A huge racer turnout made the trip to Kingman, AZ’s Mohave County Fairgrounds for the West Coast Winternationals Sand Drags presented by Route 66 Wings & Wheels. With the huge turnout, there was a ton of great racing on track. Let’s take a look at the happenings from this event.
The Fuelers came out in full force for the Inaugural event in Kingman. A total
of seven cars were on the property, however only five made it on track.
Qualifying saw Dennis Rieck take the top spot with a 2.485/144mph shot in the
Hammer Down Racing TF Dragster. The new Coldwater Kid Dragster made one
qualifying lap and ended up in the second position with a 2.536. The Norris
Racing Team, with Marcus Norris behind the wheel, ran a personal best
2.55/141mph to sit third. John Cadzow & the Cadzow Motorsports team had
rough luck all weekend long, starting with two qualifying passes recording no
time due to timing system issues. His best time in qualifying was a 2.564 for
the fourth position, despite a pretty looking Saturday night pass that could
have been good enough for the top spot that recorded no time. Terri Blair and
the Fugowie Team sat fifth heading into race day with a 2.89 best, however it
was obvious they were making strides with the dual-tire Fueler.
When the round one call came out, only three entries were able to compete. This
left #1 qualifier Rieck with a bye run in which he would run 2.456/143mph. The
pair in this round would see Cadzow face off with Blair & the Fugowie Team.
Cadzow’s horrendous luck continued as he dropped a valve about 60’ out, which
then kicked out the burst panel, relegating him to just being able to watch as
Blair laid down a nice 2.568/136mph shot. The Fugowie Team had definitely made
some giant steps forward and it was looking to be a great final round battle.
However, the Blair/Fugowie car had some breakage on the warm up for the final
round, which would give Rieck a solo run for the race win. Dennis was shooting
for the first 2.3 pass of the weekend with the Hammer Down small block-powered
entry. Rieck launched great and was on an excellent pass until he hit a bump
down track causing the front end to lift in the lights tripping the finish line
with the back tires. On the back tires, he recorded a 2.49 ET for the win.
Congrats to Dennis and the Hammer Down Team on back-to-back victories.
Dennis Rieck - Top Fuel Winner
Terri Blair - Top Fuel Runner-Up
John Cadzow (NSDN Photo)
Five entries showed up at Kingman to compete in the Top Alcohol category. Once
again, Gary Mink continued to amaze, running a blistering 2.432/137mph hit to
take the top qualifying spot. Scott Carroll would sit second heading into race
day with a 2.537 with Dan Allen third at 2.543 followed by Craig Sines (2.569)
and Jim Hammond (2.761).
In round one; Mink, Allen, and Sines all had bye runs. They were led by Oregon’s Craig Sines,
running a 2.483 for Low ET of the round. In the one pair, Carroll would run a
2.53 to defeat Hammond’s
2.74. Round two was highly anticipated as in round one the ET’s were tightly
grouped between 2.48-2.54. The first pair saw Gary Mink light up the score
board again, as he would run Low ET of the weekend with a 2.430 in defeat of
Scott Carroll’s 2.563. Up next would be Craig Sines & the Thunder Struck
team against Dan Allen’s Lucas Oil/Allen Racing entry. When the dust settled,
it would be Sines pulling off the big win running a 2.54 to a 2.61.
The final round was looking to be quite a battle with both entries that had
dipped into the 2.4 zone facing off. In the final, it would only be Mink
dipping into the 2.4’s as he laid down a 2.48 to defeat Sines’ 2.58. The Mink team
once again showed that they are Bad To The Bone.
Gary Mink - Top Alcohol Winner
Craig Sines - Top Alcohol Runner-Up (NSDN Photo)
A strong contingent of entries showed up for battle in the Top Eliminator
class. This 2.95 Index category has become one of the toughest in all of sand
drag racing, and the action in Kingman just solidified that even more. Jim
Rossi topped qualifying in the Bad Toy Dragster with a perfect 2.950. Right
behind him would be 2.953’s a piece by Carey Mahoney and Terry Crawford.
Showing how tough the competition in this class was, the 3.049 (just less than
a tenth off the Index) by Geoff Gill was only good enough for the 9th
The closest race of round one was between Mark Punos and Geoff Gill. Punos had
the starting line advantage and held off the hard charging Larry Minor Motorsports
Jeep for a 3.06 to 3.05 victory. The best time of round one was a 2.990 by Tim
Martin in his victory over Ron D’Artenay.
Round two would see Rossi face off with Punos in a battle of Orange Blown
BBC-powered Dragsters. Rossi would almost repeat his perfect run from
qualifying with a .001-off 2.951 to take the win over Punos’ 3.12. Up next
would be a battle between the 2 Dolla’ Bill Team of Billy Morris and the Animal
Control Turbo 4-cylinder entry of Daniel King. This would be a great race, with
Morris taking a narrow hole shot victory 3.002 to 2.976. Another quality match
would be next as Carey Mahoney, in his first weekend bringing back the “Big
Time” Altered, would face off with New
Mexico’s Tim Martin. At the stripe, Martin would go a
little too fast with a 2.926 handing the win to Mahoney’s 2.986. Rounding out
this round of eliminations would be Paul Taylor taking a big hole shot win over
Terry Crawford 3.10 to 3.00.
This would set up a great semi-final round. Leading off the round would be Rossi
vs. Morris. These two racers battled all season in the Super Eliminator (2.80
Index) class, but both had de-tuned to be deadly in the TE class on this
weekend. However, on this pass Rossi would tickle the tune-up just a little too
much breaking out with a 2.928 to Morris’ winning 3.02. The final pair of the
semis would see Mahoney and Taylor face off. Taylor would end up on the losing end of a
heart breaker on this one, going 2.949, just .001 under the Index giving the
win to Mahoney, who got out of shape down track to a 3.13.
With the all the marbles on the lines, a pair of Blown Big Block Chevy-powered
entries rolled to the line as the front-engine Altered of Mahoney lined up
against the rear-engine dragster of Morris. Mahoney would take a narrow starting
line advantage, but it would be the Rick Morris-tuned horse power carrying
Billy to a 2.971 to 3.018 victory. Congratulations to the 2 Dolla’ Bill Team on
an undefeated season in both Top Eliminator & Super Eliminator class
Billy Morris - Top Eliminator Winner
Carey Mahoney - Top Eliminator Runner-Up
The screaming Turbo 4-cylinder Dragsters faced off in a heads-up shootout in
Kingman competing in the A/Fuel class. Six solid entries showed up to compete
for the event victory. Qualifying saw Short Fuse Racing’s Brian Chapman take
the top qualifying spot with a 2.993. Cronin Racing’s John Cronin qualified
second with a 3.000 in the Meltdown Dragster while Mario Tavares tied Cronin’s
ET with a 3.000 in the Pauter Machine entry.
Round one saw Tavares lay down a great 2.93 to defeat John Cronin the Cronin
Racing Red Dragster. Chapman, Art Cronin, and Aaron Mamer all had bye runs in
the first round with Mamer running Low ET with a 2.916.
The semi-final round saw Chapman take it easy on his second round bye run to
start off. Finishing off the round would a big matchup between Aaron Mamer in
the Sidewinder Dragster and Art Cronin in Meltdown. Mamer would leave first,
but quickly get in trouble as the car unloaded on the wheelie bar & got out
of control. Aaron did a superb driving job to keep the Sidewinder up right, but
in the other lane Cronin would speed away to a 2.92 victory.
This would set up a great final round match between Chapman and Cronin.
However, a red light would settle this match on the line as Cronin left a touch
too early handing the win to Chapman, who would run Low ET of the weekend in
the A/Fuel class with a 2.893/107mph. Congrats to the Short Fuse Team on the
big win in Kingman.
Brian Chapman - A/Fuel Winner (NSDN Photo)
Art Cronin - A/Fuel Runner-Up
Most classes were unable to be competed due to time constraints with racers
still in competition splitting the purse money. However, a couple of classes
were completed with Robert Garnas taking the Motorcycle Pro 1 victory over
Jaclyn Wehrer and these two competitors switching places in the Motorcycle
Sportsman 1 final as Jaclyn emerged victorious in that class with a perfect RT
on that final round pass. Another class that finished was Motorcycle Pro 2 with
Mike Brock taking the win over Mark Ratliff.
A nice night time shot of Dennis Rieck's Hammer Down Top Fueler on his way to the class title in Kingman. (NSDN Photo)
Rd 1 Top Fuel action: John Cadzow (Far Lane) with some engine damage while Terri Blair in the Fugowie Dragster heads towards the round win. (NSDN Photo)
Gary Mink deserves some big props for his performance in the Top Alcohol class, not only taking home the win but also running Low ET of the weekend in any class with a 2.430.
Art Cronin had a great performance in the Meltdown Dragster running a weekend best of 2.92 & ending up with a runner-up finish. (NSDN Photo)
Billy Morris capped off an incredible season with a win in the tough TE class. (NSDN Photo)
Carey Mahoney dusted off his trademark "Big Time" Altered and went to the final round in TE. (NSDN Photo)
Jim Rossi ran a perfect 2.950 to qualifying #1 in TE and went to the semi-finals in Kingman. (NSDN Photo)
Paul Taylor had another great outing with the Outta Control Dragster taking home a semi-final finish in TE. (NSDN Photo)
Mike Brock brought his whole stable of bikes to Kingman, and was rewarded with a win in Motorcycle Pro 2.
Larry Brown looked good in the "Mr. Excitement" Dragster, he was still in competition when the race was called.
Terry Crawford's Yabba Dabba Doo Dragster was spot on all weekend qualifying 3rd in TE with a 2.953, but would lose a close race to Paul Taylor in round two.
Brian Root, coming off of a Pro 1 win at Dome Valley in his brother's Jeep, was still in competition in Pro 3 with his own Jeep in Kingman at the end of the night.
Jaclyn Wehrer ended up in two finals on the weekend, taking the Motorcycle Sportsman 1 class victory over Robert Garnas.
Jack Vandergriff was a tough customer as always in the Motorcycle classes.
Tim Martin mad the haul in Las Cruces, NM and ran well in the tough Top Eliminator class going out to eventual runner-up Carey Mahoney in round two.
Kody Hoffman in the 'Lil Sucka Dragster was one of the Junior Dragster participants in Kingman.
Alan Mamer was another of the tough customers in the Junior Dragster class at this event.
Steve Foster Jr. and his dad made the long haul to this race running well all weekend.
Kermit Larby was among the competitors in the 3.5 Index class at this event and was still in competition at the conclusion.
Tracy Malan had another good showing with his Altered at the Kingman race; he was another of the entrants in the 3.5 Index class.
Shawn Thompson's Jeep was dialed in at this event, running solidly in the Pro 3 class.
Nick Schultzman's great looking Altered put on a good showing as always.
Ron Schiel's Bronco with Alan Harland driving was going rounds & still in contention for the Pro 1 class victory when the race was called off.
Wes Johnson & his brother Charlie both went rounds in Kingman with their Jeeps in Pro class action.
Mike Dzek was another New Mexico resident making the long haul to Kingman competing in the Motorcycle Pro 1 class.
Mark Ratliff ran well all weekend in the Motorcycle classes, ending up with a second place finish in the Motorcycle Pro 2 category.
Trevor Schrerrer brought out the 401K Coupe for Pro 1 class action and as always was one of the most eye catching rides on the property.