March 16-20, 2011

2011 March meet coverage is here

2011 March Meet event coverage is separate for each page. Thursday test, Friday qualifying, Saturday qualifying, Sunday eliminations


2011 Nostalgia feature stories are here.

October 24, 2011

California Hot Rod Reunion. Weekend wrap-up

Results are posted (TF and FC) The (other classes)

(story and photos by Bob Wilson)

After a weekend of racing, reminiscing and enjoying the beautiful fall weather in central California, the 20th annual California Hot Rod Reunion wrapped up on Sunday evening. Those who stayed until the very end were witness to some incredible runs in the final rounds of the pro (Top Fuel and Funny Car) classes, and some very close and exciting races in the sportsman categories.

John Hale set the bar very high indeed with a new Nostalgia Funny Car record e.t. at 5.58, coupled with a huge speed of almost 256 mph in a final round match with Kris Krabill, who's consistent and very quick 5.78 was left in Hale's wake. The only thing that made the race at all close was the nearly tenth of a second starting line advantage gained by Krabill. Still, it was all John Hale at the finish line. As is his custom, the car left very hard, with the front wheels in the air until well past the 100' mark and just kept charging all the way to the quarter-mile stripe.


The big question to be answered was how could the Top Fuel finalists top that performance? With Steve Boggs tuning the awesomely powerful and very quick Tony "T-Bone" Bartone car it seemed almost anything was possible. He already had the quickest e.t. in Nostalgia history in hand from a first round (Saturday) crushing of Bill Dunlap, with a 5.566 and a big speed of 263.41 mph. Could he top that, just as Hale had done only minutes earlier?

Not to be discounted in the final round equation was Utah's Brett Harris in the "Nitro Thunder" entry who had methodically worked his way through the field from the #5 qualifying position, laying down three consecutive 5.7 e.t.'s at mid 250-mph speeds to earn the right to take on Bartone for the title. In young Harris's favour was a definite starting line edge with an average of half a tenth quicker launches to his credit. But would it be enough to overcome the massive performance edge owned by the Boggs-Bartone juggernaut?


The answer came very quickly indeed, and left the New Yorkers disappointed as a .033 second holeshot gave Harris a margin of victory of barely one thousandth of a second. The verdict: 5.725 - 255.73 for the strong running Harris, and a 5.693 losing number for Bartone. What about the speed for Bartone though? Only 269.29 freaking miles per hour. The fastest, bar none, front-engine top fuel run in history. Done in 3500 foot air too. Simply amazing!

The only thing keeping the race from being totally dominated by Bartone was a slightly too soft launch in the final. With the still very hot track temps and a solid performance advantage the "B and B" team must have felt that being just a little safe would work in their favour. Unfortunately, just a little too safe! But they did go home with the best numbers ever recorded in the class and the knowledge that they can run with and away from, anybody.

So how you do recap an event that was far more than just another drag race? Yes, the competition was certainly there, with nearly three dozen Nitro Funny Cars in the pits, and for a pleasant change, a full field of Top Fuel dragsters. The sportsman categories were mostly well represented, with only Junior Fuel sporting less than a full show, with only seven cars attending. The A/Fuel dragsters turned out in strong numbers with 12 cars for
the standard 8-car field.

One thing that is hurting both of these classes is the heads-up aspect, with quite a margin between the front runners and those at the back of the pack. If the gap grows even wider, we're going to see fewer and fewer cars showing up in the future. What can be done about it? Not much really, as every time the rulebook tries to legislate equality, it simply doesn't accomplish the objective. Unfortunately, in so many areas of drag racing, it's becoming more of a survival of the fattest (wallet) instead of the fittest. Darwin with a big chequebook in a way.

With a much larger number of competitors and some real diversity in car choices, the Pro 7.0 gang proved to be a big hit with the fans. Helping to some extent were some seriously well-presented back-up "assistants" and the very close, and very fast, racing struck a welcome chord with everyone.

The mix of funny cars, altereds and dragsters, almost all blown on alcohol saw 30 cars try to fight their way into the 16-car show. With an index of 7.00 (what a coincidence, eh?) the bump spot of 7.051 was nearly beyond belief. Even the fourth alternate was in the 7.0-range.

With the hard running required just to qualify, two alternates were inserted into the show, and one of them, Greg Howland, went all the way to the final and tripped the win light, only to lose on a breakout by seven thousandths of a second. Quite a redemption and just nanoseconds away from the victory in one of the most competitive classes at the Reunion.

The other category showing a good mix of cars was A/Gas with a variety of late and early model machinery, which included a number of very Pro Mod-ish looking entries. While adhering to the Heritage Series rules, I've got to wonder if some of these cars are really within the spirit of the reunion.
Of course that line of thinking could be applied to almost every class here so I'll just drop the subject. For now!

With 31 cars trying to squeeze into the 16-car field, and run no quicker than 7.60, qualifying was quite a show in itself. The first 14 cars were within .05 of the index, and the list of 7-second cars stretched all the way down to the #28 car on the ladder. Some great performances highlighted their show, and just to give you an idea of the great mix of machines, here's the make of the top six cars in the field: '53 Studebaker, '65 GTO,
'51 Henry J, '55 Bel Air, '59 Rambler. Hold on a minute, a Rambler? One of the neatest cars in the class, Frank Merenda's "Homewrecker IV" did great wheel-stands and ran unbelievably fast for a four-door station wagon. You've just got to see this machine to believe it.

The one Nostalgia Eliminator run at this event (NE1), sported 29 in all-run field on a 7.60 index, and did feature quite a variety of machinery: funny cars, altereds and dragsters, with the only common denominator being center-steer driving position. Even a few famous names and cars of the past showed up, with the Chess Bushey - Bruce McDowell (both longtime Top Alcohol competitors) dragster and Phil Lukens in the Blair's Speed Shop '48 Fiat that has been around drag racing about as long as the Christmas tree.

Adding to the show were a large group of A/FX cars, straight out of the mid to late 60's, with an age range of 1963 to 1969 - mostly encompassing the "golden age" of muscle cars. It turned into a battle between Mopar and Ford, with GM cars not well represented, and in the end, a pair of Mopars met for the title, with the '64 Belvedere of Joel Miner acing out the quickest car in the field, Lynsi Martinez, in her '69 Dart.

There were a number of exhibition cars to fill some of the downtime (more on that aspect later), ranging all the way from the Fuel Altereds of Darryl Bradford, Ron Hope and "Iron" Mike Boyd, to the "Full Tilt Boogie" wheelstander, a group of six Midwest Gassers (mostly '37 Chevys) and a hodgepodge of old, and in some cases, really old - and frankly, mostly quite slow - race cars. Some of the cacklefest cars even made a pass down the track, slowly of course and mindful of the rules governing their participation, and the highlight of that feature was the Grand Marshall of the event, Steve Gibbs, making a lap in a front-engine fuel dragster. Very cool!

And somewhat of an anomaly for the reunion, three rear-engine Top Fuel cars appeared. One, the tribute car to Warren, Coburn and Miller (The Ridge Route Terrors), driven by Brad Thompson, took on Terry Cox in the Cheetah IV front-engine car on Sunday afternoon, while the Shirley Muldowney tribute car (one of her pink English Leather cars) was cackled before pro eliminations started on Sunday morning, while in the middle of the afternoon, the "big show" fueler of Steve Chrisman towed past the grandstands. I have no idea what that was all about.

To sum up the event, let's look at the positives and negatives, starting with what went and worked well, as those aspects far out-weighted the bad - or more correctly - the areas that could be improved upon or changed for the better.

The concept of the Reunion, twenty years ago was for all the old drag racers to get together and bench-race, and reconnect and have a great time at an historic icon of the sport, Famoso Raceway, literally the birthplace of professional drag racing (the 1959 March Meet). The racing side of the reunion began almost as a sidelight and over the years has nearly overtaken the original concept of the gathering. However, there is a definite difference in the flavour of this event - and I call it that as it's a reunion first, and race second, despite how it's deemed to be by many racers and fans.

The March Meet feels like a much more competitive event, with the focus on the racing, and it just happens to be nostalgia race cars. Even though there's lots of the details of the Reunion in place: the Grove, the midway, the pits full of incredible machinery, and the on-track action, the "vibe" is quite different at this annual fall event. And so it should be. Let's look at a few reasons why it is so unique.

The people! When you boil down drag racing to its very essence, it's the people that make it happen and make it so worthwhile. And they were here in abundance. While Friday's spectator count seemed a little low at times, I had to keep reminding myself it was a workday and of course there won't be as many in attendance. Saturday was almost overwhelming, with cars lined up for half a mile to enter the parking lot before the spectator gates even opened. By the time the Top Fuel cars took to the track at noon, the grandstands were overflowing and the fans were lined up three deep along the fences all the way to the end of the stands after half track.

Another side of the people equation was the number of "aren't you?" "isn't he?" and "didn't you use to be?" moments that kept popping up constantly.
From true legends of the sport like TV Tommy Ivo, Chris "The Greek" Karamesines, Raymond Beadle, Dave McClelland, Steve Gibbs, Bob Frye (okay, a bit of a stretch in the legend department), Ed Iskenderian (seen flying down the return road in his '23 T roadster, Bill "Mr. 64 Funny Cars" Doner, and many, many more. Just like one of Doner's famous race ads, the "list goes on and on and on".

Even "big show" folks like Jim and Chad Head, Del and Chuck Worsham, the Capps (Ron and Jon) the Oberhofer brothers, Gary Densham, John Stewart, Rick Stewart, Robert Hight and the man himself, John Force, were in attendance. Some working, some driving, some just hanging out having a great time. Almost forgot: Linda Vaughn was signing autographs and posing for pictures on Saturday. Collectors items to be sure.

People. Just lots and lots of people, all smiling, all happy to be there and enjoying the great weather and having a good time. We could just stop there and leave it at that point. But there's still more to examine.

The Top Fuel cars redeemed themselves greatly in my eyes, as their continuous series of oildowns at the last two events here were virtually non-existent, and the general performance levels moved up considerably. The number of side-by-side 5-second passes and close races was even more impressive than the all-time best marks set by Tony Bartone's team. The Funny Cars also stepped up and ran very well as a group, with the second and final qualifying session on Saturday seeing someone bumped from the field after almost every pair went down the track. With a 5.88 bump - and the first alternate also at 5.88 for a 16-car field, you can tell that something good is happening out there.

For the floppers, the only downside was the unfortunately long list of no-shows, due to a number of reasons, but the 34 cars that did attend and attempt to qualify more than made up for those that chose not to be there. While this year's entry list was slightly shorter (34 versus 36) than last year's, we certainly haven't seen the high-water mark for this category. Not by a long shot. Speaking of which, what is the limit? 48 cars? 64 cars? We can only
dream, can't we? And to think that almost forever, Bakersfield was known as a dragster place. No funny cars was their mantra in the 60's. How time have changed.

The cacklefest contingent was the largest ever, with a total of more than 50 cars entered, some only able to do a static fire-up and others capable of idling (and a bit) down the track. The big show took place just after sunset on Saturday and the amount of nitro in the air would do the most diehard nitroholic proud. So many great cars from the early days of the sport, some beautifully restored, some lovingly recreated, and all burning fuel and making that beautiful noise that drag racing fans just love to hear and feel. The fire-ups and runs followed the overly long - and this is certainly not a knock on Dave McClelland - recitation of all the names of drag racers who have passed on in the last year. Sadly, every year the list gets longer and our heroes move off the planet and we remember them fondly, but with the obvious sadness of knowing they're no longer with us.

The significance of the list really hit home as I was leaving the track on Saturday night and ran into Rick Santos, who had accepted the 2011 Honoree plaque on behalf of his very recently deceased father George. Even though it's been a very long time since I raced against them at Seattle back in the mid-80's, I'll never forget the help and assistance of giving me some needed parts that his father offered with absolutely no thought of receiving any money in return. They were a great racing team, and even more, great people, and just like so many names on that long list, George Santos will be missed.

Finally, we've got to take a minute to look at some areas that really need help at this event. The track prep provided by the Famoso Raceway crew, led by track operator Blake Bowser is second-to-none. Even with all the work they do it appeared at one point on Saturday that some of the "late to join the party" funny car racers decided they needed more prep done before they could run. I'm not naming names but when people come out of the "big show" NHRA mindset and try to apply it to this sort of race, frankly they are missing the point of it all.

The decision to run the first round of the 16-car pro fields on Saturday has been standard procedure at this event, but it does put a rather large hole in the entertainment side of the program for Sunday. Even though the other classes do showcase some great racing and beautiful cars, the lack of blown fuel cars during the day does tend to slow down the show. The reasons for doing this are many: the difficulty for part-time (ie., hobby for the most part)
racers going four rounds with a fuel car in one day and getting it done in a reasonable length of time. The chances for more oildowns and an even longer, slower race. And the desire to only have two qualifying sessions, instead of three (one on Friday, two on Saturday).

Whatever the case, the fact is that spectator attendance on Sunday was noticeably down from the previous day, especially after the second round of Top Fuel and Funny Car. At that point, only four cars remained in each class and the clock had only just ticked past noon. Thankfully, for those that did remain in the stands, a few of the non-qualifying funnys came out to make exhibition laps, the fuel altereds made another appearance, an impromptu match race between a front-engine and rear-engine Top Fuel car came about and the wheel-stander made another appearance.

Oh, and even more laps by a group of exhibition cars that were pretty much underwhelming. Yes, they do show just how it was done "in the day" but watching
some weird old six-cylinder roadster "hot-lap" in 16-seconds is not my idea of entertainment. And when it comes down to it, even the Reunion is as much a show as anything else. On the track anyway, as there's lots of room in the Grove, the midway and the pits to display what should be left in those areas and not taken down the track.

As a final note, this 20th annual Reunion was very definitely a success and bodes very well for the future of nostalgia drag racing in almost every area.
It continues to evolve and every year certain segments improve and others fall back and over time, the process of natural selection determines the fate of the categories and the type of cars racing in them. But one thing will never change and that is the desire for all the racers and fans to gather at the "Patch" every October and turn back the clock while attacking another set of them.

Long live the California Hot Rod Reunion!



October 16, 2011

Fall Championship event winners

(Photos courtesy Bob Wilson)

7.0 winner: Mike Beurksen

Jr. Fuel winner: Dean Carter

JR. Fuel Qualifying

1 - 10 - Dean Carter - Glendale, CA - '06 Uyehara - Chev 402 - 6.980 - 188.81
2 - 7717 - Bud Hammer - Oxnard, CA - '97 Tuttle - Chry 406 - 7.111 - 187.50
3 - 730 - Fred Notzka - Ventura, CA - Dragster - Chev 407 - 7.174 - 184.32
4 - 7452 - Mark McCormick - Escondido, CA - '01 Neil & Parks - Chev 406 - 7.197 - 183.67
5 - 723 - Don Enriquez - Mission View, CA - '09 Farr - Chev 400 - 7.272 - 185.18
6 - 440B - Johnnie Laird - Ardmore, OK - '08 Tuttle - Chev 410 - 7.720 - 170.88


Mark McCormick - .079 - 7.325 - 179.64 - WIN
Fred Notzka - .048 - 7.442 - 176.79

Bud Hammer - .169 - 7.080 - 188.86 - WIN
Don Enriquez - .017 - 7.406 - 182.43

Dean Carter - .095 - 7.093 - 185.61 - WIN
Johnnie Laird - .050 - 7.663 - 173.56


Dean Carter - .100 - 7.036 - 187.05 - WIN

Bud Hammer - .068 - 7.078 - 189.44 - WIN
Mark McCormick - .051 - 7.343 - 178.05


Dean Carter - .087 - 7.099 - 186.56 - WIN
Bud Hammer - .071 - 7.378 - 184.25

Low E.T. - Dean Carter - 6.980
Top Speed - Dean Carter - 189.44

A/Fuel winner: Kin Bates

A/Fuel Qualifying

1 - 7573 - Kin Bates - Anderson, CA - '06 Tuttle - Chry 468 - 6.328 - 220.01
2 - 777 - John Harless Tulsa, OK - '04 Uyehara - Rodeck 470 - 6.418 - 209.75
3 - 6460 - Ryan Davenport - Calgary, AB - '10 Sarmento - BAE 369 - 6.432 - 212.19
4 - 7439 - John Evans - Salt Lake City, UT - '03 Neil & Parks - BAE 426 - 6.468 - 200.00
5 - 750 - Darrell Waters - Bonsall, CA - '05 Comstock - BAE 500 - 6.508 - 215.31
6 - 713 - Jerry Kumre - Rohnert, CA - '10 Dyda - Chry 496 - 6.589 - 204.26
7 - 7777 - Bill Wayne - Bull Head City, AZ - '06 Uyehara - AJPE 464 - 6.600 - 213.30
8 - 5081 - Harry Hutsler - Littleton, CO - '03 Pronto - Arias 454 - 6.898 - 198.03


John Evans - .091 - 6.924 - 181.32 - WIN
Darrell Waters - .051 - 7.849 - 111.46

Kin Bates - .049 - 6.305 - 223.73 - WIN
Harry Hutsler - .018 - 6.915 - 192.47

John Harless - .078 - 6.406 - 211.03 - WIN
Bill Wayne - .093 - 6.505 - 215.55

Ryan Davenport - .094 - 6.382 - 213.91 - WIN
Jerry Kumre - .022 - 6.536 - 207.34


John Harless - .135 - 6.395 - 216.03 - WIN
Ryan Davenport - .222 - 6.437 - 213.10

Kin Bates - .050 - 6.339 - 221.74 - WIN
John Evans - .163 - 6.596 - 206.99


Kin Bates - .057 - 6.259 - 221.67 - WIN
John Harless - .112 - 6.363 - 215.89

Low E.T. - Kin Bates - 6.259
Top Speed - Kin Bates - 223.73

Brandon Welch was driving the Beal Big show car car. Jpsh Crawford was in their team car. He used to drive the Blue Max Car. Expect to see Crawford at Vegas and Pomona. Dwayne Patton in the High Voltage ran 6.05 - 215.13 to 1000' for the best e.t. of the weekend.
Nobody else went anywhere near the finish line except for Steve Nichols' 6.24 - 195 and 6.27 - 179 and Rogers (Rockey's Firebird) 6.42 and Bill Dunlap (in the High Speed Motorsports car, driven at one time by Troy Green, and recently by Brad Thompson) and it went 6.16 at 199 shutting off just past 1000'.

Dan Horan ran 6.29 - 167 to 1000'.
There were certainly lots of cool cars here, so much stuff that you never see at the big races and that's one of the big reasons this place has such a different vibe. It was a lot of fun despite the hot conditions and next weekend will be even better. The betting is on more than FORTY nitro floppers!!!! Yeehawww!!!

A big ouch for Ryan Davenport captured at the perfect time (by Bobby Thunder) as the burst panel lets go on the Burnout

October 13, 2011

Two busy Weekends in the nostalgia realm. This weekend is the Nostalgia Fall Championships at Bakersfield. It includes the group one and two classes including A/Fuel, Jr. Fuel, 7.0 pro, NEI, NEII, NE III, A/Gas, B/Gas, C/Gas, D/Gas, and Hot Rod.

In today's test n tune, a few fuel teams made one or two hits. Steve Nichols was out for the first time this year and he made a couple short squirts. Dennis Taylor did the same in his new car. Dan Horan and Steve Belsky ( in a new Gaynor car) also made a short shot. Josh Crawford was out in his new big show car he made one hit.

A number of other NFC and Top Fuel teams will be there as well testing for next weekend's big one the California Hot Rod Reunion. Speedzone has photo journalists (Bob Wilson and Mark King and Bob Snyder) at both events to keep you up to date.

A Friday gallery from the Fall Championships is here.

This week leading up to the reunion, teams and spectators are already lining up in anticipation of the Reunion. The reunion will be covered here.

'BAKERSFIELD, CA - Dozens of fans with their recreational vehicles, campers and trailers in tow wait to be the first to enter through the gates of the Auto Club Famoso Raceway in McFarland, CA in anticipation of the 20th California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by Automobile Club of Southern California, Oct. 21-23.

Gates don’t open until Thursday, Oct. 20, but this doesn’t keep fans from arriving early and setting up temporary residence.

“We’ve been hearing from the track that motorhomes and RV’s have been arriving since early last week,” said Museum and Reunion Director Tony Thacker. “The RVs are packing in and ticket sales are booming, these are just some very positive indicators that this year’s Reunion is going to be huge and fans are eager to get it started!”

Meanwhile, local community officials contacted us with a few Caltrans highway closures that may affect California Hot Rod Reunion travelers. Highway closures around McFarland will be in effect from October 17 through 25.

If traveling North on Hwy 99, please avoid exit Hwy 65 between 7th Standard and James Road.

Here are some suggested alternate routes for commuters coming NORTH to Famoso Raceway:

Stay on Hwy 99 and exit Lerdo Hwy to 65 North
Famoso Road Hwy 46 off of 99 directly to track
Hwy 99 traveling South, exit Famoso Road, Hwy 46
See you at the Reunion!

July 31, 2011

Wild Bill debuted his blown altered and it lasted .8 of a second as he went into a big wheelstand and had to lift there was some suspension and undercarriage damage.

...con't from the home page.....Racing did go well with only two delays of any length, and the day was complete by 6:45. Pretty decent considering there were well over 250 pre 1970 race cars and the feature classes. While the final of the AA/Supercharged class was the quickest ever at MRP and in Canada the class this year was week. There were only six cars (seven counting one that was added to the field as a non member but he broke on his first lap), and one that made only one run.
Qualifying saw Howard Anderson lead all three rounds and he was #1 with a 6.785/205

Howard Anderson

Molea and Harris get ready for round one of qualifying.

Scott White and Troy Owens

Scott White had issues in the first couple runs but in the final round he turned in a 6.81 to sit #2. Troy Owens laid down a 6.85 in the final round, one of that teams best runs ever. Brent Murray was back in the game is a solid way as he was the most consistent car through qualifying. The Edmonton driver ran three 6.90's including a 6.97 6.95 and a 6.92 best to sit #4. Mike Molea ended up at the bottom of the field with a struggling 7.23 he made in round one. The second and third laps he has issues that kept him from running under full power. Joel Matton did not get a full lap in, and the added car a driver from Bend Oregon broke just off the starting line.

Brent Harris


Final Qualifying

1. Howard Anderson Applegate Cal 37 Chevy 6.785/205.38
2. Scott White Seaside Or. 41 Willys/197.84
3. Troy Owens Albany Or. 41 Willys 6.858/204.03
4. Brent Harris Edmonton Ab. 33 Willys 6.927/198.45
5. Mike Molea Grants Pass Or.
6. 57 Chevy Bend Oregon 15 second
7. Joel Matton Oregon City Or. 37 Chevy (I don;t have a time)

Anderson took on Molea and Molea was ready as they made the repairs necessary. Mike was a little too charged up at the starting line though, knowing he needed a holeshot. He went way red and had to slap himself upside the head as he ran a solid 6.99, while Anderson shook and got out of the throttle.

Molea and Anderson

Molea did have an easy win if he wasn't too early. Troy Owens had a single and he shook hard pedaled it a couple times and gave up on the run.

Owens had huge tire shake in round one.

Harris and White ran side by side even though they both had bye runs. They were supposed to face Matton and the 57 Chevy but both failed to make Sunday eliminations.
Harris made his quickest of the weekend, a 6.919/200.40 while White shook and was in and out of the throttle for the first 800 feet.

White and Harris paired up even though both had singles.

Unfortunately for Harris, he broke a lifter in the Miner Bros. hemi and he could not make the repairs necessary to run in the semi finals. Both Anderson and White ended up with singles in the semis. Anderson was set to race Owens but Troy could not fire in the burnout box. Anderson singled to a 6.83/204. Scott made the most of his single as he ripped off a track record 6.627/207.99. That was a statement!

White went 6.62 on this record setting run.

The final had the makings of a good one, as both cars were at the top end in qualifying and the ets they were running. Would we see the quickest side by side final round ever at MRP?
This final round did make up for a lack of cars in the class as it was a thriller. Howard Anderson got a slight holeshot and was on another 6.70 pass. White was just a tick back but thundered down the track with a 6.662/208.23 (track record speed). It was the quickest side by side at Mission for the Gasser class. White took the finish line stripe by a tenth.

The final was a great race. The quickest ever at MRP.

If these cars return to Mission, the group has to make sure they can field at least 8 cars, and really the track deserves 10 of them trying for an eight car field. They have not provided the track with their moneys worth in a few years, as there seems to be less than eight cars for Sunday eliminations on a regular basis.

Other exhibition cars at Mission included Cal Tebb in his GTO Funny Car and Hank Weultges in his blown 41 Willys and Reg Deforest in his blown Altered. Cal was asked the weekend before at the Mission race if he would run with the Loafers as they had a couple feature cars cancel at the last minute, and Cal was more than willing to run back to back weekends, al be it with a short crew.

Cal Teb in the

GTO was on rails all weekend long, running between 6.74-6.85. Hank Weultjes unfortunately did not had as good a weekend in his Donovan powered Willys.

DeForest had a wild first run as he went squirrely on his burnout, getting up on three wheels and bending his wheelbar. He had to shut down and make repairs. On his second run he launched hard with the wheels up but broke at 300 feet ending his weekend. Unfortunately for Weultges his weekend was much the same as DeForest, He had an blower sealing issue that took him until the end of Saturday to get sorted out and on Saturday's lone run he was on a real good pass, likely a high '6', but the car shut off at 400 feet. After making repairs Saturday evening he came out with high hopes on Sunday. Sunday's run lasted about the same length as Saturday's, but this time it was more disastrous as he kicked the rods out at around 3-400 feet down track and he weekend was done. A tough break for the very nice Willys.
Cal Tebb took the exhibition cars to the next level with four runs in the low 6.80 - 6.70 runs. All at Speeds over 207 mph. All four runs bettered his previous bests with the orange 'Goat'. His best was a 6.74/209. The three person team on the weekend (his usual crew could not make it, due to work and not enough notice). He had such a good weekend, he is returning to BC this coming weekend for the Port Alberni "Thunder in the Valley" race.

The other classes at Mission all had great fields and tough competition.

In the 'Outlaw' class, it was Mike Lucas in his sweet Bantam Altered taking the win over Bob Rude in his cool short wheel based FED.

Outlaw final round

Lucas ran an 8.168/150 on his 8.15 dial in. Rude went 8.27 on his 8.20 dial. Both drivers had .01 rts in the final round. Six Canada West Doorslammer teams ran on the weekend, but Phil Davis had bad luck for sure. After a troubled year with shippers loosing cylinders heads and other delays, Phil kicked the rods out on his first run Saturday.

Terry Langdon Davies had a good weekend, as he went to the semi finals, loosing to Lucas. Grant Howell had a perfect light in round one, but had to lift at 1000 feet when he got near the centre line.

Rick Limb's Chevy II is a looker.


Rick Limb lost to TLD in round one and Tyson Wells lost to Martin Dykstra in the same round. Dave Warren broke out in round one to end his day early as well.

The other Winners:

In Street Rod 'A"
Larry Rhodenizer from Langley defeated Howard Williamson from Salmon Arm when Williamson went red. Larry let off the gas and started his celebration early.

In Street Rod 'B', Mission Raceway staffer Bill Clifford defeated John Cracknell (sorry don't have the numbers)

In Street Classic 'A', Jim Ward from Langley BC ran a 10.104/124 on his 10.03 dial in and defeated Scott Winterbottom from Port Coquitlam. Scott went .012 red and threw away his 9.661/137.11 on his 9.62 dial in.

Street Classic 'B' winner was Jerry Brabander from Chilliwack. The Cloverdale driver took his Chevy II to victory lane with a 10.965/121 on his 10.95 dial in. He defeated Colin Moore from Chilliwack. Moore drove his Fairlane to a 13.73/99 on his 13.70 dial in. The margin of victory was .039 at the finish line.

The Street Machine 'A' battle was between Warren Jacobsen and John Lackie. They are two hitters in the regular bracket classes at Mission. Jacobsen went .018 at the tree and it was basically over. Lackie was over a tenth late and went under his dial trying to catch the Mission driver. Jacobsen went 11.01 on his 10.94 dial while Lackie was .024 under his 10.92 dial in.


This biggest class was Street Machine 'B'. is had six round of racing and close to 70 cars. Chris Rachel from Maple Ridge took the win over Victoria's Kevin Garlock. Rachel was .032 at the tree and ran a 11.691 on his 11.65 dial in. Garlock went .191 red and ran 10.50 on his 10.30 dial in.

Street Machine 'C' was a five rounder (roughly 32 cars), and it was Poco's John Sayer, another Mission Raceway Staffer taking the win. He went 13.148 on his 13.12 dial driving his Dart to victory lane over Ron Clark from Port Alberni BC. Clark was in his 69 Chevelle and he like a couple other finalists went red. His .027 red light negated a 12.90 on a 12.59 dial in.

The Show n Shine was awesome with a couple hundred cars line two in a row for the fun 1320 feet. The BBQ's put on by Freybe Gourmet Foods was awesome both days and the after race activities were fun as usual. This is one of the best events at MRP every year, and if the Loafers car club and MRP can put together a little different feature class set up in the coming years, it will put the event over the top.

Outlaw competitors Rich Wood and Mike Lucas

Dwayne Neuman and Eddie Radjo

Don Vickers and Ken Mickey in his new RH built FED

Doug Steele's new Chevy II is real nice. Weultjes and Tebb get ready.

Grant Howell in the 37 and Martin Dykstra in the 23. Phil Davis broke on this burnout.

A new Alberta blown 37 Chevy and a Washington state FED.


June 17, 2011

A gallery is posted.

Langley Loafers Old time drags at the Eagle Motorplex.

This past weekend at the Eagle Motorplex was a weekend that the race track badly needed. It had a little bit of everything. Firstly, it had a decent spectator count, for the first time in a while. (Last year's Old Time drags had a pretty good one as well). Secondly the car count with the race cars totaled close to 280, also pretty decent. And thirdly, we were also blessed with above average weather, and that is the first time this year you can say that. Friday did have early morning showers for the test n tune and it was actually raining in Cache Creek, only 10 minutes away on Sunday. On these, the three most important aspects of a successful race, the 'Plex is graded a B plus. The only slightly down side was the troubles a few of the exhibition cars had. The Doorslammers, a staple of the Loafers race at the 'Plex, put on a great show. Yes their car count was 3-6 less cars than I thought would be there, but there were no delays in their program and a few cars were out with them for he first time this year.

The Altereds booked in did not have the usual weekend they are known for. All three Alberta cars put on a fantastic show at the Mission Loafers race last year, but last weekend, Tavis McDonell made two decent laps but on his second one on Sunday, his chutes did not deploy and he ended up in the Sand trap. No damage to the car, but Tavis did want to pull the motor apart to make sure his no sand of pea gravel got in through the injector. Reg Deforest only made one run and he suffered engine damage on that one so his weekend was done early. Dan Patterson also suffered engine damage. His happened on the burnout Sunday at noon. Dennis Hicks' had his FED out for the first time this with new driver Troy Clayton behind the wheel.

That team with Steve Brant tuning were trying to sort out the new combination and they had a few ignition issues that kept Clayton from making a run at full power. When it does run on all eight, they will haul ass.


Darrell Webb was set to do three or four exhibition runs against Jay Mageau in his Nitro Funny Car (top photo), but Jay had a rod Let go on his first run and after wounding his other engine in Alaska two weeks before, they could not make repairs to continue the weekend. A real unfortunate deal as it would have been a cool match race. Webb then ran against the Hick's FED on one run and made a couple solo laps, doing his patented long smoky burnouts.

The Saturday Show n Shine was its usual self, meaning great with the cars lined up on the track so spectators and rivals can compare their rides. This is one of the many good things about the Ashcroft Loafers event.

The car show in town at all the hotels is also very cool. Robbie's Motel while not being 'Hilton' like, has the perfect backdrop and road set up to display all the cars.

While the exhibition cars all made game efforts to put on a show, their runs that they made were great, especially the side by side with Tavis and Dan in their first altered race (they were 6.76 and 6.81), is was not the kind of weekend a few of those teams wanted.

June 13, 2011

Sunday Doorslammer final qualifying and eliminations for all classes.

Sunday morning saw great weather and warm temperatures for the entire day. All the classes got one more time trial and the Canada West Doorslammers got in their final session of qualifying. Two more cars arrived Sunday morning, As Jordie Lazic and Mark Schuppener came out and made the last session. Both got in the field. Kevin Lance made the biggest move in the final qualifier, as he ripped of a career best 7.57 to move to the #1 spot. At sea level, he likely will run a low 7.40 or high 7.30.

Final qualifying

Kevin Lance 7.57
Dallas Wagner 7.81
Dave Warren 7.90
Rob Charlton 7.97
Rick Limb 8.00

Kirk Lanz 8.07
Gord Wagner 8.20
Jordie Lazic 8.30
Alex Dewolf 8.36
Tyson Wells 8.47
Nick Duda 8.49
Terry Langdon Davies 8.60
Layne Wooley 8.67
Mark Schuppener 8.83

Here are final round results from the Eagle Motorplex.


Campbell River's Kevin Lance driving his 57 Chevy ran a 7.59/181 to defeat Maple Ridge's Rod Charlton in his 02 Chevy S-10. Charlton ran 7.99 @ 169 mph. Lance had a solid .2 light for Lance as he and the crew got his Transmission and converter issues sorted out and he ripped through the field running 7.50's all day long. The win was the biggest purse in Canada West Doorslammer history, handing out 2,000 to win. A well deserved win for the Lance team as their trip back to Vancouver Island will be a happy one. Rob Charlton as in his sixth final in a row dating back to the final two races of the 2010 season, and seven of the last eight races has seen Charlton in the final round. He has only two wins in those seven finals (both last year), and is winless in the four final rounds this year. But with the final round finishes he is in the point lead.

Street Rod: Larry Rhodenizer 46 Ford .046 rt 13.76 / 64 mph def. George Criddle 33 Willys (red light) 9.972 / 131 mph

Street Rod B: Robin Reding 1932 Chevy 13.18 / 103 mph def. Sally Hamilton 34 Pick-up 13.13 / 107 mph

Street Classic A: Jerry Brabander 62 Chevy II 11.18 / 116 mph def. Paul Flett 63 Polara 500 10.33 / 130 mph

Street Classic B: Dave Wren 62 Savoy 11.796 / 109 mph def. John Velchek 55 Chevy 11.72 /115 mph

Street Machine B: Dave Desnoyer 69 Nova 10.25 / 131 mph def. Steve Moore 66 pick-up 11.24 / 105 mph

Street Machine C: Glenn Fillingham 68 AMX 12.33 / 107 mph def. Nathan Wheeler 68 Chrysler 17.20 / 78 mph

Outlaw: Allan Hamm 55 Chevy 10.26 / 128 mph def. Paul Stretch 66 Nova 9.02 / 151 mph

King of the Hill: Allan Hamm 55 Chevy 10.24 / 131 def. Jerry Brabander Chevy II 22.10 32 mph (red light)

Gary Hough was out for the first time in his all new FED.

It is a true nostalgia looking Dragster with a molded body covering the entire cockpit and parachute area of the car, much like the 'Yellow Fang' or the old 'Tommy Ivo Cars' from the 70's. A very nice piece, with the work done by RH Race Cars. Gary has plans to run the car on nitro, but he ran it on a soft methanol tune-up for this past weekend, running a best of 9.30@ 155 mph. It should be a low seven or high six second car before too long.

June 12, 2011

Saturday time trials and qualifying

A good opening day for the Langley Loafers Old TIme Drags.

Saturday time trials and qualifying for the three Loafers classes went without too mny glitches as Street Rod, Street Machine and Street Classic all got three sessions inIn the middle of the day the always cool 90 minute show n shine took over the track. The Canada West Doorslammers, also got in their three qualifiers and so far it is Dallas Wagner who leads all comers. 12 cars ran and made the 8.99 minimum Saturday, early today (Sunday), two more arrived for one more qualifer at 11:00am. Their race is a $2,000 to win event, the biggest of the year.

Dan Paterson ripped off the first 200mph pass in the blown altered 4 car match race, as he went 6.81 beside Tavis Mcdonnell's quicker (6.76). He tripped the mph scoreboard with a 196 mph pass. Reg Deforest took on Troy Clayton in Dennis Hicks' FED and both those cars ran low 7's in their first lap. Deforest and McDonnell had mechanical issues and did not make round two, but both Paterson and Clayton ran low seven's in their final run on Sunday.

In the Corvette Funny car Match race between Jay Mageau and Darrell Webb, Mageau's day and weekend ended early when he had a Con Rod failure an his opening run. He layed down a great 400 foot smoker along side Webb, but while backing up Jay felt a vibration and shut the car down. Unfortunately he discovered and hole in the side of his Keith Black block and his weekend was done. Webb went 7.14 on his run, and then has a small oil leak in the second run. He willl be back for Sunday though. A tough deal for Mageau as he has had unfortunate luck at both events here at the Eagle Motorplex in the last two years.

Saturday night after a great meal from the Loafers and Frebye Foods, entertainer was provided by a very cool one man show" Ray the Hat Man" out of Vernon or Kelowna. He was a great entertainer nad his songs ranged from current down to a bunch of 70's and 80's rock and country. A great job by Ray and thanks to the Plex for bringing in the entertainment.

June 7, 2011

Tucson Fuel Altered Nationals.

Story by Jim Maroney (photos Bob Snyder)

On June 3rd, the WFA pulled into SIR with the largest showing of cars this year, as part of the
Tucson Fuel Altered Nationals. 17 teams competed for the coveted 8 car payout. Several teams
stepped up including Jerry Hall and Rob Winefsky running personal bests. With the top four cars

in the 6’s, Hal Rishton’s 7.08 rounded out the tough bump spot. It was Eric Gates’ 6.66 that lead
qualifying to take home the RBS Supercharger’s low ET award. The highlight of the evening was
Chris Phelps finally working the bugs out and resetting the WFA record with an extremely fast
212.7 MPH!
Saturday’s warm weather made for tricky tune-ups with most teams slowing down. After struggling
all weekend, new comer Steve Dickerman managed a 7.22 in Mike Hoyt’s Midnight Flyer. Jim
Carter collected the Torco quick reaction time award with a nice .012 light in the second round and
Ed Middlebrook once again thrilled the fans with big burnouts and constant performances to take
home the FantaZ “who’s got game award”. With Barona finalists Levitt and Oberg out due to parts
failure, Chris Phelps proved to be the man to beat leading the pack with a 6.81 followed closely by
Maroney’s 6.82.

Final Qualifying
1 6.662 gates
2 6.802 phelps
3 6.821 maroney

4 6.854 bowen
5 6.885 sylvester
6 7.048 carter
7 7.053 oberg
8 7.071 lofgreen
9 7.081 rishton
10 7.204 winefsky
11 7.223 dickerman
12 7.305 middlebrook
13 7.392 ferreira
14 7.563 levitt
15 7.667 hall
16 9.001 sharp
17 nt forbes

The two low ET’s of the weekend paired up Eric Gates Barona Flyer against Chris Phelps Ghost
Rider in the final. With Gates 6.66 low ET and Phelps record setting MPH the stage was set for a
great race. Both teams did an excellent job with a nice side by side drag race. When the smoke
cleared it was Phelps’ 6.74 taking the stripe over Gates 6.81 to take home his first win with the

June 8, 2011

Langley Loafers "Old Time Drags" @ the Eagle Motorplex this weekend.


December 29, 2010

A new NFC team in the NW and it is from... no surprise, Alberta.

Sitko Family Racing Turning Up the Volume for 2011

EDMONTON, AB - The Sitko Family Racing team and Ace Manufacturing have
partnered-up for the 2011 season and beyond to participate in the
National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series.
Brothers Troy and Nathan Sitko along with crew chiefs Ken and George
Sitko are making the move to Nostalgia Funny Car, a class including
pre-1980 American bodied nitro-burning funny cars. The team is very
excitedly working away to prepare their new Plueger chassis and 1977
Plymouth Arrow body for the season ahead and they are very excited about
their partnership with Team Ace Racing.

Team patriarch, George Sitko has been drag racing for 50 years. He has
turned the wrenches on nearly every four-wheeled type of car that NHRA
drag racing has to offer. George will be traveling with the team in
2011 as he and his son, Ken will be sharing the tuning duties on the new
funny car. Ken's sons, Troy and Nathan are the team owners and both are
very excited to have the two responsible for introducing them to the
sport at the track with them for every event. While George and Ken will
be taking care of how the engine runs, Troy Sitko (28) will carry the
position of Car Chief, which means he will be making sure the car itself
is in top shape. Nathan Sitko (25) will be making the cockpit his home
again in 2011, beginning his 18th season behind the wheel, which
includes 7 years in Top Alcohol Funny Car, 2 years in Top Alcohol
Dragster and 8 years in Junior Dragster.

The '77 Arrow body will be painted in the very recognizable Team Ace red
and white colors and logos when the car rolls out of the trailer and
into its pit spot for testing in Edmonton in early May. This marks the
beginning of a very exciting partnership between Team Ace Racing and
Sitko Family Racing. Ace Manufacturing's Harold Parfett is a true drag
racer at heart and he and the Sitko family are heading into the 2011
season with the intention of having a very competitive nitro funny car.
Paired up with a very racer-friendly sponsor like Ace and the experience
of their grandfather and father, the Sitko brothers are ready to make
some noise and go some rounds, starting with the Las Vegas Speed
Spectacular at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, May 28 and 29.
The Team will also be attending events at their home track in Edmonton,
Alberta and a few more in western Canada and the northwest United

Sitko Family Racing would also like to welcome back Hyperion Laser
Rehabilitation and Wellness Centre, Pro Stock Performance and JET Tools
as associate sponsors for the 2011 racing season.

Currently, Ken Sitko is preparing the team's spare motor, George Sitko
is doing some finishing touches on a whole lot of pieces for the team's
new car and Troy and Nathan Sitko are preparing the new chassis and body
for next race season.

2010 nostalgia archives Including loafers and 2010 March Meet (scroll down once you get on that page)

2010 Hot Rod Reunion