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Sunday, June 22, 2014

JEGS ET Series #8 - June 22, 2014

A Sunday only JEGS ET - Summit Series event is rare for those that race in the series, but this event and the next one in July is just that.  Today's event also brought with it the third of five JEGS Junior Dragster Quick 330 series event of the season, giving those in the Junior Dragster community the chance at a double up for the day.  Michael Ruark was able to do just that as he scored wins in the JEGS.com Junior Dragster 3 class and then returned to the track and won the Quick 330.  Other winners today were Dennis Meade (RCD RV Super Pro), Jared Bargo (Faslube Pro), Ernie Brown (Shade on 30th Street Sportsman), Mark Holly (Super Pro Motorcycle), Chris Boyd (Street Motorcycle), Blaine Bazell (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 1), and Jake Heaton (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 2).

Two drivers that had a long weekend of racing action at both the U.S. Open in Indianapolis and here at NTR would match up in the Super Pro final round.  Meade and his 1983 Camaro from Newark, Ohio worked his way through the heat and the field to go up against the 2007 Race Tech dragster of Bill Webb from Centerburg, Ohio.  Both drivers were successful all week long and this final round was a culmination of all the long days of racing.  Webb, trying for a good reaction time in the final, was just a bit too quick and left the red light glowing in his lane.  Meade won with a dead on 6.210 on his 6.21 dial in.  All was not lost for Webb, as his final round appearance allowed him to tie with Jeff Hura in the second spot in the points.  Both are 10 points behind leader Ron Baisden.

The final round in Pro found two racers that performed well in a second class as well throughout the day.  Bargo, who advanced deep into the Super Pro field with his 1986 Monte Carlo from Columbus, Ohio, went into the Pro final round against the 1989 S-10 of Mac Hedrick from Vincent, Ohio.  Hedrick advanced to the semifinals in Sportsman as well.  Bargo was better off the starting line in the final round race and it proved to be the difference.  He stopped the clocks with a 11.868 on a 11.80 dial in to win over the closer Hedrick's 12.521 on a 12.48.  Woody Kilgore advanced to the fourth round of competition today and expanded his lead to over 200 points over Dana Thompson.

Sportsman found the final round matchup of two drivers that were looking for their first wins of the season in the class.   Brown and his new 1988 S-10 from Powell, Ohio advanced to the final round of racing up against the always tough 1974 Challenger of Laura Trainer of Orient, Ohio.  Brown has limited runs on the S-10 compared to the runs that Trainer has on the Challenger, but on this day Brown was on his game.  With a very nice .039 reaction time, Brown got the edge off the start and never looked back.  His 12.385 on a 12.36 pass stayed ahead of the 12.082 on a 12.03 from Trainer who was charging fast.  While both are not in the points, it was Doug Thompson that used a semifinal finish to expand his lead over the field by 43 points.

Boyd was in the running for both motorcycle classes throughout the day and advanced into both final rounds.  The first final round was in Street Motorcycle.  Boyd rode his 2008 Suzuki into the final round against the 2006 Suzuki of Marshall Hutchinson Jr. from Columbus, Ohio.  Boyd, from Dublin, Ohio, was a bit behind off the line in the final round, but the bike was better on the dial in and used it for the win.  His 9.905 on a 9.80 won the event over the 10.061 on a 9.88 from Hutchinson Jr.  Hutchinson Jr. did pull further ahead of Bob Burt in the points, while Boyd moved into third.

Boyd then returned to the track for the Super Pro Motorcycle final round looking for the double.  There he would go up against the 1976 Kawasaki of Holly from Reynoldsburg, Ohio.  Still aboard his Street Motorcycle, Boyd was looking for his second Super Pro Motorcycle win of the season after his National Dragster Challenge win, but Holly had something to say about that.  Holly was quicker off the line in the final round and used that edge to force Boyd to breakout.  Holly won with a 9.328 on his 9.24 dial in, while Boyd ran a 9.778 on his 9.80.  Mike James raced into the semifinals and used that run to take a 21 point lead over Dave Hill in the standings.

After points leader Clay Coughlin went out in the first round of eliminations, the rest of the Junior Dragster 1 class had a shot of closing in on the leader.  Bazell and his 2008 Dotman dragster from Lancaster, Ohio would make the most of the opportunity by reaching the final round against the 1992 Halfscale dragster of Jesse Cochran from Mount Vernon, Ohio.  Bazell used a better reaction time in the final round to score the win on the holeshot.  His 12.104 on a 12.00 dial in was good enough to win over the 12.300 on a 12.24 from Cochran.  Both finalists were not able to pass Coughlin, but both did close in to within 11 points of the lead.

It was a first time winner in the 2014 season here at NTR that found his way to the winner circle in Junior Dragster 2.  Heaton and his 1999 Jegster dragster from Mount Vernon, Ohio advanced to the final round of racing up against the 2012 Halfscale dragster of Nathan Altenbach from Westerville, Ohio.  Altenbach, who took over the points lead after winning a crucial round one battle with incoming leader Caleb Burns, was looking to add more to his lead but left the line too soon in the final round race.  Heaton won the event with a 9.005 on a 8.96 dial in.  Altenbach now leads Burns and the field by 41 points.

Ruark was a double winner on this day and it started in Junior Dragster 3.  The Galena, Ohio runner took his 2009 Halfscale dragster to the final round and went up against the 1997 Bos entry of Brenden Colley from Pataskala, Ohio.  Like the Junior Dragster 2 final round, the starting line red amber determined the winner.  Colley just missed the tree in the final round and watched Ruark go by for the win.  His 7.915 on a 7.90 dial in won the race over the 8.005 from Colley after the foul.  The win by Ruark allowed him to close to within 43 points of leader Nick Altenbach.

Ruark then came back into the Quick 330 class and qualified in the #5 position with a 4.390 pass.  Leading the field was the 4.234 of Nick Altenbach, while the defending track champion Maggie Turley anchored the field with a 4.514.  After stopping the top qualifier, Ruark and his 2008 Halfscale dragster got to the final round by defeating Trey Sizemore.  On the other side, Preston Tanner and his Renesslaer, Indiana based 2012 Halfscale dragster defeated Turley and Grace Rowe to make the final.  There, Ruark cut a .019 reaction time to force Tanner to breakout.  A 4.365 on a 4.37 from Tanner made the 4.415 on the 4.38 from Ruark the winner.  With the third different winner in three events, the trend of winning the event and having the points lead continued.  Ruark now leads Sizemore and Tanner by 21 points.

The ninth event of the season is scheduled for Sunday, July 27th.  It will include the UMTR Stick Shift cars as well.


JEGS ET Series #7 - June 15, 2014

The second half of the season began today as well as the annual NHRA Summit Racing Junior Dragster Challenge event.  Another large gathering of racers came from around the area to battle it out on this Father's Day.  With all the great racing action and large turnouts in many of the classes, the second half of the year on this 50th anniversary season is shaping up to be one for the record books.  Woody Kilgore continues his great racing season as he picked up another win in Faslube Pro.  Also winning here today were Kirby McLennan (VP Racing Fuels Super 32), Jeff Hura (RCD RV Super Pro), Mitch Williams (Shade on 30th Street Sportsman), Tom Whiteman (Super Pro Motorcycle), Jason Meddles (Street Motorcycle), Lizzie Martel (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 1), Logan Cook (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 2), and Connor Grisez (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 3).

In a repeat of yesterday, the Super 32 qualifying continues to impress.  For the fourth event in a row, the bump spot on the Open side of the field was lowered to a new level.  Defending track champion Bill Webb found himself anchoring the field with a great 4.620 as 13 hundredths of a second separated him from the top spot of 4.498 from Ron Biondo.  Craig McKenzie for the second day in a row rode the bump in Door, today at a 5.663, while Scott Wasko's 4.675 sat on top.

#3 qualifier McLennan came from Temperance, Michigan with his 2008 American dragster and defeated Fred Krakora, Bob McDonough, Chris Bear, and John Ecenbarger to reach the final round from the Open side.  Meanwhile, Larry Houck II and his 1989 S-10 from Thornville, Ohio qualified #9 in Door and got past Wasko, Tim Gary, Steve Eckard, and McKenzie to face off with McLennan.  It was a .007 reaction time from McLennan that would give him the chance to drive around Houck before the finish line for the win.  His 4.585 on a 4.56 won the race over the 5.492 on a 5.46 from Houck.  While the Open side has won 3 of the 4 races so far, it is Dave Askew's Mustang that leads Glen Ginn by 11 points heading into the final Super 32 weekend of races in August.

Dragsters continued their winning ways on this day in Super Pro as well.  Hura and his 2006 Undercover dragster from Collins, Ohio advanced to his first final round of the season.  Waiting for Hura in the final round would be the 2009 M & W dragster of Xenia, Ohio's Tim Louderback.  In the final pass of the long weekend, Hura got a slightly better reaction time off the line and forced Louderback to breakout trying to stay ahead.  Louderback's 5.011 on a 5.02 had to settle for the runner up spot to Hura's 4.805 on a 4.78.  With his event win, Hura moves into the top spot of the points standings by 20 points over Ron Baisden.

Kilgore has been on a tear throughout the season and tonight he made his third final round of the year with his 1985 Daytona from Columbus, Ohio.  The final round opponent for Kilgore would be the 1933 Roadster of Shaun Bemiller from Pataskala, Ohio.  With the second half of the season beginning today, it was important to those in the points that someone would be able to stop Kilgore from getting more points but it wasn't to be.  After a nearly even leave, Bemiller was not able to chase down Kilgore before the finish line stripe.  A 10.990 on a 10.98 from Kilgore stayed ahead of the 9.850 on a 9.83 of Bemiller.  With five points races left, Kilgore holds a large 177 point lead over Dana Thompson.

It would be another MOPAR battle in the Sportsman final round as Terry McGee made the final in his 1965 Satellite from Newark, Ohio for the second straight day.  Looking to advance one round further, McGee went up against the 1970 Duster of Williams from Hebron, Ohio in the finals.  Another rather even start off the line showed a slight edge to Williams in the final pass.  He was able to stay ahead of McGee throughout the run and scored his first win of the season with a 12.616 on a 12.60 dial in.  McGee ran a 12.039 on a 12.01.  Doug Thompson still holds the lead in the class, but the lead was trimmed to 12 over Dana Thompson.

The Super Pro Motorcycle final round found two riders looking for their first win here at NTR in 2014.  Whiteman and his Reynoldsburg, Ohio based 1973 Kawasaki went into the final round and went up against the 2000 Kawasaki of Springfield, Ohio's Scott Sheppeard.  Both riders worked their way though tough competition and in the final round it was Whiteman that had the perfect release of the button.  He left the line with a perfect .000 reaction time and was able to overcome a closer to the dial Sheppeard for the win.  Whiteman's 9.731 on a 9.70 won the race over the 9.002 on a 9.00 from Sheppeard.  Dave Hill leaves the weekend with the points lead by 10 points over Mike James.

National Dragster Challenge winner in Super Pro Motorcycle Chris Boyd and his 2008 Suzuki from Dublin, Ohio has been a welcomed addition to the motorcycle division.  Today he was able to advance to the final round of Street Motorcycle to go up against Meddles and his 2006 Suzuki from Columbus, Ohio.  Meddles, who had issues with his motorcycle during Saturday's eliminations, didn't have any issues in the final round.  It was Boyd that had the issue of a red light glowing in his lane after both dialed 9.70 for the final pass.  Meddles won the race with a 9.763 on the 9.70.  Marshall Hutchinson Jr. extended his lead to 40 points over Bob Burt after the weekend was over.

The largest gathering of Junior Dragster 1 racers made the call for first round today as 17 racers took to the track looking for the NHRA Jr. Dragster Challenge Wally.  The final round found defending North Central Division champion Martel and her 2006 PSP dragster from Carleton, Michigan going up against Jeb Bolyard and his 1999 Bos dragster from Corning, Ohio.  Martel, who won the Burgess Racing award for the first perfect reaction time in the semifinals, got the better reaction time in the final round matchup and picked up the win over Bolyard.  Martel ran a 12.193 on her 11.90, while Bolyard settled for runner up with a 12.635 on a 12.40.  Clay Coughlin has a good weekend in the points and pulled ahead of Jesse Cochran by 43 markers.

18 Junior Dragster 2 drivers went to the line in round one and it would be two local racers very close to the track that would square off in the final round tilt.  Former North Central Division champion Cook and his 2013 Halfscale entry from Pataskala, Ohio pulled to the line against the 2006 KCS dragster of Dylan Spring from Newark, Ohio.  Both drivers had been good on the tree all day long, but it would be the bottom red light that would end the final round race for Spring.  The foul start made the 8.936 on a 8.90 dial in for Cook the winner.  Spring ran a 9.165 on a 9.14 after the foul start.  The closest points battle in the series finds Caleb Burns ahead of Nathan Altenbach by 1 point after the weekend.

The Junior Dragster 3 race winner would have to earn it all day long as 32 racers went after the event win.  The final round was between two great racers that had raced each other at another Jr. Dragster Challenge event earlier in the month.  Grisez and his family's dragster from Vermilion, Ohio would go up against the 2013 American dragster of Dylan Northup from Springfield, Ohio.  In their previous matchup, it was Northup that got the win.  On this day, it would be a reversal of fortune for both.  Grisez used a .019 reaction time to score a holeshot win over Northup for the Wally.  Grisez ran a 7.948 on his 7.90 to win the class over the 8.080 on a 8.04 from Northup.  Nick Altenbach was stopped in round two today, but still was able to leave the weekend with a 86 points lead over Michael Ruark in the class.

The next JEGS ET - Summit Series race is Sunday, June 22nd.  The JEGS Quick 330 Series will also be running on Sunday as well.


JEGS ET Series #6 - June 14, 2014

Another fantastic day of weather and racing action continues to shine on the racers of NTR during the JEGS ET - Summit Series in 2014.  The event on this day would end the first half of the season for both the ET Series and the Super 32 class.  With a ton of great racers making their mark on the event today, all of the winners earned their spots in the winner circle.  The Altenbach family scored the double on this day as both Nathan and Nick were able to win in JEGS.com Junior Dragster 2 and JEGS.com Junior Dragster 3 respectfully.  Also scoring wins were JP Schuster (VP Racing Fuels Super 32), Ron Baisden (RCD RV Super Pro), Cary Longfellow (Faslube Pro), Jim Kincaid (Shade on 30th Street Sportsman), Mike James (Super Pro Motorcycle), Marshall Hutchinson Jr. (Street Motorcycle), and Clay Coughlin (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 1).

Throughout the past few years, the competition within the Super 32 field just to make the show has been just as exciting as the racing action.  After the first two points events found the Open bump going quicker than previously remembered, today's bump continued the trend as Randy Scheuer Jr. anchored the field with a 4.662.  On the Door side it was Craig McKenzie's 5.674 on the bump.

The final round of Super 32 found the #2 qualifier on the Open side Schuster and his Damascus, Ohio based dragster advancing past Tim Fenneman, Adam Lear, Chris Bear, and Bill Webb.  Waiting for him from the Door side was #14 qualifier Dave Askew and his 1974 Mustang from Pataskala, Ohio.  Askew had worked his way past Steve Eckard, Rick Bailey, Scott Hessler, and Robert Fisher to go up against Schuster.  With a great .007 reaction time, Schuster got the edge off the start and drove around Askew for the win.  His 4.570 on a 4.56 won over the 5.579 on a 5.56 from Askew.

With Super 32 on the grounds, a healthy amount of racers vied for the Super Pro event win.  Baisden and his 1977 Lemans from Columbus, Ohio has turned around a bad season in 2013 and advanced to the final round of racing action here tonight.  In the final round with Baisden was the 1969 Camaro of Scott Hessler from Columbus, Ohio.  Hessler, who has show his great driving in one of the quicker Door cars on the grounds, was caught by the dreaded red light in the final round and handed the win to Baisden.  Baisden would have been tough anyways as his .019 reaction time was coupled with a 6.406 on a 6.40 dial in.

Longfellow made a strong run throughout the event, including stopping the hot Woody Kilgore in the middle rounds with a great .001 reaction time, to reach the final round in Pro.  His Whitehall, Ohio based 1991 S-10 would face off with the 1967 Camaro of Dana Thompson from Hebron, Ohio in that final round race.  As Longfellow was against Kilgore, a nice .021 reaction time got an advantage off the Christmas Tree that Thompson would not be able to overcome.  Longfellow stopped the clocks with a 10.986 on a 10.97 to win over the 12.341 on a 12.32 from Thompson.

A pair of veteran racers in the Sportsman category would go head to head in the final round.  Kincaid and his 1974 Duster out of Kirkersville, Ohio was paired against the always tough Terry McGee and his 1965 Satellite from Newark, Ohio.  Both vehicles were pretty close to equal in elapsed times throughout the race and the launch off the start in the final round race would prove to be the critical difference on this run.  Kincaid's .019 light proved to be the difference as it made McGee back out of the throttle hoping for a breakout.  It didn't happen as a 12.080 on a 12.06 from Kincaid won over the 12.087 on a 12.04 from McGee.

Being able to win an event in Super Pro Motorcycle here with all the tough competition is a achievement.  Two great riders battled it out in the final round tonight and it lived up to the anticipation.  James and his defending track championship winning 2004 Kawasaki from Etna, Ohio would go up against former National Champion Dave Hill and his 1984 Suzuki from Mount Vernon, Ohio.  Hill had a .004 reaction time to the .012 light of James off the line, but was a bit too quick at the finish line.  Hill's 8.321 on a 8.34 broke out and James' great 9.004 on a 9.00 dial in scored the win.

The top two points racers in Street Motorcycle met up in the final round looking to make a move on one another in the points at the midway point.  Hutchinson Jr. brought his Columbus, Ohio based 2006 Suzuki to the line in the final round to go up against the 2000 Honda from Orient, Ohio ridden by Bob Burt.  Burt was the better of the two off the line in the final round, but issues with the run cost him down at the stripe.  Hutchinson Jr. drove around Burt and backed into a 10.131 on a 9.72 dial in for the win.

The two finalists in the Junior Dragster 1 category came into the final round after impressive drives in the semifinals.  Coughlin and his Delaware, Ohio based 2010 American dragster ran on the dial in while defeating Jesse Cochran, while Kolin Watson and his 2004 Bos entry from Newark, Ohio used a perfect .000 reaction time to advance past Zane Sheets.  In their final round matchup, Coughlin was able to get the better off the starting line and used it to force Watson to breakout.  Coughlin's 12.165 on a 12.08 won the race over the 11.788 on a 11.90 from Watson.

Nathan Altenbach got the brother wins for the day first with his 2012 Halfscale entry from Westerville, Ohio.  In the final round, it would be Altenbach going up against Sabrine Duche and her 2010 Halscale dragster from West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.  Duche has moved up from Junior Dragster 1 this season and is driving her brother's championship winning car from 2013.  However, on this day it was Altenbach that has the winning combination.  He used a better reaction time and a 8.969 on his 8.94 to pick up the win over the 9.491 on a 9.45 from Duche.

Nick Altenbach then drove his 2012 Halfscale dragster to the Junior Dragster 3 final round looking for the double for the family.  The Westerville, Ohio driver would go one on one with Joseph Bay Jr. and his 2000 Nervo Coggin dragster from Blacklick, Ohio.  The 2014 season for Altenbach has been great so far and it was added more on this run.  After a .028 reaction time, Altenbach won the final round in a double breakout race.  His 7.939 on a 7.95 won over the 7.838 on a 7.90 from Bay.

Tomorrow brings another JEGS ET- Summit Series race and Super 32 event.


JEGS ET Series #5 - June 1, 2014

The races in the JEGS ET - Summit Series didn't have to wait as long for race #5 of the season as they had to for the last two events.  One week after some great racing during the Memorial Day weekend, the series returned to the track on this Sunday under some more fantastic weather on the grounds.  With only this day being run this weekend, momentum was not an issue for those on the grounds.  Those that found the path to success earned it on this day.  One of those racers that earned the ultimate both on the track and in the points was Woody Kilgore who won his second Faslube Pro event of the season.  Others on the winning side here today were John Martin (RCD RV Super Pro), Doug Thompson (Shade on 30th Street Sportsman), Jim Arledge (Super Pro Motorcycle), Bob Burt (Street Motorcycle), Jesse Cochran (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 1), Ryan Dovenbarger (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 2), and Courtney Grisez (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 3).

The path to the Super Pro win on this day would go through the buyback window as Martin and his 1998 Undercover dragster from Orient, Ohio would go up against the 2012 M & M dragster of Dominic Locilento Jr. from Sunbury, Ohio.  As was found throughout all of the classes, tight battles in each and every pair were the name of the game.  Unfortunately for both drivers that reached the final round, they were not as successful as they wanted in the first round.  Both worked their way into the final round through great racing to battle for the win.  Martin got a .020 to a .039 edge off the line and turned it into a win.  Both drivers were on the dial with a 9 on the final pass, but with the edge off the tree Martin's 5.379 was better than the 4.909 for Locilento.  The points chase remains tied as both Ron Baisden Jr. and Jeff Sowers were eliminated in the second round.

After closest points pursuer Brett Tanzillo was eliminated in round one, it was already a good points day for the leader Kilgore and his 1985 Daytona out of Columbus, Ohio.  It became even better when he worked his way into the final round of Pro and went up against the 1989 S-10 of Mac Hedrick from Vincent, Ohio.  Earning points on each and every pass, Kilgore was looking to put a stranglehold on the lead in the class.  With a seven thousandths of a second edge off the line in the final round, Kilgore was able to do just that.  His on the dial 11.059 on a 11.05 scored the win over the 12.521 on a 12.50 for Hedrick.  With that event win, Kilgore now has the biggest lead of all categories at National Trail Raceway.  He leads Tanzillo by 114 points.

Another racer making a strong move in the points was in Sportsman.  Thompson, the always tough racer from Columbus, Ohio, brought his 2000 Trans Am to the starting line in the final round.  Waiting for him in the final round would be the 1979 Trans Am of Brad Tanzillo from Heath, Ohio.  After a not a great event for the family in Pro, Tanzillo was looking to score an event win in Sportsman to end this Sunday on a positive note.  However, after a near identical leave from both drivers (.010 for Thompson to a .011 for Tanzillo), it would be the newer model Trans Am scoring the win after Tanzillo broke out.  Thompson ran a 13.583 on his 13.57 to win the race over the tough 11.997 on a 12.00 from Tanzillo.  With the event win, Thompson now leads incoming leader Dana Thompson by 23 points.

In the world of bracket racing, you don't have to be the quickest driver or rider to get the win.  But it never hurts to be that quickest person.  In Super Pro Motorcycle today, it would be that quickest rider Arledge and his 1994 Suzuki out of Circleville, Ohio that would make it into the final round of competition.  There he would race rent-a-rider Michael Nugent aboard Bruce Sauer's 2005 Kawasaki.  Nugent, from Medway, Ohio was riding well into the final round, but didn't have enough to hold off Arledge.  A better light and charging bike lead Arledge to a 8.152 on a 8.11 dial in win.  Nugent posted a 9.320 on a 9.27.  After a tough first round loss, Dave Hill still leads the points standings.  However, his lead was cut down to 11 after a third round finish by Mike James.

One of the hottest riders on any motorcycle has been the new runner from Dublin, Ohio Chris Boyd.  After winning the National Dragster Challenge last week in Super Pro Motorcycle, Boyd and his 2008 Suzuki would advance to the final round in Street Motorcycle today and go up against the 2000 Honda of veteran Burt from Orient, Ohio.  Burt was able to put a bit of a riding lesson on for Boyd in the final round that would prove to be good enough for the win.  Getting the better jump off the line, Burt stayed out in front of the charging Boyd and score the win.  His 10.699 on a 10.62 was good enough to win over the 9.892 on a 9.72 for Boyd.  With the event win, Burt sneaks up into the top spot by 2 points over Marshall Hutchinson Jr.

The Junior Dragster 1 final round found the 1992 Halfscale dragster out of Mount Vernon, Ohio driven by Cochran making his second straight final round of the season.  There, he would go up against the 1996 Jegster of Newark, Ohio's Ryan Hoberg appearing in his first final round of the season.  Hoberg, who had been the top qualifier on this day, tried his best to score his first win but would be stopped by Cochran off the line.  His edge off the line proved to be the difference as Cochran ran a 11.994 on his 11.90 to win over the 12.661 on a 12.59 for Hoberg.  A semifinal finish by Clay Coughlin allowed him to move around Blaine Bazell and lead by 1 point.  Cochran is 11 points behind in third.

As was the case in Junior Dragster 1, the two finalists in Junior Dragster 2 were looking for their first win at NTR this season.  Dovenbarger and his 2003 Halfscale out of Caldwell, Ohio would be one side of the final round, while Jeffrey Cameron and his 2007 Halfscale out of Pataskala, Ohio would oppose him.  Cameron had been running well throughout the day, but in the final round it would be the Christmas Tree that would prove to be his downfall.  Cameron left the starting line too soon in the final round matchup and handed the win to Dovenbarger.  Dovenbarger used a 8.966 on a 8.94 pass to complete the win.  The win allows Dovenbarger to move into a tie with Nathan Altenbach for second spot behind Caleb Burns.  They both trail by 44 markers.

Throughout the entire Junior Dragster field, nobody has been hotter this season than the 2012 Halfscale of Nick Altenbach out of Westerville, Ohio.  Altenbach reached his fourth final round in five events today.  Looking to stop the run of Altenbach was the young lady out of Vermillion, Ohio Grisez.  Grisez was dialed a bit quicker in that final round race and that proved to be vital.  Altenbach knew he would have to be good on the tree and pushed it too much and fouled with a -.007 light.  Grisez scored her first win of the year with a 7.943 on a 7.92.  Her win puts her into the third position in the standings.  Altenbach's day wasn't a total loss as he defeated second place Michael Ruark in round one and expanded his lead to 53 points.

The next scheduled JEGS ET - Summit Series events are set for June 14th and 15th with two events and two VP Racing Fuels Super 32 events.


JEGS ET Series #4 - May 25, 2014

After a great day of racing action on Saturday, the racers at National Trail Raceway returned to the track on Sunday for another intense day.  With the addition of the JEGS Quick 330 Shootout to all the classes from yesterday, it was to be a big day on the track.  As in the case with all racing activities, what happened on Saturday had little effect on what happened on Sunday.  Caleb Burns in JEGS.com Junior Dragster 2 was the only racer that was able to score two for the weekend.  Other winners included Glen Ginn (VP Racing Fuels Super 32), Steven Schmidt (RCD RV Super Pro), Buddy Jeffrey (Faslube Pro), Cameron Groff (Shade on 30th Street Sportsman), Chris Boyd (Super Pro Motorcycle), Jason Meddles (Street Motorcycle), Clay Coughlin (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 1), Michael Ruark (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 3), and Connor Grisez (JEGS Quick 330 Shootout).

With some changes to the roster of entries in the Super 32 category, the qualifying was just as intense as yesterday.  The Open side found yesterday's runner up Danny Waddle on top with a 4.405 and Steven Schmidt breaking the quickest bump from yesterday with a 4.772.  On the Door side, Tim Brown returned to the top spot with a 4.678 pass and Dave Askew sat in the #16 spot with a 5.551.  Missing the field with a tough 5.564 was yesterday's event winner Dewey Boggs.

From the #6 spot on the Open side, Ginn and his 2003 Undercover dragster from Galion, Ohio got around Jeff Sowers, Sean Graham, and Schmidt before defeating Bill Leahey with a .005 reaction time and a 4.642 on a 4.64 to advance to the final overall round.  Meanwhile on the Door side of the field it appears that the #16 spot is the place to be.  Askew and his 1974 Mustang from Pataskala, Ohio drove past Steve Eckard, Rick Bailey, and Scott Hessler before posting a just as great .002 reaction time and a 5.563 on a 5.56 to get past Tim Schmidt.  In the final round, Askew left the red light glowing and saw Ginn win with a .006 light and a 4.632 on a 4.63 pass.

Another huge gathering of Super Pro racers went after it for the National Dragster Challenge event win and the dragsters rose to the top at the end of the event.  Schmidt and his American dragster from Massillon, Ohio worked his way into the final round to race the Shreve, Ohio racer Joe West and his J&J Performance dragster.  Both were amped for the final round off the line as Schmidt used a .003 light to leave ahead of the .006 from West.  At the stripe, it was Schmidt posting a 4.747 on his 4.74 dial in to get the Wally over the breakout 4.658 on a 4.66 from West.  After the weekend, Ron Baisden Jr. and Jeff Sowers are tied atop the points by 32 over Jeff Hura.

The 1979 Malibu Wagon from Pataskala, Ohio driven by Jeffrey was a terror throughout the entire day in Pro eliminator.  Running consistently throughout the day, Jeffrey advanced to the final round of eliminations against the 1973 Barracuda of Dan Trainer Jr. from Orient, Ohio.  Trainer, who was the runner up in Sportsman yesterday was hoping to score the win in Pro but on this day that dreaded red light would find its way onto his side in the finals.  Jeffrey scored the Wally with a 11.318, his third straight 11.31 pass, on a 11.31 dial in.  After his win on Saturday, Woody Kilgore leads Brett Tanzillo in the points by 41.

A pair of former National Dragster Challenge winners would go against one another in the final round of Sportsman looking for another to add to their mantle.  Groff took his 1981 Cutlass from Columbus, Ohio to the starting line to matchup with the 2000 Firebird of Doug Thompson also from Columbus, Ohio.  It was another fantastic race that is typical of the action found on National Dragster Challenge day.  Groff got two thousandths of a second off the line and would then run a 12.003 on his 12.00 dial in to earn the Wally.  Thompson tried, but settled for runner up with a 13.598 on his 13.56.  The runner up for Thompson puts him 30 points behind the points leader Dana Thompson.

Another rider in Super Pro Motorcycle has joined the list of racers that have taken a street based motorcycle to the winner circle during National Dragster Challenge day.  Boyd and his 2008 Suzuki from Dublin, Ohio matched up against last season's ND Challenge winner Freddie Castle and his 1973 Kawasaki from Reynoldsburg, Ohio.  Castle looked to be well on his way to the win with the better reaction time in the final round, but it was Boyd that had the better dialed in machine.  His 9.861 on a 9.85 won the race over the 8.954 on a 8.89 from Castle.  Dave Hill leaves this weekend with the points lead by 31 over defending track champion Mike James.

It has been a running thought that when the National Dragster Challenge event comes to the track, you can truly expect someone from the Burt family to score a win.  In Street Motorcycle, it was Bob Burt and his 2000 Honda from Orient, Ohio that was looking to do that again.  The winner from yesterday went up against the Columbus, Ohio based 2006 Suzuki of Meddles.  With the Wally on the line, Meddles made sure that he would be the man leaving with it.  His edge off the starting line would make Burt breakout at the stripe trying to stay ahead.  Meddles ran a 9.798 on a 9.77 to win over the 10.648 on a 10.65 from Burt.  Marshall Hutchinson Jr., who race to the late rounds on both days, leads Burt and Lee Hackler by 31 points.

With the top two in the Junior Dragster 1 points both bowing out in the second round, the winner on this day would be able to close the gap between them and the top.  Coughlin, last year's champion of the class, took his 2010 American dragster to the final round up against the 1992 Halfscale dragster of Jesse Cochran from Mount Vernon, Ohio.  Coughlin, from Delaware, Ohio, gave up the advantage off the line but had the car that was able to make up for the difference.  Coughlin ran a 12.106 on his 11.90 dial in to win over the 14.228 on a 13.15 for Cochran.  Blaine Bazell has the lead by 10 over the winning Coughlin after today's event.

It was a repeat of the final round from yesterday in the Junior Dragster 2 as Burns and his 1999 Bos entry from Fredericktown, Ohio matched up once again with the 2007 Barrs dragster of Myah Gross from Fairmont, West Virginia.  Gross, who was entering her first weekend of racing here at NTR after missing the first due to Basketball, was making up points quickly on this weekend.  Burns used a better reaction time off the starting line to make it two for two on the weekend.  His 8.943 on a 8.90 won over the 8.979 on a 8.95 for Gross.  With two wins in three final round appearances this season, Burns leads Nathan Altenbach by the largest gap in any class at 55.

After a crucial round two race that saw him finally stop Nick Altenbach from reaching a final round, Ruark and his 2009 Halfscale from Galena, Ohio raced to the final round where he would square off with Mason Gross and his 2010 Halfscale from Fairmont, West Virginia.  Gross, who was trying to salvage the day for his family with one win in the two finals he and his sister Myah made, did his part off the line with a slight edge off the line.  However, he took a bit too much stripe at the finish line and broke out.  Ruark made it tough with a 7.900 on a 7.90 to win over the 7.937 on a 7.95 from Gross.  The win by Ruark allows him and Altenbach to pull away from the field.  Altenbach leads by 11 over Ruark.

With the two finalists from the first Quick 330 unable to attend today, the battle for the event win and qualifying was a battle.  Nick Altenbach ended up on the top spot of the field with his new entry posting a 4.224 and Grisez anchoring the field with a 4.636.  While qualifying is important, the final round showed you have to get in the field and then its all open.  Grisez and his 2012 RPC from Vermilion, Ohio came from the bump spot to go up against the 2000 Nervo Coggin entry of Joseph Bay Jr. from Blacklick, Ohio who qualified #7.  Grisez had a better reaction time in the final round and cruised to the win running a 4.710 on his 4.63 dial in.  Bay ran a 4.707 on his 4.63 dial trying to get back ahead.  With the win, Grisez finds himself on top by 2 points over Trey Sizemore and Michael Ruark.

The next scheduled JEGS ET - Summit Series event is set for Sunday, June 1st. 


JEGS ET Series #3 - May 24, 2014

After over a month off due to other events on the NTR schedule, the racers of the JEGS ET - Summit Series returned to the track on this Memorial Day Weekend looking to score a couple of wins in their classes.  With the return to the track also came the first of six VP Racing Fuels Super 32 events for the season.  With the fantastic weather and fast action, being able to score a win on this day and throughout the weekend would be a feather in anyone's cap.  The Door cars scored the first salvo of the year in Super 32 when Dewey Boggs scored the first win.  Also winning today were Austin Kardules (RCD RV Super Pro), Woody Kilgore (Faslube Pro), Roger Roberts (Shade on 30th Street Sportsman), Dave Hill (Super Pro Motorcycle), Bob Burt (Street Motorcycle), Blaine Bazell (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 1), Caleb Burns (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 2), and Nick Altenbach (JEGS.com Junior Dragster 3).

The large amount of racers going for the Super 32 field that was found in 2013 continued here at the opening race and the numbers continue to get quicker.  Qualifying for the first event found the Open side set an all-time quickest bump for the series with Kevin Fisher (4.226) leading the win and a 4.794 from Randy Estridge anchoring their side.  In the Door side, the record bump survived but it was a quick 4.719 from Tim Brown on top and a 5.560 from Boggs that squeaked him into the show.

After getting past Gary Nutter, Tim Gary, and Tim Minkos, Boggs and his 1967 Camaro from Lancaster, Ohio advanced to the final overall round of Super 32 by getting past Steve Eckard and his 1984 Cutlass from Pataskala, Ohio.  On the Open side, #2 qualifier Danny Waddle and his 2012 Diamond dragster from Pickerington, Ohio used a string of 4.3 second ETs to get around Glen Ginn, Jono Gerber, Rick Pistole, and Joe West to go up against Boggs.  In the final pass, it was a better reaction time by Boggs that would prove to be key.  His 5.582 on a 5.56 won the race over the little bit better 4.381 on a 4.37 from Waddle.

The arrival of Super 32 this weekend also brought with it a large gathering of racers for Super Pro as well.  After seven grueling round of action, it would be the S & W dragster out of Pataskala, Ohio for Kardules that would square off against the 1997 RaceTech dragster of Johnstown, Ohio's Jeff Sowers.  Both youthful racers might not have been the quickest on the track, but were consistently running well to get to the finals.  Kardules got the edge with a .016 to Sowers' .019 light and scored on a double breakout.  With a 5.309 on his 5.32, Kardules won over the 5.201 on a 5.24 for Sowers.

Pro eliminator would battle another youngster in the category going up against a veteran that has found renewed vigor in the past several months.  Kilgore has driven his 1985 Daytona for the past few years and looks to once again be a major player in the points for 2014.  In the final round, the man from Columbus, Ohio would go up against the 1970 Mustang of John Sherrick from Lancaster, Ohio.  Sherrick has run well since figuring out what the Mustang wants and looked to score the win but Kilgore had other ideas.  A great .014 light got the edge off the line for Kilgore and he closed the door with a fantastic 11.006 on a 11.00 dial in for the win.  Sherrick ran a 10.361 breakout on the 10.38.

Another experienced racer that has scored a lot of wins placed himself in the Sportsman final round looking for another win.  Dan Trainer Jr. and his Orient, Ohio based 1973 Barracuda would go up against Roberts and the 1989 Camaro from Reynoldsburg, Ohio.  Roberts might not have as many wins as Trainer does, but on this night it was Roberts that put on the show.  With a slight two thousandths of a second edge off the line, Roberts was able to stay ahead of the charging Trainer and won the race off that very slight edge at the tree.  Roberts ran a 13.714 on his 13.71 to win over the 12.004 on a 12.00 from Trainer.

In bracket racing, being able to run the number consistently is vital but being really quick and fast also is great.  In Super Pro Motorcycle, the quickest bike on the grounds was the Mount Vernon, Ohio based 1984 Suzuki of Hill.  In the final round matchup, it was Hill and the 2000 Kawasaki of Johnstown, Ohio's Sean Robson.  After having issues with his bike for what seemed like all of 2013, Robson was riding well all day long as was ready for the final round.  However, his thumb on the button was painfully too quick as he left the line with a -.001 red light.  Hill won the race with a 8.353 on his 8.47 dial in.

The Street Motorcycle final round was a single pass as Burt and his 2000 Honda from Orient, Ohio got the win.  After a semifinal win over Marshall Hutchinson Jr. with a 10.719 on a 10.69, Burt would have run the bye run rider Chris Herren in the finals.  However, Herren was unable to stage on that semifinal single when he had to attend his son's graduation.  Respectfully putting family over racing, Herren missed the semifinal run.  Burt completed the win with a 10.714 on a 10.70 single.

After two events in the Junior Dragster 1 category, two drivers were tied for the top spot in the points.  In the final round today, those two drivers would square off for the win.  Bazell and his 2008 Dotman dragster from Lancaster, Ohio that won the opening race of the season, went up against the 2004 Bos entry of Newark, Ohio's Kolin Watson who won the second event.  Both drivers were dialed near the 11.90 limit in the final round, but it would be the .040 reaction time from Bazell that proved to be important.  Watson tried to stay ahead but broke out in doing so.  Bazell won with a 12.032 on his 11.92 dial in.  Watson ran a 11.826 on his 11.90 dial.

Burns has moved up from Junior Dragster 1 to Junior Dragster 2 for the 2014 season and hasn't missed a beat.  With his 1999 Bos dragster from Fredericktown, Ohio, Burns made his second straight final round of the year to go up against the 2007 Barrs dragster of Myah Gross from Fairmont, West Virginia.  Burns really looked comfortable when he left the line with a .001 reaction time in the final round that would win the race on a holeshot.  Burns ran a 8.931 on his 8.90 dial in to win over the closer 8.979 on a 8.96 from Gross.

Back in 2013, former Eastern Conference Finals winner Altenbach and his 2012 Halfscale dragster from Westerville, Ohio had a rough move up from Junior Dragster 2 into Junior Dragster 3.  This early into the season that struggle has vanished.  In the final round for the third straight event, Altenbach would go up against the 2006 KCS dragster of Elwood City, Pennsylvania's Andrew Valentino.  Valentino got a .032 to .034 edge off the green in the final round race, but Altenbach had the better dialed in car on the scoreboard to get the win.  Altenbach ran a 7.964 on his 7.95 to win the race over the 7.942 on a 7.90 from Valentino. 


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.