Fine weather, a gentle breeze to clear away the burnout smoke, and a density altitude in the 1900’s greeted racers as eliminations began on Sunday, making for a near-perfect start to the 2011 PSCA season. To see the full round-by-round results for each class, scroll down past the final round recap below.
Once again, special thanks to our event coverage sponsor Mickey Thompson. Check out their great line of wheels and tires at www.mickeythompsontires.com.
The headlining Outlaw 10.5 class took three rounds to get down to the final between Greg Seth-Hunter and Ron Weems; Seth-Hunter began the day with a competition bye thanks to the odd-numbered field, which he ran out to a lifting 7.529. Number 5 qualifier Chris Kephart was up next, and despite giving up a huge .102-.019 holeshot to Kephart, Seth-Hunter easily made it past Kephart’s faltering 8-second effort. The semi-finals posed a real challenge, with last year’s points runner-up Rick Snavely in the other lane. Again, Seth-Hunter gave up the leave, but Snavely’s 6.770 wasn’t quick enough to stay ahead of Seth-Hunter’s 6.690.
On the other side of the ladder, Weems had made short work of Gary Soulages in the opening round with a 6.906, then caught an unexpected single thanks to neither Mark Luton nor Johnny Coleman making the first round. That let him take an easy hit into the semi-finals, where he would receive a competition bye thanks to being #3 on the qualifying list.
With the final pair set, Weems once again put the holeshot on Seth-Hunter, .073 to .122, and once again the big Nova powered past, winning with a 6.821 to Weems’ 6.933.
Extreme Drag Radial
As we predicted yesterday, the race to watch in the 3-car XDR class was the first round matchup between Bill Dunaway and Dana Cook. Cook was off first with a .068 to Dunaway’s dead-late .293, and if you only saw the first 60 feet you would have thought it was over. But past the first set of reflectors, Cook had to pedal, and Dunaway was suddenly back in the running. Down-track, it was a chaotic battle to see who’s troubles would slow them the least, and at the stripe with the crowd on its feet, Dunaway’s 9.098 had gotten him past Cook’s 9.629.
The final between number one qualifier Jimenez and Dunaway was just as weird – once again, Dunaway waited for an engraved invitation to leave the line, giving up a three-tenths advantage against the black Camaro. Jimenez, who ran a 7.739 in qualifying, struggled to get up to speed and only managed an 8.147 to Dunaway’s victorious 7.736, running out of track before catching the Nova despite carrying a massive 13mph trap speed advantage.
Number one qualifier Victor Brum bookended his weekend at Fontana with a trip to the finals in Edelbrock Hot Street, cruising past Craig Gustafson in the opening round, then getting a free pass into the deciding race when George Mitchell couldn’t make the call for the semis. On the opposite side of the ladder, Bryan Cobbett was working his way through the field to meet him, getting a freebie thanks to a no-show from #2 qualifier Tony Aneian in the first round, then another thanks to a big redlight from Daniel Bott in round two.
When the tree dropped on the Hot Street finals, Cobbett had the holeshot, .034 to .103, but on the fast end of the track the SS was pulling hard and edged past, giving Brum the win, 8.287 to 8.548.
Wild Street was all about attrition; number one qualifier Artis Houston wouldn’t even break the beams for his first round bye, and Chico Coleman, Ryan Jones, and David Schwarz were also no-shows for the opening pairs. The only race in the first round of WS was between Kevin Young and Armen Maghdessian, and even that wasn’t technically a race, with Young finishing ten seconds ahead.
The chaos in round one meant Jeff Young got his #2 qualifier ladder bye, but Robert Thompson got one too, while Casey Vantol and Kevin Young fought to advance – Vantol got the nod when Young could only manage a half-pass under power. That gave Vantol the third and final bye in the semis, and Jeff Young and Thompson paired up. Again, it was a case of just getting down the track, and Young did while Thompson didn’t, setting the final.
At long last, Wild Street saw a real drag race in the deciding round, with both Young and Vantol slow off the line but close together. Down-track, it was the Camaro ahead of the Nova, with Jeff Young taking the win, 7.706 to Vantol’s 7.924.
Mark Washington rode his #1 qualifying spot to a win in Limited Street, posting the quick time of the round in the opener against Gary Brant, Jr., then taking his competition single in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Erick Aldrich was taking care of Jack Avetisyan in the first round, 8.550 to 9.284, then driving around a little bit of a holeshot from Mike Orban in the semis.
With Washington and Aldrich paired up to see who would get the big trophy, both drivers cut near-identical good lights, and the cars were side-by-side all the way down-track. At the stripe, the nod would go to Washington, who ran 8.365 to Aldrich’s 8.365.
Steve Fullgham began the defense of his 2010 title in Street Challenge with top qualifier honors in Fontana, earning him a single in the opening round. Round two paired the champ with Rick Hatch, who went down 10.302 to 9.882. That set up a semi-final match between Fullgham and Ron Shaw that was not to be – a broke bye delivered Fullgham directly into the finals, where he would square off against #2 qualifier Mike Gitned.
Gitned started Sunday off with a 10.631 to 11.916 win over Joseph Braasch, then followed up by driving around a massive holeshot from Eric Outland, running 10.122 to Outland’s way-off-pace 12-second pass. The ladder delivered a competition bye in round three for Gitned, so the last Street Challenge pair of the weekend was set.
At the tree, both drivers eased out of the hole, with a .07 second advantage to Fullgham. He needed every fraction of it too – in what turned out to be the closest heads-up final of the weekend, Fullgham squeeked out the win on the strength of that tiny holeshot, with his slower 9.726 just enough to stay ahead of Gitned’s 9.689.