Rain eventually has last laugh at 37th Annual NWDRA Winter Classic
April 14th started out under cloudy skies filled with rain clouds, and sadly that’s how it ended for the 37th running of the NWDRA Winter Classic. Despite the rain and cool temperatures that Mother Nature presented to the Woodburn area, racing was able to be run for the majority of the day unscathed, albeit in 1/8th mile competition. However, a good time was had by all throughout the day thanks to the fine folks of the Northwest Drag Racing Association and there fine sponsors. Of special note Rich Potter Racing paid out cash to the first two drivers earning perfect lights in eliminations: Tracy Herinckx and Steve Stuart collected on those prizes.
In the Super Pro category, competition was completed down to the semi-final round. In which, Dennis Weddle and Gary Wargnier were set to do battle to determine who would face Billy Taylor, who had a single pass, in the final round. One of the highlights of the day was in round two competition when Robert Glembocki and Gary Wargnier faced off, with Wargnier getting the victory by a slim .0008. Additionally, Danny Wargnier was the man of the qualifying session, collecting the first A-! Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points award with his .015 total package. A case of Lucas Oil was awarded to Wargnier for his efforts.
Pro category competition was also prematurely cut in the semi-finals, as waiting pairs Carl Wilkerson/Rick Sales Sr. and Steve Kelly/Reid Rund will have to wait until April 28th to settle the score. Of the great rounds of competition that were held on Sunday, one of the closer matches featured last year’s number two and three points earners: Steve Stuart and Wilkerson. Stuart was .000 on the starting line, but was only able to run a 5.832 (1/8 mile) on his 5.80 dial to Wilkerson’s 6.857 on a 6.85, which, coupled with a .022 reaction time, gave him the victory by .0032, approximately 6 inches. Kevin Fletcher earned the A-1 Transmissions Package for the Points with a .009, and a Pico Wiring set.
In the Sportsman category, racing was able to be completed up to the final round, with the only remaining cars to go down track being Gordon Cady Jr and Tracy Herinckx, with a semi-final round appearance by Michael McFadden. A definite highlight of the day was the quarterfinal matchup between Gordon Cady Jr and Derrick Jackson, with the two drivers combining mass totals of Championships, Division titles, and Wally’s. With that being the case, we expected good racing, and these two accomplished drivers showcased just that. After identical .046 starting line reaction times, and a double-breakout finish line, Cady Jr was the victor by just four thousandths of a second. All was not lost for Jackson though, as he 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.
Motorcycle/Sled racing was able to be completed due to having one less round than the rest of competition. In this class, Don DePeel was the champion of the day, downing Phil Lang decided when Land broke out by .044. Mark Adams, the A-1 Package for the Points winner with a .058 and Mike Graver were the competition semi-finalists.