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The 2012 CHRR coverage is here
The 2012 March Meet coverage is at the bottom on this page.
The Mission Raceway Langley Loafers coverage is here.
The Eagle Motorplex Langley Loafer coverage is here.
Maple Grove 50th anniversary spectacular
(Bob Snyder photos)
time Chad Head won on horsepower and not on a technicality.
"I had a great time," said Head, who also set a track speed record in his first run of the day. "It was a great race in front of great people."
Maple Grove Raceway's 50th Anniversary Spectacular entertained several thousand fans that came out for great weather. The day started with local racers in Super, Pro and Junior Dragster classes competing in a bracket race and that was followed by the main event that featured the Auto-Plus Cavalcade of Funny Cars, Danny O'Day's Wheelstander, the Winged Express fuel altered and five jet cars.
The jets gave a great show. K.C. Jones' Team Steam, Al Hanna's Funny Cars and Bob Motz's jet truck lit up the night sky. Motz also provided an
unforgettable finale as the flame took out some of the signs behind the starting line. The truck then crossed the finish line at an incredible 209 mph to begin a fireworks show.
Fans were also treated to a car show and the appearance of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme who served as grand marshal. Prudhomme was also inducted into the Maple Grove Walk of Fame along with Dale Pulde, Frank Hawley, Raymond Beadle and the Eastern Custom Car Association.
Pulde, Hawley and Beadle took part in the Cavalcade and were on hand to receive their awards with Prudhomme. Pulde and Hawley were there to drive the War Eagle and Chi-Town Hustler, respectively, while Beadle was there with his old Blue Max that was driven by Ronnie Young.
The ECCA was also honored during prerace ceremonies. Surviving members Carl Ruth, Ernie Musser, George Weiler and Lee Crupi were on hand. The group was being honored for its contributions in helping Alfred Stauffer build Maple Grove Park Drag-O-Way in 1962.
"None of us would be here today without you guys," said former MGR general manager Mike Lewis, who served as a master of ceremony for the Walk of Fame induction. Lewis himself was a participant in the racing with the Brand X nitro Funny Car.
Prudhomme was also in the car show, awarding his top 25 picks and signing autographs with Beadle and Weiler. The winning cars were then paraded down the track.
The racing took place in two stages. Earlier in the day, regional bracket racers - the bread and butter of Maple Grove's racing program for decades - had a special race. The Super and Pro races were not completed because of time constraints, while Eddie McBride (Glenolden, Pa.) won Junior Dragsters.
In the final, McBride and his '04 Halfscale defeated Brittany Boltz (Lancaster, Pa.) with a pass of 7.937 seconds at 81.33 mph, using a better reaction time to his advantage.
The Cavalcade of Funny Cars were split between nitro and alcohol classes and run in a Chicago-style format; the two cars with the quickest elapsed times after the first run were paired in the second session for the championship..
In the first round of nitros, Head quickly established himself as the favorite by taking his car to a pass of 5.889 at 248.61. The speed was a track record, bettering the 248.25 mark set by Gallen in 2010.
Fittingly, Head (Avon, Ind.) and Gallen (Broomall, Pa.) were paired for the final. The second run wasn't as fast, but Head was able to get across the line first as Gallen lost some power toward the end. The winning pass was 6.648 at 194.77.
Head, son of NHRA Full Throttle Series veteran Jim Head and chief of operations for Alan Johnson and Al-Anabi Racing, was thrilled to be racing with legends like Pulde and Hawley.
"I never thought I'd race people like Dale Pulde and Ronnie Young," Head said, "people I watched match race as a kid. That was pretty special and just as neat as a win."
Head, who debuted in the car last fall, was declared the winner at Bakersfield, Calif., in March after NHRA disqualified Tim Boychuk for using an illegal fuel pump.
In the alcohol class, Ron Huegli and the Tiki Warrior '76 Monza came cross-country to win that race.
Huegli (West Linn, Ore.) defeated Scott Ringwood (Mechanicville, N.Y.) and the Mascott Racing '78 Corvette with a holeshot of 6.779 at 203.71.
Ringwood had the best run in the first round, 6.902 at 190.30, while Tiki Warrior made the final by going 7.096 at 193.60.
"The guys gave me a weapon," Huegli said. "They had to work on it and we saved the best for last."
Racing returns Friday night with Auto Locator Grudge Racing. Saturday and Sunday will be two more rounds of the Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail.
For more information, contact Maple Grove Raceway at (610) 856-9200 or visit www.maplegroveraceway.com.
Bowling Green HRR
AA/GS runner-up Franklin Coverdale
Rockabilly Reunion May 24-27, 2012
Bob Snyder photos
John Hale of Addison, Texas defeated Jason Rupert of Yorba Linda, Calif. to claim Nostalgia Funny Car honors at the May 26-27 Rockabilly Rod Reunion/NHRA Heritage Series at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Hale, who just made it into the field in the eighth and final qualifying position, defeated No. 1 Qualifier Densham in the first round. Rupert defeated Tim Nemeth in the first round and Will Martin took out defending Las Vegas champion Paul Romine. The final first-round bout was won by Bob Godfrey of Moreno Valley, Calif. over Jim Obalek of Mission, British Columbia, Canada.
Hale faced Godfrey in the second round and put him on the trailer with a pass of 5.826 sec./252.28 mph (to Godfreys 6.012 sec./211.66 mph). Martin lost to Rupert in the second round, 5.932 sec./245.27 to 5.806 sec./252.52 mph.
Although Rupert posted a better reaction time, Hales Camaro crossed the finish line first to claim the Nostalgia Funny Car crown, 5.737 sec./251.81 mph to 5.848 sec./252.19 mph.
John Hale, 0.213 5.788 247.16 defeated Steven
Densham,0.053 9.995 91.09
John Hale, 0.148 5.826 252.28 defeated Bob Godfrey,
0.158 6.012 211.66
John Hale, 0.245 5.737 251.81 defeated Jason Rupert, 0.148 5.848 252.19
Sitko was the runner-up in Pro 7.0. it was his first full weekend driving for
team Ace and car owner Harold Parfett
A-FUEL: Kin Bates of Anderson, Calif. was handed the win by Jerry Kumre Jr. (Rohnert Park, Calif.) who fouled on the starting line. For the record books, Bates title-winning run was 6.522 sec./221.34 mph.
JR. FUEL: Dean Carter of Glendale, Ariz. defeated Don Enriquez of Mission Viejo, Calif., 7.062 sec./186.54 mph to 7.191 sec./185.51 mph.
7.0 PRO: Chuck Roark of Great Falls, Montana defeated Troy Sitko of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 7.047 sec./181.20 mph to 7.093 sec./192.49 mph.
NOSTALGIA ELIMINATOR 1: Tony Wimer of Redlands, Calif. (7.708 sec./157.95 mph) defeated Hans Jakob of Ontario, Calif. (7.731 sec./172.19 mph) in the final.
NOSTALGIA ELIMINATOR 2: Fresnos Cecil Molina defeated Todd Maas of Lindsay, Calif., 8.756 sec./145.00 mph to 8.811sec./144.60 mph.
NOSTALGIA ELIMINATOR 3: Derek Harkema (Sun City, Ariz.) defeated Rich Harrison (Lakewood, Calif.) in the final, 9.816 sec./132.02 mph to 9.778 sec./133.68 mph.
A/GAS: Dean Hall (Guerneville, Calif) defeated Brandon Frye (Taft, Calif.). Frye went red on the starting line and Hall ran 7.773 sec./178.64 mph.
B/GAS: Brian Rogers won over Jim Stewart. Rogers, of Mira Loma, Calif., went 8.778 sec./154.71 mph as Stewart, of Santa Paula, Calif., lit the red bulb on the starting line.
C/GAS: Wayne Hoover (Alta Loma, Calif.) over Bakersfields Michael Williams. Hoovers winning run down the quarter mile was clocked at 9.757 sec./137.29 mph to Williams 9.778 sec./139.73 mph.
D/GAS: Chris Kurtis (Bakersfield, Calif.) defeated Ed Carey of LaJolla, Calif. in the final, 10.850 sec./125.23 mph to 10.831 sec./124.88 mph.
HOT ROD: Kim Clover (Henderson) defeated Andy Pressimone (LasVegas) in the Hot Rod final. Pressimone led the red light on the starting line and Clover ran 11.168 sec./122.29 mph.
BRACKET 1: Jason Dawson of N. Las Vegas posted a reaction time of .001 and went on to win the Bracket 1 final over Keith Winters of Las Vegas, 7.965 sec./165.50 mph to 8.646 sec./154.90 mph.
BRACKET 2: Dick Krieger of Las
Vegas drove his 23 T Altered around Karen Comstocks Blondie
55 Chevrolet, 8.470 sec./148.51 mph to 10.620 sec./120.80 mph. Comstocks
1934 Chevrolet won Best Paint in the Rockabilly Rod Reunion car show Sunday.
Final NFC qualifying
NOSTALGIA FUNNY CAR: Qualifying took place on Saturday and Steve Densham of Bellflower, Calif. topped the nitro Nostalgia Funny Car field with a pass of 5.753 sec./247.61 mph. Qualifying was frantic as 19 drivers tried to earn a berth in the eight-car field. Those who failed to qualify included Tim Boychuk, Nathan Sitko, Dennis LaCharite, Dale Van Gundy, Rian Konno, Kris Krabill, Roger Garten, Brad Thompson, Rick Rogers, Kurt Cruise and Chris Bennett.
#'s courtesy AA/FC Registry
Densham, Steven - "Teachers Pet" 1969 Camaro 5.753 247.61 247.61
Round three qualifying
Horan, Dan Jr - "DHR Mustang" 1966 Mustang 5.794 252.33
Round two qualifying
Rupert, Jason - "Mert Littlefield Tribute" 1969 Camaro 5.768 253.04
Densham, Steven - "Teachers Pet" 1969 Camaro 5.753 247.61
March 1-4, 2012
Sunday Final round eliminations
The Boychuk/Hodgson flopper defeated upstart Chad Head in Jim Head's Firebird. A 5.80 defeated a 6.00 Way to go team Canada.
To get to the final round......
In Round one, Tim Boychuk wins his opener with a weekend best 5.75 over Dan Horan Jr. Horan ran a game 5.91. #1 qualifier Jason Rupert smoked the tires and went out early in the biggest upset. Last year's Heritage champion tried to pedal it but Mike Halstead got the win with an off pace 6.09. Paul Romine defeated Ron Capps with a 5.876 to Capps slowing 6.820, Brad Thompson matched Romine with a 5.87 in a real close win over Steven Densham's 5.91. Chad Head ripped off a 5.77 to take out Dennis LaCharite's 6.97. Rich Rogers got his first ever round win with a 6.06 over Canuck Claude Lavoie's troubled 7.41. Kris Krabill defeated Donny Watkins with a strong 5.815/244. Watkins was strong until 1000 feet when he slowed to a 6.01/200. Dale Van Gundy got a belated round win with a 5.927 despite Will Martin getting to the finish line first with a holeshot and a 5.83. Martin had problems inching forward to stage and one of his crew guys assisted the car by pushing it into the beams. That is an infraction and Van Gundy was reinstated advancing to round two.
Round two. Mike Halstead was second off the line against one of the toughest in the class Paul Romine, but it was Romine who had problems and Halstead was off to the semi finals after a 5.93 to 6.68 victory. In one of the better round two pairings Chad Head and Rich Rogers both deepstaged and Head had a telepathic .002 light and ran a 5.90 to a 6.07 for Rogers' Rich was real late (likely due to the deep stage and not wanting to go red). Tim Boychuk was second low for the round as he took out Brad Thompson with a 5.84 to Thompson's slowing 6.22. Kris Krabill, always one of the favorites at Bakersfield went low for the round with a 5.79 to easily defeat Dale Van Gundy's later leaving 6.07.
Semi Finals. In a huge battle in the first semi final, Chad Head had the task of trying to defeat one of the winningest driver in Nostalgia Funny Car Kris Krabill. Chad head was solid on the tree getting .03 off the tree and he steadily moved further ahead 5.845/247 to Krabill's very close 5.856/248. The margin of victory was a half car length at the stripe. The brain trust behind Head's car is a who's who of nitro tuners. Big Show Jim Head's team is there in force as well as Chris Cunningham and Marc Denner. Similar big names are behind's Ron Capps ride with the Worsham Family as a number of Kalitta tuners as well as those two Worsham's. One would think the other teams would be far back in the dust but they are different animals under the 70's style body's and it doing it once or twice a year makes the transition less than silky smooth. One past big show Nitro tuner who has not struggled is Roland Leong, who has left the big show behind to team up with his long time friend Ron Hodgson. They were together in the past along with Bob Papernick and Leong is full time on the Troy Lee Designs Firebird with Hodgson's racing partner Tim Boychuk behind the butterfly steering wheel. Leong tuned the Firebird Trans Am to a final round birth as he defeated Mike Halstead and the Nitro Angel Duster. Boychuk ran a 5.83 that should have easily defeated the 5.92 by Halstead, but Tim was .08 back of HAlstead on the tree and the margin at the stripe was only .011 (about a fender).
In Top Fuel, Jimi Young won with a great 5.68 to a game 5.69 for Rick White. What a great side by side.
To get to the final round.......
Round one. In Top Fuel saw Michael Irwin defeat #1 qualifier Tony Bartone in one of two monster upsets in the nitro classes. The #1 qualifier in Funny Car, Jason Rupert was also a round one casualty. Bartone left first but he had to peddle the car after tire shake, he got back on the loud pedal but by then Irwin was too far out front. Irwin also slowed, but he was far enough out front to take a .07 winning stripe. The next three pairings were all troubled passes for five of six drivers. Mendy Fry made the only full pull out of the six and she had an easy win, a 5.97 over #2 qualifier Rick McGee. He was troubled right from the start and was off the gas early with a 7.second et at just over 100 mph. The Crop Duster with Jimi Young behind the wheel, got the win but it too, wasn't pretty. The #4 qualifier took out Ernie MacLain with an off the gas 6.59@125mph pass. MacLain was troubled right from the start. Jim Murphy was expected to advance to round two as the #5 qualifier was almost 3/10ths quicker than John Rasmussen in qualifying (5.71-5.98). Murphy got the jump at the start (.05 advantage) but the car nosed over from half track on and Rasmussen had just enough in the tank to go around Murphy for a .04 finish line victory. 6.23 to a 6.32. Terry Cox got a huge holeshot on Adam Sorokin .009 - .079 (a decent light as well) but Sorokin ran right on his qualifying number getting the win after driving around Cox at half track. Sorokin ran a 5.79 to Cox's 5.90 at a hard charging 259 mph. Sorokin was only going 229 at the stripe. The margin was .04. Rick White had low et for the weekend with a 5.622 to defeat Brendan Murry. Murry ran his best lap of the weekend, and it would have been a low 5.9 or high 5.8 but the car slowed on the top end and his could only put down a 6.00 @ 199. The final pairing was Bill Dunlap and Rick Williamson. Dunlap struggled in qualifying running his best # in the final session while Williamson skipped Saturday's qualifying after running a 5.77 in qualifying Friday. Williamson got a hole shot (.06 advantage), but he was real soft off the starting line and could not make up any ground after Dunlap drove around him early in the run. Dunlap turned in a 5.91/199 to a hard charging 6.08/230 for Williamson.
Round two. Irwin got the odd car bye after taking out Bartone in round one, and he took an easy 7 second win light. Jimi Young got an easy 5.86 to a 10 second troubled lap for Rasmussen. Mendy Fry was left on bad by Sorokin but he has issues and Fry was around him early with 5.97 to a 7 second effort. Rick White stayed fast in round two with a great 5.625 at top speed for the event 261.88. That run was more that enough for Dunlap's 5.87/213.
Semi Finals... neither Semi final saw side by side battles and both were over early. Young got a holeshot on Irwin and made a full lap turning in a 5.858/221 to a slowing 6.493/188. Fry, like Irwin (the two drivers were the slowest two in qualifying) could not overcome the higher qualified car, as White, who was second off the tree, stayed glued to the t rack and won going away with a 5.94/236 to a troubled 9 second et for the 'Forever Young" driver.
In A/Fuel Les Davenport won it all in the Davenport/Kaplan Blown Alky FED. He defeated Kin Bates in his Injected Nitro FED, 6.22 to a 6.29.
Jessie Adams (in the' Machine Gun Kelli' flopper) defeated Terri Brewster in Pro 7.0.
JD Zink defeated Don Enriquez in Jr. Fuel.
Rafael Qiroga won A/Gas.
Roy Castagmetto won B/Gas
Justin Shears won C/Gas.
Steve Schoenfeld won Nost.Eliminator I,
Bob Johnson got the win in Nost II
Lindsay Lister won Nost III.
Chris Pederson was the champion in Hot Rod.
Top Fuel final qualifying
457 Tony Bartone, Long Island City NY, McKinney-Rodeck 5.624 249 (Huge move up
the field on his final lap to take over the #1 spot).
716 Bill Dunlap, Capitola CA, Sterling-Donovan broke 5.90 212 (final run for Dunlap
puts him #9)
Here are the qualifying runs Saturday starting starting with the quickest through. 17 cars made runs on Saturday
Brad Thompson 1970 Nova 5.770 249.79 A career best run for Thompson
766 Jason Rupert, Yorba Linda CA, '69 Camaro BAE 496 5.668 / 262.03
Kusamato, (sp?) in the Nitro Mafia made 7 second pass licencing Saturday
766 Jason Rupert, Yorba Linda CA, '69 Camaro BAE 496 5.668 / 262.03
Here is the unfortunate sequence of Mark Sanders as he hit the wall in testing today. Mark had to be cut out of the car and was taken to the local medical centre. He complained of a sore arm, but not other serious injuries except for his pocket book. I know the team was working on a new car, it looks like it might be moved forward a bit. (Bob Snyder photos)
A few great runs today including a career best by Will Martin who turned in a 5.83 at 220. A 5.72 by Hale topped the class.
2012 March Meet
10 Things to do at the MM
by Rob Gibson
Bring the Family! Thats the word from Blake Bowser as Bakersfields biggest event, the March Meet nostalgia drag race, is once again descending upon historic Auto Club Famoso Raceway, Mar. 1-4. The March Meet is a true Bakersfield celebration providing affordable family fun. It doesnt get any better than this.
Bowser, VP and general manager of the Kern County Racing Association (which runs the raceway and produces the March Meet), said the world famous race now in its 54th year has something for everyone. There are so many cool things going on, it attracts fans from around the world, the country, state and Kern County. The events become so big, Bowser expanded it to four days this year and calls it March Meet Week.
Top 10 things to do during the March Meet:
1. Take a leap: This year, March Meet Week starts on Leap Year Day, Wednesday night, Feb. 29, at 8660 Rosedale Hwy. parking lot between Chuys Mesquite Broiler restaurant and The Original Roadhouse Grill. Weve been doing it for a few years now and its become super popular. The public is invited to come by starting at 6p.m. to enjoy pre-race festivities, including mingling with racers and checking out the hot rods and race cars in the parking lot.
2. And on the fourth day : For the first time in its glorious run, the March Meet is now four days instead of three. Switching to four days is a cool idea and will make the event even better, said Bowser. I mean, whats better than four days of running nitro cars?
3. Father and son act: The March Meet always features drag racing legends as Grand Marshals. The custom continues as father and son drag racers Larry Dixon Sr. and Larry Dixon Jr. are the 2012 Grand Marshals.
The March Meet is about family, said Bowser, and thats why Larry Dixon Sr. and Jr. are the perfect choices for Grand Marshals. Dixon Sr. won a March Meet title in 68, while Dixon Jr. is a three-time NHRA Top Fuel champ and former Rookie of the Year. Fans can come meet them all four days and get autographs, said Bowser. The Dixons are drag racing royalty, representing almost 50 years of the sport.
4. Idol time: The March Meet always attracts drag racing stars of the past, present and future. Bring your camera because you could run into Tom The Mongoose McEwen, Ron Capps, Cruz Pedregon, Del Worsham, Gary Densham, etc.
5. Hot Rod Heaven: Check out the colorful hot rods, street rods, muscle cars and classics parked in the fan-friendly, tree-lined Grove area inside the track. Its the coolest car show around, said Bowser. Every year I am amazed at the number of locals and car clubs that come to be part of the March Meet.
6. Better than eBay: Looking for hard-to-find old car parts, tools and choice memorabilia? Then check out the swap meet area located past The Grove area. Its open all four days, but Bowser said to get there early because the good stuff sometimes goes fast.
7. Shopping spree: Open all four days, the Midway Area has become a purveyor of hot rod womens fashion, ranging from 50s-type hair stylists to ruby red lipstick to leopard print purses. Vendors also feature original art, new and vintage clothing, custom jewelry, automotive parts and products, etc.
8. Rockin Club: The Auto Club booth, located by the Grove, is action central. Drag racing stars such as 2010 NHRA Funny Car champ Robert Hight and sometimes his boss, 15-time NHRA Funny Car titlist John Force are there posing for fans pictures and signing autographs. Additionally, there are contests, prizes and race cars. And if your battery is dead in the parking lot, theyll give you a jump.
9. Members only: Don't miss your chance for the ultimate March Meet experience. The Quarter Mile Courtyard provides ticket holders exclusive seating and viewing near the starting line that is elevated to give an excellent vista of the race track. Also included with VIP purchase; private restrooms, exclusive food and beverage vendor and an enclosed courtyard seating area. Limited seating is available. Ticket holders can upgrade their general admission tickets for seating in the Quarter Mile Courtyard at the track. VIP seating is also available on-line.
10. Race central: The March Meet means racing period. There are lots of other fun activities, but it does boil down to four days of the best nostalgia drag racing on the planet. 500 competitors will vie for titles in 13 classes. Last years' event champions, Kris Krabill (Nostalgia Funny Car) and Rick White (Nostalgia Top Fuel) will be back to defend their titles and earn the coveted Wally trophy. The tradition-rich March Meet is also the season opener for NHRAs Hot Rod Heritage Series.
11. Bonus: Party in the pits: When the racing ends, the fun still goes on as nighttime parties rock the legendary track. Its a late-night celebration with music and food around the pit area and camping grounds. Nighttime pit parties are a March Meet tradition, said Bowser.
Now celebrating 54 years of racing, the March Meet has been expanded to a four-day speedfest that enthusiasts call the jewel of Nostalgia Racing. It attracts drag racers and spectators from around the world and also includes a hot rod car show, swap meet and a vendors midway. The 2012 March Meet will be held Mar. 1-4 at historic Auto Club Famoso Raceway. March Meet advance ticket sales, as well as tickets for car show registration and camping, are now available on the Auto Club Famoso website and at www.TheFOAT.com.
Father and son drag racing legends Larry Dixon Sr. and Larry Dixon Jr. are the 2012 Grand Marshals.