With the myriad of race events going on this season, it's difficult to pick which ones to attend. But the father of import drag racing, Frank Choi, has kept charging forward with his Battle of the Imports series. While other race series will spread their events over an entire weekend, Choi has got it down to one night, which has a big advantage: you can't get bored.
There is always something going on, like the manufacturers' midway, slammin' car show, hot bikini contest, 300-mph jet car demonstration, and of course, the quick racecars. And there's no summer sun to bake in.
Venom Pro Import
Only four competitors made it to Maryland International Raceway for the Pro Import Class. Shaky nerves took out Howard Anderson in the first round when he red-lit, putting the '98 VW GTI of Lou Bertucco into the finals. But number one qualifier Brian Fisher was running low 10-second passes the entire night.
After taking out Jason Raley in the first round, Fisher showed Bertucco horsepower is king as he powered away from Bertucco's VW by five car lengths at the finish and earning the Pro Import win.
ACT Pro Street
Back in the day, Mark Brauning crushed the competition with his 2.2-liter Honda Civic, but an injured knee and quarreling with the now-defunct NIRA race series caused him to drop out for the past two years. But Brauning showed he's alive and well this Saturday night when he took out Donald Elliot in the first round. And while Buddy Dunagan completely "treed" Brauning in the semis, Brauning came back hard, passing Dunagan by the finish.
Brauning had much to worry about going into the finals with Bisi Ezerioha running a 10.282 at 131 mph in the first round against Mike Mathews, and a Bye in the semis. Ezerioha is currently the "fastest" All-Motor Class competitor in the country. (Erick Aguilar is the "quickest") And with a holeshot on Brauning, Ezerioha could have taken the easy Pro Street win. But Ezerioha's old-school CRX quickly fell off by mid-track due to engine problems. Brauning easily passed Ezerioha and powered on to the Pro Street victory.
The Street Comp Class was by far the most popular, with many competitors driving their cars to the track and slapping on a set of slicks. Hondas armed with big whopping turbos dominated the field. Number one qualifier Jason Hunt had little to worry about in the first and second round because Kevin Petaway and Ryan Posten going more than a second slower than the mid 10-second passes Hunt was laying down. This secured a final round position with lane choice.
Brian Ballard was able to power away from Brian Stoll in the first round, easily defeating Stoll's '92 Civic. But the semifinal round against Steve Wang was a bit dicey with Ballard's late start. Ballard was able to clinch the semifinal win, moving into the final round against Jason Hunt.
Hunt had the advantage of lane choice, but he knew that victory would depend on a solid start. In the end, he made winning easy for Ballard when he red-lit, giving instant Street Comp victory to Ballard.