Series concludes for Sunoco ET, Wilson’s Napa High School, World of Speed Jrs
All good things must eventually come to an end. When speaking of the 2014 Sunoco Race Fuels ET Series, Wilson’s Napa High School Series, and World of Speed Jr Drag Racing Series, ‘good’ is hardly a way to describe how spectacular of a season it was. From racer’s last grasps at clawing their way onto the team, to the heartbreak of missing by the last of tiebreakers, it was a season that will not soon be forgotten. Congratulations are in order first off to the seven Season Championships already decided: Julie Adams (Super Pro), Steve Stuart (Pro), Jerry Durant Jr (Sportsman), Kacee Pitts (High School), Taylor Toftemark (Jr Lightning), Alicia Miller (Jr Thunder), and Ramon Vincent (Jr Storm). On this date, individual honors were claimed by Matt Claussen (Super Pro), Ryan Schaefer (Pro), Adam Tabor (Sportsman), Kacee Pitts (High School), John Masterman (Super Shifter), Riley Kirby (Jr Lightning), Alisha Miller (Jr Thunder), Rilynn Saucy (Jr Storm), Nicholas Shepherd (Run Tuff), and Anthony Friesen (Jr Tuff).
Super Pro eliminations featured a four-way fight for the championship between Tom Avgerakis, Julie Adams, Devon Hilton, and Danny Wargnier—each with a chance to sneak into the number one position. The final round featured Matt Claussen and Wargnier. Off the starting line, Claussen was down by .008. With Wargnier’s hard-charging 170mph 2008 GTO coming on fast, Claussen was able to hold him off after running a 8.137 on his 8.13 dial-in, securing the win. Julie Adams (who went far enough to surpass incoming leader Avgerakis and hold off Warngnier) to clinch the championship) and Bill King were the semi-finalist. Hilton was the number one qualifier with a .001, and Dennis Weddle claimed the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .017 overall package, also earning a free giant pizza from Abby’s Pizza.
Coming into the Pro bracket final day of eliminations, the championship was a battle between Steve Stuart and Nicholas Shepherd, with Ryan Schaefer having an outside shot if he could get some help. Unfortunately for Schaefer, after Stuart’s first round win over Shepherd, his chances were over. However, that didn’t stop young Ryan from advancing to the finals to face off against good friend Matt Kielman. What was set up for a spectacular final round was cut short when Kielman turned on the red light by .017, meaning Ryan would get the event win. David Chun Jr and Steve Pyburn were the semi-finalist. Bruce Reidl’s .001 reaction time earned him the number one qualifier award, while his .025 package earned Package for the Points honors, and a Pico Wiring kit.
Sportsman category points had Jerry Durant Jr in the lead, with the only person capable of catching him being Robert Glafka in second. After an early exit for Glafka, the championship was sealed for Durant Jr, who exited in the third round. Adam Tabor and Derrick Jackson lined up in the finals. Jackson, who started the day 14th on the 12-person team, left second with a .040 reaction time to Tabor’s .020. Down to the finish line they went, with Tabor getting the win by running right on his 12.40 dial-in with a 12.402. Karl Hart was the lone semi-finalist. Earl Eberly earned number one qualifier rights with a .017, while Jim Lamkin’s .025 package earned him Package for the Points rights, as well as six quarts of Lucas Oil.
Super Shifter eliminations featured John Masterman and Bruce Poppino in the finals. Masterman worked his way into the finals by defeating Dick Arnold, John Flett, and Mark Boehi, while Poppino eliminated Charlie Carnahan, and number one qualifier Joel Da Silva to earn a competition single in the semis. In the final round, the race was over before it even began when Poppino turned on the red light bulb by .021. Da Silva’s .032 earned him number one qualifier rights.
The Wilson’s Napa High School Series had a final round showdown between the two representatives for the ET Finals team in Kacee Pitts and Jacob McGarry. Off the starting line timers, McGarry had the reaction time advantage and got to the finish line first…unfortunately breaking out by just .005 in the run, handing the win to Kacee Pitts. This completed one of the most dominant seasons in the High School categories history, with Pitts winning five of the six registered events, and finishing second at the sixth event. Brenden Staley was the lone semi-finalist.
In the World of Speed Jr Lightning category, the number one position for the team was already locked up heading into the last event. The battle for second though was amongst three different racers: Carson Wheeler, Austin Varner, and Kacee Pitts. With Varner’s first round exit, the race down to Wheeler and Pitts, slated to meet up in the semi-finals. In that semi-final round matchup, it was Wheeler getting the reaction time advantage and the win to earn his way onto the team. In the finals, it was the birthday girl Riley Kirby who defeated Wheeler, earning the type of present everybody dreams of: an event win! Kacee Pitts was the lone semi-finalist. Taylor Toftemark was the number one qualifier with a .001.
The World of Speed Jr Thunder eliminations featured Alisha Miller and Cooper Chun in the finals. Miller, long having claimed the championship, now found herself in the sixth final of the 2014 season. Facing off against Cooper Chun, the race was over before it even began as Chun turned on the red light, meaning that Miller’s championship bill puts her as the winningest driver of the season with six event wins. Trevin Walberg and Conner Rice were the semi-finalist, and Levi Burke was the number one qualifier with a .003.
In the World of Speed Jr Storm category, the championship was also claimed prior to the last event with Ramon Vincent earning his first championship. In the finals of this last event though, was Rilynn Saucy and Tate Turner. By advancing into the final round, Saucy had launched her way onto the 2014 Woodburn Dragstrip team, and further solidified a great day of racing by winning the double-breakout contest. Vincent and Hailey Bellikka were the semi-final finishers. Saucy’s .022 earned number one qualifier rights.
From this point forward, there is no more individual battle. The best 58 racers of the 2014 season, sub E.T. Motorcycle competitors who will be racing next weekend, have been selected. It is now that the goal becomes to be 16-time team champions, a number that has not been achieved by any other team in the National Hot Rod Association’s history. The reason that Woodburn Dragstrip has been able to achieve these numbers is a credit to the racers, the toughest in the Northwest. Congratulations to all who made the team. To those who missed: remember that 2015 is another year. Practice practice practice!!!
Listed are final round results in order of driver name, home town, (vehicle year/model), [reaction time], elapsed time, miles per hour, and (dial-in).
W: Matt Claussen, Vancouver WA (’02 Undercover) [.026] 8.137, 165.47 (8.13 dial).
R/U: Danny Wargnier, Keizer OR (’08 GTO) [.018] 8.020, 170.90 (7.99 dial).
Semi’s: Julie Adams, Molalla OR; Bill King, Sandy OR.
Quarterfinals: Michael Boyd, Gary Wargnier, Stephanie Gross.
W: Ryan Schaefer, Tigard OR (’72 Nova) [.005] 10.831, 113.73 (10.79 dial).
R/U: Matt Kielman, Vancouver WA (’70 Nova) [-.017] 10.778, 109.64 (10.64 dial).
Semi’s: David Chun JR, Vancouver WA; Steve Pyburn, Nampa ID.
Quarterfinals: Rick Sales Sr, Curt Landis, Bruce Riedl.
W: Adam Tabor (’66 Chevy) [.020] 12.402, 105.21 (12.40 dial).
R/U: Derrick Jackson, McMinnville OR (’67 A100) [.040] 12.665, 99.41 (12.66 dial).
Semi’s: Karl Hart, Portland OR.
Quarterfinals: Gordon Cady Jr, Amy Fields.
Wilson’s Napa High School
W: Kacee Pitts, Lebanon OR (’69 Nova) [.100] 12.966, 93.47 (12.92 dial).
R/U: Jacob McGarry, Philomath OR (’73 Nova) [.054] 17.915, 75.98 (17.92 dial).
Semi’s: Brenden Staley, Portland OR.
Quarterfinals: JP Parsons, Brad Culver.
W: John Masterman, Milwaukie OR (’79 Camaro) [.040] 12.171, 116.82 (12.10 dial).
R/U: Bruce Poppino, West Linn OR (’65 Mustang) [-.021] 12.087, 91.27 (11.44 dial).
Semi’s: Mark Boehi, Portland OR.
Quarterfinals: Steve Caruth, John Flett, Joel Da Silva.
World of Speed Jr Lightning
W: Riley Kirby, Coos Bay OR (’02 Half Scale) [.033] 8.204, 80.43 (8.15 dial).
R/U: Carson Wheeler, Wilsonville OR (’08 Eickmann) [-.008] 7.882, 83.14 (7.90 dial).
Semi’s: Kacee Pitts, Lebanon OR.
Quarterfinals: Emily Mix, Taylor Toftemark.
World of Speed Jr Thunder
W: Alisha Miller, Warren OR (’05 Akton) [.039] 8.979, 75.05 (8.95 dial).
R/U: Cooper Chun, Vancouver WA (’99 Spitzer) [-.056] 8.971, 71.79 (8.99 dial).
Semi’s: Trevin Walberg, Junction City OR; Conner Rice, Milwaukie OR.
Quarterfinals: Nathan Greene, Levi Burke, Shawn Cranford, Liz Varner
World of Speed Jr Storm
W: Rilynn Saucy, Beavercreek OR (’99 Motivational) [.147] 11.138, 56.23 (11.15 dial).
R/U: Tate Turner, Pomona CA (’06 Akton) [.239] 11.037, 57.63 (11.15 dial).
Semi’s: Ramon Vincent, Stayton OR; Hailey Bellikka, Milwaukie OR.
Quarterfinals: Nicholas Karr, Lorenzo Gonzalez, Tucker Turner.
Tualatin Transmissions Run Tuff
W: Nicholas Shepherd, Tigard OR (’38 Chevy) [.027] 9.277, 124.18 (9.25 dial).
R/U: Tony Littleton, Salem OR (’68 Chevelle) [.042] 11.560, 116.50 (11.51 dial).
Semi’s: Doug Kirby, Coos Bay OR.
Quarterfinals: Robert Glafka, Kevin Fletcher, Pat Figini