New & Repeat Faces Grace Winner’s Circle At Nostalgia Hot Rod Series/Tulip Festival Drags
April 20th brought the Saturday edition of the 11th Annual Tulip Festival Drag Race, which included racing from the Nostalgia Hot Rod Series. Between exhibition passes by Troy Owens, Mark Tarabochia, Todd Swinford and others in their preparation for the 40th Annual Season Opener on May 18th – 19th, there was some of the best bracket racing of the year as Bill King (Top Gas), Paul Comeau (Hot Rod I), Dom Andreotti (Street Machine I), Jeff Enger (Hot Rod II), Gordon Cady Jr (Street Machine II), Shawn Choruby (Stick Shift), Jim Johnson (Inline/Flathead), Gary Wargnier (Electronics Gambler), and Brian Horn (Non-Electronics Gambler) all shared the winner circle.
Top Gas (1975 and older, Electronics assisted) featured an exciting final round between Bill King and Gary Palmateer. King had to go through Mike Boyd, Ronald Weise, and Craig Tharp, before a single pass in the semi’s. For Palmateer, a single in the first round, Debbie Dawson, a competition breakage single, and Mike Miller were the drivers he had to outmaneuver for the finals. In one for the ages, Palmateer put together a .021 thousandths package…only to be beaten by Bill King’s .016! By those miniscule 5 thousandths of a second, Bill King was the Winner on this date.
Hot Rod I (vehicles 1959 and older, 11.99 and quicker) had Paul Comeau in the final round, after taking down heavyweights Casey DePeel, a single, and Norman Lemley. For Marc Pruett, a single in the first round of competition lead to a win over Tim McDaniel and Jarod Anderson. In the final round, the driver’s reaction times were separated by mere 5 thousandths of a second, before Pruett broke, resulting in the hard earned victory by Paul Comeau.
Street Machine I competition, vehicles 1960-75 running 11.99 and quicker, featured 35 different vehicles battling it out to be number one. On one half of the ladder, Dom Andreotti took down Randy Doan, Dave Bronec, Jeff Taylor, and Dave Barcelon before a semi-finals bye pass. On the other half of the ladder, Gregg Heriford went through Brian Horn, Ryan Anderson, Jim Goodman, a single, and George Burns Sr to make his way to the final. In that final, Andreotti used a near .03 starting line advantage to win the date.
Hot Rod II showcases vehicles aged 1959 and older, running 12.00 and slower, had an intense battle in the finals to see who would take the victory, the plaque, the money, and the bouquet of tulips donated to the winners of all classes Saturday and Sunday by the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farms. Jeff Enger’s trip to the final included wins over Dawn Dietrich and Mark Tabert, while Lyle Scott advanced over Robin Andress and Gordon Smith. In the finals, Lyle Scott had the advantage by over .07, but was beat anyway as Jeff Enger ran a 12.106 on his 12.10 dial in, to nip the victory away from Scott.
Street Machine II (cars 1960-1975 running 12.00 and slower) featured a major power matchup in the final round, with last year’s number one and two in the points standings battling it out in the final round. Gordon Cady Jr, who took down Lucky Long, Scott Stoner, and had a single pass in the semi’s on his way to the finals, did battle with Jimmy Heriford, who’s strong efforts against Marjorie Stringham, Lee Ennis, and Robert Glafka, took him to the final round. Would Cady Jr be able to redeem the loss of last years Championship over Jimmy Heriford? Yes, he would do exactly that, with Heriford going red by -.012 off the starting line, handing the automatic victory to Cady Jr.
Jim Johnson and CJ Stokes were the final round competitors in the Inline/Flathead category, along with yet another double breakout finish between the two drivers. Johnson went through Doug Powers, and Jerry Stauffer before earning the single pass in the semi-final round. Meanwhile, Stokes took down last year’s champion Michael Bjerklund in the first round, as well as having a single in the second round and Dave Mueller in the semi’s. In the final, CJ Stokes looked to have a considerable advantage when comparing the .031 to .120 starting line difference, but it was not meant to be. Stokes’ quarter mile times showed a 15.335 on his 15.40 (out by .065) and Johnson’s 15.167 on a 15.20 (out by .033) giving the hard earned victory to Johnson.
The Nostalgia Hot Rod Series Stick Shift category saw Shawn Choruby and Jim Wise doing battle. Choruby, who took down Bob Johnson and Bruce Poppino on his way to the finals, faced off with Jim Wise, winner over last year’s champion Paul Carbaugh before having a single in the semi’s. In the Final, Choruby didn’t get the starting line advantage, but was able to manually navigate his car down the quarter mile in a more efficient way, receiving the victory plaque.
In the Non-Electronics Gamblers class, Horn’s victory was anything but easy, taking out heavyweights Alan Snyder, Nicholas Shepherd, and Lee Ennis on his way to the final round. On the other side of the ladder, Jeff Sievers also battled fierce competitors, with scheduled bouts between Robin Andress and Steve Stuart before being selected for the single pass in the semi-final round. In the finals, Horn had little influence after Sievers jumped the gun too early by the slimmest of margins, turning on the red light by -.001.
In the Electronics Gamblers, Gary Wargnier and Chris Helvey did battle to see who would take home the cash and the hardware. Wargnier’s journey took him through 3X Pro Champion Nicholas Shepherd, as well as last year’s 6th place Top Dragster finisher Sadie Floyd, before having a single pass in the semi’s. On the other side of the ladder, Helvey downed Mark Dawson, John Chitwood, and Rod Souza before meeting up in the final round. After a starting line advantage of over .05, the win light came on due to a double breakout that was decided by 26 thousandths of a second, in favor of Wargnier.
Listed are final round results, listed in order of driver name, hometown, (vehicle make/model), [reaction time], E.T., mph, and (dial-in).
W: Bill King, Sandy OR (’61 Falcon) [.001] 8.325, 162.27 (8.31 dial).
R/U: Gary Palmateer, Monmouth OR (’68 Firebird) [.019] 10.902, 127.40 (10.90 dial).
Semi’s: Mike Miller, Portland OR.
HOT ROD I
W: Paul Comeau, Vancouver WA (’39 Chevy Coupe) [.043] 11.461, 86.19 (9.35 dial).
R/U: Marc Pruett, Vancouver WA (’55 Chevy) – broke.
Semi’s: Jarod Anderson, Springfield OR; Norman Lemly, Oregon City OR.
STREET MACHINE I
W: Dom Andreotti, Scappoose OR (’69 Nova) [.031] 9.806, 130.30 (9.79 dial).
R/U: Gregg Heriford, Vancouver WA (’72 Vega) [.059] 10.307, 129.87 (10.28 dial).
Semi’s: George Burns Sr, Stayton OR.
HOT ROD II
W: Jeff Enger, Newberg OR (’32 Victoria) [.099] 12.106, 104.73 (12.10 dial).
R/U: Lyle Scott, Portland OR (’37 Chevy) [.026] 13.407, 88.99 (13.30 dial).
Semi’s: Mark Tabert, Sherwood OR; Gordon Smith, Beaverton OR.
STREET MACHINE II
W: Gordon Cady Jr, Vancouver WA (’65 El Camino) [.053] 12.510, 105.33 (12.54 dial).
R/U: Jimmy Heriford, Battle Ground WA (’64 Galaxie) [-.012] foul.
Semi’s: Robert Glafka, Battle Ground.
W: Shawn Choruby, Tigard OR (’66 Mustang) [.180] 12.009, 108.55 (11.79 dial).
R/U: Jim Wise, Lebanon OR (’40 Ford) [.109] 11.893, 113.93 (11.45 dial).
Semi’s: Bruce Poppino, West Linn OR.
W: Jim Johnson, Portland OR (’65 Nova) [.120] 15.167, 88.95 (15.20 dial).
R/U: CJ Stokes, Halsey OR (’74 Plymouth) [.031] 15.335, 85.37 (15.40 dial).
Semi’s: Dave Mueller, Kelso WA.
W: Gary Wargnier, Keizer OR (’69 Nova) [.011] 9.229, 143.83 (9.23 dial).
R/U: Chris Helvey, Milkwaukie OR (’69 Nova SS) [.066] 9.053, 149.22 (9.08 dial).
Semi’s: Rod Souza, Eugene OR.
W: Brian Horn, Kent WA (’70 Challenger) [.086] 10.544, 125.66 (10.55 dial).
R/U: Jeff Sievers, Veneta OR (’68 Olds) [-.001] foul.
Semi’s: Lee Ennis, Portland OR.