Hilton claims King of the Hill; Nero, Stuart, Pettit, Werre earn honors at NWDRA Classic
The 38th Annual NWDRA Classic will be remembered for three things: blue skies, great comradery among racers, and tons of amazing races. At the end of the day, winners were claimed in the King of the Hill Race-off (Devon Hilton), Super Pro (Paul Nero), Pro (Steve Stuart), Sportsman (Frank Pettit), and ET Motorcycle (Jim Werre) to end a day that gave all who watched 10 hours and 47 minutes of action. Between all of the great races, there were exhibition passes by Darin Bay’s Jet Dragsters too, boosting the fun had by all. With next weekend off from racing, everyone should remember that April 26-27th will feature the Pro Nostalgia cars at our 12th Annual Bi-Mart sponsored Tulip Festival Drags.
Super Pro competition brought a final round between two greats of the class: 2013 Division 6 Top Dragster Champion Paul Nero, and 2012 Super Pro Champion Devon Hilton. Nero’s fight through six rounds of eliminations went through racers Mark Pracht, Steve Kelly, Jeff Shulz, and Matt Claussen, before earning a competition bye in the semi’s. For Hilton, the eliminated opponents were a competition breakage, Loretta McCool, Michael Boyd, Mike Nicholson, and Ken Woodward. In the final round, both drivers had nearly identical reaction times, but Hilton was unable to catch Nero’s near-perfect 7.482 on the 7.48 dial-in. Kevin Petersen was the number one qualifier with a perfect reaction time. Both Nero and Hilton would be entered into the King of the Hill race, scheduled for after all final rounds were completed.
In the Pro bracket category, two racers battled through 78 other competitors (7 rounds of racing) to find out who would be the champion. Steve Stuart was in the left lane, after defeating Vic Levings, Scott Lang, Bryce Moilanen, Mike Hansen, and Pat McKay, before earning a laddered single in the semi’s. Opposite him was Tigard, OR resident Ryan Schaefer, who defeated Jessica Burnett, Charlie Carnahan, David Chun Jr, a single, Ron Parks, and Richard Potter. In the final round, driver’s left with reactions separated by less than a hundredth. Racing down the quarter mile, Schaefer hit the brakes at the finish line to tighten the stripe as best he could, but the high mile per hour of Stuart was tough to judge, resulting in the breakout by just .019, crowning last year’s Pro Champion with a win. Allen Bayless’ .005 made him the number one qualifier.
Sportsman category eliminations saw two harsh competitions (on the track) in the final round. On one side was Frank Pettit, who defeated Andy Uppendahl, Derek Ringer, number one qualifier Martin Schoen, George Churilla, and Robert Glafka to reach the final. Meanwhile, making the journey from the number 19 qualified position was Dave Keiser, who cruised into the final after defeating Ramon Cooper, last week’s winner Karl Hart, Amy Fields, and Kacee Pitts, before earning a bye into the finals. In the final round matchup, Pettit was off first with a .03 starting line advantage, and he went to the finish line with the win after Keiser broke out by a mere .018. Schoen’s .004 earned him number one qualifier marks.
Motorcycle competition brought a large bike count and a great payout for some racers. Jim Werre and Cody Cumpton faced off in the final round of racing for the Motorcycles. Werre, who came down from Renton WA, defeated Gary Tokos, Eric Johns, and ‘riding partner’ Joseph Lind to enter into the final round showdown. Opposite him was Cumpton, who downed Mark Adams, Jay Wayne, and last year’s Champion Don DePeel to reach the final. In the final round, Cumpton’s quicker bike was off the starting line second, and despite scrubbing a substantial amount of miles per hour, still managed to break out, meaning that Werre would be the champion of the day. Mike Graver was the number one qualifier with a stellar .007 reaction time.
After the completion of eliminations, all of the Winner and Runner-Ups were brought back for a final bracket to determine the overall King of the Hill. In the first round, Ryan Schaefer defeated Jim Were, Steve Stuart downed Cody Cumpton, Devon Hilton eliminated Dave Keiser, and Paul Nero won over Frank Pettit. In the semi’s, Hilton earned the victory over a breaking-out Steve Stuart, who clocked the fastest time ever in his ’66 Chevelle (8.956 at 147.73), while Nero out-packaged Schaefer, to make the final round for the King of the Hill a repeat of the Super Pro finals. This time however, the final round was a different result as Paul Nero turned on the red light by .005, meaning that Devon Hilton is the 2014 NWDRA King of the Hill Champion.
The NWDRA wanted to say a special thank you to all of their sponsors, without whom this event wouldn’t have been possible. For anybody interested in learning more about the NWDRA, they are encouraged to go to nwdra.com.
NWDRA King of the Hill
W: Devon Hilton, Vancouver WA (’12 Monden) [.005] 8.162, 121.17 (7.34 dial).
R/U: Paul Nero, Eugene OR (’06 Undercover) [-.005] foul.
Semi’s: Steve Stuart, Estacada OR; Ryan Schaefer, Tigard OR.
W: Paul Nero, Eugene OR (’06 Undercover) [.027] 7.482, 173.71 (7.48 dial).
R/U: Devon Hilton, Vancouver WA (’12 Mondon) [.030] 7.368, 183.33 (7.34 dial).
Semi’s: Ken Woodward, Lyons OR.
W: Steve Stuart, Estacada OR (’66 Chevelle) [.022] 9.033, 138.07 (9.00 dial).
R/U: Ryan Schaefer, Tigard OR (’72 Nova) [.029] 10.631, 121.09 (10.65 dial).
Semi’s: Richard Potter, Oregon City OR.
W: Frank Pettit, Milwaukie OR (’73 Nova) [.063] 12.652, 101.23 (12.60 dial).
R/U: Dave Keiser, Salem OR (’69 Camaro) [.093] 11.982, 112.89 (12.00 dial).
Semi’s: Robert Glafka, Battleground WA
W: Jim Were, Renton WA (’08 Suzuki) [.079] 9.934, 134.42 (9.90 dial).
R/U: Cody Cumpton, Vancouver WA (’95 Suzuki) [.053] 8.494, 143.01 (8.53 dial).
Semi’s: Joseph Lind, Maple Valley WA; Don DePeel, Gladstone OR.