Woodburn Dragstrip
7730 Hwy. 219
Woodburn, Oregon

Sun Sets on Fall Classic, 2015 Racing Season

With the sun setting low over the countryside on Sunday evening, the final pair of cars went down the track for the 30th Annual Baxter Auto Parts/Bi-Mart Fall Classic.  A day that was filled with Darin Bays’ Jet Dragsters and Jet Funny Cars (which recorded 285 and 267mph passes respectively), wild whippin’ Pro Nostalgia, tire smokin’ Nostalgia BB/Funny Cars, exhilarating Outlaw 10.5 presented by Killer Kustoms, as well as a massive array of other featured cars that were in attendance.   Throughout the dust, flames, and smoke, winners in Sunday’s racing were Royce Taylor (BB/Funny Car), Paja Agatonovic (Outlaw 10.5), Dwayne Sanders (Pro Nostalgia), Mike Ekerson (Dragster/Roadster), Rochelle Robnett (Sportsman), Nick Kroske (Motorcycle), John Masterman (Super Shifter), Cole Rose (Jr Lightning), Ramon Vincent (Jr Thunder), Kerry Drost (Pro Street), and Don DePeel (Quick 8).    

The Nostalgia BB/Funny Car Associations racing takes place with thrilling nostalgic Funny Cars battling it out for that illustrious 6.75 number.  In the finals, it was Royce Taylor and Greg Howland who were the last two racers standing.  Leaving the starting line with nearly identical reaction times, Taylor hit to the finish line first and turned on the win lights with a blistering 6.800 at 208.52mph.

Pro Nostalgia eliminations came down to Dewayne Sanders and Lloyd Hamilton in the last round of competition.  Sanders busted through eliminations defeating Spud Miller and Nick Pruett, while Hamilton eliminated Peter Farrell and Aaron Fuller.  With unfortunate issues hindering Hamilton, Sanders had the single in the final round to earn the victory.

Killer Kustoms has come alive in helping boost the Outlaw 10.5 program to one that draws spectators and racers alike to watch the fight.  In the finals, it was down to Paja Agatonovic and Nick Duda.  Agatonovic, who was the winner at the Night of Fire, earned wins against Doug Lyons, Art Raz, and Wally Friedlander.  Meanwhile, Duda downed Gary Maine, Pat Hermanson, and number one qualifier Ken Sihota.  In the finals, Agatonovic went from the number four qualifier position to the win, running a 4.412 at 169.71mph.

Dragster/Roadster eliminations came down to Mike Ekerson and Kacee Pitts.  Ekerson, who started the day in fourth place, eliminated Don Burgoyne, Ted Hainline, and Kelly Pruett to reach the finals. With everything on the line, Pitts turned on the red light bulb by -.002, sending Ekerson into the winner’s circle after two runner-up finishes earlier in the year.  Ekerson ended up second in the standings, losing out the battle to Ron Austin, who locked up his fourth career Dragster/Roadster championship.

At this race, the King of the Track event was ran, which determines the best racer amongst the four champions in Super Pro, Pro, Sportsman, and ET Motorcycle.  In the rare case a champion cannot be in attendance, the second place finisher will fill in their place.  In the run-off, it was Pro champ Matt Kielman taking the victory over Motorcycle’s Stacy Hesch.  Kielman left the line with a stellar .014 reaction time to Hesch’s .029, before Kielman was able to win with a 10.456 on his 10.43 dial.

Super Pro competition was brought down to the semi-final round, with the finals to be determined next weekend on Sunday, October the 4th.  The semi-final round finishers are Debbie Dawson, Bill Heard, and Tom Avgerakis, who will race off for the National Dragster Challenge victory and Wally.

Pro bracket will also be determined next weekend as Bryce Moilanen and Hollis Runge will race off against each other for the chance at the Wally. Moilanen defeated Tony McCauley in the semifinals, and Runge defeated Richelle Riedl to reach the final round.

Sportsman category eliminations was a battle between two trucks when Rochelle Robnett and Tony Bombara did battle.  Robnett, a former Jr Dragster standout, eliminated Tom Early, Frank Pettit, Lori Winberg, and Jerry Weber.  In the finals, both drivers had nearly identical reaction times, with the win light and National Dragster Challenge Wally going to Robnett after running a 12.001 on her 12.00 dial.

The Motorcycle category came down to Nick Kroske and John Plaster.  Kroske, out of Bend, eliminated Dave Brill, Jim Werre, and Stacy Hesch to earn the semi-final round single.  Against Plaster in the finals, the race was over before it even began when Plaster turned on the red light by -.043, resulting in the win and the Wally for Kroske.  Ted Brown was the lone semi-finalist.

In the Super Shifter class, John Masterman and Doug Berry did battle for the National Dragster Challenge Wally. Masterman defeated Bruce Poppino, Brent Russel, and Steve Caruth to reach the finals, where he earned the win over Berry on a holeshot, securing not only the Wally but the championship as well! Caruth was the lone semi-finalist.

In the World of Speed Fall Jr Lightning class, Cole Rose eliminated Josh Schmanke via a stellar .017 to a .061 reaction time advantage.  Austin Varner and Jake Meithof were the semi-final finishers. Meanwhile, in the Fall Jr Thunder class, Ramon Vincent scored another great victory in his young career, getting the win over Rilynn Saucy after gaining the reaction time advantage.  Afterwards, Rose and Vincent both lined up alongside to see who would be the overall winner.  With Rose launching off the line with the better light, he claimed the win via holeshot (8.551 on the 8.50 versus an 8.961 on the 8.95).

The Pacific Northwest Super Comp Association featured Dale Green and Greg Pessemier in a final round decided by a very slim margin.  Green left off the starting line with a .019 reaction time compared to Pessemier’s .034.  As both cars rocketed down the track, Pessemier actually ran closer to his dial (8.910 versus a 8.920).  Doing the math, the win light was on for Green by a slim .0056.

The Northwest Drag Bike class has racers that compete in an assortment of motorcycle classes.  In Quick 8 eliminations, Don DePeel defeated Shane White via an 8.360 on his 8.29 dial.  Rick Tedder and John Plaster were the semi-final finishers in the category. In Pro Street, Kerry Drost claimed the win when he ran a blistering 7.317 @ 185.91mph, winning over Eric Robinson’s 7.950 @ 184.46.

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