‘This Magic Moment’: Four Racers Earn Double-Up Wins, Owen Locks Up AA/Supercharged Championship’
August 11th showed off the conclusion of the 25th Annual NAPA Auto Parts & Bi-Mart sponsored Hot Rod Nationals, and what a way for it to end. Are you seeing double? Are you seeing double? The answer is no, but many racers did enjoy late success both days as a total of 11 of the 17 classes that were run to conclusion on Sunday featured repeat finalist from Saturday’s racing, including four repeat winners. Quite simply, when it’s your weekend it’s your weekend! Eliminations concluded Sunday with wins for Troy Owen (AA/Supercharged), Mike Padur (Top Eliminator), Mark Sundstrum (Nostalgia Eliminator), Mike Peck (Pro Nostalgia), Devon Hilton (Dragster/Roadster), Gary Wargnier (Top Gas), Paul Comeau (Hot Rod I), Tony Littleton (Street Machine I), Kevin Ward (Hot Rod II), Randy Nichols (Street Machine II), Bill Brown (Stick Shift), CJ Stoakes (Inline/Flathead), Dave Mueller (Slant 6), Gary Tokos (ET Motorcycle), Larry Cook (NWDB Pro Mod), Kerry Drost (NWDB Pro Street), and Stacy Hesch (NWDB Quick 8). As anyone can see from the list of winners, racing was packed to the tilt this weekend, and an amazing time was had by all who shared in the glory.
AA/Supercharged had an eerie feel to it throughout the day. Troy Owen was his normal jolly self, but seemed to be distant, focused on a further goal: the 2013 AA/Supercharged Season Championship was well within his grasp. Running a 6.62 and 6.66 to get into the final round, his opponent, Gary Reinero, would have to speed his game up after consecutive 7.128 passes. In the final round there were two things that didn’t happen. The first thing: Reinero wasn’t able to pick up his speed after severe tire shake ended his pass (and the red light by just eight thousandths of a second). The second thing is that Troy Owen didn’t slow down, blasting to another 6.6 pass with the 6.684 at over 208mph. With his win, Owen had pulled off just about as good as weekend as possible, winning the conclusion of the Oldies But Goodies, the Hot Rod Nationals, and with those, locking up the season championship in the AA/Supercharged race. It was a sight to see in the Quality Concrete/Salem Paving Winner’s circle with Owen and his team surrounding the dominating ’41 Willy’s Coupe. Reinero enjoyed the success of making the final round after taking much of his recent racing time off. In the Top Eliminator category, the final round showdown was between a pair of Washington racers: Mike Padur and Dennis Gorans. Padur made his second trip to the finals of the weekend after downing Roy Ranquist and Rod Floyd, while Gorans made quick work of Bob Rude and Mike Floyd. In the final round, Padur went wire-to-wire to get the win after getting the starting line advantage and outrunning Gorans to the finish.
Pro Nostalgia eliminations featured Mike Peck making his second appearance in the money round, and Paul New trying to make Peck 0 for 2. Peck earned a single in the first round of eliminations before defeating number one qualifier Todd Miller to earn his spot in the final, while New downed Oldies but Goodies winner Lloyd Hamilton and Chris Marshall. The final round was set to be an exciting one when Peck and New dialed in just .01 apart, and left just .005 apart, before Peck powered through to run a 6.664 on his 6.64 dial-in, securing a Woodburn Wally after being one win out in Saturday’s eliminations.
Nostalgia Eliminator had an exciting final round with racers separated by just .06 at the finish line. Mark Sundstrum was one of those finalists, having earlier defeated Ena Eickmann before earning the single pass in the semis. In the other lane was Jay Kinnee, who defeated Frank Miller and George Moore to reach a birth in the final round. In that final, Sundstrum had a major starting line advantage and carried it on to the win by only six hundredths of a second! Kinnee held top mile per hour of eliminations with a 193.34 mph blast.
The Dragster/Roadster category featured the number three and four qualifier in the final round to face off for the event victory. The number four qualifier, Devon Hilton, defeated Doug Gray, Kelly Gordon, and Gary Hogansen to earn his spot in the final. For Perrotti: Ron Austin, Keifer Eickmann, and number one qualifier Jeff Lewis were the defeated racers. In the final round, both drivers had stellar reaction time starts (Hilton’s .018 to Perrotti’s .034) but at the finish line it was Hilton for the win after Perrotti broke out by just .015. This has been Hilton’s 6th win of the year and will head to the Fall Classic September 14th and 15th looking for one last win and a perfect season.
In the Top Gas category, the final round was won by only .004 seconds. Gary Wargnier was one of those finalists, having defeated Tom Golden, Gary Palmateer, Chris Dutson, and Al Lyda. On the opposite side of the ladder was Mike Miller, who downed Fred Nicholas, Robert Glembocki, Bill Bityk, and Bob Drummond on his way to the final round. When eliminations were down to two, the racing came down to the Chevrolet and the Ford, and by four thousandths of a second it was victory for the Chevy, and Gary Wargnier. Rod Short was the number one qualifier with a perfect reaction time, which earned him a Perfect Light T-shirt and two decals courtesy of Northwest Wholesale/Hilton Racing, the suppliers of Goodyear and Hoosier Race Tires.
Hot Rod I competition brought a final round battle between Washington and Oregon. The Washington representative, Vancouver resident Paul Comeau, took down opponents Richard Beyea, Roy Panschow, and Tim McDaniel before earning the single in the semis. Pendleton, Oregon racer Tom Wurtz made it into the final round by taking out Shelby Brown, Norman Lemly, Pinky Garver and Saturday runner-up Marc Pruett. In the final, Comeau’s stellar .017 reaction time was all that was needed to secure the win, and make him the third double-up winner of the weekend. Garver was the number one qualifier with a .009.
In the Street Machine I category, racers converged to test their talents, as a number of the regular Sunoco Series competitors also raced off. In the final, the winner would be either Tony Littleton or ‘Right Lane’ Robert Rhines. Littleton secured his position in the final round by defeating Bill Evert, Jeff Marchi, Jeff Sievers, Dennis Schneider, and Gregg Heriford. On the other side of the ladder was Rhines, who downed Sonny Sheradella, Todd McMillan, and Rich Potter before earning the single. As the lights came down in the final round, the race ended before it even began when Rhines turned one the red light by just .006, meaning that Littleton earned his first career Woodburn Wally. McMillan was the number one qualifier with a .011.
Hot Rod II brought a final round between the ’37 Chevrolet of Kevin Ward and the ’50 Ford of Del Seghler. Ward made it into the final round by downing Bret Swopes, John Helms, and Lyle Scott before earning the single in the semis. For Seghler, it was John Hite, Roger Goodman, a single, and Mark Tabert who attempted to stand in his way. In the final round, Ward used his consistent reaction times to score a large marginal advantage on the starting line, and carry it to victory at the finish line, making him our fourth double-up contestant of the weekend. Norm Davis was the number one qualifier with a .025 reaction time.
Street Machine II ramped up the action with a final round showdown between number three and one in the overall points standings. The number three, Randy Nichols, took out Lindsay Wurn, Phil Stewart, Ken Sweo, and Jim Doory. The number one, Gordon Cady Jr, defeated Dave Kranz, Larry Tomanka, a single, and Steve Watkins. In the final round, Cady Jr left second best with a .021 reaction time because Nichols’ supersonic .013 reaction time gave him the needed space at the finish line to take the win on a double-breakout finish. Cady Jr was the number one qualifier with his .018 reaction time.
The Inline/Flathead category brought together a group of racers who toss out the idea of normalcy, and race with unique combinations. CJ Stoakes and Walt Pearce found themselves in the final round Sunday, with Stoakes defeating Bruce Murray, Ron Price, and Walt Skoczylas, while Pearce downed Ed Nargard, Jerry Stauffer, and Jim Johnson. In the final round, Pearce had a starting line advantage of almost .07, but Stoakes ran closer to his dial-in to get the win by .013. Johnson was the number one qualifier with a .023 reaction time start. In correlation with the Inline/Flathead category was the Slant 6 Associations race, which featured Dave Mueller getting the win in the final round over Michael Bjerklund. Mueller’s .016 reaction time start helped him to chase down Bjerklund’s 18 second Dart at the finish line.
Stick Shift eliminations cumulated with the number two and four qualifiers battling it out. Bill Brown, the number two qualifier, earned a single first round, had a competition breakage second round, then defeated John Selman in the third round. Dick Arnold, the number four, eliminated racers Bob Johnson and Jim Wise to earn a semi-final round single. In the final round, Brown unleashed a near-perfect .001 reaction time and Arnold broke out trying to catch him, meaning that Bill Brown can lay claim to the event champions title until next year.
Northwest Drag Bike competitors are ones who always put on a great show, riding their 200 mph two-wheeled machines to battle on a very consistent basis. In the ET Motorcycle category, Harley Eliminator standout Gary Tokos scored the victory aboard his ’06 Harley after a starting line advantage of almost .2 over John Plaster. In the Pro Mod category, Larry Cook scored another victory, this time by laying down a blistering 6.671 at 192.76 mph over Jim Iverson. Cook had low E.T. and top speed of the event with a 6.713 at 195.22 mph. In the Pro Street category, Kerry Drost eliminated Eric Robinson by virtue of a .017 reaction time start, and Stacy Hesch took out Michael Gosselin on a double-breakout finish decided by just .034 seconds.
Listed are final round results in order of driver name, city/st, (vehicle year/model) [reaction time], elapsed time, miles per hour, and (dial-in).
AA/Supercharged Winner: Troy Owen, Albany OR (’41 Willys Coupe) [.080] 6.684, 208.14. R/U: Gary Reinero, Merced CA (’48 Austin) [-.008] foul. Semi’s: Scott Wyke, Bend OR; Mitch Chamberlin, Orting WA.
Nostalgia Eliminator Winner: Mark Sundstrum, Aberdeen WA (’01 FED) [.046] 8.144, 162.80 (7.99 dial). R/U: Jay Kinnee, Salem OR (’06 Eickmann) [.206] 7.073, 193.34 (7.13 dial). Semi’s: George Moore, Redmond OR.
Top Eliminator Winner: Mike Padur, Graham WA (’92 Hadman) [.046] 7.688, 198.36 (7.60 dial). R/U: Dennis Gorans, Longview WA (’96 Gorans) [.104] 7.710, 211.86 (7.60 dial). Semi’s: Rod Floyd, Battleground WA; Roy Ranquist, Burnaby BC.
Pro Nostalgia Winner: Mike Peck, Woodinville WA (’07 FED) [.086] 6.664, 193.84 (6.64 dial). R/U: Paul New, Sandy OR (’05 New) [.091] 6.777, 207.32 (6.65 dial). Semi’s: Todd Miller, Fairview OR; Chris Marshall, McMinnville OR.
Dragster/Roadster Winner: Devon Hilton, Vancouver WA (’64 Dragster) [.018] 8.567, 137.44 (8.55 dial). R/U: Jennie Perrotti, Tualitin OR (’32 Vicky) [.034] 10.335, 123.35 (10.35 dial). Semi’s: Jeff Lewis, Salem OR; Gary Hogansen, Eugene OR.
Top Gas Winner: Gary Wargnier, Keizer OR (’67 Chevelle) [.010] 9.235, 145.41 (9.24 dial). R/U: Mike Miller, Portland OR (’71 Pinto) [.037] 9.121, 148.02 (9.13 dial). Semi’s: Al Lyda, Hillsboro OR; Bob Drummond, Creswell OR.
Hot Rod I Winner: Paul Comeau, Vancouver WA (’39 Chevy) [.017] 9.750, 122.39 (9.51 dial). R/U: Tom Wurtz, Pendleton OR (’55 Chevy) [.281] 11.050, 118.90 (11.02 dial). Semi’s: Marc Pruett, Vancouver WA.
Street Machine I Winner: Tony Littleton, Salem OR (’68 Chevelle) [.033] 11.640, 112.82 (11.58 dial). R/U: Robert Rhines, Salem OR (’68 Firebird) [-.006] 11.152, 119.00 (11.10 dial). Semi’s: Gregg Heriford, Vancouver WA.
Hot Rod II Winner: Kevin Ward, Shelton WA (’37 Chevy) [.070] 12.696, 99.41 (12.62 dial). R/U: Del Seghler, Eugene OR (’50 Ford) [.303] 13.946, 96.59 (14.01 dial). Semi’s: Mark Tabert, Sherwood OR.
Street Machine II Winner: Randy Nichols, Lafayette OR (’69 Nova) [.013] 13.026, 99.51 (13.03 dial). R/U: Gordon Cady Jr, Vancouver WA (’65 El Camino) [.021] 12.646, 102.62 (12.67 dial). Semi’s: Steve Watkins, Chandler AZ; Jim Doory, Spanaway WA.
Inline/Flathead Winner: CJ Stoakes, Halsey OR (’74 Plymouth) [.106] 15.307, 86.67 (15.25 dial). R/U: Walt Pearce, Twisp WA (’32 Chevy) [.039] 13.437, 93.96 (13.30 dial). Semi’s: Jim Johnson, Portland OR; Walt Skoczylas, Aloha OR.
Slant 6 Association Winner: Dave Mueller, Kelso WA (’69 Valiant) [.016] 14.379, 90.16 (14.30 dial). R/U: Michael Bjerklund, Lebanon OR (’68 Dart) [.124] 18.306, 73.01 (18.20 dial). Semi’s: Richard Bjerklund, Eugene OR; Andrew Howard, Eureka CA.
Stick Shift Winner: Bill Brown, Woodburn OR (’55 Bel Air) [.001] 12.996, 101.75 (12.95 dial). R/U: Dick Arnold, Washougal WA (’67 Camaro) [.076] 10.508, 132.64 (10.55 dial). Semi’s: John Selman, Pendleton OR.
ET Motorcycle Winner: Gary Tokos, East Olympia WA (’06 Harley) [.118] 9.910, 123.60 (9.75 dial). R/U: John Plaster, Buckley WA (’88 Buell) [.291] 12.277, 106.54 (11.85 dial). Semi’s: Van Smith, Portland OR.
Pro Mod Winner: Larry Cook, West Linn OR (’96 Suzuki) [.092] 6.761, 192.76. R/U: Jim Iverson, Salem OR [.090] 7.700, 148.05. Semi’s: Rick Tedder, Portland OR.
Pro Street Winner: Kerry Drost, Sherwood OR (’99 Hayabusa) [.017] 7.773, 168.88. R/U: Eric Robinson, Eugene OR (’03 Hayabusa) [.074] 8.174, 171.55. Semi’s: Verl Smith, Portland OR.
Quick 8 Winner: Stacy Hesch, Shelton WA (’83 Suzuki) [.016] 8.466, 146.72 (8.47 dial). R/U: Michael Gosselin, Bremerton WA (’99 Hayabusa) [.060] 7.950, 158.53 (7.99 dial). Semi’s: Shawn Blehm, Salem OR; Nick Puhl, Port Orford OR.