With the season getting back into shape, it was time for the NHRA Summit Series to finally get started, with the first two races of the NHRA Summit Series over Independence Weekend, July 4th and 5th , featuring the Summit Motorcycle, Summit Pro, Summit Super Pro, and Summit Sportsman, rolling up on Saturday to start the series, and following through on Sunday to do it again.
Summit Motorcycle came first on Saturday, as Brian Stirrat's '18 Busa motorcycle was matched up against Manny Garcia's '15 Busa. Manny would get off to a fast start, launching with a .011 reaction time and quite a lead over Brian's .193 reaction, but he's finish too far ahead of Brian, finishing with a 6.095 E/T on a 6.22 dial, breaking out and giving Brian Saturday's Summit Motorcycle win.
Summit Sportsman finished off with a duel between Gary Harfield and David Puetz. David was slow off the starting line, his .205 reaction time giving Gary a lot of leeway, as his .067 reaction time was nearly .14 seconds faster. And when Gary finished with a 8.002 E/T on a 7.8 dial, that would leave David a very tiny window for victory. He'd have to nail his 7.64 dial, and finish no slower than 7.644. His E/T of 7.676 was not good enough, as Gary Harfield got Saturday's Summit Sportsman win.
Gary Harfield, ready for his Summit Sportsman final.
In the Summit Pro bracket, Pete Wrieden brought his '57 Bel Air to the track, and was matched up against Rick Reynolds and his 66 Fairlane. Pete had the slower car, launching first with a respectable .041 reaction time, leaving Rick waiting for his turn to go as he watched Pete head down the track. Rick could not wait long enough, launching 2 thousandths of a second early and getting himself a red light foul. Pete Wrieden won Saturday's Summit Pro bracket.
Saturday capped off with the Summit Super Pro bracket, as RJ Simrock found himself matched up against Mike O Donnell. Mike had a good run, a .197 reaction time followed by a 5.887 E/T on a 5.84 dial. However, RJ ran into some issues, never quite getting off the line as intended and puttering to a 15 second long E/T, giving Mike O' Donnell the Summit Super Pro win.
Rick Reynolds (Near) lined up against Pete Wrieden (Far) in the Summit Pro final. Pete would take the win on Saturday.
Everyone went home after that nice Summer night, had a good night sleep, and showed up again on Sunday morning to try it all again, this time with an added Gambler bracket on top of it, bringing home a cash prize for the winner.
That cash prize would go to either RJ Simrock or Daniel Switzer, the two finalists in the Gambler bracket. Both were nearly even off the line, RJ's .046 reaction time nearly matching Daniel's .043. Keeping it close meant whoever would take the stripe first would win, so long as they don't break out. However, both drivers did, but RJ's 6.055 E/T on a 6.08 dial was one thousandth of a second closer than Daniel's 7.754 E/T on his 7.78 dial, earning RJ the Gambler win by the slimmest possible margin.
Summit Motorcycles again saw Brian Stirrat going for the double win going up against Gary Moore on his 09 Suzuki Busa. However, Brian would not be able to repeat, as he had issues getting off the line with a molasses slow .717 reaction time, letting Gary shoot forwards for the Sunday Summit Motorcycles win.
Next, in Summit Sportsman, Saturday's final would get a sequel, as Gary Harfield and David Puetz would have a rematch. Gary would get off the line faster with a .018 reaction time, giving him over a 4 hundredths of a second advantage over David Puetz's .059 reaction. And when Gary finished with a 7.977 E/T on a 7.97 dial, David would be locked out of his revenge, as Gary Harfield doubles up and wins both Summit Sportsman brackets for the weekend.
The Summit Pro bracket had Rick Reynolds looking to make up for his loss in the finals on Saturday, and he'd do it against Todd Ferguson. Redemption would come easy for Rick, as Todd's slower 6.58 dial meant he'd launch first, and when he launched with a -.026 reaction time and got a red light, Rick got the Sunday Summit Pro win without having to step on the gas.
Sunday's Summit Pro final, with Rick Reynolds (Near) against Todd Ferguson (Far)
Finally, in the Summit Super Pro bracket, Ernie Macias would match up against Mike O' Donnell, with both of them quick to get off the line. Mike would be a hair faster with his risky .007 reaction time, but Ernie's .015 wasn't too far behind. As both broke 100 MPH, with Ernie right behind him, Mike crossed the finish line a hair too fast, a 5.982 E/T on a 6.00 dial leading to a very slim breakout, giving Ernie Macias the Summit Super Pro win.
The Summit has some lost time to make up for, so these racers don't have long to rest. The next race in the series awaits them on July 18th and 19th with another double header! Also, for the more casual racers, Friday night the 17th the track will open up at 3 PM for the Street Legal Drags, racing starting at 5 PM! See you there!