be ran too, so make sure not to miss it! See you there!