SCSDA Victorville Nov '15 Race Recap

The 2015 sand drag racing season wrapped up with the SCSDA Season Finals at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, CA. Cool early November weather led to comfortable racing all weekend long with SCSDA series points championships on the line along with the checks and hardware for the race itself. Let’s take a look at the winners and champions.

Top Eliminator

The most anticipated battle heading into the SCSDA Finals had to be the duel for the Top Eliminator championship between former class champions Billy Morris and Paul Taylor. At the October event, Taylor bested Morris in the final by just .003 to take the class victory and double points that went with winning Race 3 or the 4 race series. This left the two racers separated by just 8 points heading into the Finale.

Qualifying was entertaining to watch with twists and turns throughout each session. Paul Graham looked to spoil the party for the points leaders as he recorded a 3.020 on the 2.95 class Index to take away the top spot in Q1 from Paul Taylor, who recorded a 3.023. Q2 saw a similar scenario with the top spot bouncing back and forth between the Paul’s with Taylor first running a 2.985 followed by Graham taking the spot back with a 2.984. Everyone was aiming for that perfect 2.950 in Q3 with Taylor just missing on the fast side recording a 2.939 while his championship rival Morris turned a 2.92 as he ran quicker than the Index for the third straight qualifying session. Ironically, if Qualifying had ended after Q3 Taylor and Morris would have had to square off in round one. Conditions were solid for the competition to lay down a big number in this Saturday night time final qualifying session. Qualifying leader Graham started off the round with another strong 2.99, but that was no improvement on his early 2.98. Graham’s “Excavator” Blown Alcohol Buggy impressively recorded four consistent qualifying laps between 2.98 and 3.02 left him looking to be a contender on race day. In the next pair, Vegas racer Terry Crawford bumped up one spot in the order with a weekend best 3.03 in the Yabba Dabba Doo Dragster. This set the stage for the points contenders Taylor and Morris to line up side by side to end out qualifying. Both racers were fully capable of squeaking in between the current top spot 2.984 and the perfect 2.950 Index. When the dust cleared and the scoreboards lit, Morris shot from 7th in the order to the top spot with a great 2.959/114MPH. In the other lane, Taylor put up a solid 2.99; however he would be knocked down a spot to third in the final order. This was a crucial pass in the championship battle as Morris not only earned the Top Qualifier bonus points, but also the round one single as #8 qualifier Jimmy DePasse broke on his Q1 pass and would be unable to return for eliminations.

Sunday morning’s Round One of eliminations saw some great action. Louis Floquet in the Lucas Oil Blown SBC-powered Dragster took out the higher qualified Terry Crawford in a 3.12 to 3.14 decision at the stripe. Next up was the big upset of the round as Graham slowed to his worst run of the weekend with a 3.05 while Mark Punos killed the tree with a .416 (.400 Perfect RT) light and used a 3.10 for the hole shot win over Paul. The points contenders would be up next with Taylor recording a solid 3.00 to get by Larry Snow while Morris again ran right on the Index with a 2.957 on his legal single.

The championship drama was essentially settled when Morris and Floquet paired up to start the semi-final round. Morris used a .483 RT and 3.05 to defeat Floquet’s .520 RT and 3.09 to advance to the final round. This would add another championship title to the Morris Family Racing team’s wall of fame, but the weekend was far from over as they would do battle with Paul Taylor in the final. Taylor recorded a 3.02 to get around Punos, who turned on the red light by just .016.

With the sun getting ready to set, the TE finalists pulled into the beams. A rematch of the October Victorville final with Morris, now the 2015 SCSDA TE class champion, against October’s winner Taylor, who was going for three victories in a row as he also took home the Avenal victory in October. Paul was ready for battle taking a big starting line edge .486 to .563, but at the stripe it would be Morris turning on the win light with an incredible 2.955/112MPH to defeat Taylor’s 3.040 by a mere .008 at the stripe. These two competitors always put on an amazing show each time they line up with races decided by mere inches, if you combine the Margin of Victory for their last two finals it adds up to just .011. Congratulations to the Morris Family Racing team on the 2015 SCSDA TE Championship & Season Finals victory.


Billy Morris - TE Winner


Paul Taylor - TE Runner-Up


Billy Morris / Morris Family Racing - 2015 SCSDA TE Champions


Fast Fours

The turbocharged four-cylinder entries in the Fast Fours / A-Fuel class were prepared for battle at the SCSDA Season Finals. Robert Skidmore in the Skidmore Racing Dragster has been the dominant figure in the category in 2015. Skidmore was shooting for a season sweep of the SCSDA events in this class after winning the first three events. Robert didn’t let up a bit recording the top spot in qualifying at this event with a sizzling 2.756/116MPH. Mario Tavares in the Pauter Rods entry has been dialing in a new tune up at these past two races and made some great steps forward qualifying #2 with a 3.007, even more impressive was his 123.29MPH blast on his Q3 pass.

In round one, Tavares would square off with John Cronin the Cronin Racing #33 Dragster. Cronin took the advantage on the line, but his struggles continued and Mario would pedal for the win in a 3.26 to 3.61 decision. Up next would be Skidmore on his bye run to the final. Robert wouldn’t take it easy at all as he went A to B with a 2.831/115MPH to earn lane choice in the final round.

These two Nitro-burning four-cylinder dragsters rolled up to the line Sunday afternoon ready to settle it all. Skidmore was definitely up for the challenge as he would finish his clean sweep of the season turning a 2.828/114MPH to defeat Mario’s game 3.000/115MPH. Congrats to the whole Skidmore Racing team on the event win as well as the 2015 Fast Fours Season Championship & clean sweep of the season.


Robert Skidmore - Fast Fours Winner & 2015 SCSDA Fast Fours Champion


Mario Tavares - Fast Fours Runner-Up


Top Alcohol

After a rough season of racing with great competition, the last man standing at the Season Finals was Pedro Villa in the Top Alcohol class. Many of the other normal competitors had other things going and weren’t able to attend, while David Morton and the Morton Racing Dragster was also on-site but broke on Friday before qualifying. So, Pedro and the Villa Racing Team Dragster would make passes on Saturday. He would run a best of 2.676/115MPH on the weekend to earn the class victory. Gary Mink emerged as the 2015 SCSDA Top Alcohol class champion.


Pedro Villa - Top Alcohol Winner

Pro Bracket Classes

The Pro 1 class featured some solid fast bracket racing all day Sunday with a new face in the Winner’s Circle when the dust cleared. Travis Scouten wheeled the “Last Call” Jeep to his first major win taking the final round victory over many time class winner and champion Bob Cambridge. Travis ran closer to his dial with a 3.733 (3.65) for the win. Craig Durning ended up as the SCSDA Pro 1 class champion narrowly edging out Kenny Hayes for the title.


Travis Scouten - Pro 1 Winner


Craig Durning - 2015 SCSDA Pro 1 Champion


It was a family battle in the Pro 2 final round as the Johnson brothers faced off for the title. Charlie Johnson locked up the SCSDA Pro 2 championship in the semi-final round with his Mopar-powered Jeep. Charlie faced off with George Amos in a winner take all battle where Amos would go red by .043. This would set up add another championship to Johnson’s trophy case, and he would battle for another trophy against his brother Wes in the final round. Wes looked good in his first time back on track after a couple years off, but in this final it would be all Charlie as he used a .447RT and 4.348 (4.25) for the win.


Charlie Johnson - Pro 2 Winner & 2015 SCSDA Pro 2 Champion

Charlie Johnson added yet another trophy to his collection as he earned a double up championship also winning the SCSDA Pro 3 points title. Charlie locked up the title heading into the final race, so it was all about the event win. The final round would come down to an all Jeep shootout between Jim Larr’s “Final Verdict” ride and class champ Charlie Johnson. When the tree dropped, it was Johnson with the starting line edge .480 to .507 but Larr would get to the stripe first with a 4.321 (4.31) for a slim Margin of Victory (.032).


Jim Larr - Pro 3 Winner


Charlie Johnson - 2015 SCSDA Pro 3 Champion


The Motorcycle Pro 1 bracket championship was locked up going into the final race with MPC Racing’s Mark Ratliff earning the title on the strength of his big win at the October double points race. Mark would have some troubles in round two opening up the door for a different winner at this event. The win light would turn on in Robby Stancliff’s lane as he used a dead-on perfect 4.490 (4.49) to take the win by just .027 over the always tough Chris Carlson, who ended up second in class points.


Taylor Holmes - Motorcycle Pro 1 Winner


Mark Ratliff - 2015 SCSDA Motorcycle Pro 1 Champion


Another SCSDA championship went to MPC Racing as Mark Ratliff earned the 2015 Motorcycle Pro 2 title. Even though the championship was settled, there was great racing in the MP2 category. Randy Mings used a great .414 RT (.400 Perfect RT) to make it two in a row at Victorville as he turned on the final win light over Robby Stancliff, who came up just short of a Sunday double up.


Randy Mings - Motorcycle Pro 2 Winner


Mark Ratliff - 2015 SCSDA Motorcycle Pro 2 Champion


Saturday’s Gambler classes are always a treat to watch and this race was definitely no exception. The Pro Gambler field was opened up from the normal 16 entries and nearly got the 32 car field filled at this one. For all the marbles in the final round it would be Charlie Johnson in the Mopar-powered “Station Wagon” Jeep against Kenny Hayes’ Larry Minor Motorsports-built Chevy-powered Jeep. Both of these racers have been on a roll with multiple wins this year. This showed in the Reaction Times as Charlie took the advantage with a nearly perfect .403 to Kenny’s game .443. Both drivers fell off quite a bit in ET, but the win light would shine brightly in Johnson’s lane as he ran a 4.670 (4.58) for the win. The Motorcycle Gambler runs on a Sportsman tree, which leads to some ultra competitive racing. When all was said and done it was multi class champion Mark Ratliff earning the final round win over Jeff Burian to earn the Winner Take All victory in the Motorcycle Gambler category.


Charlie Johnson - Pro Gambler Winner


Mark Ratliff - Motorcycle Gambler Winner


Sportsman Bracket Classes

Kenny Hayes had his Jeep dialed in on Saturday as he earned his second straight win at Victorville in the Sportsman 1 class. In the final, Kenny used a .445 RT and 3.585 (3.57) to defeat the Northwest Bracket Killer Chris Wells in the Washington-based Chevy-powered Buggy. Kenny also earned the SCSDA Sportsman 1 class points championship. The Sportsman 2 class victory went to the always tough VW-powered Buggy of Bob Schaefer at this event. Bob used a .529 RT and 4.711 (4.70) to defeat Birthday Guy Jeff Adamson, who was piloting his dad’s Jeep in this class by a slim Margin of Victory (.009). Brandon Montgomery earned the SCSDA Sportsman 2 championship in the Team Hardcore Chevy Truck. The Motorcycle Sportsman 1 title was wrapped up heading into the Season Finale with Mark Ratliff locking it up early. Ratliff wasn’t just satisfied with earning his third class championship on the season as he was ready to get the job done in the MS1 class. Mark would reach the final round against Chris Carlson on his 3-second Laydown 3-wheeler. Ratliff would have clutch problems in prior rounds leading to a big thrash before the final. This led to a wild final round where Ratliff would be dead in the water at the hit, but would still earn the win light as Chris Carlson turned it red by just .023. In the thrash to make it to the starting line on time, Ratliff had forgotten to turn his fuel back on. When it’s your day, it’s your day. Congrats to Ratliff on an incredible season earning three SCSDA class championships and several class wins. The Motorcycle Sportsman 2 class saw great action all season and it ended with a solid final round match up between Caleb Mings & Mike Brock. Brock had already clinched the 2015 SCSDA class championship, but his goal was to stop Mings from making it back-to-back wins in this category. Brock would push the tree a little too hard turning it red by just .003 giving the win to Mings for the second consecutive race.


Kenny Hayes - Sportsman 1 Winner & 2015 SCSDA Sportsman 1 Champion


Bob Schaefer - Sportsman 2 Winner


Brandon Montgomery - 2015 SCSDA Sportsman 2 Champion


Mark Ratliff - Motorcycle Sportsman 1 Winner & 2015 SCSDA MS1 Champion


Caleb Mings - Motorcycle sportsman 2 Winner


Mike Brock - 2015 SCSDA Motorcycle Sportsman 2 Champion


The Junior categories were full of excellent racing all season long at SCSDA Victorville events. At this race, Drake Montgomery would keep up his winning ways in the Junior Dragster class backing up his October Avenal win with this event’s victory over the always tough Ryan Rodriguez. Leonardo Villa ended up as the 2015 SCSDA Junior Dragster class champion. Levi Suggs would earn the Mini Junior Dragster class win at the November race defeating 2015 class champion Gavin Gutierrez in the final round. The Juniors category final round was won by Tyler Hanrahan besting class champion Elena Denunzio. Last but not least was the Peewees class where Wade Zimprich simply dominated the Peewees class as he took the final round victory over Ashley Williams as well as the 2015 SCSDA class championship.


Drake Montgomery - Junior Dragster Winner


Leonardo Villa - 2015 SCSDA Junior Dragster Champion


Levi Suggs - Mini Junior Dragster Winner


Gavin Gutierrez - 2015 SCSDA Mini Junior Dragster Champion


Tyler Hanrahan - Juniors Winner


Elena Denunzio - 2015 SCSDA Juniors Champion


Wade Zimprich - Peewees Winner & 2015 SCSDA Peewees Champion (With crew chief Brian Chapman)


Photos Courtesy NSDN

Event Photo Gallery - Courtesy NSDN

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