Derrick Jackson, Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman Champion
In the Sunoco Race Fuels E.T. Series Sportsman category, races are held for foot brake (or clutch) vehicles that run 12.00 seconds and slower. On April 7th, the first event of the season succumbed to rain. However, April 14th brought a new day, and showcased Gordon Cady Jr and Tracy Herinckx in the final round. Cady Jr amassed wins against Jamie Ladd, Marty Arrigotti, and Derrick Jackson to earn a single in the semi-finals. For Herinckx: Elvon Kauffman, John Floyd Jr, Dave Keiser, and Michael McFadden were the defeated racers. After a rain delay that brought the conclusion of this event to a later date, Cady Jr was able to claim victory and start off the season right with a win. Derrick Jackson was victorious in the A-1 Transmissions Package for the Points, with his .019 holding up to earn him a gift certificate to Abby’s Pizza – Woodburn.
At the next event on April 21st, Robert Glafka and Elvon Kauffman did battle to see who would be the champion of the day. Glafka took out David Cookman, Robin Andress, John Floyd Jr, and Kathy Figini to make it into the final. For Kauffman, in only his second event since his return to racing, defeated racers were Jamie Ladd, Garry Heinrich, a single, and Gordon Cady Jr (of which Kauffman put together a spectacular 29 thousandths package to Cady’s amazing, but not good enough, 35 thousandths package). In the final round, Kauffman tried again for the .003 light he had the round before, but this time tried too hard, resulting in a -.015 red light start. Robert Glafka went on to take the victory, running a 12.094 on his 12.17.
Next weekend, on April 28th, there were new visitors to finals for the year, with Jim Lamkin facing off with Jerry Durant Jr. Lamkin’s trip to the final included wins over Michael McFadden, a single pass, Tracy Herinckx, and Derrick Jackson, of whom he defeated with a .017 package. Jerry Durant Jr, on the other side of the ladder, eliminated Elvon Kauffman (in a race decided by just .002), Kathy Figini, and Jerry Weber before earning the single pass in the semis. How fitting it was to have your number one and two qualifier face off in the final round, and it was a round won by Jim Lamkin after Jerry Durant Jr broke out, running a 13.855 on his 13.87 dial in. Sunday was Lamkin’s day as he was also the winner of the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .041 total package. Now, after three races completed, the point’s standings were as follows: Derrick Jackson, despite not making a final round to this point but averaging 60 points per round, sitting first with 180, then Tracy Herinckx and Robert Glafka tied for second with 170 points. At the next event, the driver who would eventually finish second bolstered himself into the ‘threat level’.
For the Sportsman category, Jerry Durant Jr and Brian Nelson were the last two competitors to line up. Durant had to face off with Tracy Herinckx, Jerry Weber, Jim Lamkin, Lavonne Goodman and Sadie Floyd to reach the final. Nelson went through Elvon Kauffman, Nolan Griffith, John Floyd Jr and Derrick Jackson to make it into the final round. In the final, Durant left with a .024 reaction time, gaining over a tenth of a second advantage which he used to secure the victory at the finish line. John Floyd Jr was the winner of the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .024 in his ’72 Nova.
Derrick Jackson continues to show time and time again why he is and more than less likely will continue to be a force to be reckoned with for much time to come, as he scored the victory in the Sportsman category over Robert Glafka, earning himself a trip to the Quality Concrete/Salem Paving Company Winner’s Circle. Jackson’s journey to the final was through tough competitors such as Alan Morrill, Garry Heinrich, April’s Kershaw Knives Racer of the Month Gordon Cady Jr, and Jerry Weber. Glafka’s rushed to a final round appearance through James Burns, Marty Arrigotti, a single and Mark Verhalen. In the final round, Glafka had the starting line advantage over the multi-time champion, but was unable to seal the deal when his car broke out by .031 at the finish. Gordon Cady Jr continued to rack up the accomplishments after earning the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the points, when he earned a .024 total package.
Sportsman competition consisted of two of the heavy hitters battling off in the final round. In the blue corner was Gordon Cady Jr, who downed Tracy Herinckx, Angelo Palamaris, Tony Bombara, and Derrick Jackson. In the red corner: Jerry Durant Jr, who took out Glenn Burbage, Ted Hill, Jerry Weber, and Jamie Ladd. With the 12th round bell being rung, Cady Jr’s .035 package was enough to put away Durant Jr, and earn the victory. John Floyd Jr was the winner of the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .029 package.
The Sportsman category has so far through the year been unable to find a way to slow defending champion Derrick Jackson, whose worst race this season has been a pair of second round finishes (in which he won the Package for the points, boosting the races to 60 Pointers). For the two final round competitors, it was all about gaining points in chase. Robert Glafka defeated Garry Heinrich, Jim Lamkin, and a single before downing Jackson in the semi-final round. For Lavonne Goodman, victories came over Karl Hart, Jerry Durant Jr, number one qualifier Frank Pettit, and Kathy Figini. In the final round, Goodman had the narrow reaction time advantage (.049-.052) but was unable to get her ’75 Corvette to run the number, allowing Glafka to earn the win. Michael McFadden scored the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points when he nailed down a .040 package in the final qualifying session. After nine races, Jackson still held the point’s lead with 540 points—averaging 67.5 points per race. In second place, Robert Glafka held 450 points, holding a 30 point lead over Jerry Durant Jr in third.
June 16th brought Derrick Jackson and Brandon Wesselink into the final. Jackson again made a trip into the final round, eliminating Michael McFadden, Lee Ennis, a single and Robert Glafka. For Brandon Wesselink; a single, Tony Bombara, Chuck Bannister, and Marty Arrigotti were the drivers he defeated. In the final round, Wesselink had a significant starting line advantage but on the double breakout Jackson took the win, earning himself the E-Ticket ride to the Quality Concrete & Salem Concrete Paving Winner’s Circle. Jackson was also the winner of the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .031.
The Sportsman class was a runoff between two of the classes more experienced racers: Derrick Jackson and Jerry Weber. For Jackson, the journey into his second straight final came against Amy Fields, Brandon Wesselink, Jerry Durant Jr and a single in the semis. On the other side of the ladder, Weber downed Ramon Cooper, Robert Glafka, Jim Lamkin and Kathy Figini. In the final round, Jackson scored almost .03 advantage on the starting line and carried the race from there. Marty Arrigotti was the winner of the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .027 package.
The Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman category showed off the numbers 1, 3, 4, and 6 qualifiers in the semi-final round, and the number three and six in the final. Jerry Durant Jr, the number three, faced off with Ramon Cooper, Marty Arrigotti, Chuck Bannister, and Robert Glafka. Jerry Weber, competing in his second straight final, downed opponents Dell King, Amy Fields, Ernie Lucas, and Jim Lamkin to reach the final. In the final round, both drivers left with identical .039 reaction time starts…both ran one hundredth off their respective dial-ins…but Durant Jr did it with a 3 and Weber with a 7, meaning that by just .004 Durant Jr scored the win. Jim Lamkin won the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .034. With two races remaining, the point’s standings were as follows: Jackson accumulating a mass 750 points, Glafka second with 590, and Durant Jr third with 570 points.
One race at a time. It doesn’t matter if there are two cars or 200 left, as it all comes down to one race, one round at a time. Michael McFadden used his experience and racing expertise to do just that, and advance into the final round after defeating Mark Reebson, Angelo Palamaris, Dave Keiser, and Glenn Burbage. Speaking of experience, on the other side of the ladder was Derrick Jackson, who defeated Jerry Durant Jr, Garry Heinrich, Pat Figini, and Robert Glafka on his way to the final. In the final round, McFadden ran farther off his dial-in, but had the better reaction time and was able to win the race on a holeshot by just .0032. McFadden averaged a .017 reaction time through the five rounds of eliminations, with his worst being a .040. Jerry Durant Jr was the winner in the A-1 Performance Transmissions and converters with a .013. With one race remaining, and the battle for first place locked up, the races came down to Durant Jr and Robert Glafka, now with Durant Jr holding the lead by 3 rounds of racing.
In the Sportsman category, the final round consisted of one not so common name here at Woodburn, and one very common name. Lucas Hull, the name not so common, defeated Steve Bancroft, Michael McFadden, Jerry Durant Jr, and Marty Arrigotti before earning a single. For the common name of Derrick Jackson, the defeated racers were Lavonne Goodman, Dave Robensen, Richard Kern, a single, and Robert Glafka. A side note that with Glafka’s defeat in the semi-final round, the second place position was locked up for Jerry Durant Jr. In the finals, the driver’s reaction times were separated by .001, but Hull was able to run right on his number with a 7 compared to Jackson’s 12.873 on the .86, resulting in a margin of victory by just .0052. Jerry Durant Jr was the number one qualifier with a .013 reaction time. John Floyd Jr’s .053 package was good enough to get the win in the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points.
With that came the conclusion of another exciting year in the Sportsman category, putting to bed one of great excitement, and as many surprises early exits as there were final round victories.
Listed are the top three point’s earners, in order of driver name, total points, and round wins.
1. Derrick Jackson, 880 Points, 48 Round Wins
2. Jerry Durant Jr, 710 Points, 31 Round Wins
3. Robert Glafka, 700 Points, 33 Round Wins