Miller, Hilton, Heard, Nassimbene, Glafka, Sheasgreen, & Hesch Take Tulip Festival
The Sunday edition of the 11th Annual Tulip Festival/Sunoco Race Fuels ET Series, presented by Bi-Mart, brought cooler conditions, some touches of annoying sprinkles of rain, but some of the closest and most exciting racing action of the season. With wins going to Todd Miller (Pro Nostalgia), Devon Hilton (Dragster/Roadster), Bill Heard (Super Pro), Dave Nassimbene (Pro), Robert Glafka (Sportsman), Barry Sheasgreen (Super Shifter), and Stacy Hesch (Run Tuff), and it is easy to see there was a day of excitement and exhilaration.
As special guest announcer Mike Boertje said, the final round was ‘as it should be!’ with number one qualifier Todd Miller (6.397 @192.84 mph) facing off against number two qualifier Michael Peck (6.625 @ 206.51). And, the final round was everything it could have been, as with reaction times separated by a slight .021 it was up to the driving abilities of Miller and Peck. On this occasion, Miller was able to step up to the plate by running a 6.478 on his 6.42 dial in to seal the victory.
In the Dragster/Roadster category, 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 left .04 hundredths on the line in comparison to Hilton’s reaction time. Hogansen encountered minor problems down track, slowing to a 10.598 on his 10.01 dial-in, and Hilton capitalized running a 9.132 on his 8.57 dial-in to win it all.
The Super Pro category (7.50-11.99, electronic assisted) featured 36 different drivers all fighting for the victory. However, of the 36, it came down to two: Bill Heard and Loretta McCool. For Heard, victories against Steve Schmitt, yesterday’s winner Bill King, Gary Ericksen, a single and Mark Pracht, he was prepared. For McCool; Phil Johnson, Jerry Jackson, John Floyd Sr, Chris Helvey and a bye in the semi’s was all she needed. After the cars had cooled, it was time to race, and unfortunately the race was over as soon as it started, with Loretta McCool going red by -.005. Heard, took the time to punctuate his victory, by running 9.021 on his 9.02, coupled with a .013 reaction time start.
In Pro Bracket (9.00-13.99, no electronics), Dave Nassimbene and Eli Taghon did battle in the final round. Nassimbene, the ex-California Hot Shot, outlasted the field of 55 cars by winning against Bruce Riedl, Jim Laird, Roger McWilliams, a single, and Ryan Schaefer to advance to the final round. For Taghon; Casey DePeel, Richard Beyea, Steve Stuart, Richard Pottter, and Fadi Atiyeh were victims to the ’72 Chevrolet. In the final Nassimbene used a starting line advantage of almost two hundreths of a second over Taghon to take the victory after both drivers ran the same number off their dial-ins.
In the Sunoco ET Series Sportsman category (12.00-Slower) final round, 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, the ladder took him through 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.
In the Super Shifter category, the final round came down to Barry Sheasgreen and the two-time defending champion John Masterman. Sheasgreen made it to the final by taking down Steve Erickson, a single, and Charlie Carnahan, while Masterman took out Don George, Bob Johnson, and Brent Russell on his way into the money round. Off the starting line, Sheasgreen had the advantage and capitalized on it by winning the final round on a holeshot over Masterman.
In the Run Tuff category, put together so racers who have the misfortune of losing first round aren’t done right away, Stacy Hesch’s flying low-8 second motorcycle earned victory after Scott Lang’s red light start. Hesch took down Bill McNeal, a single pass, and Brian Horn to make his way to the final round.
Listed are final round results, listed in order of driver name, hometown, (vehicle make/model), [reaction time], E.T., mph, and (dial-in).
W: Todd Miller, Fairview OR (’23 T Altered) [.113] 6.478, 211.31 (6.42 dial).
R/U: Michael Peck, Woodinville WA (’07 DRC) [.092] 6.764, 185.18 (6.62 dial).
Semi’s: Paul New, Sandy OR.
W: Devon Hilton, Vancouver WA (’64 Dragster) [.036] 9.132, 127.69 (8.57 dial).
R/U: Gary Hogansen, Eugene OR (’27 Roadster) [.077] 10.598, 124.53 (10.01 dial).
Semi’s: Jeff Lewis, Salem OR.
W: Bill Heard, Portland OR (’80 Pinto) [.013] 9.021, 146.93 (9.02 dial).
R/U: Loretta McCool, Sublimity OR (’37 Ford) [-.005] foul.
Semi’s: Mark Pracht, Beaverton OR.
W: Dave Nassimbene, Lafayette OR (’67 Chevelle) [.059] 9.614, 137.13 (9.55 dial).
R/U: Eli Taghon, Canby OR (’72 Chevy) [.078] 11.434, 116.58 (11.37 dial).
Semi’s: Fadi Atiyeh, Boring OR; Ryan Schaefer, Tigard OR.
W: Robert Glafka, Battle Ground WA (’70 Torino) [.082] 12.094, 109.35 (12.17 dial).
R/U: Elvon Kauffman, Keizer OR (’07 Hyundai) [-.015] foul.
Semi’s: Kathy Figini, Oregon City OR; Gordon Cady Jr, Vancouver WA.
W: Barry Sheasgreen, Tigard OR (’71 Vega) [.027] 11.601, 117.50 (11.58 dial).
R/U: John Masterman, Milwaukie OR (’79 Camaro) [.075] 11.948, 113.16 (11.93 dial).
Semi’s: Brent Russell, Bend OR; Charlie Carnahan, Beavercreek OR.
W: Stacy Hesch, Shelton WA (Motorcycle) [.033] 8.259, 155.81 (8.29 dial).
R/U: Scott Land, Portland OR (’76 Pinto) [-.022] foul.
Semi’s: Mark Tabert, Sherwood OR; Brian Horn, Kent WA.