Kingman May '11 Race Recap

lead.jpgKingman, AZ was the site of the Mertens Heavy Equipment Repair Springnational Sand Drags on a beautiful mid-May weekend. The weather was perfect for great racing & fast times. Ernesto Juarez from Dome Valley Raceway had the track surface in top condition while Fast Track Racing sent the cars down the track and Route 66 Wings & Wheels promoted the event. Let’s take a look at the on-track action.

Top Fuel

Five quality entries showed up at the Mohave County Fairgrounds to compete in Nitro-burning Top Fuel class action. Dennis Rieck & his Hammer Down/Nitro Mouse team led the field in qualifying with a sizzling 2.374/140mph lap. Rieck was followed closely by Matt Ludlow & the Coldwater Kid team, who ran a 2.434 in Q2. Jeff Janoe, in his first race back with the JWJ Fueler in a year and a half, ran a nice 2.44/155mph for the #3 spot with Marcus Norris (2.489) and Terri Blair (2.659) rounding out the field.

Round one saw three bye runs and one pair. The pair of the round saw the 4-5 qualifiers face off with Marcus Norris in the Pat Norris Racing single-mag Fueler face off with Terri Blair in the Fugowie dual-tire Dragster. This would be an excellent race with Terri taking a slight starting line advantage and hanging on for a 2.49 to 2.52 victory to advance on. Rieck would end up with Low ET of the round running a 2.46 on his bye run followed by Janoe’s 2.47 & Ludlow’s lifting early 2.83.

Kicking off round two of eliminations would be the potent Small Block of Rieck against the dual-tire entry of Blair. Terri would grab a big starting line advantage and have a big lead past half track where she would have to lift to avoid the center cones, while Rieck would just catch her in the lights for the victory with a 2.42/142mph run. Up next would be a match up between Janoe & Ludlow, with Janoe turning on the win light and advancing to the final.

This would set up a great final between Rieck & Janoe. Everyone had great anticipation of the final expecting a pair of side by side 2.3 passes; however this would end up as one of the most bizarre final rounds in recent history. Both drivers were late on the tree & had troubles right at the hit. Fortunately, for the JWJ crew, Janoe would get more momentum & make it to around 60’ before pitching the belt, allowing Jeff to coast to a 3.99/47mph Top Fuel win over Rieck’s 15 second/2mph run. Congrats to the whole Janoe crew on the big win.

Top Fuel Final: Jeff Janoe (Near Lane) vs. Dennis Rieck (Far Lane).

Top Fuel Semi-Finals: Matt Ludlow (Near Lane) vs. Jeff Janoe (Far Lane)

Dennis Rieck Top Fuel Runner-Up in the Hammer Down/Nitro Mouse Fueler.

Terri Blair

Top Fuel Round 1: Marcus Norris (Near Lane) vs. Terri Blair (Far Lane) (NSDN Photo)

Top Alcohol

The Top Alcohol class saw three of the toughest entries in the Southwest vying for the win in Kingman. Gary Mink was only able to card one ET in qualifying, but it was good enough for the top spot with an excellent 2.452/140mph shot. Scott Carroll’s 2.57/137mph was good enough for the #2 spot, while Dan Allen continued trying some new things in qualifying & ran 2.67/139mph.

Mink would kick off round one with a bye run & card a 2.52. Up next would be the pair between Dan Allen & Scott Carroll. Carroll would take as slight advantage off the line, but Allen would match Mink’s 2.52 and take the win over Carroll’s troubled 2.83.

This would set up a big final round between Mink & Allen after both ran within a couple thousandths in the semi-final round. The battle would be over right on the line as Allen would turn on the red bulb by just .030, while in the other lane Mink had troubles forcing him to shut off. Mink’s team would take their second victory of 2011 and second straight in Kingman.

Top Alcohol Final Round: Gary Mink (Far Lane) vs. Dan Allen (Near Lane)

Gary Mink - Top Alcohol class winner

Top Eliminator

Top Eliminator was once again one of the most competitive classes at the track. Qualifying saw some great performances with the leader being Paul Taylor’s Outta Control dragster running a 2.956 on his first pass of the weekend. Taylor, who had problems with his own engine at the previous race, ran this 2.956 off the trailer in his first pass with Gary Mink’s spare motor between the frame rails. Billy Morris & the 2 Dolla’ Bill Team was right behind with a 2.957 for the second spot. Tiffany Januik’s return to TE put her in the #3 spot with a 3.01 while recent class winner Ron D’Artenay started from the fourth position with a 3.02.

Round one saw some great match ups with Leon Januik kicking off the round running a great 2.955 to defeat daughter-in-law Tiffany Januik, who broke out with a 2.902. Next would see D’Artenay turn on the red bulb handing the win to Jim Rossi’s 2.978. Top qualifier Taylor escaped a close race with Jack Hines for a 3.03 win while Morris also carded a 3.03 to defeat Terry Crawford.

The semi-finals saw some of the best TE racing we have seen in recent history. In the first pair, Morris took a slim .467 to .474 RT advantage of Leon Januik & held on for a close 2.961 to 2.989 victory. He would face off with the winner of the Paul Taylor-Jim Rossi match up. Rossi would lay down a great 2.953, but Taylor’s starting line advantage coupled with a 2.984 would give him the victory by a mere .015.

The final round would be a match up between two of the most winning TE teams over the last couple of years with Billy Morris & the 2 Dolla’ Bill team facing off with Paul Taylor’s Outta Control group. Morris would take a starting line advantage and come out on top of a double breakout decision 2.94 to 2.84. This would be back-to-back victories for the 2DB team in Kingman.

Billy Morris - Top Eliminator Winner

Top Eliminator Final Round: Billy Morris (Far Lane) vs. Paul Taylor (Near Lane) (NSDN Photo)

Fast Fours

The Animal Control team of DL & Daniel King set the Fast Fours class on their ears kicking off the weekend with a great 2.828/111mph run. This would set the stage for a great weekend of racing for the Turbo four-cylinder contingent. King would hold on to the top spot with that great pass, but Art Cronin would be right behind him with a 2.85 & 2.86 on Saturday for the #2 spot. Aaron Mamer would round out the top half of the field in the six car field with a 2.93.

Round one of eliminations would see King and Cronin both with bye runs. Cronin would run Low ET of the round with a 2.88, while King would be close behind with a 2.92. Jim Cronin pulled a big upset, defeating Brian Chapman in a 2.98 to 3.14 battle. This was also the first 2 second pass for the Cronin Racing Red Dragster. Don Diffenbaugh would earn a single run to end the round when Aaron Mamer & the Sidewinder team could not make the call.

The semi-final round would start off with #1 qualifier King up against giant killer Jim Cronin. Cronin would have troubles right from the hit while King sped away to a great 2.84/115mph blast for the win. Up next would be the Melt Down car of Art Cronin against Don Diffenbaugh’s Poison Ivy. Melt down is what happened on the line as a staging war went a little long & Diffenbaugh’s car shut off at the hit handing the win to Cronin with a 2.901.

The final came down to a couple young guns laying down great numbers all weekend with King vs Cronin. King would leave first, but Art would chase him down and take the win with Low ET of eliminations 2.83 to King’s game 2.89. This would be Art Cronin’s first win of 2011 in the Fast Fours class.

Fast Fours Final Round: Art Cronin (Near Lane) vs. Daniel King (Far Lane).

Art Cronin - Fast Fours Winner

Pro Outlaw FE

The Pro Outlaw FE class was missing a few of the regulars on this weekend in Kingman; however a good group of three entries showed up to compete. Qualifying saw the Rat Poison team of Jim DePasse & Otis Simpson take the top spot with a stellar 3.01/110mph run. Frank Prock’s unique sideways V8-Altered sat second with a 3.25 while Tracy Malan’s nitrous-assisted Altered went into eliminations third with a 3.52.

In round one, DePasse would have some troubles on his bye run and slow from his torrid pace to a 3.33. In the next pair, Prock would win a close race over Malan 3.34 to 3.53. This would set up a final between the Hemet, CA area residents of Jim DePasse & Frank Prock. The final would be anti-climatic as Prock would roll through & stage foul, but all eyes were on the right lane as DePasse would run Low ET of the weekend for the class and break into the two second barrier with a great 2.978/111mph run. Congrats to Jim, Otis, and the whole Rat Poison team on the win in Kingman.

Pro Outlaw FE Final Round: Jim DePasse (Far Lane) vs. Frank Prock (Near Lane)

Jim DePasse - Pro Outlaw FE Winner.

Pro Bracket Classes

The Pro 1 class came down to a final round between Swag Racing’s Mike Erwin in the Swag Nasty Jeep versus Jon Welniak in his first actual race behind the wheel of the former Joe Janoe Pro 1 Dragster. Erwin’s experience would pay off in this battle as a great .425 RT & 3.763 (3.70) would be enough to turn on the win light. Pro 2 would see perennial favorite Phil Soper in his Blown Some Buggy face off with young gun Taylor Johnson in her V8 Dragster. Once again experience would pay off as the former champ Soper would couple a great RT & 4.297 (4.26) to take home the class win. Pro 3 would see young but experienced Justin Taylor in the Nas-T Altered against local favorite Frank Dobell in his V8 Dragster. The former champ Taylor would once again reach the winner’s circle as Dobell would red light & hand Taylor his first win of 2011. MP1 would see Chad Peterson face off with Chris Carlson in the final round. This would be a great battle with Peterson taking the advantage at the finish with a 4.094 (4.03) for the win. Rounding out the Pro bracket finals would be the MP2 class where the always tough Garrett Ratliff faced Westerman Smith. Ratliff would leave first & play the finish line perfectly to take his second MP2 class win of the season with a 4.600 (4.50).

Mike Erwin - Pro 1 Winner

Jon Welniak - Pro 1 Runner-Up

Pro 2 Final Round: Phil Soper (Near Lane) vs. Taylor Johnson (Far Lane)

Phil Soper - Pro 2 Winner (NSDN Photo)

Pro 3 Final Round: Justin Taylor (Far Lane) vs. Frank Dobell (Near Lane)

Justin Taylor - Pro 3 Winner

MP1 Final Round: Chad Peterson (Near Lane) vs. Chris Carlson (Far Lane)

Chad Peterson - MP1 Winner (NSDN Photo)

Garrett Ratliff - MP2 Winner (NSDN Photo)

Sportsman Bracket Classes

Sportsman Car 1 would see repeat finalist Phil Soper in his Buggy match up with Ryan Kloehn in his Jeep. Both racers ran great all day to reach the final round. In the final, Ryan would get a little jumpy against the champ & go red by .049 handing Soper his second class win on the weekend. In the Sportsman Car 2 class, young Alan Mamer in his VW-powered Buggy would face off with Rhonda Dobell in her unique Camaro. Mamer put his years of Junior Dragster experience to work with a great RT in the final and took the win light at the other end. Another red light would decide the Motorcycle Sportsman 1 final round as KC Barnella would turn on that dreaded light & hand Kendall Banducci the big win on this day. MP2 finalist Westerman Smith would reach his second final of the weekend in the Motorcycle Sportsman 2 class, this time against Jacob Vandigriff. This time around Smith would cut a psychic .405 RT & never look back to take the victory.

Phil Soper - Sportsman Car 1 Winner (NSDN Photo)

Alan Mamer - Sportsman Car 2 Winner

Westerman Smith - MS1 Winner (NSDN Photo)

Junior Dragster

The always competitive Junior Dragster class once again put on a great show in Kingman. Aimee Mamer kept up the momentum of a great weekend for the Mamer Family by reaching the final round against Sand Storm Racing’s Devin Pierce. Mamer would take the RT advantage & force Pierce into an 8.282 (8.35) break out. Aimee’s win would extend her points lead in the Junior Dragster category.

Aimee Mamer - Junior Dragster Winner (NSDN Photo)

Photos Courtesy Tim Marshall - Tim Marshall/Donna Bistran Photography - & NSDN.

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