The NHRA Summit hit Barona 1/8th Mile Dragstrip this April 14th and 15th, and they brought a friend! On Saturday, the SoCal Doorslammers series paid a visit as well, bringing it's own set of hard bracket racing down to the track!
Saturday the 14th was a day filled with sunshine, warm weather, and hot racing. First, the NHRA Summit series took it's first shot at the weekend with it's Summit Motorcycle, Sportsman, Pro and Super Pro brackets.
In Summit Motorcycle, there was a family rivalry brewing as David Collins brought his 83 Kawasaki up against Russ Collins Jr's 08 Suzuki. Russ would be going first, being given nearly 3 seconds of a head start, but all that meant here was that David did not need to do anything at all, as Russ left 4 hundredths of a second early, fouling out and giving David the Summit Motorcycle win.
David Collins, before making a run on his way to winning Saturday's Summit Motorcycle bracket.
In the Summit Sportsman, Kyle Phillips was aiming for the top, but David Peutz and his 68 Firebird was in his way. Kyle was eager to get a good reaction time, but he was a little too eager:launching 24 thousandths of a second early and fouling out, giving David Peutz the Summit Sportsman win.
David Puetz's 68 Firebird, burning out before a run for Summit Sportsman.
Summit Pro was next, with RJ Simrock bringing his high wheeling 70 Nova to the finals, where he'd meet up with Daniel Switzer's 15 Mustang. No red lights or break outs would befall these two, as both racers finish clean. Both got to a good start, but RJ had a small advantage, getting a .051 reaction time compared to Daniel's .080, giving RJ 29 thousandths of a second of an advantage. He would need them, as Daniel finished with a 8.290 E/T on his 8.28 dial. But, those 29 thousandths combined with a 6.410 E/T on a 6.38 dial, he was .081 thousandths of a second away from a perfect race, beating Daniel's .090 margin by a scant 9 thousandths, just barely getting the win light and the Summit Pro win.
One of RJ Simrock's signature wheelies, on his way to winning Summit Pro
And to wrap up Saturday's Summit Series, the Super Pro bracket came down to Noel Cuevas's 71 Camaro and David Butler's 74 Vegas. Both racers got off the line quick, and went down the track quicker... too quick. Both drivers would go under their dial and break out, but Noel's 6.443 was closer to their 6.38 dial than Daniel's 6.711 was to their 6.77 dial, giving Noel the lesser breakout, and the Summit Super Pro win!
Noel Cuevas' 71 Camaro, wheeling while launching off the line.
The Summit series would run again on Sunday, but Saturday wasn't done yet! The So Cal Doorslammers had to make their runs. They had 4 categories of their own, based on the set in dials: the 6.50 bracket, the 5.90 bracket, the 5.50 bracket, and the no limits, heads up racing of the Race What You Brung bracket!
Starting with the 6.50, track regulars Jim “Woody” Wood and RJ Simrock were ready to run. Both dials were matched at 6.50, thus when the lights dropped it was all about trying to get down the track as fast as you can without going under... however, both racers were a little too fast for their britches here. Woody's 6.471 was closer to 6.50 than RJ's 6.434, thus giving Woody the 6.50 win.
In the 6.50, Woody took the win with a few good jumps like this.
In the 5.90 bracket, Don Ruble Jr's 67 Nova would meet with Dennis Roach's 69 Chevelle. The heads up lights would drop, but Don would launch a hundredth of a second early, getting the red light and gift wrapping the 5.90 win to Dennis Roach.
In the 5.90, Dennis Roach (Near) went up against Don Ruble Jr. (Far)
We're getting faster as we go along, as we go from the 100 MPH beasts of the 5.90s to the 120+s of the 5.50s! Joe Bernier's 72 Vega was no slouch, but Tommy Azzarella's 64 Nova thought it was even faster. And it was, as it rocketed down the track at 127 MPH. But it'd finish with a 5.492 E/T, going under the required 5.50 dial and breaking out, giving Joe Bernier the 5.50 win.
Joe Bernier burning out before a run in the 5.50 bracket.And now, for the fastest cars of Saturday, the no-dial in, heads up, no limits Run What You Brung bracket. Jorge Luna's 93 Probe wanted a shot of high speed glory, but Travers Scott's 85 Mustang thought it was one better. The lights dropped, and Jorge's Probe fired off, crossing the finish line with a 4.851 E/T, going 143.97 MPH... but Travers' Mustang hit 149.60 MPH, and crossed the line 4 hundredths of a second earlier, giving Travers' the Run What You Brung win, wrapping up a fast night of So Cal Doorslammers!
Jorge Luna (Left) against Travers Scott (Right) in the Run What You Brung final.
But the NHRA Summit was back on Sunday the 15th, and they brought another batch of their fast NHRA racing. The Summit Motorcycles, Pro, Super Pro, and Sportsman was there, as well as the return of the Gambler, where eliminated racers can enter for a chance at a cash prize.
For said Gambler bracket, it came down to Lee Sweiter's 92 Mustang and George Rodgers' 65 Chevy Malibu. George got a good start off the line with a .066 R/T, but Lee felt a little more dangerous, pushing his luck for a fast life. It paid off this time, as a .005 R/T gave him a crucial 6 hundredths of a second advantage down the track. One he would need, as George finished with a 6.654 E/T on a 6.63 dial. But thanks to that fast start, Lee's 9.294 E/T on a 9.22 would be enough to take home the cash from the Gambler win.
George Rodgers (Near) against Lee Sweiter (Far) in the Gambler Final
And with the bonus money handed out, it was time for the Summit proper. In the Summit Motorcycle bracket, Corey Wilcox was up against Joshua Allen in the final. Corey had a slow start off the line with a .236 R/T, but that was likely due to Joshua leaving 72 thousandths of a second early, fouling out and giving Corey the Motorcycle win.
Corey Wilcox (Far) against Joshua Allen (Near) in the Summit Motorcycle final
In Summit Sportsman, Gary Harfield clawed his way up to the final, and there he found Saturday's champion, David Puetz, who was going for a weekend sweep. David took a chance trying to get the second win of the weekend for him. And with a reaction time of 2 thousandths of a second, he did just that. Although, getting a 7.530 E/T on a 7.52 dial certainly helped, as David speeds his way to the win and the weekend Summit Sportsman sweep.
Gary Harfield (Near) against David Puetz (Far) in the Summit Sportsman final
The Summit Pro bracket came down to Rick Reynolds and his 66 Fairlane and David Peutz and his 68 Firebird, fresh off the Summit Sportsman sweep. David tried out the same strategy he did in the Sportsman, and aimed for a super low reaction time, but he bit off more than he could chew here: launching one hundredth of a second early and getting a red light foul for it, gifting Rick Reynolds the Summit Pro win.
Rick Reynolds (Near) shortly before defeating David Puetz (Far) and taking the Summit Pro win.
And finally to close out the day, Noel Cuevas fought his way back to the Summit Super Pro final, going for a weekend sweep of his own. RJ Simrock and his 70 Nova wanted another win under his belt too, and only one of them was going to take the Super Pro win. It'd be practically a heads up race, with Noel's 6.45 dial giving him only the tiniest head start over RJ's 6.42. It was decided at the finish line, as Noel's 6.460 E/T on a 6.45 dial would be enough to beat RJ's 6.654 E/T on a 6.548 E/T on a 6.42 dial, giving Noel the Summit Super Pro weekend sweep!
Noel Cuevas (Near) against RJ Simrock (Far) in the Summit Super Pro finals. Noel would sweep the weekend series with this win.
With an exciting Summit and Doorslammers weekend finished up, we look forwards to two weeks from now, when on Friday April 27th, an open track rental is open for all cars starting at noon, Saturday April 28th has the 54th running of the San Diego Antique Drags starting at 10 AM, and Sunday has the Import Outlaws return to Barona 1/8th Mile Dragstrip, starting at 10 AM as well. See you there!