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Sunday, April 13, 2014


JEGS ET Series #2 - April 13, 2014

Sunday of the first weekend of racing here at NTR brought some interesting conditions for all of the competitors.  After a fantastic day of action and weather on Saturday, the wind made its presence felt right from the get go.  After discussions with racers in the classes, it was determined that only Shade on 30th Street Sportsman and Street Motorcycle would run the quarter-mile distance while Faslube Pro and Super Pro Motorcycle would run eight-mile.  It wasn't the most ideal for everyone, but just being able to race under the warm weather and sun after this winter was great for all.  With all the great winners on Saturday, the level of racing was shown on Sunday as only Nick Altenbach was able to make both final rounds for the weekend.  A new batch of winners graced the winner circle on this day, lead three defending track champions.  Winners were Fred Krakora (RCD RV Super Pro), Patrick McFadden (Faslube Pro), C.J. Yaeger (Shade on 30th Street Sportsman), Mike James (Super Pro Motorcycle), Marshall Hutchinson Jr. (Street Motorcycle), Kolin Watson (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 1), Dylan Spring (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 2), Kenny Carson (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 3), and Trey Sizemore (JEGS Quick 330 Shootout).

The Super Pro final round would find the 2011 Diamond dragster of Krakora from Grafton, Ohio going up against the 1989 Toyota truck of Dean Karns from Fairborn, Ohio.  In a strange twist, both drivers were on a bye run in the semifinal when quarterfinal bye run runner Ron Barnhill had mechanical issues and couldn't make the bye run.  With no semifinal finisher, both finalists went against each other for the win.  Krakora got a slight .009 to .012 edge off the line and then ran a 4.733 on his 4.73 dial in to return to the winner circle.  Karns ran a 6.771 on his 6.75 for the runner up.  In the points, based on two straight late round finishes, Ron Baisden Jr. heads into the next points race with a 30 point lead over Karns in the standings.

Another dragster found itself in the winner circle, but this dragster was a little older than Krakora's.  McFadden drove his Bainbridge, Ohio based 1963 Dragsmaster front engine dragster to the final of Pro against the always tough 1978 Camaro of Brett Tanzillo from Granville, Ohio.  Like Krakora, McFadden had to use the buyback path to get to the final round but took full advantage of it.  A nice .027 light got the edge off the line for McFadden and he used it to win the race.  His 6.898 on a 6.86 scored the win over the 6.857 on a 6.82 from Tanzillo.  Despite the runner up finish, Tanzillo goes leave the track with the points lead by 2 over Woody Kilgore.

In Sportsman, it was the resident of Lodi, Ohio Yaeger driving the Phil Hurst 1972 Nova to the final round matchup with Vincent, Ohio's Mac Hedrick and his 1989 S-10 truck.  Yaeger and Hedrick were two of the quicker cars in the class on this day and the final round matchup was one of great intrigue.  Yaeger won the race right off the line with a nice .027 reaction time that gave him the advantage he needed for the event win.  His 12.515 on a 12.47 dial in got the win over the breakout 12.642 on a 12.68 for Hedrick.  A second round loss to defending Top Gun champion Shawn Pitts didn't stop Nick Hastings from having the points lead by 21 over the man he defeated in the final round yesterday Dana Thompson.

The strong winds brought the Super Pro Motorcycle class to the 1/8-mile distance, but it was still a great race on the track throughout.  James rode his 2004 Kawasaki from Etna, Ohio into the final round to go up against the 1997 Kawasaki of Steve Wycuff from Pickerington, Ohio.  Both mid 5 second machine were consistent on the track and the one that released the button off the line would probably get the win.  That proved to be correct as James had the edge with a .021 light.  He then ran a 5.716 on his 5.69 dial in to win over the breakout 5.567 on a 5.57 from Wycuff.  The win puts James into the lead by 10 over yesterday's winner Bruce Sauer.

Another track champion returned to the final round for the first time in 2014 as Hutchinson Jr. rode his 2006 Suzuki from Columbus, Ohio.  There, he would go up against the 2005 Suzuki of Lee Hackler from Baltimore, Ohio.  The final round matchup was one of the closest races on the day with Hutchinson Jr. using his reaction time advantage off the Christmas Tree to eventually get the event win.  Hutchinson Jr. ran a 9.821 on his 9.78 dial in to score the win over the on the dial 9.895 on a 9.89 for Hackler.  With the win, Hutchinson Jr. returns to the top of the standings he held last year by 10 points over Bob Burt.

After having a first time racer win in the Junior Dragster 1 class on Saturday, it was another battle of new verses veteran in the final round on Sunday.  Watson drove his 2004 Bos dragster from Newark, Ohio to his first final round race to go up against last year's track champion Clay Coughlin and his 2010 American dragster from Delaware, Ohio.  Both dialed in on the limit 11.90 for the final round, and Coughlin gained a five thousandths of a second edge off the line.  However, Watson's car was closer to the dial in at the stripe to earn his first win.  A 11.973 for Watson won over the 12.043 for Coughlin.  After losing to Coughlin in round two, Blaine Bazell still was able to hold onto to the points lead over Watson by 10.

The two finalists in Junior Dragster quickly turned their disappointing opening race on Saturday around by advancing to the final round here today.  Spring took his 2006 KCS entry from Newark, Ohio up against Caleb Burns' 1999 Bos car from Fredericktown, Ohio.  Burns, stepping up from the Junior Dragster 1 class, was a little tardy off the line compared to Spring and it proved to be the determining factor.  Spring ran a 9.213 on a 9.17 dial in to pick up the win over the 8.995 on a 8.96 for Burns.  With the win, Spring ties Logan Cook for the early points lead.

The only repeat finalist from yesterday, Nick Altenbach was looking to score his first win of the year with his Westerville, Ohio based 2012 Halfscale entry.  Waiting for him in the final round was the 2013 Halfscale of Kenny Carson from Lebanon, Ohio.  The final round race was determined at the finish line as Altenbach had a slight .063 to .068 edge.  However, at the stripe, Carson sent Altenbach through the line on a breakout for the win.  Carson ran a 8.027 on his 7.95 to win over the too quick 7.957 on a 7.97 for Altenbach.  With the two runner up finishes, Altenbach has an 11 marker lead over Michael Ruark.

13 drivers took to the track looking to make the tight 8-car Quick 330 field.  Leading the way was the 2008 Halfscale dragster of Michael Ruark with a 4.369, while the bump was held down by the 4.588 of Brenden Colley.  However, when the final round came up it was the hired gun for Carson Racing, Sizemore from Lawrenceburg, Indiana racing against another Indiana runner in Preston Tanner.  Tanner, from Rensselaer, Indiana, would be the better of the two at the finish line but gave up too much of a starting line lead to make it work out.  Sizemore posted a 4.405 on his 4.39 dial in to win over the 4.421 on a 4.41 from Tanner.

The next weekend of JEGS ET - Summit Series racing will be run on the Memorial Day weekend.  It will include the first two VP Racing Fuels Super 32 events and the second Quick 330 event on Sunday.


JEGS ET Series #1 - April 12, 2014

The opening round of the 2014 JEGS ET - Summit Series here at National Trail Raceway under the type of weather that you could only dream of for the early Saturday in April.  After such a brutal and depressing winter, the racers and staff were in high spirits for the first of twelve points races to determine the 50th anniversary season track champions.  It was a star studded affair in the winner circle at the end of the night, and only one Track Champion from last season, Michael Ruark, started back in the top spot after race one.  The first winners in 2014 here at NTR were Troy Coughlin Jr. (RCD RV Super Pro), Bob Downing (Faslube Pro), Nick Hastings (Shade on 30th Street Sportsman), Bruce Sauer (Super Pro Motorcycle), Bob Burt (Street Motorcycle), Blaine Bazell (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 1), Logan Cook (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 2), and Ruark (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 3).

It was a battle of second generation drivers in the final round of Super Pro at the end of the night when Coughlin brought his 2011 Undercover dragster to the starting line to race the 1977 Firebird of Ron Baisden Jr.  Both had worked their way through the large field in six tough rounds of racing to go one on one for the win.  Baisden had a very nice .017 reaction time, but was outdone by the .006 light from Coughlin.  With the yellow and black JEGS dragster charging after him, Baisden Jr. took too much stripe at the line and broke out with a 6.407 on a 6.41 to settle for the runner up.  Coughlin won with a 4.764 on his 4.73 dial in pass.

After completing his license requirements at the track the previous night during the ET / Slick Test and Tune, Downing brought his high-rising 1975 Camaro through the field and into the final round of Pro.  There he would meet the 1978 Camaro of the always tough Dennis Meade for the event title.  With a little over a second head start being given to Meade, Dowining and his black machine would have to be patient.  However, Meade was a little too anxious and light the red light right off the line.  Downing scored his first win by powering down to a 9.790 on a 9.78 dial for the win.  Meade ran a 10.946 on his 10.93.

In another marquee matchup that was worth the wait for the later rounds came in Sportsman.  The defending NHRA Division 3 champion Hastings took his 1983 Mustang into the run to go up against the former NTR Track Champion Dana Thompson.  Both Hastings and Thompson have cars that are nearly identical in performance and it would be the starting line once again that made the ultimate difference.  Hastings grabbed a .020 to .036 edge off the line and used every bit of it to get the win.  His 12.306 on a 12.29 won on that holeshot over the 12.274 on a 12.27 for Thompson.  The margin of victory at the stripe was a scant four thousandths.

A veteran rider on his 2001 Kawasaki, Sauer started off his year right by getting to the final round in Super Pro Motorcycle.  Awaiting him for that final round race was the returning Jim Arledge and his 1994 Suzuki.  Arledge, who took a year off from competitive points racing last season, charged back with a vengeance aboard one of the quickest bikes in the class.  On the final run, Sauer used a better light to get the edge.  And when Arledge has some issues on the run, the win was Sauer's.  A 9.303 on a 9.25 for Sauer won over the 8.585 on a 8.15 for Arledge.

Yet another former NTR Track Champion had a great start towards winning another of those titles in Street Motorcycle.  Burt and his 2000 Honda once again looks to be one of the tough ones in the class and he got to the final round to go up against Cameron Teasley and his 2008 Kawasaki.  Showing that the winter break didn't cost Burt in reflexes, he used a great .008 reaction time to get an edge that was not to be denied.  Burt stopped the clocks with a 10.656 on his 10.62 dial in to win over the charging 8.918 on a 8.69 from Teasley.

In one of the most pleasant sights for the season, the Junior Dragster 1 class found 11 racers going after the event win.  In the final round it would be the new racer Bazell and his 2008 Dotman dragster going up against the JR Race Car of LaQuint Walker.  The large car count and change to a 11.90 limit for the class made the racing even more exciting.  However, in the final round the tension was over quickly as Walker left the line too soon.  Bazell won his first race out with a on the dial 12.020 on his 12.02.

After a, for him, disappointing season in the 10-12 year old class last season, Cook looked more comfortable in his 2013 Halfscale dragster on this opening day.  In the final round, Cook would go up against Nathan Altenbach and his 2012 Halfscale.  Unfortunately, like in the Junior Dragster 1 final round, the race was over right off the line when Altenbach was red.  Cook scored the win and early points lead with a 8.918 on his 8.90 dial in.

After winning the Junior Dragster 2 title in his final year, Ruark jumped into the Junior Dragster 3 class and didn't miss a beat.  The 2009 Halfscale dragster for Ruark worked through the 22 car field to race against Nick Altenbach, who was looking to salvage a split for the family in final rounds for the day.  While brother Nathan was red, it might have gotten into the head of Nick right after him as he gave up a starting line edge to Ruark that he would not overcome.  Ruark won with a 7.964 on his 7.90, while Altenbach ran a 7.956 on his 7.92.

Tomorrow will be the second points race of the season, with the first JEGS Quick 330 Shootout event.