The Top Fuel class started with six entries for the first race of the season. Early round qualifying was led by Scott Whipple with a 2.338 in his new car on Friday, but would be knocked off the top spot with a new TF World Record run by Geoff Gill with a 2.284 in the Gill Bettencourt Motorsports dragster. Geoff would hang on to the top qualifying spot, followed by Whipple’s 2.33 and Shane Switzer’s 2.386.
With some parts breakage in Saturday’s final qualifying session, round one of eliminations saw two bye runs and two single runs. Geoff Gill ran Low ET of the round with a 2.348/151.83 pass. The first pair of round two saw Gill continue on with a 2.394 to defeat Jeff Janoe. The other side of the ladder saw a great match up as Scott Whipple took the win on a hole shot over Shane Switzer’s “Spooky II” entry 2.458 to 2.453. The RT difference was in favor of Whipple, .039 to .177. This set up a final round between the current record holder and the previous record holder. Gill had a small starting line advantage, but a couple dead cylinders forced him to pedal allowing Whipple to get away for the victory with a 2.352/157.78 pass. The two time defending Top Fuel champ is off to a fast start again in 2009.
Seven Top Alcohol teams made the trip to
Round one started out with Gary Mink on a bye run, laying down Low ET of the round with a 2.425. The next pair saw Jim Hammond in the “April’s Dream” car versus Mike DeNunzio in his new Canidae Top Alcohol Dragster. In one of the closest TA races of the weekend,
The semi-final round started with Mink continuing on over
The Top Eliminator class kicked off the 2009 season with 13 entries vying for the race win. In qualifying, Leon Januik laid down a perfect 2.950 to lead the field into race day. To show how tight the qualifying order was, a 3.050 (.100 off the Index) was only good for 12th qualifying position. In round one, Tiffany Januik had the best numbers of the round with a 2.972 and .042 RT.
A huge match up in Round 2 was a rematch of the May Soboba final round of last year with Tiffany Januik facing off with Billy Morris. In what was a great race, Billy took a slim starting line advantage but Tiffany drove around him for the win 2.97 to 3.11. Another close race in the round was when Larry Snow defeated Mark Punos 3.05 to 3.08. Also advancing to the semi-final round were Lori Ketron and Leon Januik.
In the semi-final round, Tiffany defeated her Father-in-law Leon with a 2.96 to
Sunday’s eliminations saw 12 entries take the first round call in the Pro 1 class. Bill “Wild Willie” Swim went .002 on the tree, which sent him into round two as the #1 qualifier. Swim faced off with a tough competitor in round two in 2008 Pro 1 points runner-up Tommy Zavala. Zavala was off the line first .013 to .030 and forced Swim into a 3.592 (3.61) break out. Another great round two match up saw Craig Durning take a .010 Margin of Victory over Joe Janoe. The semi-final round saw a fantastic match up with Craig Durning’s Jeep leaving first .030 to .065 over Todd Randolph’s Altered and holding on for a .001 MOV. Durning’s win would set up a final round race with Zavala, who had the semi-final round bye run. Unfortunately, Zavala’s double up attempt would fall short in the Pro 2 final, and also take him out of the Pro 1 final with engine problems. This would set up a final round single for Durning, where he would run his best pass of the day with a 3.64 for the race win. Swim had the best RT of eliminations with the .002 in round one while Swim and Zavala shared closest to the dial honors as both went .021 off the dial, also in the opening round.
Eleven entries came to battle it out in Pro 2 eliminations on Sunday. In round one, Todd Kinney ended up as the low qualifier with a .030 RT in his defeat of Angel Switzer. There were a pair of great round two match ups. The first one saw Kinney face off with Steve Anthony. Anthony went .013 to lead Kinney’s .018 off the line, but Kinney would run closer to the dial for a .030 MOV. In the final pair of the round, two of the toughest Pro 2 competitors faced off with Tommy Zavala racing Phil Soper. Soper would get off the line first .030 to .070, but could only run 4.15 (4.01) allowing Zavala to drive around with a 3.78 (3.75) for the win. The semi-final round saw a great run as Tommy Zavala cut the best light of eliminations with a .001 to Charlie Johnson’s .033, Zavala would hang on for a .006 MOV in that match up. Zavala would face off with Kinney in the final round. Zavala took a .049 to .106 advantage, but would experience major problems with the engine slowing him and allowing Kinney to take the win with a 4.12 (4.05). Kinney also was the closest to his dial in eliminations, running just .009 off his dial in round one.
The Pro 3 class had a strong group of competitors show up to compete in
Motorcycle Pro 1
The Motorcycle Pro 1 class kicked off the season in
Motorcycle Pro 2
Motorcycle Pro 2 kicked off the season with Rob Winkle ending up as the #1 qualifier with a .033 RT in his round one victory. The semi-final round kicked off with a great race between Weaver and Brad Deforest. Weaver took a .119 to .133 lead, but Deforest ran closer to his dial for a.014 MOV. Facing off with Deforest in the final would be Mark Ratliff, who forced Rob Winkle into a 5.042 (5.09) break out. In the final, Deforest would take the win over Ratliff running a 5.636 (5.50). Winkle’s round one .033 was the Best RT in eliminations while DeForest’s round two .033 was closest to the dial in the class.
The Pro Mod class saw two of the toughest cars in the class show up to battle it out. Bob Gill in his new Jeep-bodied entry faced off with Francisco Anaya’s roadster. Bob would qualify #1 with the quickest Pro Mod run to date with a 3.23 ahead of Anaya’s 3.44. In the final round, Anaya stage fouled while Gill ran the quickest Pro Mod class run ever with a 3.176/115.46. What an amazing pass on S.T.U. 20.00’s, congrats to the Gill team.
Pro Index action at the Season Opener kicked off with Todd Kinney leading the qualifying rounds with a 4.011, which sent him to eliminations with the first round bye run. Eliminations wore on to the semi-final round where Todd Kinney would slip by Charlie Johnson for a .013 MOV. Kinney would face off with 2007 and 2008 Pro Index class champion Justin Adamson in the final round. Adamson took a .030 to .120 lead and never looked back for a 4.05 to 4.05 win. The champ looks to be a good bet for a three peat in ’09. Kenny Thomas had the best RT of eliminations with a .020 in round one while Todd Kinney made the closest to the Index run with a 3.964.
Eleven entries came to
In the Sportsman 2 class, Jim Clark had the best RT in round one with a .034. Jim would advance on to a final round match up against 2008 Sportsman 2 champion Justin Taylor. The champ would go .039 red in the final to give the class win to
Motorcycle Sportsman 1
The Motorcycle Sportsman 1 class was led into
Motorcycle Sportsman 2
Ten entries showed up for the NSDA Season Opener in
2008 NSDA Junior Dragster champ Brandon Wright emerged victorious at the 2009 Season Opener with a final round win over Alex Wright.
Photos Courtesy C3 Productions -- www.c3productions.net or www.myspace.com/c3productionsphotos.