Woodburn Dragstrip
7730 Hwy. 219
Woodburn, Oregon

Volkswagen, Sports Compact, Harley Eliminator, High School, and Jr Competitors Shine

May 25th was an excellent reminder to all that the weather personal are not perfect at their job, as nobody is. After frightening rains on Friday, there was absolutely no rain recorded here, which allowed event champions to be crowned in the name of Mike Canon (Volkswagen Showdown), Leng Xiong (Sport Compact Pro), Bud Kuhns (Sports Compact Sportsman), John Plaster (Harley Eliminator), Dustin Day (High School), Kacee Pitts (Jr Fast), Katie Day (Jr Lightning), Trevin Walberg (Jr Tuff) and Emily Mix (Jr Tuff). Through tough eliminations and extreme competition, these drivers came out on top of their respective categories to be the last guys (and gals!) standing.

In the Volkswagen Showdown class, Mike Canon battled his ’72 Beetle to Berndt Arndt’s 1993 Corrado to see who would be the victor. Canon’s roadmap to the final round went through the likes of Travis Matney, Aaron Coy (of which was won by .0052) and Tyler Tovar. For Arndt, the battles were won over Devon Hilton, Don Fritsche, and Ryan Jones. In the final round, the reaction times were separated by only nine thousandths of a second before mechanical issues set in for Arndt, giving the victory to Canon, who then went down to run a 14.613 on his posted 14.60 dial-in. The victory jumped Canon into second place in the points standings with 130, 2 rounds (round victory=10 points) behind Arndt (150 Points) and 3 rounds ahead of third place Brett Schroeder (100 Points). Full points for all classes are available under Racer Info ->Points
The Sports Compact Pro category featured a pair of racers who were attending their first race for the 2013 season. Leng Xiong’s trip to the final round was fought through Marvin Newland, Craig Johnson and a competition single. For Jason Gielish; Bernd Arndt, a single, and Levi Loewen were the victims. In the final round, Xiong caught a lucky break as despite him having a .262 reaction time and running over five tenths off his number, the race was over before it began when Gielish turned on the red light. Special congratulations are in order for Levi Loewen, who on his single pass in the first round had a .001 reaction time and ran a 12.900 on his 12.90 dial in, missing a perfect run by .001 seconds.

In Sports Compact Sportsman, Bud Kuhns and Matt Gerharter made it a repeat final from the previous points event. For Kuhns, the final round came about by defeating Jody Kelly, and then earning a single pass for the victory. Gerharter’s wins came against Carolyn Williams and Hoppy Hopkins. In the final round, Gerharter gave it his all but was unable to get around Kuhns, as he finished with a runner-up for the second straight event.

The Harley Eliminator category was started just this year, and already appears to have a dedicated following of riders. The final round consisted of riders John Plaster and Bob Osborne. For Osborne, the final meant winning against Dana Herold before earning the single. For Plaster, he had to take down Mike Bracken and Gary Tokos. In the final round, both riders had excellent reaction times: .016 for Plaster to Osborne’s .023, but it was no matter as Plaster ran a 10.815 on his 10.38 to seal the win. It was especially sweetened for Plaster as earlier in eliminations Gary Tokos graciously donated an additional $100 for the winner’s earnings, something he has guaranteed to do at all of the remaining Harley Eliminator events.
High School competition allows for racers who are currently enrolled in high school to compete against fellow classmen and women. The final round matchup was between Dustin Day and Chelbi Hageman. For Day, the road into the final was through fellow Jr Fast competitor Emily Mix in the first round, and Philomath High’s Brandon Schmidt in the semi’s. Hageman’s journey to the final was through Jake McGarry and Astoria’s Chevy Olson. In the final round, Day lost almost six hundredths of a second to Chelbi, but was able to secure the win after Chelbi broke out at the finish line by .041.

Jr Fast competition features drivers aged 13-17, competing as fast as 7.90 seconds and less than 85 mph. The final round competitors were a pair of ladies, as Kacee Pitts and Taylor Toftemark did battle. For Pitts, getting to the final meant a competition breakage, Cheyanne Helvey, and a competition single. For Toftemark, first round she downed defending Jr Lightning Champion Carson Wheeler, Jerold Mix, and Hayley Jackson to make it into the final round. With what was set up to be a great matchup in the final, it ended prematurely when Toftemark turned on the red light start by -.018.

In the Jr Lightning category, everybody was gunning for a victory as the very first pair showed point’s leader Austin Varner getting beaten by Katie Day. Katie then had a single into the final to match up with Kyler Pitts, who earlier defeated Josh McMyne and Liz Varner. In the final round, Kyler Pitts turned on the red light start, instantly ending his chances at defeating Katie Day for the victory. Austin Varner still holds a commanding five round lead over second place Day and third place Anthony Friesen, but has not maintained the consistency that got him off to the huge lead at the start.

The fierceness that is the Jr Thunder category showed just how tough it is to get a round win. The final round pitted Nicholas Karr against recent hot trend Trevin Walberg. For Walberg, the road to the final was through Cooper Chun and Alisha Miller. For Karr, Dylan Hough and Ramon Vincent were the drivers defeated. In the final round, Trevin Walberg saved his best for last, uncorking a perfect .000 reaction time and running a 9.246 on his 9.14 dial-in to score the victory, and bolster his points lead.

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