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2005 NDRA St. Louis

Gateway International Raceway St. Louis, MO July 23-24, 2005

Dave Pankew
Mar 20, 2009
Photographer: Stew Lawson

We all have our different ways of getting to an NDRA event. Some of us drive and some of us might fly, but nothing is worse then arriving at the airport just to see the line of your life and end up missing your flight!!! Regardless we all come to enjoy the racing and that's what your in for when you make that trek to the NDRA!

The weekend was hot and the racing was about to get even hotter. With 100+ degree heat you would think this kind of heat would slow the cars down &right? WRONG! Some racers were making the passes of their lives and setting records at the same time. Brent Rau in his Osofast ACT Eclipse set a new NDRA Pro Outlaw record in the 3rd round of qualifying late Saturday afternoon. He ran a 7.13@ 193.16 MPH making him the number one qualifier for the weekend. The top three in the Pro Outlaw class were on each other's bumpers all weekend and fighting for the 1st place trophy. Paul Efantis and Justin Humphreys qualified 2 and 3. In the second round of eliminations Efantis would face rival Justin Humphreys. Paul would go on to take the win with a 7.27@ 192.14 mph. Also in the second elimination round Dee Karagiannis and his Rx7 would go up against the rocket Eclipse of Rau. Rau being a little anxious to better his new record red lit and that gave the win and ticket for Karagiannis to move into the final to face Efantis. But it wasn't to be Karagiannis' day. He would also fallow the footsteps of Rau and would red light giving the win to Efantis who cruised to the win with a 7.64 @ 190.78 mph.

With Pro 4 cylinder up next you knew the fans would be the edge of their seats to find out who would come out on top. Eight cars entered the eliminations but only one could come out on top. John Shepherd who ran his personal best of a 8.43@ 170.23 mph was ready to see if it could be him (after all he was the second place qualifier) when he faced Scott Werdenhaussen's Honda CRX but for John it wasn't his weekend Scott went on to take the win with a 10.47@ 136.43mph. Gardella however was on his game all weekend. He eliminated Joe Demaree by just over 3/10ths of a second to make his way to the final to face Kenny Tran's Quaker State Civic. Unfortunate Kenny had some problems on the line and had to give Gardella the solo pass. Gardella being the showman that he is gave it his all and still ran an 8.22 @ 175mph letting the fans see just how much of a dominator his Chevy Cobalt really is!

BFGoodrich Pro Street tire was up next with only a 4-car field. But with names like Kris Efantis and Gary White you would have never have noticed. The big smoky burnouts and the smell of burnt rubber made it all good. In the first round Efantis faced the Supra of Sam Mahdavi. Efantis in this round had a bye due to the fact Mahdavi broke but you all know how the Efantis brothers are &its all or nothing, Kris however had problems halfway down the track but still coasted to a 13.45 @ 46.74 mph. In the final Efantis faced White and the battle continued. White just barely beat Kris on the tree but didn't have enough to hold on for the win. Kris Efantis took the win with an 8.388 @180mph to Whites 8.44@ 174.

The Pro Outlaw FWD class was a small one but saw Jerrold Rhodes make an appearance with his new car and sponsor Pimp Juice (it's an energy drink). The class was plagued with gremlins all weekend, if it wasn't Jason Hunt having problems in a newly borrowed Sunfire from Marty Ladwig it was Chris Rado in his sleek looking Scion TC.but it turned out to be a positive weekend for Rhodes. He got the win with a 9.51@ 160.29mph, a great way to start off with the new car.

And last, but certainly not least, Pro Compact with five cars & four of them being Toyota powered. These cars are something else to watch 6-second cars right before your eyes! Vince Fourcade was the number one Qualifier for Saturday with a blistering 6.50 @ 216 mph and this was made in the middle of the day with 110+ degree heat, four out of the five cars were in within .15 of a second of each other. You know the racing was going to be tight! It would all come down to the end were it would be Vince Fourcade racing Matt Scranton Celica vs. Celica. Scranton had Fourcade off the tree but just couldn't pull it off. Vince took the win with a 6.77 @ 211.20 mph.

Another treat that the fans and everyone there got to see the new rail car of Don Nase Jr. WOW & that's all that could be said for this car. Not a corner was cut and not a detail was left out. The rail car was and is just simply awesome. Look for the car and some of there shake down runs a the next NDRA event!!!

By Dave Pankew
5 Articles

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