Well since NDRA @ MIR was mandatory sun block, I think it will be safe to say that NDRA Virginia should be mandatory winter jackets and earmuffs! You got it folks it was pretty chilly and I will be writing a nasty letter to that weather man who said I was to be nice! However don't let my intro lead you to think that the racing suffered. I would say quite the opposite. With a few record setting runs by Sean Glazer and Kris Efantis, the NDRA racing was as exciting as ever!
With cloudy periods all day Saturday the racing gods were on our sides and they didn't disappoint. The two car Clutch Masters team of Norris Prayoonto and Saul Salceda qualified one and two and that's the way it would stay till the late Sunday afternoon final, when the young Salceda would go to face his boss and points leader. It was a close race as usual but the big boss managed to pull it off but just barely. Salceda ran a 10.577 @111.36mph while the winning pass by Norris was 10.119@ 132.58. Other mentionable Pro Stock participants were Fred Highland who qualified 4rd and Lisa Feeheley who qualified 3rd.
The qualifying for the Pro 4 Cylinder class was awesome to watch with five out of the eight drivers running within half a second of each other it would make for some nail biting eliminations. But just because the rain stayed away wasn't to mean that the gremlins wouldn't. With Andrew Bermea and Mike Crawford breaking on their runs, it would allow Chuck Seitsinger and Gary Gardella to face off in the final under dark skies. But the Ecotec monster of Gardella would again prove that it's a force to be reconed with. Gardella would beat Seitsinger with another one of his 7-second runs. A 7.994 @ 172.67 at that.
Now like I have said before the BFGoodrich Pro Street tire class is one of my favorites and I'm sure that I'm not alone. With a somewhat busy class the MSP Lucas Oil Supra of Kris Efantis and the Titan Supra driven by Gary White would qualify back to back. Kris running an 8.565 and White running an 8.682. During one of the Saturday afternoon qualifying runs Kris Efantis blew up his turbo just after the 60-foot mark sending huge amounts of smoke bellowing from the exhaust as well as one half of the turbo impeller. Thankfully none of the spectators were hurt from the shrapnel. But we can't say the same for the Supra downpipe.
Now back to the Action! With Kris and Gary in the finals it would be a classic rivalry
As we move up and up to the Pro Outlaw FWD there was only two drivers competing, The new Chevy Cobalt of Marty Ladwig and the Saturn Ion of Jason Hunt. With these two guys behind the wheel you know you're in for some fierce racing. Marty having his share of the gremlins throughout the weekend finally got a solid pass in, running an 8.442. Although Jason was the faster qualifier with his 8.390, Pro Front is always an unknown 'til the final race has been run. Jason and Marty lined it up in the final but Marty's gremlins had seemed to come back and Jason went on to take the win with a 9.143.
Every time a Pro Outlaw car comes to the line you always wonder will this be the day they finally hit the sixes? Well that's what comes across my Mind anyway. They have come such a long way in the last year and a bit it's just a matter of time before Efantis, Rau or maybe Humphrey's breaks that barrier. Today wasn't to be that day but it was still mind blowing to see the times these guys were laying down! Paul in his tried and true Toyota Solara had the top qualifying run of the weekend with his 7.312 @ 189.36. Unfortunately for Paul, the top spot doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to win the event. He raced friend Justin Humphrey's in the 2nd round of eliminations and gave the chilly crowd something to stand up and cheer about. They both ran near identical time of 7.35, the difference between them being only 0.005. The race was won at the tree with Humphrey's R/T of 0.065 to Paul's 0.119. WOW, you don't see something like that often in Any form of racing!!!
Last but certainly not least are the kings of sport compact racing, the Pro Compact class. With only three cars in the class, Ara Arslanian was the man to beat. For this weekend there was a glimmer of hope for the Ford Ranger driver Don Nase Jr. Him being the number one qualifier, all he had to do was hold off Ara and he was certain to have the win. Ara although finally got the car dialed-in and there was nothing but 6-second passes from there on. Manny Cruz being the competitor he is, made sure he showed up in his RB26-powered Nissan Sentra, so that when his new car is ready he still has some points on the board to stay a part of the action. Ara Faced Don Nase Jr. in the final to take the win with his 6.908 @199.82mph.
Watch out for the barking Spiders and remember don't miss any NDRA events!