Woodburn Dragstrip
7730 Hwy. 219
Woodburn, Oregon

Gary Palmateer; Top Gas Champion

Top Gas is a class for vehicles 1975 and older in which Electronics such as delay boxes and automated shifters are featured.  Bill King and Gary Palmateer were the two racers who made the first final round, providing an excellent start to the 2013 season.  King had to go through Mike Boyd, Ronald Weise, and Craig Tharp, before a single pass in the semi’s to reach the final round.  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 a final round appearance.  In one for the ages, Palmateer put together a .021 thousandths package…only to be beaten by Bill King’s .016!  By virtue of those miniscule 5 thousandths of a second, Bill King was the winner on this date.

On May 4th competition, Gary Palmateer never changed the 10.90 dial-in on the side of his car, and proved that was the way to race.  Through eliminations, Palmateer downed Kevin Petersen, Mike Miller, and Sue Mitchell before earning a bye in the semis to go into the final.  Meanwhile, Robert Glembocki, the number 1 qualifier, earned the single in the first round before going through Bill Bityk, Richard Dietrich, and Steve Schmitt to earn his way into the final round.  In that final, Palmateer used a .017 reaction time to his advantage, then went down and ran a 10.908 on his 10.90 dial-in to score a .025 package in the final round of eliminations!  Talk about saving the best for last.  In his four rounds of competitive eliminations, Palmateer ran 10.912, 10.926, 10.917, and 10.908, providing the consistency needed to win.  With the second event of the series concluded, the top three points earners were in the following order: Palmateer with 160, Glembocki with 120 and Bill King sitting third, also with 120 points.

Racing from the Oldies but Goodies brought Marty Stewart and Gary Palmateer into the final round.  Stewart defeated Brad Goosela, Ron Pappel, Mike Miller and Debbie Dawson en route to the final round.  For Palmateer, now in final round number three of three events, wins came against Bob Drummond, a competition single, Mark Dawson, and Bill King.  In the final round, the race was over before it even began when Palmateer turned on the red light start by .006, handing the win and the Woodburn Wally to Marty Stewart.

On July 6th, the class of electronics racers battled down to two drivers. Robert Glembocki had arrived from defeats to Richard Smith, Marty Stewart, Mike Miller, and a single.  For Debbie Dawson, her journey into the final was through a competition breakage single, Gary Wargnier, a laddered single, and Kevin Petersen.  In the final round, Glembocki had the starting line advantage and never looked back, downing Dawson in defeat.  Kevin Petersen was the number one qualifier.  With the final event of the season (set for September 28th) eventually being rained out, the second-to-last would decide points champions.  With that, incoming point’s leader would be Gary Palmateer, leading since the second race of the season, with 280 points…one that would be extremely difficult to catch.  However, tied In second with 210 points, were Debbie Dawson, Robert Glembocki, and Bill King, with Mike Miller and Marty Stewart behind them by only a round.  It would be truly exciting to see how the last race panned out for those five racers battling for second.

In the Top Gas category, the final round was won by only .004 seconds.  Gary Wargnier was one of those finalists, having defeated Tom Golden, Gary Palmateer, Chris Dutson, and Al Lyda.  On the opposite side of the ladder was Mike Miller, who downed Fred Nicholas, Robert Glembocki, Bill Bityk, and Bob Drummond on his way to the final round.  When eliminations were down to two, the racing came down to the Chevrolet and the Ford, and by four thousandths of a second it was victory for the Chevy, and Gary Wargnier. Rod Short was the number one qualifier with a perfect reaction time, which earned him a Perfect Light T-shirt and two decals courtesy of Northwest Wholesale/Hilton Racing, the suppliers of Goodyear/Hoosier/Mickey Thompson Race Tires.  Miller’s impressive runner-up performance shot him into the second place position, with Dawson’s third round appearance maintaining her in third place.  2013 Nostalgia Hot Rod Series Top Gas Champion Gary Palmateer exited early in the second round, but the series was beyond locked up at that point.


Following are the top three point’s earners, in order of position, name, points, and round wins.

1. Gary Palmateer, 320 Points, 16 Round Wins
2. Mike Miller, 270 Points, 12 Round Wins
3. Debbie Dawson, 260 Points, 11 Round Wins

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