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Maple Grove Madness - Nitto Tires IDRC East Coast Nationals

Sizzling Strip Performances Dominate The Nitto Tires/IDRC East Coast Nationals

Gary Castillo
Apr 6, 2007 SHARE
0012_turp_01_z+nitto_tires_idrc_east_coast_nationals+toyo_tires Photo 1/1   |   Maple Grove Madness - Nitto Tires IDRC East Coast Nationals

On August 20, 2000 Pennsylvania's Maple Grove Raceway hosted some awesome import drag racing that showcased top guns from both coasts and all points in between. Despite threatening weather, attendance for this Maple Grove event almost tripled the last IDRC Maple Grove event. From the first set of cars to the last, the big dogs ran some big numbers.

Nitto Tires/Turbo Magazine Quick XVIThe only rear-wheel-drive car in the Quick XVI field happened to be the heaviest as well-the 4G63-powered Starion piloted by Eric Plebani. The Starion has undergone a step-by-step development process starting in the 11s and working its way to the 9s. At this event, Plebani would better his personal best by running a 9.54 in qualifying and taking the number two spot in the Quick XVI. Since its last record run at the Diamond Star shootout, absolutely nothing has changed; the car seems to run faster and faster with each race. Plebani also told us we should expect to see a jump in boost soon, which he hopes will land him in the 8s.

Brent Rau's '95 Mitsubishi Eclipse has been battling driveline problems since its makeover last year. The car generates Quick Class record runs, but usually ends up eliminated due to some sort of breakage. Such was the case at Maple Grove. Rau was able to run much faster and advanced all the way to the semi-finals before breaking yet another axle when up against Kenny Tran. While Rau missed out on a trophy, he left with something more valuable-big-time bragging rights as the world's quickest Diamond Star and Quick Class racecar with an e.t. of 9.40 seconds at 149 mph.

After an incredible year of racing with the same engine, Texan Kenny Tran has finally retired his record-breaking engine. Tran was the first and fastest front-drive competitor at the '99 IDRC International Finals. During its tour of duty, the 1.8-liter VTEC engine ran consistent 9-second e.t.s and has earned a well-deserved freshening. Tran's shop, Jotec Motorsports, didn't miss a beat; the new engine landed the green Civic a new personal best-a scorching 9.64 at 139 mph. Considering this was the engine's first pass, we hope to see quicker e.t.s later in the season. However, Tran was able to progress to the finals and a match against Lisa Kubo.

Lisa Kubo has once again taken over the points lead from Leevon Eisele. While chatting with crew chief Gary Kubo in the pits, we noticed an upgrade on Lisa's ride. A set of M&H 26x8x15-inch slicks replaced her normal set of 25x9.75x13s. Gary informed us that this event was the first time the team has ever tried the new gumballs. While most racers who have upgraded to this size slick have had axle breakage problems, the Kubos decided to also upgrade the factory hubs to accept larger Prelude units to avoid these gremlins. The ExtrudeHone-sponsored Civic locked down its fastest time ever-a 9.59 at 153 mph, as well as taking home a first place victory in the Quick Class. Lisa ran single digits throughout the entire program, proving that Hondas can be quick and live to see another day.

APEXi Outlaw VIIIThe APEXi-sponsored Outlaw VIII class is on the verge of breaking into the 7-second zone and has definitely become the class on the rise in recent months. The points standings have three competitors battling it out-Stephan Papadakis, Craig Paisley and Carlos Montano.

Vinny Ten and his well-known '95 Toyota Supra came out of the blue to run a huge number in qualifying, blasting an 8.10 at 165 mph on his first pass off of the trailer. This stellar effort earned Ten the title of the World's Fastest Supra. According to Ten, "It took a lot of time to get the Accel DFI to work with the JZA powerplant, but we were able to make 1000 hp after we worked out all the bugs. Once we solved the tuning issue, our powerglide transmission had problems taking the power, but now that our new 'glide can take the punishment, we're finally able to get the power to the ground."

The Paisley Automotive Supra has been tearing up tracks across the country. With the help of an Auto Meter Datalogger, Paisley has been able to knock tenth after tenth off his e.t. At this event, he was able to push the Supra another tenth faster, locking in an 8.44. Paisley backed up the run, with an even faster 8.42 at 160 mph.

Pepe Loco has been lurking in the shadows of top racers, but the underdog has been on a roll in the East. At the last IDRC Maple Grove race, Carlos Montano ran consistent low 9s, but since then, the rotary-powered Datsun has landed in the 8-second zone and seems to be there to stay. Loco made it all the way to the finals before being eliminated by the Paisley Supra. The high-revving Datsun's best time of the day was an 8.79 at 151.5 mph.

Ed Bergenholtz recently made the jump from Quick Class to Outlaw. Weighing in at a little more than 1,700 lbs, the Bergenholtz CRX was bound to run a good number. On one of the Honda's qualifying passes, it was able to rip down the track to a 9.46 qualifying in the number four spot. Later in competition, the boost was raised and Bergenholtz clocked in at an amazing 9.45 at 155 mph and moved into the semis, where he fell to the Paisley Racing Supra. The big question is, was the move up to Outlaw worth it, being only .14 seconds ahead of Lisa Kubo (who ran 9.59 in Quick Class trim)? In the other semi, Ten broke, opening the door for Montano. As far as the points race was concerned, Paisley beat out Montano, running an 8.51 in the Supra against Montano's 8.85.

Sport Compact Car Street VIIIBy far one of the most impressive classes around is the Street VIII. Not many people can say that their car is a true street car and, by IDRC rules, in order for your car to compete in this class, it must run on DOT tires and through the muffler.

Ari Yallon is still clicking off numbers that many full-race Quick Class cars only dream about. The day before the event, Maple Grove held a test-and-tune session with a mix of domestics and imports. On one of Yallon's passes, the RX-7 locked in a 9.58. The domestic folk gathered in amazement to discover the rotary-powered import was street-driven as well, with the 9-second run made on DOT tires. Another win for the imports! At the IDRC event, Yallon was not able to better his time, but he was able to run two 9-second passes in competition while taking home first place cash. He has a lock on the season championship and is someone to know, come late December.

JE Pistons Pro VIIIAt the last IDRC Maple Grove event, Mike Simon debuted his Mitsubishi-powered CRX. Back then, the tube-chassis Honda was able to turn consistent mid-9s. Since then, the car has landed in the 8s, but during the test-and-tune Saturday before the event, Mike and crew had to replace the car's powerglide transmission with another. It turns out that the old unit had an internal trans brake problem. Their last minute efforts did not work as planned; the CRX's best pass was a 9.49.

Marcos Acosta's MX-3 made it all the way to the finals by running mid- to low-8s. His best pass of the day came in qualifying in a bout against Sammy Benitez. Acosta turned in an impressive 8.11 at 163 mph and we would not be surprised if he ran 7s by season's end. The car's fastest mph at the event was 169 mph in the quarter-finals. Acosta met up with Benitez in the finals, beating him to take the class win.

With the points race winding down, we would expect a lot of the top name racers to follow the last IDRC races of the season. One being in Bandimere, Colo. and the last in Palmdale, Calif.

JE Pistons Pro VIII
Qualifying
1 Sammy Benitez New Jersey '91 {{{Mazda RX-7}}} 8.141 154.59 mph
2 Marcos Acosta Bronx, N.Y. '95 {{{Mazda MX-3}}} 8.304 157.34 mph
3 Mike Simon Columbus, Ohio '88 {{{Honda CRX}}} 9.571 142.76 mph
4 Pedro Santiago Bronx, N.Y. '71 Datsun 12.23 81.81 mph
5 Jose Escalera Philadelphia   13.28 {{{62}}}.93 mph
Quarter Finals
2 Marcos Acosta 1.289 r/t 8.124 169.14 mph Win
4 Pedro Santiago 895 r/t 13.498 66.56 mph ${{{100}}}
1 Sammy Benitez 0.618 8.05 161.95 mph -Bye-
5 Jose Escalera 0.466 8.685 152.20 mph Win
3 Mike Simon 0.785 9.497 144.76 mph $100
Semi Finals
2 Marcos Acosta 1.834 8.134 166.54 mph -Bye-
1 Sammy Benitez 0.782 8.036 167.13 mph Win
5 Jose Escalera 0.131 foul 9.024 152.49 mph $250
Final
2 Marcos Acosta 1.112 8.116 163.16 mph Win $1,000
1 Sammy Benitez 1.181 8.058 162.66 mph $500
A’PEX Integration
Outlaw VIII
Qualifying
1 Vinny Ten Queens, N.Y. '95 {{{Supra}}} 8.103 165.04
2 Craig Paisley Hempstead, N.Y. '97 Supra 8.429 160.05
3 Carlos Montano Paeterson, N.J. Datsun 8.795 151.54
4 Ed Bergenholtz Santa Ana, Calif. '88 {{{CRX}}} 9.466 151.43
5 Axel Sotomayor Trenton, N.J. '83 Starlet 9.756 132.1
6 Henry {{{Montero}}} Philadelphia   10.76 132.29
7 Herbert Mattei Landaster, Pa.   11.27 105.31
8 Louis Castao Perth Amboy, N.J.   11.95 109.58
Quarter Finals
1 Vinny Ten .577 r/t 8.{{{405}}} 162.95 mph Win
5 Axel Sotomayor 1.016 r/t 9.611 134.46 mph $100
3 Carlos Montano     Win
7 Herbert Mattei -BROKE-     $100
2 Craig Paisley 0.92 8.513 159.40 mph Win
3 Henry Montero 0.415 9.629 139.40 mph $100
4 Ed Bergenholtz 0.658 9.456 155.22 mph Win
8 Louis Castao 0.78 12.619 103.06 mph $100
Semi Finals
1 Vinny Ten -BROKE-     $250
3 Carlos Montano   8.833 151.74 mph Win
2 Craig Paisley 0.455 8.48 159.40 mph Win
4 Ed Bergenholtz 0.632 10.66 140.77 mph $250
Final
3 Carlos Montano 0.476 8.857 150.98 mph $500
2 Craig Paisley 0.734 8.518 158.08 mph Win $1,000
Nitto Tires/Turbo Magazine Quick XVI Class
Qualifying
1 Brent Rau Farmington, Mass. '95 {{{Eclipse}}} 9.404 149.00
2 Eric Plebani Oakford, Pa. '89 {{{Starion}}} 9.542 144.27
3 Kenny Tran Garland, Texas '93 {{{Civic}}} 9.641 139.40
4 Lisa Kubo Rosemead, Calf. '95 Civic 9.788 150.17
5 Jojo Callos Long Beach, Calif. '94 Civic 9.843 144.88
6 Dan Cokic Milord, Conn. '{{{90}}} Eclipse 10.18 133.61
7 Sean Glazar Fulton, Md. '00 {{{Mirage}}} 10.28 150.22
8 James Farrer Matawan, N.J.   10.37 138.54
9 Ross Esposito Staten Island, N.Y. '95 {{{Integra}}} 10.60 133.29
10 Savvy Leone Jamison, Pa. '93 Civic 10.75 127.{{{80}}}
11 Chris Fair Mt. Holly, Pa. '94 Integra 10.95 139.36
12 Steve Lockett Elkinspark, Pa. '90 {{{Storm}}} 11.16 128.42
13 Angela Proudfoot Washington, D.C. '95 Civic 11.49 124.24
14 Leevon Eisele Quartz Hill, Calif. '99 Civic 11.70 131.02
15 Jason Hunt Crofton, Md. '88 CRX 11.80 120.06
16 Kevin Black Lemoyne, Pa.   11.84 110.72
First Round
1 Brent Rau .{{{825}}} r/t 10.194 143.38 mph Win
9 Ross Esposito .774 r/t 10.965 131.29 mph  
3 Kenny Tran .716 r/t 9.692 150.65 mph Win
11 Chris Fair .771 r/t 10.45 140.40 mph  
7 Sean Glazar 1.022 r/t 10.983 138.76 mph Win
15 Jason Hunt .815 r/t 12.457 117.03 mph  
2 Eric Plebani .589 r/t 9.844 141.11 mph Win
10 Savvy Leone .715 r/t 10.69 129.32 mph  
4 Lisa Kubo .555 r/t 9.7 152.49 mph Win
12 Steve Lockett .635 r/t 11.942 126.76 mph  
16 Kevin Black .696 r/t 12.168 109.78 mph Win
8 James Farrer -BROKE-      
13 Angela Proudfoot -BYE-      
Quarter Finals
3 Kenny Tran .559 r/t 10.826 145.32 mph Win
7 Sean Glazar .863 r/t 11.013 144.67 mph $100
4 Lisa Kubo .680 r/t 9.594 153.06 mph Win
16 Kevin Black .551 r/t 36.415 25.98 mph $100
1 Brent Rau 1.068 r/t 10.644 131.59 mph Win
13 Angela Proudfoot .778 r/t 11.814 123.30 mph $100
2 Eric Plebani .802 r/t 12.689 75.79 mph Win
    -BYE-      
Semi Finals
4 Lisa Kubo .561 r/t 9.96 149.00 mph Win
2 Eric Plebani .619 r/t 9.985 137.76 mph $250
3 Kenny Tran .624 r/t 9.835 147.34 mph Win
1 Brent Rau .{{{928}}} r/t 19.389 55.68 mph $250
Final
4 Lisa Kubo .545 r/t 9.692 151.43 mph Win $1,000
3 Kenny Tran .595 r/t 9.872 144.02 mph $500
Toyo Tires IDRC Street-VIII Class Presnted By Sport Compact Car
Qualifying
1 Ari Yallon Garland, Texas '93 {{{RX-7}}} 9.881 144.97
2 Ara Arslanian Cresskill, N.J. '94 Supra 10.98 120.24
3 Lonnie LaScola Westminster, Md. Eclipse 11.65 120.24
4 Brad Daley Woodbridge, Va. '94 Supra 11.82 126.1
5 Keith Laforte Oradell, N.J. '92 {{{Talon}}} 11.89 116.8
6 David Devera Edison, N.J. '94 Supra 12.06 116.05
7 Chris Maher Churchville, Pa. '94 Supra 12.18 115.32
8 Joseph Bianco Staten Island, N.Y. '90 Eclipse 12.27 116.26
Quarter Finals
1 Ari Yallon .675 r/t 10.335 140.86 mph Win
5 Keith Laforte .876 r/t 11.805 117.66 mph $100
3 Lonnie LaScola .901 r/t 11.522 120.88 mph Win
7 Chris Maher 0.735 12.09 115.75 mph $100
2 Ara Arslanian 1.258 r/t 13.373 78.34 mph $100
6 David Devera .962 r/t 12.856 114.44 mph Win
4 Brad Daley 0.668 10.81 131.02 mph Win
8 Joseph Bianco 0.867 13.457 106.10 mph $100
Semi Finals
1 Ari Yallon .733 r/t 9.843 146.03 mph Win
3 Lonnie LaScola .686 r/t 12.503 116.83 mph $250
6 David Devera .771 r/t 12.804 115.31mph $250
4 Brad Daley 0.658 10.822 132.37 mph Win
Final
1 Ari Yallon .674 r/t 9.871 145.06 mph Win $1,000
4 Brad Daley 0.592 10.384 140.75 mph $500

This bullish street Supra was out the day before the event for a few test-and-tune runs. The car was able to make some 10-second passes but did not progress too far in the Street VIII. In any case, a 10-second street Supra is impressive. The fact that such a quick car didn't go far in competition is an indication of how fast these Street VIII machines are getting.

Sammy Benitez has finally started working the bugs out of his tube-chassis RX-7. The car ran consistent 8.0s and is on its way to breaking into the 7-second zone.

This Impo Civic runs high 10s in SOHC trim.

Remember this car from the '99 Pomona IDRC finals? EIP has revamped what was once a front-drive GTI into a full-on, streetable, all-wheel-drive VR6 turbo.

Ross Esposito has consistently piloted the Ripp Integra to consistent mid- 10s, but was eliminated in a first-round bout against Brent Rau.

In the Street VIII finals, Brad Daley's 10.3-second Supra was not enough to take out Ari Yallon's dominating RX-7, that blasted a 9.87 at 145 mph in the finals.

This is Kenny Tran's fourth time making the final cut at an IDRC event, but just like the times before, he was not able to come home with a victory. Even without first place, Tran is still looking good in the points race.

This was a first for us, a 10-second Volkswagen Rabbit.

At a little more than 1,700 lbs, the Team Bergenholtz CRX was able to land a 9.45 at 155 mph while competing in the Outlaw class.

It's amazing what a set of bigger slicks did for Lisa Kubo's Civic. With the same horsepower, but 26x8x15, she landed a personal best of 9.59.

This Diamond Star, owned and piloted by Brent Rau, is the world's fastest Quick Class car, as it blasted a 9.40.

Ari Yallon demolished his previous record on street tires by ripping down the track in 9.58 seconds. This record also beat his fastest time of 9.62 on slicks as well.

This is the world's quickest Sentra in the quarter, running a 10.37 at 130-plus mph. Can you believe the engine runs a modified factory ECU and bone-stock valvetrain?

Leevon Eisele held the number one qualifying spot in points before the event, but unfortunately a burnt clutch would keep him from holding on to the position.

If Kris Bareng (owner of this drag RC car) would put this much time in his real racecar, it would probably be done by now.

This RX-7 was a 10-second racer before it met the track's barrier while at top end.

Maple Grove marked the return of Vinny Ten to the Outlaw Class. Ten set a new Supra record with an 8.10 at 165 mph.

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By Gary Castillo
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