Sportsman Champion – Derrick Jackson
The Sunoco Race Fuels ET Series Sportsman category is one of the more heavily populated classes that run at Woodburn Dragstrip, due to limited restrictions. Vehicles are allowed to dial a minimum of 12.00 and slower, with no Trans Brakes or delay boxes permitted. However, let there be no confusion in assuming the competition is any easier than the other Sunoco ET classes, with some of the best racers in the Northwest coming from the Sportsman class.
Following victories by Robert Glafka (April 7), Pete Peterson (April 15), Gordon Cady Jr (April 22), Derrick Jackson (April 29, May 6) John Floyd Jr. (May 12) and Jackson again (June 3) the point’s standings were as follows: Jackson with 470, Karl Hart with 410, and Glafka with 400. At the June 10th event, Doug Walkup was able to earn the victory over Glafka. It should be noted for Glafka that over the next four consecutive races he raced to at least the fifth round, a rare feat for a driver to do in this level of competition. On June 17th, Alan Snyder, under the guise of Derrick Jackson as his backup driver, went on to win the event over Stephanie Gross to bolster Jackson’s lead. On July 1st, Tracy Herinckx broke through for his first win of the season over Glafka. Glafka followed this with another runner-up finish, this time to Jerry Weber on July 8th. The following event on July 21st showcased Glenn Burbage earning a narrow victory over Jerry Weber. With two events left, Jackson (690 points) had a 30 point lead over Glafka (660), and a 90 point lead over Marty Arrigotti (600). At the 2nd Annual Night of Fire, Chris Stone downed Lucky Long in the final round after a red light start by long.
And so it all came down to one event: two drivers, Jackson and Glafka. Heading into the event Jackson had a two round lead, and while both drivers managed to make it to the third round of competition, one was eliminated, and that competitor was…Glafka! Jerry Durant Jr. claimed victory over Denis Kern, but the war had been won, as Derrick Jackson was again crowned your Sunoco Race Fuels ET Series Sportsman Champion.
As a side note Derrick Jackson went on to win the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Division Six Race of Champions earning the right to represent Division Six and Woodburn Dragstrip at the National Championship in Pomona, California where Derrick had a first round exit. Derrick was also voted the Mel Bresaw NHRA Division Six ET Driver of the Year, Woodburn Dragstrip Driver of the Year, and Division Six Land of the Leaders Champion in Sportsman. Derrick also claimed the Kershaw Knives Racer of the Month for September, National Dragster Challenge award and Summit Racing King of the Track. It was a year that Derrick Jackson might have a tough time duplicating.
Listed are the final point’s standings, in order of driver name, total points, and round wins.
1. Derrick Jackson, 790 points, 34 round wins
2. Robert Glafka, 760 points, 34 round wins
3. Carl Hart, 670 points, 22 round wins