As the NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series hit its halfway mark for the 2005 season, we found ourselves at the beautiful Bandimere Speedway in Denver, CO. With beautiful weather on Saturday it was a great day of qualifying runs despite the thin mountain air. Come Sunday morning we saw a delay of a couple of hours due to a nice downpour of liquid sunshine but once it passed over it was clear sailing with tons of fast-paced action the rest of the day.
With some of the closest side-by-side racing of any class, Pro Rwd did not disappoint even in qualifying with the top three qualifiers being within hundreths of a second away from each other. Matt Scranton secured the no. 1 spot with a 6.741@210mph followed closely by Stephan Papadakis with a 6.792 and Brad Personett with a 6.796. Sunday was just as exciting with second round eliminations coming down to Titan vs. Titan and Scranton vs. Hartford. Hartford redlighted, giving the instant win to Scranton while the two Titan Celicas came down to the wire with Personett edging out Fourcade with a 6.832 to his 6.837. In the finals, Scranton took the early lead at the tree but was holeshot by Personett on the big end where Brad would take the win with a 6.848@207.
Pro FWD was a small field with only four cars for this event. At the end of qualifying it looked like nobody would be able to touch Marty Ladwig with his no.1 qualifying time of 7.592@199. Shaun Carlson was a no-show in eliminations due to mechanical problems, giving Bergenholtz the solo run. Ladwig unfortunately stalled at the line giving the win to Jerrold Rhodes. This pitted Bergenholtz against Rhodes for the final with Bergenholtz easily taking the win with an 8.05 to Rhodes' 11.61.
Although only a three car field, the Modified class was a blast to watch as always. With Efantis qualifying first and getting the buy in eliminations he went on to face Humphreys in the final. The now flat black Lexus of Humphreys looked intimidating at the line but this did not affect Efantis. Both cars got loose going down the track and made for a hell of a show as Efantis stayed in it just long enough to edge out Humphreys for the win with a 8.82@144.
The Hot Rod class saw Gary Gardella on top after qualifying rounds were finished at the end of day one. This broke the no.1-qualifying streak of Ron Lummus and bumped him down to second. Mechanical gremlins for Kenny Tran gave the easy win to Gardella. It came down to an all GM final as Gardella and Lummus squared off for an intense final. Gary became "king of the mountain" as he held off Lummus with an 8.127@175. Lummus still holds the points lead for the Hot Rod class.
Even though the thinner Denver air put the all-motor guys off their usual pace, they still managed to pull off some great runs. At the end of day one Skunk2 came out on top withTony Shagday taking the top spot and Shawn Hillier close on his heels in second. Hillier would go on to redlight in round one giving the win to Scott Mohler while Shagday and Scott Kelley also advanced to round two. Round two looked like it was shaping up to be a good final with Mohler and Shagday. It was an instant win for Mopar as Shagday never left the line or even broke the beams. This was Mohler's second win at Bandimere and appropriately so seeing as Mopar was the title sponsor for the event.
It was a good weekend of racing and should have everyone anxious for the next event in august at Moroso. The rest of the season will be something you won't want to miss!