Devon Hilton; Dragster/Roadster Champion
The Dragster/Roadster category features the ‘old school’ nostalgic race cars. It is limited to 1969 or older front engine dragsters, or 1955 or older roadsters. This dose of nostalgia is always felt when this category runs it’s seven point’s races. At their first point’s race of the season, the final round was between Devon Hilton and Gary Hogansen. For Hilton, getting to the final meant a competition breakage in the first round, Michael Marcus in the second, and Jeff Lewis in the semi’s. For Hogansen; Christina Presser, Keifer Eickmann, and a single in the semis were all that stood between him and a final round appearance. Off the starting line, Hogansen was slower by .04 hundredths in comparison to Hilton’s reaction time, and Hilton was closer to his dial-in at the finish line, meaning that he would claim victory at the first event of the season.
In the final round of the 40th Annual Baxter Auto Parts/Bi-Mart Season Opener, a repeat from the last race, was Devon Hilton and Gary Hogansen squaring off. Hilton’s trip to the final round meant going through a competition breakage, Christina Presser, and a laddered single. For Hogansen: Kelly Gordon, number one qualifier Keifer Eickmann, and number three qualifier Tommy Stanford were the victims. In the final round, it was a quick affair as after nearly identical reaction times both Hilton and Hogansen broke out at the top end. Hogansen’s breakout was by .065. Hilton’s breakout was by .034, crowning him as the Dragster/Roadster winner for the day. After these two races, the points sheet told the following story: Hilton in first with 173 points, Hogansen right behind with 126, and Jeff Lewis sitting third totaling 103 points.
At the next Dragster/Roadster event, held at the 38th Annual Sunbelt/Bi-Mart Rose Festival Drags, Jennie Perrotti’s ’34 Vicky made it into the final round by downing David Gordon, Gary Hogansen and number one qualifier Tommy Stanford. Devon Hilton, who was reaching his third straight final to start off the season, the defeated racers were Kelly Gordon and Jeff Lewis, before earning the semi-final round single. In the final round, Hilton ran farther under his posted dial-in, but it was irrelevant as Perrotti turned on the red light by -.005, giving Hilton his third win of the season.
The NAPA Auto Parts Oldies But Goodies, held on June 22nd-23rd brought another exciting final to the Dragster/Roadster category. Front engine dragster pilot Devon Hilton entered this fourth straight final round of the year, again lined up with Gary Hogansen’s roadster to see who would score the victory. Hilton blasted his way into the final round by downing Jeff Lewis, Jennie Perrotti, and three-time Dragster/Roadster Champion Ron Austin. On the other side of the ladder, Hogansen downed John Hamilton, and Keifer Eickmann to earn a single. In the final round, driver reaction times were separated by only .006 before Hilton earned the win by just twenty five thousandths of a second, meaning that now he had won all four of the opening events. Michael Marcus was the number one qualifier with a .004 reaction time.
In the Dragster/Roadster category, the final round was a battle between a pair of 406 Chevrolet small blocks. On one side, series-rookie Devon Hilton, who took down Steve Marcus, a single, and number two in points Gary Hogansen. On the other side of the ladder, Christina Presser defeated John Hawath and Jeff Lewis before earning a single. In the final round, both drivers had great reaction times for the .4 Pro tree, but Hilton’s supersonic .012 reaction time start was what got the win on a double breakout at the top end of the racetrack. This makes win number five (including the rain-delayed Oldies but Goodies) for Hilton this year, taking the Dragster/Roadster class by storm.
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 Jennie Perrotti: Ron Austin, Keifer Eickmann, and number one qualifier Jeff Lewis were the defeated racers. This is the second time these drivers have faced off in a final round this season, with Hilton winning the first bout. 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. It was clear after this event that the number one points position (Hilton, 514) was not going to change, however a battle for second was emerging between Hogansen (341) and Lewis (284). The final event would tell all!
To this point in the season, there has been one name in the books. One winner of the races. That racer, Devon Hilton, went into event number seven of seven trying to accomplish something the rarest of rare: a perfect racing season. Hilton defeated his first round opponent before lining up with Jeff Lewis. To this point, Hilton was supporting a 25-0 round record in the Dragster/Roadster category. However, in the second round of competition, Lewis used a .024 reaction time start coupled with running his number with a 3 to defeat season-bully Devon Hilton. Lewis then carried that momentum into the final round, where he matched up with Austin Grotting, who had defeated Gary Hogansen, Jennie Perrotti, and Michael Marcus. In the final round, Lewis unleashed a near-perfect .001 reaction time to earn his first win of the season over Grotting. Perrotti was the number one qualifier with a .008. Despite his last race heroics, Lewis fell seven points short of second place (Hogansen). Despite that, he holds the distinction of the only racer to defeat Devon Hilton.
Listed are final points standings, in order of driver name, total points, and total round wins.
1. Devon Hilton, 561 Points, 25 Round Wins
2. Gary Hogansen, 375 Points, 14 Round Wins
3. Jeff Lewis, 368 Points, 11 Round Wins