Points Battles Heat Up as AAA Dragway Summit Series Continues
The Auto Club Dragway Summit series continued on May 23rd and 24th with several drivers finding the winner’s circle and doing what they needed to do keep their championship hopes alive. Highlighting the weekend’s activities was the first-ever Auto Club Dragway silent auction to benefit the Summit team. Over $2700 was raised for this year’s Summit team and some lucky winners took home some great items at an outstanding price. Next year’s is sure to even bigger and better! Thank you to all that donated items and made this event a great success!
Taking top honors on Saturday in Super Pro was Dustin Harris in his dragster. Dustin took advantage of runner-up Phil Miller’s untimely breakage and ran a 9.03 on his 8.28 dial-in for the win. Jim Gardella was the lone semi-finalist. In the Pro category, Kevin Houmard overcame an earlier round confrontation with the retaining wall just past the finish line to take the win over good friend, Michael Furiani. In the final, Kevin used a .025 reaction time and a 10.811 on his 10.80 for the win. Furiani ran a dead-on 10.097 (10.09) but was a little tardy at the start and couldn’t reel in Houmard and his El Camino. Sportsman honors went to tough competitor CW Hoefer over Mel Tufto. CW used a big-time reaction time advantage to stay out in front of Tufto who ran an 11.900 on his 12.00 dial in trying to catch him at the finish line. The big win moved CW into first place in the Sportsman championship point’s battle. John Brooks was the lone semi-finalist. Taking home the title in Summit Motorcycle was Augustine Herrera. Herrera rode his Kawasaki to an 8.507 on his 8.44 dial-in to take the win over reigning Division 7 Motorcycle Champion, John Gidcumb. Gidcumb was tardy at the start and ran out of real estate before he could catch Herrera. Philip Wesp and Tony Pellettera were the semi-finalists. Closing out Saturday’s action was rookie driver Shane Costa picking up his first win ever in the High School Category. Shane bested Garrett Green by using a .006 reaction time and 16.92 on his 16.94 dial-in for the double breakout win. Krystal Book was the lone semi-finalist.
Sunday’s action provided major movement in the championship points standings for all categories. The final three events of the season will prove to be outstanding as drivers will be fighting to the very end for the track championship and the coveted top four positions in each class. Taking home the win in Super Pro was Dave Gotts. Dave took advantage of runner-up Alan Hoefer’s breakage and took a single pass into the winner’s circle. Gotts ran a 10.614 on his 10.62 dial-in on his victory lap. Saturday winner, Dustin Harris, and Daniel McClelland, behind the wheel of his dad’s Super Gas roadster were the semi-finalists. In the Pro category, reigning Division 7 Sportsman Champion, Gary Hairfield took the win over defending Auto Club Dragway Pro Track Champion, Chris Vels. Gary used a stellar .018 (.009 reaction time, 13.069/13.06) package to take the win over Vels who ran .047 over his dial (10.217/10.17). Saturday’s Sportsman winner, CW Hoefer, was the lone semi-finalist. In Sportsman action, Dennis Ratcliffe took the win over Temecula, CA runner, Ken Plouffe. Dennis was able to enjoy his win with a victory lap down the ¼ mile as Plouffe dropped the red bulb at the start. Matt Miyashiro and John Mills were the semi-finalists. Adding another impressive win to his growing total was Gary Moreno aboard his Skip Fordyce-sponsored Harley Davidson V-Rod in the Motorcycle class. Gary used a .031 reaction time and a 9.697 on his 9.65 dial-in to take the win over an uncharacteristically tardy Tony Pellettera. Saturday’s champ, Augustine Herrera, and Mike Vattioni were the semi-finalists. Proving that success is in the Hoefer blood, Craig Hoefer picked up his first win ever in the High School final over good friend and teammate, Emily Swanson. Emily was outstanding on the tree with her .013 reaction time but took a little too much stripe at the finish line handing the win over to Hoefer. Krystal Book and Daniel Sweitzer were the semi-finalists.
As the 2009 season begins to wind down, every event is important for those trying to make it into or stay in the top four positions in their respective categories, earning them a right to compete in the Race of Champions for the Division 7 crown at the ET Finals. Heading into the final three events of the Summit season, some great, tight battles are taking shape in each category and the home stretch of the season is sure to be exciting and action packed! Come on out and see the stars of local bracket racing right in your own backyard at the Auto Club Dragway! Check the schedule section of the website for a full schedule of future events.