LaRoche goes from on the Hook, to the Winner’s Circle. Sunoco, High School, Volkswagen, Hole in the Hood event winners claimed.
After unfortunate rains that ended racing on April 5th, Sunday April 6th almost looked like it would bring the same fate. With a start time that was delayed over two and a half hours due to rain and mist, the event finally took off running a limited 1/8. After seven nail biting hours of racing, winners were finally determined in the first Sunoco Race Fuels ET Series, High School, Volkswagen, and Hole in the Hood event. Tom Avgerakis (Super Pro), John LaRoche (Pro), Karl Hart (Sportsman), Kacee Pitts (High School), Jerry Caddell (Volkswagen), and Jay Phillips (Hole in the Hood): These racer’s started the season off the best way possible—earning one of the new sublimated winner’s plaques!
Through five rounds of eliminations in Super Pro, the last two contestants were Tom Avgerakis and Danny Wargnier. To get into the final round, Avgerakis had to defeat Roger Weddle, Wallace Cronin, and Mark Dawson before earning the semi-final round single. Opposite him was Danny Wargnier, who defeated Rene Crunelle, Randy McCool, Julie Adams, and Robert Glembocki. In the final round, Avgerakis laid down a .009 reaction time to win the event. Casey Ladd was the number one qualifier with a perfect reaction time, which earned him a t-shirt and two decals courtesy of Northwest Wholesale/Hilton Racing, the suppliers of Goodyear/Hoosier/Mickey Thompson Race Tires. Kurt Gross earned the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points award with a .018 total package.
In Pro, six rounds of grueling elimination rounds brought a final round of John LaRoche and Joe Sorenson. LaRoche, who started his day off with a busted coil that made him want to pack up and leave, then went on a tear: defeating Dom Andreotti, Greg Gifford, Steve Canton, and Dave Fowler before earning a single in the semis. On the other side of the ladder was Joe Sorensen, the number one qualifier who defeated Greg Kielman, a laddered single, Pat Figini, Steve Stuart, and Dave Bronec to reach the final round. In the finals, LaRoche left with a .018 reaction time and ran a 5.956 on his 5.94 (1/8 mile) dial-in to secure the win, and his trip into the Quality Concrete/Salem Concrete Paving Winner’s circle. Sorensen’s perfect reaction time earned him the number one qualifying position. John Maul laid claim to the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points with a .015 package.
For the Sportsman competitors, Karl Hart and Robert Glafka met up in the final round to see who would start off with the point’s lead. Hart started his journey by defeating Mike Aranda, a single, Jerry Durant Jr, and Jim Fields. Meanwhile, Glafka downed Tony Bombara, Derrick Jackson, Dave Keiser, and John Floyd Jr. In the final round, Hart gained a .03 starting line advantage and then ran right on his number to secure the wire-to-wire victory after qualifying number one with a .008. On the second to last pair of the class, Jerry Durant Jr busted out a .047 package to win the A-1 Performance Trans and Converters Package for the Points award.
In the Wilson’s NAPA High School category, students currently enrolled in High School compete for Straight A marks on the race track. The final round came to first year competitor Kacee Pitts and second year racer Jacob McGarry. Pitts eliminated JP Parsons, a single, Max McKinney, while McGarry raced through Jake Roberts and Brad Culver, before earning the single in the semis. In the final round, the race was over before it began when Jacob McGarry turned on the red light, ending the events and claiming Pitts as the winner. Defending event champion Chelbi Hageman was the number one qualifier with a .004 reaction time.
The Volkswagen Class is for any make/model Volkswagen vehicle, so long as the car falls under Sportsman or Pro rules. Number 15 and 14 Qualifiers found their way into the final round. Jerry Caddell, the #15 qualifier, defeated Thomas Major, Charlie Hascall, and Beau Butz to reach the final round, while #14 Bernd Arndt downed Ryan Jones, Tyler Tovar, and Mike Morrow. In the finals, after almost identical reaction times, a missed gear by Arndt spelled the end of his day, meaning Caddell powered through for his first win of his career! Caddell wished to thank Techtonics Tuning, for all of their help in getting him out on the track in the 2014 season.
In the first inaugural Hole in the Hood class, one designated for supercharged/tunnel rammed vehicles or vehicles where the carburetor protrudes through the stock hood line, a short field still left many excited for the possibilities of the class. With Steve Canton turning on the red light, the race was over before it began, and Jay Phillips would claim victory.
Super Pro W: Tom Avgerakis, Newberg OR (’95 Beretta) [.009] 5.500, 126.24 (5.48 dial). R/U: Danny Wargnier, Keizer OR (’08 GTO) [.022] 5.178, 132.60 (5.17 dial). Semi’s: Robert Glembocki, Bend OR.
Pro W: John LaRoche, Oregon City OR (’64 Nova) [.018] 5.956, 102.96 (5.94 dial). R/U: Joe Sorensen, Woodburn OR (’69 Camaro) [.043] 6.512, 102.22 (6.53 dial). Semi’s: Dave Bronec, Hubbard OR.
Sportsman W: Karl Hart, Portland OR (’84 Pontiac) [.033] 8.439, 81.23 (8.43 dial). R/U: Robert Glafka, Battleground OR (’70 Torino) [.061] 7.610, 89.14 (7.64 dial). Semi’s: John Floyd Jr, Gresham OR; Jim/Amy Fields, Beaverton OR.
High School W: Kacee Pitts, Lebanon OR (’69 Nova) [.106] 8.179, 81.45 (8.15 dial). R/U: Jacob McGarry, Philomath OR (’73 Nova) – foul. Semi’s: Max McKinney, Astoria OR.
Volkswagen W: Jerry Caddell, Puyallup WA (’80 VW Truck) [.187] 6.572, 98.33 (6.30 dial). R/U: Bernd Arndt, Tigard OR (’93 Corrado) [.167] 7.908, 91.52 (7.46 dial). Semi’s: Mike Morrow, Lincoln City OR; Beau Butz, Beaverton OR.
Hole in the Hood W: Jay Phillips, Aumsville OR (’74 Duster) [.292] 6.562, 104.05 (6.55 dial). R/U: Steve Canton, Boring OR (’63 Monza 900) [-.011] 6.93, 97.70 (6.91 dial).