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2005 NHRA Nitto Sport Compact Nationals

Old Bridge Township Raceway Englishtown, NJ April 30-May 1, 2005

Stew Lawson
Mar 17, 2009

Well if you’re from England or you just like rain then E-Town was the place to go! Due to rain on Saturday the event was put off till Sunday allowing for plenty of time to catch up on old times. So what happens when there is no qualifying on Saturday? There is non-stop racing action that no one would want to miss.

Due to the delay there was only time for one qualifying run on Sunday and the drivers and their teams had to make sure they were all on the ball. The racing began just after noon and didn’t stop till dusk. The first class to test out the freshly dried track was the All Motor class. With an 11 car field the action was sure to be spectacular. Jesus Padilla was the number one Qualifier running a 9.94 @ 132mph. It was too bad that Norris Prayoonto was unable to qualify due to battery problems. Jesus would go on to face Jeremy Lookofsky in the final races of the day. Jesus cut and almost perfect light and went on to take the win a with a 9.90 @ 132.99mph to Lookofsky’s 12.89 @ 69.41mph.

With only a four car field, the Hot Rod class elimination runs would be few and furious. Ron Lummus with his ‘05 Pontiac qualified first with a 7.94 run. Second place qualifier was Bryan Jimenez in his ‘93 Civic hatch. Unfortunately, Mike Crawford and his Team Mopar SRT-4 had some gremlins and had to pack up. His qualifying pass was disappointing as after he got past the 60-foot mark he got tire shake and was unable to hit a decent number. In the final, it was to be Lummus and Jimenez. Jimenez beat Lummus on the tree but he didn’t have enough to hold him off. Lummus went to take the win and receive the Wally with another 7 second pass.

With the Modified Class having a few more cars than the Hotrod category we would see them a few more times and witness some of the most impressive driving of the day! In a late elimination run, it was the two crowd favorites with Paul Efantis and the rookie Justin Humphreys. Usually we are accustomed to seeing them in the final against each other, but on this day it was a semi-final. I’ve been impressed by the way Humphrey’s can control his Lexus but this day would be the ultimate! On the tree they were almost identical, but at the half way point Efantis was just barley ahead, that’s when Humphrey’s car started to fish-tail. Being the fierce competitor that he is, he decided to try any drive out of it, the car swerved to the left and then to the right just as quickly back to the left again and that’s when his car spun and softly kissed the wall. They both crossed the line Efantis with a 7.41 @ 188.46 while Humphrey’s hit the traps totally out of control with an 8.11 @ 130.24! In the finals, Efantis went on to face Sean Glazer and his mighty DSM. However Glazer’s record-holding Talon couldn’t match the power and the speed of the Lucas Oil Solara. Efantis went on to take the win with a 7.44 @ 187.26.

Again the Pro Front wheel drive class was slim, with only two cars competing. Jason Hunt in his Saturn Ion vs. Ed Bergenholtz with the ‘06 Mazda. Hunt Qualified first running an 8.03. In the showdown, Bergenholtz treed Hunt but Hunts’s car was running stronger on this day and he went on the take the win with a 8.47 @170.69.

The Pro RWD class was a healthy one, with number one qualifier Matt Hartford in his Cavalier running a 6.60 pass everyone had to step it up and make sure no corners were cut. Many fans were thrilled to see Adam Saruwatari back in the saddle of his ‘01 NSX. Everyone was running well and all had hopes to make it into the final, but as much as you want something to happen sometimes the racing gods aren’t always on your side. With only two out of the eight able to make it to the final it would be Hartford and Ara Arslanian in the StreetGlow Solara. Hartford decided to stage first and it would prove to be the better move. Hartford with almost a perfect light and lead the race most of the way and Arslanian was unable to catch him. The final results was Hartford running a 6.99 @ 197.33 and Arslanian trailing7.06 @ 200.14mph.

By Stew Lawson
16 Articles

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