Considering that Seattle is home to notoriously wet conditions, one could safely assume that rain would undoubtedly make an unwanted cameo appearance and ruin a perfectly good thing, say, a drag race. Well, the weather at Battle of the Imports' seventh round of 1,320 action couldn't be more perfect as clear skies and cool, crisp air paved the way for the sea-level track to help break records and give Seattle car enthusiasts a weekend of intense drag action.
When I arrived at the venue, I was amazed at how huge the turnout was for the event since it's been a while since I've seen lines that long. It took over 90 minutes to get into Pacific Raceway and just like old times, I saw Frank Choi (director/founder of Battle) guiding traffic in. For most of the Pro classes, the championship is just within reach and needless to say, everyone brought their super A-game. In Pro-Import, Kenny Tran in the Jotech Racing Scion tC squared up against rival Bryan Jimenez in the Everyone's Mortgage Chevy Cobalt. Right off the line, Tran ripped an 8.149 and found himself as the number one qualifier. But Jimenez represented equally hard by laying down an 8.352 for the number two spot. These two met in the finals where Tran prevailed with an 8.201 to 11.308.
The Pro-Stock class was nothing short of amazing as all of the competitors would qualify in 9-second territory. Jeremy Lookofsky in the DVS Shoes Honda Civic qualified number one with a 9.295 and is arguably the quickest P/S vehicle in the nation. He would later meet Leslie Armendariz piloting the Horizon Motorsports Scion tC in the finals. Lookofsky's high horsepower K-Series would be too much for the Scion as Lookofsky went on to win with a 9.286 to 9.493.
Longtime import drag vet, Ed Bergenholtz drove the Mazdaspeed 6 to secure his first Battle of the Imports Pro-FWD championship by qualifying and winning the event. But that also didn't stop him from giving the fans what they came to see: opening a Costco-sized can of "whoop ass" against some Detroit iron. Bergenholtz lined up against a '63 Chevy Corvette with 632 cubic inches of nitrous-injected manhood and even I thought Bergenholtz might be barking up the wrong tree. But the crowd loved it. Both did their burnouts and had the crowd on their feet. When the green light dropped, the Vette immediately jumped out about a car length but Ed chased him down. At about half-track, it looked like Bergenholtz had caught up to him but the Vette barely managed to hold on as he crossed the line first with a 7.429 to Bergenholtz's 7.456. What an awesome race. For a split second, it reminded me of the old days when everyone would line up to watch an import take on a domestic. The scary part of the race was when Bergenholtz got a little sideways at the end of track after pulling the chute, he straightened out and clipped the Vette. Nobody was hurt and Bergenholz's car suffered only minor cosmetic damage.
The action in the pits was just as hot though. The car show had close to 100 competitors displaying some of the cleanest rides I have seen all year. Not to mention all the fine ladies roaming around the venue. The Scion "What Moves You" stage was busy all-night long with a fashion show, a go-go dancing battle, interactive games with the spectators as well as the Import Tuner swimsuit competition. All in all, I had a great time even though the event went past the 11:00PM curfew. Even the venue food was good - and that's saying a lot. With only two events left, the action is guaranteed to come out on top. Next stop is "Game Point" at the Woodburn Dragstrip located just south of Portland - until next time...
Because We're Freaking Idiots...
In our never-ending quest to provide you with all of the latest happenings in our scene, we mistakenly left out coverage from Battle's Maryland event from this past summer and would now like to make it up to you by giving you the main highlights with some groovy photos. - SS Staff
There was an overwhelming amount of coolness for us to sort through at the Maryland Battle, including fast cars that broke numerous records on the 1320, girls dressed with nothing more than dental floss at the bikini contest, and hundreds of pimped out show cars hoping to win one of the huge BOTI trophies so they could claim bragging rights. But like most other events this year, it wouldn't be dry as rain delays kept us down, but not out. With one rain delay, the postponed event went smoothly, especially in the Pro class where Bergheholtz Racing announced on behalf of all the competing drag racers that Battle of the Imports is the drag racing event they intend on supporting with the recent cancellation of NOPI's remaining drag events for the years.
Scions dominated in a big way, representing in all four of the Pro class finals. First up was Leslie Armendariz in her Scion tC in the Pro Stock class who defeated Norris Proyoonto's Clutchmasters Honda Insight and even set a Pro Stock BOTI record with a 9:44 second run at 142 mph. This win took a chunk of the championship points lead from the blistering fast K-powered Honda dragster. Another tC built by Kenny Tran Racing also came out strong as the underdog when an almost perfect reaction time allowed a consistent mid-8-second racer to beat Mike Crawford's low 8 Chevy Cobalt. The closest race of the weekend was Ed Bergenholtz in his Mazdaspeed Mazda 6 against Chris Rado in his World Products Scion tC. This side-by-side race left people in the stands wondering who won this race because there was only a nine one-thousandths of a second differential and a couple of feet set between the winner and the loser. But here, it was Chris Rado who was the champion. In the finals, Rado paired up against Marty Ladwig's Lucas Oil Chevy Cobalt. Ladwig took the win with a very impressive 7.26 second run at 199 mph to stop Scion from taking a clean sweep.
Bergenholtz Racing didn't stop there. Battle's director, Frank Choi, recently introduced a new grudge match placing domestics against imports, and on that night Ed Bergenholtz decided to take on a challenge from Elliot Thompson's twin turbo Chevy Camaro. The fans in the stands were cheering as Camaro's huge turbos spooled up and set the 10.5-inch slicks smoking. It looked as if Ed was going to have his ass handed to him, but after a bad start from the Camaro, Ed took off with the win. All of the import fans in the stands cheered as Bergenholtz silenced the American muscle. - Scott Kanemura