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Palmdale Shines In Import Drag Racing's 2000 Season Finale - IDRC Nitto Tires International Finals

IDRC Nitto Tires International Finals

Staff Report
Apr 12, 2007 SHARE
0103_turp_01_z+idrc_nitto_tires_international_finals+mazda Photo 1/1   |   Palmdale Shines In Import Drag Racing's 2000 Season Finale - IDRC Nitto Tires International Finals

Palmdale, Calif.'s Los Angeles County Raceway is the birthplace of organized import drag racing. And at the IDRC Nitto Tires International Finals, it saw more power than ever.

The IDRC rented a street sweeper and ran it up and down the racing surface and shut-down area until the driver was dizzy. Then the entire racing surface was prepped with VHT and a close eye was kept on track conditions throughout the two-day event. With 7-second cars such as Abel Ibarra's stable of Mazdas and Marcos Acosta's 20B-powered MX-3 grip was at a premium. Factor in East Coast racers Craig Paisley and Chris Rado along with Stephan Papadakis and a gang of Quick Class warriors, and it's easy to see the need for such preparations.

The proof this worked was clearly evident in the timeslips. Abel Ibarra's Pro Class RX-7 qualified with a 7.93 at 171 mph, while his Flaco Racing counterpart Efren Vasquez was number two in the R-100 with a 7.98. In Outlaw, half of the field was able to break into the 8s during qualifying. Craig Paisley and his TRD-backed Supra edged out RX-7pilot Ray Lochhead 9.866 to 9.875. Adam Saruwatari posted an impressive 8.90 to get the third spot on the grid and Stephan Papadakis rounded out the 8-second contenders with an 8.96 at 162 mph, the highest trap speed in the field. Because of weight and fuel factors, Honda uni-body racers Ed Bergenholtz and Chris Rado found themselves surrounded by jungle-gym cars. They fared well, making the field in the number six and seven spots, running 9.65 and 9.75 respectively. In Quick Class, Lisa Kubo blasted a 9.61, easily the quickest time for a uni-body Honda at Palmdale.

In Street, league leader Ari Yallon was number one with a 10.32, but Rhys Millen was close on his heels with a 10.39 in the UPRD Supra. The All-Motor Class had it toughest, as the track's 2,800-foot elevation took a toll on competitors' power output. What's about these cars? The equal level of performance. Top qualifier Joel Mandl checked in with an 11.48, while the number four qualifier, Erick Aguilar, was a scant .06 seconds back at 11.54. The entire eight-car field was in the 11s.

Toyo Tires Street ClassThe Street class consisted of four RX-7s, a pair of Supras, a '92 Skyline GT-R and a '77 Mercedes. Events unfolded predictably with number one qualifier and division dominator Ari Yallon and his RX-7 and number two car, the Rhys Millen-piloted Supra from UPRD meeting heads-up in the finals. However, predictability went out the door at the flash of the green as the Supra sizzled the RX-7-10.02 to 10.23. During Saturday's qualifying session, the UPRD Supra, which is a handful coming out of the box because of its six-speed transmission, got a lackluster start, but its acceleration at half-track was a real eye opener. UPRD reported 60-foots of 2.2 seconds have been the norm because the old multi-plate clutch would be launched at 6500, but as it would catch, the clutch would pull down the revs to 1800 and the car would bog off the line. But on Saturday, the Supra was pulling 1.8s, thanks to a new six-puck, single-plate clutch from ACT. The ACT clutch was installed a mere four days before the event and no testing was possible prior to hitting the track. After some adjustments and fiddling with tire pressure, the Supra nailed a 1.5-second, 60-foot in the finals en route to its best-ever effort and the class win.

DC Sports All Motor ClassThis could have been the CRX Nats as six of the eight qualifiers were examples of Honda's fastback roller skate. The first two spots on the grid were occupied by the non-believers, namely Joel Mandl's '91 Civic and Scott Kelley's '69 VW. The finals came down to a pair of CRXs, number three on the tree, Jarrod Silvers, and Erick Aguilar, who made the show from the fourth spot in the line-up. In the finals, it was a tale of the staging game. Silvers pre-staged first. Then Aguilar lit the first light. Silvers then final staged and got on the brake and the two-step. Aguilar waited him out. As Silvers got off the gas, Aguilar staged and the tree lit up. The results sheet showed Silvers getting out first, but his engine bogged and the race that was close on paper was over.

Nitto Tires/Turbo Magazine Quick ClassIt was "do or die" in the Quick Class with Lisa Kubo ahead of the pack, but not entirely out of the woods in the series points race. She made the statement early and loudly, blasting a 9.61 in the first round of qualifications, grabbing top spot and precious points. Her main rival, Leevon Eisele, checked in at number seven on the grid. Both racers advanced through the first round and lost in the quarter finals, sealing the series championship and $15,000 for Lisa Kubo Racing. Kubo was running against Kousuke Kida in the peach-colored Signal Auto Civic, when her downpipe blew off and lodged in the tranny's cable-style shift linkage, which kept her from shifting. She ran an 11.26 at 89 mph. Kida wasn't waiting around; he ran a 10.75, letting off on the top end. Eisele ran a good 10.37, but was bitten by Jojo Callos' 9.89. Proving how well the track was hooking, Jimmy O'Connor and the Venom Civic fired off their best-ever run of 9.57 at 147 mph, taking Kubo's quickest ever run by a uni-body Honda at Palmdale. With the big picture decided, it was time to see who would win the race. The Venom Civic could not make the semis, giving Russ Matusevich a free ride into the finals. Kida's 10.44 was enough to dispatch Callos and it was a Honda vs. Toyota final. Matusevich broke and Kida skated to a 10.41 and a $1,500 payday.

JE Pistons Pro ClassTeam Flaco Racing had its way with the competition. Marcos Acosta, the only racer in a position to challenge the R-100 and RX-7, had tire shake gremlins the entire weekend and could not run to full potential. The MVA team has big plans for 2001, so look out. The finals came down to the RX-7 and the R-100 with the 7 collecting the cash with an 8.13 compared to the 100's 8.61.

Apex Integration Outlaw ClassNumber three qualifier Adam Saruwatari, who scorched the track with a 8.90, elected to run exhibition passes on Sunday, allowing Jim Johnson to enter the fray. Johnson, piloting Ray Lochhead's old first-gen RX-7, was an upset winner at the Fontana Battle. Johnson made it to the semis before Rene Franco's RX-3 beat him. Franco beat Paisley in the first round when Paisley could not get off the line. Paisley ran an 8.84, but his 1.125-second reaction time gave Franco the win light with a 9.41. Starting line demons affected Honda racer Stephan Papadakis who redlit in the first round. In the end, Ray Lochhead put the pedal to the metal and wheel-stood his way into the finals, where he dispatched Franco with a blistering 8.86.

ConclusionNot only was the racing action fast and furious, spectators supported the event big-time by filling the stands on Sunday. The Third Annual West Coast Nationals kicks off the 2001 IDRC season February 17 and 18, 2001 at Palmdale's LACR.

NITTO TIRES IDRC NITTO TIRES INTERNATIONAL FINALS RESULTS
DC SPORTS ALL-MOTOR
Driver Vehicle Hometown Car # E.T. mph Owner/Sponsor
1 Joel Mandl 91 {{{Honda Civic}}} Whittier, CA 192 11.483 115.59 Alex Hernandez
2 Scott Kelley 69 VW Fastback Anaheim, CA {{{911}}} 11.527 115.28  
3 Jarrod Silvers 88 {{{Honda CRX}}} Agoura Hills, CA 161 11.542 119.02 Wicked Pictures
4 Erick Aguilar 89 {{{Honda}}} {{{CRX}}} Harbor City, CA 184 11.558 115.91 Port Flow
5 Bisi Ezerioha 88 Honda CRX Gardena, CA 4882 11.735 116.32 RS Motorworks
6 Roger Sangco 89 Honda CRX San Diego, CA 1070 11.742 116.18 Ben Ma/AEBS
7 Kareem El-Sheri 89 Honda CRX Redondo Beach, CA 299 11.892 112.95 Marty Legare
8 Chris Sharma 86 Honda CRX Torrance, CA 1623 11.97 111.66 Dan's Shop

114.74 0.622 Win 3 Jarrod Silvers 11.406 118.75 0.635 Win 7 Kareem El-Sheri 11.943 113.34 0.599 $100 2 Scott Kelley 11.706 119.19 0.612 Win 6 Roger Sangco 11.936 112.55 0.607 $100 4 Erick Aguilar 11.542 115.81 0.572 Win 8 Chris Sharma 12.089 111.25 0.392 Red light $100 SEMI FINALS 5 Bisi Ezerioha Broke $250 3 Jarrod Silvers 11.606 117.83 0.655 Win 2 Scott Kelley 11.755 114.34 0.555 $250 4 Erick Aguilar 11.845 112.35 0.633 Win FINALS 3 Jarrod Silvers 11.787 118.28 0.572 $500 4 Erick Aguilar 11.719 114.84 0.592 Win $1,000

TOYO TIRES STREET 8 CLASS
1 Ari Yallon 93 {{{Mazda RX-7}}} Garland, TX 174 10.{{{323}}} 135.98 RX7.COM
2 Rhys Millen 95 {{{Toyota Supra}}} Huntington Beach {{{200}}} 10.393 142.93 UPRD
3 Cameron Worth 99 {{{Mazda}}} {{{RX-7}}} Fort Lauderdale 112 10.669 135.98 Pettit Racing
4 Robert Lives 83 Mazda RX-7 Chatsworth, CA 315 11.37 131.08
5 Joel Tanzman 73 Mercedes Benz Reseda, CA J777 11.758 141.17
6 Ryan Corwin 95 {{{Toyota}}} {{{Supra}}} Poway, CA 119 11.895 122.45
7 Alfred Rhee 93 Mazda RX-7 Fullerton, CA 120 12.5 119.14
8 Sean Morris 92 {{{Nissan}}} Skyline Torrance, CA 331 12.755 116.72 Motorex
QUARTERFINALS
1 Ari Yallon 10.519 129.85 0.705 Win
5 Joel Tanzman 12.307 106.5 0.584 ${{{100}}}
3 Cameron Worth DQ     $100
7 Alfred Rhee BROKE     $100
2 Rhys Millen 11.459 140.29 1.451 Win
6 Ryan Corwin BROKE BROKE   $100
4 Robert Lives 11.642 118.45 1.336 Win
8 Sean Morris 12.932 108.63 0.646 $100
SEMI FINALS
1 Ari Yallon 11.189 133.01 2.810 Win
Bye Run
2 Rhys Millen 10.851 142.43 0.951 Win
4 Robert Lives 11.414 120.25 0.742 $250
FINALS
1 Ari Yallon 10.23 116.59 0.598 $500
2 Rhys Millen 10.024 146.21 0.657 Win $1,000
NITTO TIRES TURBO MAGAZINE QUICK 16 CLASS
1 Lisa Kubo 92 {{{Honda Civic}}} Rosemead, CA 7519 9.614 153.21 Nitto tires/Extrude Hone
2 James O'Connor 00 {{{Honda}}} {{{Civic}}} Los Alamitos, CA 7325 9.799 154.79 Venom
3 JoJo Callos 94 Honda Civic Long Beach, CA 328 9.855 137.19 JG Engine Dynamics
4 Russ Matusevich 85 {{{Toyota Supra}}} Northridge, CA K775 10.079 141.14 AEM
5 Kousuke Kida 98 Honda Civic Osaka, Japan 270 10.13 143.08 Signal Auto/Tanabe/Nitto
6 Kenny Tran 93 Honda Civic Garland, TX 451K 10.157 138.86 Jotech Motorsports
7 Leevon Eisele 98 Honda Civic Quartz Hill, CA 3337 10.219 136.95 KG Precision / Tenzo
8 Dave Hickman 92 Honda Civic Lancaster, CA 306 10.302 139.96 DHR
9 Max Ha 95 {{{Acura Integra}}} Los Angeles, CA 201 10.445 135.97
10 Myles Bautista 95 Honda Civic N. Hollywood, CA 7625 10.487 137 Rev Hard Racing
11 Adrian Sabori 94 Honda Civic Los Angeles, CA 247 10.553 139.42
12 Ecino Pavia 74 {{{Mazda}}} RX-3 La Puente, CA 297 10.651 129.99
13 Randal Mello 94 Honda Civic Phoenix, AZ 168 10.678 129.53
14 Coleman Yee 91 Honda Civic San Francisco, CA 160 10.703 131.76
15 Derek Travger 93 Honda Civic Alta Loma, CA 279 10.799 133.47
16 Eddie Chong 88 {{{Honda CRX}}} Sacramento, CA 229 10.824 133.47 Kim Dip
FIRST ROUND
1 Lisa Kubo 10.239 147.56 0.559 Win
9 Max Ha Red light 0.000 ${{{100}}}
2 James O'Connor 10.172 147.11 0.640 Win
10 Myles Bautista 10.521 136.16 0.361 Redlight $100
3 JoJo Callos 10.047 144.33 0.589 Win
11 Adrian Sabori 10.702 138.63 0.746 $100
4 Russ Matusevich 9.941 140.71 0.716 Win
12 Ecino Pavia 114.39 11.489 0.{{{929}}} $100
5 Kousuke Kida 10.507 142.45 0.520 Win
13 Randal Mello 11.409 127.55 0.673 $100
6 Kenny Tran 10.488 144.02 0.821 Win
14 Coleman Yee 10.699 130.42 0.766 $100
7 Leevon Eisele 11.822 130.84 1.154 Win
15 Derek Travger Red Light 0.000 $100
8 Dave Hickman 12.416 128.01 0.599 Win
16 Eddie Chong 15.176 83.93 0.920 DQ-Scales $100
QUARTERFINALS
1 Lisa Kubo 11.262 89.64 0.705 $250
5 Kousuke Kida 10.753 138.77 0.698 Win
3 Jojo Callos 9.895 144.26 0.628 Win
7 Leevon Eisele 10.374 137.24 0.750 $250
2 James O'Connor 9.575 147.6 0.693 Win
6 Kenny Tran 10.844 138.04 0.612 $250
4 Russ Matusevich 9.98 141.76 0.713 Win
8 Dave Hickman 10.732 141.05 0.618 $250
SEMI FINALS
5 Kousuke Kida 10.446 143.48 0.698 Win
3 Jojo Callos 10.888 140.93 0.628 $500
2 James O'Connor No Show     $250
4 Russ Matusevich 16.622 88.25 1.673 Win
FINALS
5 Kousuke Kida 10.418 141.68 0.581 Win $1,500
4 Russ Matusevich Broke   0.451 $750
APEX INTEGRATION OUTLAW CLASS
1 Craig Paisley 97 {{{Toyota Supra}}} Hempstead, NY 185H 8.866 154.15 Paisley Racing
2 Ray Lochhead 95 {{{Mazda RX-7}}} Brentwood, CA 718 8.875 150.19 SR Motorsports
3 Adam Saruwatari 93 {{{Mazda}}} {{{RX-7}}} Arroyo Grande, CA 552X 8.909 149.8 Nitto Tires
4 Stephan Papadak 99 {{{Honda Civic}}} Anaheim, CA 775 8.961 162.01 AEM/Greddy
5 Rene Franco 73 Mazda RX-3 Los Angeles, CA 7018 9.58 138.08
6 Ed Bergenholtz 89 {{{Honda CRX}}} Santa Ana, CA 308 9.652 136.11 Bergenholtz Racing
7 Christian Rado 94 {{{Acura Integra}}} Reading, PA 172 9.751 146.17 World Electronics
8 Ronald Flock 70 Datsun B10 Clackamos, OR 999 10.086 131.92 Folck Enterprises USA
AltJim Johnson 85 Mazda RX-7 Palmdale, CA J794     ACT
QUARTERFINALS
1 Craig Paisley 8.849 154.75 1.125 ${{{100}}}
5 Rene Franco 9.416 138.41 0.474 Win
3 Jim Johnson 32.098 64.24 0.485 Win
7 Christian Rado Broke 0.795 $100
2 Ray Lochhead 9.161 142.37 0.989 Win
  No Show
4 Stephan Papadak 9.729 146.72 0.142 Redlight $100
8 Ronald Flock 9.988 132.52 0.467 Win
SEMI FINALS
5 Rene Franco 9.415 139.03 0.647 Win
3 Jim Johnson 18.441 66.83 1.257 $250
2 Ray Lochhead 9.521 143.42 0.563 Win
8 Ronald Flock 10.411 129.6 0.454 $250
FINALS
5 Rene Franco 12.421 71.94 1.048 $1,000
2 Ray Lochhead 8.869 150.46 1.279 Win $500
JE PISTONS PRO CLASS
1 Abel Ibarra 98 {{{Mazda RX-7}}} Riverside, CA 1 7.939 171.29 Racesearch.com
2 Erfren Vasquez 71 {{{Mazda}}} R-{{{100}}} Riverside, CA 7230 7.985 159.67 Flaco Racing
3 Marcos Acosta 96 {{{Mazda MX-3}}} Bronx, NY 193B 9.058 149.02 AEBS
4 RJ Shamrock 00 {{{Ford Focus}}} San Diego, CA 708 9.101 152.72 Nitto Tires / MVA Racing
SEMIFINALS
1 Abel Ibarra 7.942 171.08 0.501 Win
3 Marcos Acosta 10.402 133.79 0.800 $250
2 Erfren Vasquez 8.547 141.5 0.576 Win
4 RJ Shamrock 13.54 67.12 0.589 $250
FINALS
1 Abel Ibarra 8.132 159.42 0.511 Win $1,000
2 Erfren Vasquez 8.618 151.82 0.715 $500

Jimmy O'Connor banged the gears to become the quickest front-drive uni-body Honda time Palmdale has ever seen. The Venom-sponsored Civic ripped down the track at 9.57 at 147 mph.

Signal Auto's new chop-top went on to win the Nitto Tires/Turbo magazine Quick XVI. The new Civic is piloted by Kousuke Kida, who happens to be the brother of Ryu Kida, Signal's first chop-top pilot.

Number one in Outlaw points was also the number one qualifier-Craig Paisley and his TRD-sponsored Supra. However, Craig was not able to make it past round one but he still ended up on top in the Outlaw Class, taking the championship-and big pay.

Adam Satuwatari's RX-7 has been in the land of the 9s for some time, but at this event, he would break into the 8s with an 8.90 and back it up with an 8.98. He qualified in the number three spot for Outlaw, but decided to run exhibition on Sunday.

The AEM Civic has done nothing but better its time over the season. Driver Stephan Papadakis lost in the first round by redlighting to Ronald Flock.

Ari Yallon and the Rotary Performance RX-7 could have stayed in Texas and still won the season points championship but Ari's love of competition brought him out to California for a long-awaited race against the UPRD Supra.

After Leevon's first-round loss, Kenny Tran needed to advance to the semifinal round to take second in points, but, unfortunately, the Jotech-sponsored Civic fell victim to the Venom Civic.

In the Street Class, the R-1X-sponsored RX-7 locked in the number three spot with a 10.66 under the careful driving skills of Cameron Worth. The RX-7 was disqualified due to a crew member touching the car during a burnout.

Abel's R-100 was running spectacularly. The new pilot of the Hansen-built racer was Efren Vasquez, who qualified with a 7.98, which happens to be the best time the R-100 has ever posted.

The STR-sponsored Drag Focus laid down a 10.50 at the event. This car is well built and progressing at a good pace. The 2001 season should be interesting.

By the way Marcos Acosta's MX3 was launching, it was apparent the three rotor was making tons of power. Unfortunately, the MVA-sponsored MX was unable to keep the power to the ground as tire shake plagued the car throughout the weekend.

Ben Ma's Focus came to represent the Blue Oval, but even with chassis builder RJ Simrock behind the wheel, the CarParts-sponsored Focus was unable to run up to par. RJ said that the crew was having a clutch problem that required some last-minute machining, but time constraints kept the team from properly dialing-in the clutch.

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