Loretta McCool; Sunoco Race Fuels ET Series Super Pro Champion
In the Super Pro category, racers are allowed the assistance of delay boxes and throttle stops to enhance their vehicles. These vehicles can run as fast as 7.00 seconds down to 11.99. On April 7th, the first point’s race was rained out. Then, on April 14, the NWDRA Winter Classic brought competition that was completed down to the semi-final round prior to rain. After a two week intermission, Gary Wargnier defeated Billy Taylor to start the season off on a good note. Danny Wargnier was the man of the qualifying session, collecting the first A-! Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points award with his .015 total package. A case of Lucas Oil was awarded to Wargnier for his efforts.
Next up on the schedule was the Tulip Festival Drags, with the Sunoco Series running on Sunday The Super Pro category (7.50-11.99, electronic assisted) featured 36 different drivers all fighting for the victory. However, of the 36, it came down to two: Bill Heard and Loretta McCool. For Heard, victories against Steve Schmitt, yesterday’s winner Bill King, Gary Ericksen, a single and Mark Pracht, he was prepared. For McCool; Phil Johnson, Jerry Jackson, John Floyd Sr, Chris Helvey, and a bye in the semi’s was all she needed. After the cars had cooled, it was time to race, and unfortunately the race was over as soon as it started, with Loretta McCool going red by -.005. Heard, took the time to punctuate his victory, by running 9.021 on his 9.02, coupled with a .013 reaction time start.
Next on the schedule was the last race in April, when Mike McManus and Jim McDermott faced off in the finals. McManus took down Michael Boyd, Dennis Weddle, Devon Hilton, and Danny Wargnier to advance to the final. McDermott, on the other side of the ladder, faced off with big names Charlie Dietrich, Bill McNeal, Mark Dawson, and Dave Sattem to earn his trip into the final. In the final round, McManus had a slight .03 advantage, and flew down the track at over 168 mph to run an 8.418 on his 8.41 dial in, while McDermott ran under, running a 7.418 on his 7.42 dial in. Special notices should go to Devon Hilton for winning the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points.
Next up was Cinco de Mayo, with Roger Weddle and Bill Bityk ready to do some partying. To make it there, Weddle had to go through Sue Mitchell, Mark Pracht, Tom Malicki, a single, and David Chun Jr. For Bityk, Richard LaChance, a competition single, Debbie Dawson, Randy McCool, and a laddered single were his opponents to the final round. In the finals, Bityk’s car make a hard move towards the right lane wall right after the launch, and even after expertly correcting the move was far behind Weddle, who cruised to an easy victory. Additionally, a special note to David Pracht, who earned the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points award with a .020 total package. At this time in the season, the top three in points were as follows: Loretta McCool with 220, Dave Sattem with 190, and Danny Wargnier with 170 points.
May 19th focused on an unforeseen number of close races and .00 reaction times, showing us how one of the toughest classes to be competitive in earned its name. In the final round were Sadie Floyd and Marty Stewart. For Floyd’s Moonstruck Chocolate dragster, the road to the final was earned through Al Lyda, Bill Heard, Dave Sattem, a single and Moe Trujillo, after Trujillo had a mechanical failure that rendered him unable to stage the car. For Stewart, a competition breakage single, Dennis Weddle, Bill McNeal, Tom Golden and a laddered single were the obstacles to his route. In the final round, the race was over .010 seconds before it even began, as the Allstate sales agent turned on the red light, handing the automatic victory to Sadie Floyd. With the victory came a much needed moral boost after her father, John Floyd Sr, suffered health problems with multiple trips to the hospital the week before. Congratulations should go out to Devon Hilton, who produced a .008 package to earn the A-1 Performance Trans and Converter Package for the Points.
In drag racing, consistency is something that everyone strives for. Not only in the form of a reaction time, but having their car run the same number as consistently as possible. On some days, consistency seems like a dream, with it being just out of grasp. For Loretta McCool, that dream became a reality on June 2nd. Loretta dialed a 9.90 every round, running a 9.909 first round against Mark Pracht, 9.901 second against Al Lyda, 9.904 against Tony McNeal, 9.907 in the semi’s against Bill Bityk, and 9.902 in the final round to take down Danny Wargnier. Averaging a 9.904 through her rounds of eliminations, Loretta McCool was by far the most consistent racer of the day. In addition, as she was the point’s leader coming into the day, she ended the day with a 60 point lead over second place Mike McManus. David Pracht was the winner of the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .019.
The Super Pro finals featured a pair of new-to-2013 finalist in the form of Gary Palmateer and Devon Hilton. Palmateer’s road to the final was through Emmet McKillop, Gary Wargnier, Jerry Jackson, Bill Heard, and a single in the semi-finals. For Hilton, competitors were Sadie Floyd, Danny Wargnier, Paul Nero, Roger Weddle, and Billy King. In the final round, Hilton had the better reaction time (.004 versus a .012) but broke out by just .005, giving the win to Palmateer. Robert Glembocki earned the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with his .008 package.
On June 9th, one veteran competitor said it the best after she stated “This is some of the toughest competition we’ve seen in years!” The finalist in the Super Pro class was again a pair of first-for-2013’s, this time in the form of Kevin Petersen and Craig Tharp. Petersen’s trip to the final round included beating racers the likes of Chris Dutson, Danny Wargnier, Earl Griffith, #1 Points earner Loretta McCool, and Julie Adams. On the other side of the ladder, Tharp had competition from a broke single, Marty Stewart, Devon Hilton, Dave Sattem, and a laddered single. In the final round, these two drivers left with almost identical reaction times (.034 to Tharp’s .030) before they both charged down the quarter mile and broke out, resulting in Petersen taking the win by a slim 46-thousandths of a second. Mike Nicholson was the winner of the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a stellar .013 overall package.
On Father’s day (June 16th), the final round pretty much defined the entire days’ worth of racing. Robert Glembocki’s fight to make it to the final went through Bill McNeal, Gary Palmateer, David Pracht, and Billy Taylor. For Mike McManus: Dave Sattem, Bill King, Jeremy McGhee, and Tom Avgerakis were the downed opponents. In the final round, Glembocki and McManus left with IDENTICAL .023 reaction times before Glembocki scored victory on the double-breakout by only nine thousandths of a second. Being able to share the winner circle with his father made the day all the more special for Glembocki. Of special note, Bill Heard was crowned the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points winner, when his .021 package held out through Super Pro competition.
June 30th’s hot race day eliminations were very appropriately summarized in the final round between Dave Sattem and Michael Boyd, with reaction times separated by only four thousandths of a second. For Sattem, making it into the final round meant taking out Billy Taylor, Bill Heard, Bill McNeal, and Gary Ericksen. For Boyd, the fight to get into the final was through Steve Schmitt, Mark Dawson, David Pracht and Julie Adams. In the final round, Boyd had the starting line advantage (.012 to a .016) but was unable to run the number resulting in ‘only’ a .038 package, with Sattem earning the victory by putting together a .029 package. Billy King’s perfect reaction time earned him a t-shirt and two decals courtesy of Northwest Wholesale/Hilton Racing, The Suppliers of Goodyear and Hoosier Race Tires, as well as the number one qualifying position. Mark Pracht’s .019 package won him to the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points award. To this point in the season, the point’s standings are as follows: McCool still out in front with 460, but Sattem right behind her at 430, with Devon Hilton pushing his bid to be the first ever repeat Super Pro champion sitting third at 400.
On July 7th, Devon Hilton and Tony Henderson faced off in the final round. Hilton’s journey into the final was through Debbie Dawson, Matt Claussen, Loretta McCool, and Robert Glembocki before earning the single in the semi’s. For Henderson: Mike McManus, a laddered single, Rod Andreas, Vicki Shepherd and Al Lyda were the defeated racers. In the final round, Hilton unloaded a .005 reaction time to score the win. Hilton averaged a .005 reaction time through the six rounds eliminations, with a .009 being his ‘worst’. Tony Henderson was the number one qualifier with a perfect reaction time. Gary Wargnier won the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .021 package. With his win, Hilton gained a 50-point swing over McCool (60 over Sattem). However, Loretta would show us how quickly she wanted those point’s back.
Two weekends later on July 20th, the final round came down to Loretta McCool and Bill Heard, both competitors who started the race high in the point’s standings. For McCool, the racers she defeated included Dennis Weddle, a competition breakage, David Pracht, Bill McNeal, and a single. On the other side of the ladder, Heard downed Robert Glembocki, Jeremy McGhee, a single, Dave Biancalana, and Dave Sattem. In the final round, McCool had the starting line advantage by about .01 before running right on the 9.90 with a 9.902. For Loretta this was an especially big day to win, as she also was the winner in the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .014 package, meaning overall she earned 110 points for the day. To give an example of just how tough the Super Pro class is this year, the win by McCool marked the FIRST repeat winner of the season…and with only two races left to go.
The later rounds of the K&N Filters ET Bracket Triple Crown Electronics category, in which Super Pro points were being awarded, featured Dragsters as far as the eye could see. To make it into the final round, Tom Malicki faced off with and defeated Meghan Molinari, Dave Sattem, Mark Kidd, a single, Kurt Gross, Mark Campbell and Bobby Rice. For final round opponent John Chitwood, defeated opponents were Ralph Cramblit, Katie Nelson-Harkema, Scott Wear, Devon Hilton, and Paul Nero before earning the semi-final round bye. In the final round, both competitors ran right on their dial-ins, but thanks to his reaction time advantage the win went in favor of Malicki. With only one race now remaining in the 2013 season, the Super Pro point’s shook down as follows: McCool with a staunch 660 points, Hilton in second with 600, and Dave Sattem sitting third with 580 points.
The final round in the final Super Pro category race came down to a super-showdown between Mark Dawson and Dave Sattem. To make his way into the finals, Sattem had to defeat Devon Hilton (a win which eventually led to him gaining enough points to bump Hilton and put him into second place), Tony Henderson, Robert Glembocki, and Dennis Weddle. On the other side of the ladder, Dawson downed Jerry Jackson, Earl Griffith, a single, and Loretta McCool. In the final round, Dawson’s .012 reaction time was second to Sattem’s .004, and was enough for Sattem to get the win on the holeshot. Debbie Dawson was the number one qualifier with a .003. ‘Wild’ Bill McNeal earned the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .010 package. With his win, Sattem made it two drivers in the Super Pro class who had earned multiple victories (McCool, 2) through the season. One of the toughest years in competition was officially wrapped up, as it was now time to see how racers would perform in the 2014 season.
Listed are final point’s standings, with driver name, total points, and round wins posted also.
1. Loretta McCool, 720 Points, 33 Round Wins
2. Dave Sattem, 670 Points, 29 Round Wins
3. Devon Hilton, 630 Points, 24 Round Wins