Dome Valley October '11 Race RecapDome Valley Raceway in Wellton, AZ played host to the Second Annual October Showdown on the weekend of October 1. Despite warm temperatures a great turnout of west coast racers battled it out for their class trophy. Let’s take a look at the highlights.
Three stout entries were on hand at Dome Valley Raceway to compete for the Top Fuel title in this event. Qualifying saw Jeff Janoe lead the pack with a sizzling 2.373/155MPH blast on Friday night. Dennis Rieck ran a great 2.454/126MPH in Q1 with the Small Block-powered Fueler that would leave him in the second starting spot. Rieck would be on a better run in Q2 with a 1.004 60’ before breaking a crankshaft resulting in major engine damage. The Hammer Down team would have their work cut out for them, but would make the first round call for eliminations. Butch & Terri Blair’s Fugowie struggled a bit in qualifying with a 2.78 best, but they would pick up the pace as we headed into eliminations.
Round one would kick off with the Fugowie & Hammer Down teams facing off. Terri would leave first with a nice 1.02 60’ and hang on for the win in the dual-tire Fueler running a very nice 2.547/123MPH while Rieck would have problems at the hit and coast on through. This would set up a final round between the JWJ team of Janoe & the Fugowie team of the Blair’s. In the final, Janoe would take a .05 starting line edge & hang on through the stripe to take a 2.46 to 2.60 victory. This would be back-to-back victories for Janoe in Top Fuel action as he also took the victory at Kingman in May.
Jeff Janoe (Lowe Photo)
Terri Blair (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Dennis Rieck (Lowe Photo)
The bulls eye was on Gary Mink’s back as the field headed to Dome Valley Raceway for the October Showdown. Mink has terrorized the Top Alcohol class all season long setting records along the way & coming close to a season sweep with only one round loss to this point. Dan Allen in the Lucas Oil TA Dragster led the pack after day one with a 2.60 ET. Q3 at Noon on Saturday produced the best numbers of qualifying. Mink would make his only qualifying pass in Q3 & that one would hang on for the top spot with a 2.511/139MPH blast. Allen would make things interesting in the last pass of the round coming up just a few thousandths short with a stout 2.516/146MPH shot. Those two would lead the pack with Scott Carroll’s Q3 2.55, Pedro Villa’s 2.77, & Craig Sines’ 3.43 rounded out the qualifying order.
Round one would see Allen run Low ET with a 2.56/144MPH run while Carroll & Mink also soloed. The pair of the round would see Oregon’s Craig Sines & the Thunderstruck team face off with Pedro Villa’s “Express” team out of Southern California. The Oregon-based Sines team struggled all through qualifying, kicking burst panels out hindering them from making a full pass. The trend would unfortunately continue for Sines in round one; however with a .076 to .263 hole shot they would emerge victorious in a wild 3.24 to 3.21 decision.
The Sines team would make the huge effort to make it back for round two against Fresno, CA’s Gary Mink in the “Bad to the Bone” TA Dragster. Sines would get a slight starting line advantage, but problems would pop up again down track allowing Mink to take the win with a clean 2.52. The next pair would see Arizona based entries of Allen & Carroll face off. This was a highly anticipated match as both of these cars always put on a great show. Unfortunately, Allen would leave before the tree was activated handing the win to Flagstaff, AZ’s Carroll.
Carroll & Mink would square off in their fourth final battle of 2011. Mink took the wins in Dome Valley (Jan) & Atoka (May) while Carroll took the Soboba victory in April. Mink’s car looked to have issues as he brought it up to launch RPM & they persisted all the way down the track while Carroll would lay down a nice pass to take a 2.59 to 2.61 victory. This would be Scott’s second win of the 2011 season & move him to just under three rounds out of the NSRA TA points lead.
Scott Carroll (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Gary Mink (NSDN Photo)
Craig Sines (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Dan Allen (NSDN Photo)
The competition has been fierce in the Fast Fours class in 2011. Three different winners took home the top prizes in the first three races of the season. Brian Chapman (Dome Valley, Jan), Aaron Mamer (Soboba, April), and Art Cronin (Kingman, May) were the early season winners. All three would be on hand not only going for the race win, but also shooting for the Hammer Down/Quality Aircraft Care Bonus for the first racer to record a 2.7xx ET in 2011. Qualifying would be intense on this weekend at Dome Valley. In the first pair of Q1, Brian Chapman & the Short Fuse team would lay down a monster pass carding a 2.799! This run would put the $500 in their pocket courtesy of Dennis Rieck & the Hammer Down/Quality Aircraft Care Bonus. Also in Q1, Daniel King in the new look Animal Control Dragster would run a great 2.818 to put him in the second spot. The best was yet to come, though, as in Q2 Art Cronin in the Cronin Racing/Meltdown Dragster would record a 2.792/118MPH blast to take the top qualifying spot. Cronin would hang on to the top spot with Chapman & King rounding out the top half of the field.
Cronin & Chapman would both have bye runs to advance on through round one. King would face off against the Fast Fours debut of Oregon’s Dave Marcroft. Marcroft, a long time Northwest campaigner in the Bracket classes, ran a nice 3.07 & 3.14 in qualifying. In this first round match up, the DL King-tuned Horsepower of his grandson Daniel would be too much as they would lay down a nice 2.82 to advance past Marcroft’s game 3.07. The other pair in the round would see the 4-5 qualifiers Aaron Mamer and Mario Tavares face off. Mamer would take the starting line advantage and not look back for a 2.93 to 2.98 victory. Tavares would come back later on and run a very nice 2.84 on a test pass.
Round two would see a couple of the young guns in the Fast Fours class square off as Cronin & Mamer approached the line. This would be a wild match up as Cronin would have problems right at the hit hurting his launch, while Mamer appeared to be on his way to a win before the Sidewinder suffered a big mechanical failure resulting in a decent fire. While all of this was going on, Cronin got the Meltdown car rolling and chased Mamer down to take the win with a 3.10. After all of that excitement, the next pair would see Short Fuse face off against Animal Control. Chapman, the cagey veteran that he is, laid down an impressive .035RT to take the advantage off the line and would not look back to take a hole shot 2.89 to 2.88 victory.
All of this would set up a highly anticipated rematch of the Dome Valley January event final round between Chapman & Cronin. When the tree dropped, it would once again be the impressive driving of Chapman with a .079 to .189 starting line lead and he would hang on for another hole shot win 2.83 to 2.82. The impressive string of high 2.7 & low 2.8 classes have certainly made the Fast Fours class one of the most entertaining classes to watch in 2011. Cronin & the Meltdown team takes a lead of just over two rounds into the final NSRA point series race at Soboba in late October.
Brian Chapman (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Art Cronin (Lowe Photo)
Brian Chapman with Dennis Rieck of Hammer Down Racing/Quality Aircraft Care receiving his $500 for being the first Fast Fours car to run in the 2.7's this season. (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Qualifying in the Top Eliminator saw some interesting developments at this Dome Valley event. Paul Taylor made things dramatic as he would be the final car down the track in Qualifying for TE & he would steal the top spot from Jim Rossi with a 2.965 (2.95 Index). Rossi’s 2.97 put him 2nd with Tim Martin’s 3.00 being good enough for 3rd & Ron D’Artenay 4th with a 3.06. Notably, Billy Morris & the 2 ‘Dolla Bill team would break out in the first two sessions with a 2.89 & 2.90. They would elect to sit out Q3 in a strategy move to face off with the #1 qualifier Taylor in the early rounds to move up in the NSRA points battle.
In the Race-In round Morris would face off with Tommy Zavala’s BBC-powered Dragster. Morris would card a 3.08 to defeat a game 3.31 by Zavala. This would set up a round one match up between Morris & Taylor. Morris would once again be on his game on the tree with a .061 to .141 advantage, however at the other end Taylor would drive around for a close 2.96 to 3.09 victory. Pat Headington in Ralph Adamson’s Dragster would take a 3.23 to 3.26 win over Ron D’Artenay while Jim Rossi’s Bad Toy Dragster advanced past Mark Greenwell & New Mexico’s Tim Martin took a hole shot win over Missouri’s Russ Bailey.
The semi-final round of Blown BBC-powered Dragsters kicked off with #1 qualifier Paul Taylor & his “Outta Control” Dragster against Pat Headington in the “Murphy’s Law” Dragster. Headington would leave first and force Taylor into a 2.928 break out. The next pair would have been an awesome match up between Rossi & Martin, but Martin was unable to make the call. Rossi’s “Bad Toy” Dragster would card a nice 3.00 on the Bye run.
In the final, Headington would take a big .028 to .140 starting line advantage, but would have problems down track while Rossi ran a great 2.990 to take his first win of the 2011 season. Rossi now holds right around a three round lead over Taylor heading into the NSRA points finale at the SCSDA Soboba event.
Jim Rossi (Lowe Photo)
Pat Headington (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Pro Bracket Classes
The Pro 1 class saw some great racing with the final round coming down to Missouri’s Dennis Burrows in his VW-powered Buggy against California’s Kermit Larby in the Chevy-powered Leap Frog Buggy. Kermit would have a .084 to .104 starting line edge, but at the stripe Burrows would run closer to his dial with a 3.735 (3.73) to make the long haul pay off with the big win.
The final round in Pro 2 would see two of the top competitors in the class roll to the line as Yuma local Steve Anthony and his InSandity Dragster would go up against California’s Charlie Johnson in the “Back in Black “ Jeep. Johnson would take a slight .035 to .037 RT advantage, but came up short of his dial & allowed Anthony to drive around for the win with a 3.931 (3.88). This would be Steve’s second big win at Dome Valley in 2011 as he won the Open Pro class at the January event.
Pro 3 would see Arend Schouten take the big win in his Las Vegas based “Moving Violation” VW-powered Buggy. Schouten would force Phoenix area racer Darin Lynn into a 6.249 (6.30) break out in his Jeep. Arend’s win also gives him a healthy points lead of nearly four rounds over second place heading into the 2011 NSRA points finale at Soboba.
Keith Ahart would make it to the final round of Motorcycle Pro 1 on his legendary Phoenix area Motorcycle-powered Quad. He would face off with California’s Brad Olson. Brad would push the tree a little too hard with a .018 red light handing Keith another big win on the bike with a 4.378 (4.35).
Motorcycle Pro 2 saw a great final round as Palm Desert, CA’s Mark Ratliff paired up against Peoria, AZ’s Wes Smith. Wes would leave first .048 to .093 and force Ratliff into a 4.488 (4.50). This would be Wes’ first final round win of 2011 after a runner-up finish at the previous event in Kingman.
Kermit Larby made it to three final rounds on the weekend, including the Pro 1 Final. (NSDN Photo)
Steve Anthony - Pro 2 Winner (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Arend Schouten - Pro 3 Winner (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Keith Ahart - MP1 Winner (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Brad Olson - MP1 Runner-Up (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Mark Ratliff - MP2 Runner-Up (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Friday Bracket Classes
The Open Pro saw some great racing action all evening long. The ‘A’ side final round would be a preview of what would be Saturday night’s Pro 1 final as Kermit Larby & Dennis Burrows faced off. Larby would take a slim .016 Margin of Victory to advance on. The ‘B’ final would see Yuma locals match up as Jose Beas came up against eventual Pro 2 winner Steve Anthony. Jose would leave first and force Anthony into a 3.875 (3.90) break out. So, the final round would see the Leap Frog Buggy of Larby line up against Jose Beas’ Jeep. Jose would leave first .082 to .166 and hang on for the win with a 4.656 (4.63).
Motorcycle Open Pro came down to a great ‘A’ class final round between Garrett Ratliff & Lance Root. Arizona’s Root would take the win as Ratliff would go .038 Red in his first final of the evening. The ‘B’ class final would see a couple of Phoenix area racers face off with Wes Smith going against Mike Brock. Wes would turn on the win light in this match up. So, the overall class final round would also be an all-Phoenix area battle with Smith and Root. Root would leave first .133 to .143 and run closer to his dial with a 3.848 (3.80) for the win.
Sportsman 1 Cars final round would be an all-Buggy match between John Cronin in his turbo-VW powered entry against Kermit Larby, in his third final round of the weekend. Cronin would leave first and hang on for the win with a 4.165 (4.10). The Sportsman 2 Cars final ended up as an all-Jeep battle between Phoenix area racer Tyler Large and Las Vegas’ own Mike Smith. Smith would have a stellar .042RT, but would take too much stripe and break out with a 4.572 (4.68) handing Large the victory.
The Motorcycle Sportsman classes would have a common theme on this night. Garrett Ratliff would face off with KC Barnella in the MS1 final round. Garrett would leave first and force Barnella into a 4.096 (4.10) break out for the win. Ratliff would turn around and jump on his other bike for the MS2 final round where he would face off with in an all-California final with Joey Weaver. This battle would have a familiar story as Weaver would go .030 red sending Ratliff to the Winner’s Circle for the second time on this night.
Jose Beas - Open Pro Winner (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Lance Root - Motorcycle Open Pro Winner (NSDN Photo)
John Cronin - Sportsman 1 Winner (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Tyler Large - Sportsman 2 Winner - Pictured driving his Pro 1 FC, Tyler won Sport 2 in his Jeep (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Garrett Ratliff - Motocycle Pro 1 & 2 Winner (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
The always tough Junior Dragster class boiled down to a battle between Lauren Rodriguez against Abbigale Carroll. Abby would have a stellar .017 RT, but her car could not run the number allowing Rodriguez to take her second win of the season with a 5.846 (5.70). Carroll’s runner-up finish would put her in the NSRA Junior Dragster points lead by 2 points heading into the final event of the season. The Kids class final would see Riley Saufley emerge victorious in a great final round over Evan Thomas. Emmanuel Beas would take the win in the Youth class over Gizelle from the Juarez Family.
Lauren Rodriguez - Junior Dragster Winner (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Abby Carroll - Junior Dragster Runner-Up (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Emmanuel Beas - Youth Winner (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Russ Bailey made the long haul from Missouri with his Turbo Motorcycle-powered Buggy & was very impressive qualifying #6 in TE as well as entering the Saturday night Pro Gambler and taking the victory. (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Carlos Espinoza ran this sharp looking Jeep in the Pro 2 class runing low 4 second ET's. (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
John Edwards with a nice launch on his Turbo Motorcycle-powered three wheeled Entry in the Motorcycle Pro 1 class. (Crazy Photo Squad Photo)
Bang Shack Digital/AZ Top Fuel Group – Charlie Lowe