It’s A Family Affair! Hilton’s and Pitts’ Double at National Dragster Challenge
After days on end of rainy and stormy weather, the skies were clear for the rescheduled National Dragster Challenge on Saturday, October 5th. With those clear skies came extremely close racing, with many races decided by thousandths or ten-thousandths of a second. At the end of the day, Wally’s were awarded to racers Devon Hilton (Super Pro), Travis Hilton (Pro), Gordon Cady Jr (Sportsman), Don DePeel (Motorcycle), Marty Stewart (Run Tuff), Kacee Pitts (Jr Lightning), and Kyler Pitts (Jr Thunder). Remember that next weekend will be the last race of the 2013 season, where we will have the Fall ET Racing Series #5, Fall Jr Racing Series #5, and a Test & Tune lane for Sunday, October 13th.
Super Pro eliminations brought some of the toughest competition to the starting line from across the Northwest, and featured a pair of best friends in the final round. Devon Hilton, out of VancouverWA, defeated Dave Sattem, Charlie Dietrich, Cliff Mansfield, and Nick Nicholson to reach the final round. For Sutherlin, Oregon’s Mark Dawson: Earl Griffith, Dennis Weddle, and Tony Henderson were the defeated racers, before earning a single into the final. In the finals, the race was over before it even began when Dawson turned on the red light start by just -.006, meaning that Hilton has now won three National Dragster Challenge wins in his racing career. Dave Sattem was the winner of the A-1Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .010 package, and Mike Miller was the number one qualifier with a perfect reaction time, earning him a coveted Perfect Light Club T-Shirt and two decals courtesy of Northwest Wholesale/Hilton Racing suppliers of Goodyear/Hoosier/Mickey Thompson race tires.
In Pro Bracket eliminations, the final round fight for the Wally was between Travis Hilton and Gregg Heriford. Hilton, in only his second race of the season, eliminated Jim Wise, John Masterman, Hollis Runge, and Scott Lang before a single in the semi-final round. On the other side of the ladder, number one qualifier Heriford downed John LaRoche, Carl Meinig, a competition breakage single, a laddered single, and Steve Stuart to reach the finals. In the final round, almost identical reaction time starts went in favor of Hilton by .004, and a breakout by Heriford of .002 sealed it for Hilton to claim his first National Dragster Challenge victory, joining his father in the Winner’s Circle. Heriford’s earlier .004 earned him the number one qualifying position, and Stuart’s .020 package netted him the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points victory.
Sportsman category elimination brought two of the hottest drivers in the Northwest together to face off with what was sure to be a great final round. Gordon Cady Jr in his ’65 El Camino in one lane, raced past Jerry Weber, Nolan Griffith, and Frank Pettit before having a single in the semi-final round. On the other side of the ladder, Jerry Durant Jr and his ’05 Dodge Pick-Up turned on win lights while facing Mike Paulsen, Dave Keiser, a single, and Robert Glafka to reach the finals. In the semi-final round, both Cady Jr and Durant Jr had .015 reaction times, guaranteeing a great final round matchup! Cady Jr was off first with a .005 to Durant Jr’s .016, and a double-breakout finish meant that by .0018, the win would go to Gordon Cady Jr. Robert Glafka was the number one qualifier with a .017, and Derrick Jackson claimed the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points win with a .054.
In the Motorcycle category, riders gathered to see who would lay claim to the NHRA Wally. After Don DePeel eliminated Mark Adams in the semi-final round and Mike Graver had the single, the final round was all set. In the finals, Graver ran his bike right on the number, but DePeel had the starting line advantage of over a tenth, and that was all that was needed to win the National Dragster Challenge. DePeel earned the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points victory, and Adams was the number one qualifier.
Jr Lightning racing showed off a pair of ladies in the final round. Kacee Pitts defeated Carson Wheeler in the semis and Taylor Toftemark downed Jerold Mix to reach the trophy round. In the final round, Pitts had a significant starting line advantage, and was able to use that to get the win over Toftemark. This was the first final round for Richard and Darla Pitts, with son Kyler following afterwards.
The Jr Thunder final round came down to the number four and number two qualifiers. The number four, Kyler Pitts, eliminated Jr Thunder Champ Trevin Walberg before earning a single in the semi-final round, whereas the number two qualifier Alisha Miller defeated Conner Rice and Nicholas Karr. For the final round, Miller had a stellar .024 reaction time start, but unfortunately broke out at the finish line, meaning that Pitts was able to share the Quality Concrete/Salem Concrete Paving Winner’s Circle with sister Kacee.
Following are final round results, in order of driver name, hometown, (vehicle year and model), [reaction time], elapsed time, miles per hour, and (dial-in).
Winner: Devon Hilton, Vancouver WA (’12 Mondon) [.021], 7.400, 182.40 (7.40 dial)
Runner-up: Mark Dawson, Sutherlin OR (’27 Roadster) [-.006] 8.774, 145.60 (8.76 dial)
Semis: Nick Nicholson, VancouverWA.
Winner: Travis Hilton, Woodburn OR (’48 Volkswagen) [.060] 10.235, 135.57 (10.22 dial)
Runner-Up: Gregg Heriford, Vancouver WA (’72 Vega) [.064] 10.318, 131.15 (10.32 dial)
Semis: Steve Stuart, Estacada OR.
Winner: Gordon Cady Jr, Vancouver WA (’65 El Camino) [.005] 12.603, 104.69 (12.64 dial)
Runner-Up: Jerry Durant Jr, Oregon City OR (‘05 Dodge) [.016] 13.892, 93.50, (13.93 dial)
Semis: Robert Glafka, Battle Ground WA
Winner: Don DePeel, Gladstone OR (’74 Kawasaki) [.046] 8.635, 143.15 (8.56 dial)
Runner-Up: Mike Graver, Aloha OR (’00 Harley) [.162] 11.559, 114.34 (11.55 dial)
Winner: Kacee Pitts, Lebanon OR (’10 Half Scale) [.026] 7.933, 80.70 (7.90 dial)
Runner-Up: Taylor Toftemark, Castle Rock WA [.076](’03 Half Scale) 7.972, 81.12, (7.95 dial)
Winner: Kyler Pitts, Lebanon OR (’12 Eickmann) [.164] .9.375, 70.08 (9.38 dial)
Runner-Up: Alisha Miller, Warren OR (’04 Akron) [.024] 8.942, 73.57 (8.97 dial)