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2008 Battle Of The Imports Atco, N.J.

Lightning Strikes Three Times

Scott Kanemura
Oct 1, 2008
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Turp_0810_01_z+2008_battle_of_the_imports+tacoma_drag_car Photo 1/19   |   2008 Battle Of The Imports Atco, N.J.

The weather in Atco, N.J.,was unpredictable. It started out warm and sunny on Saturday, but by early afternoon it turned ugly. Out of nowhere the clouds came in and down came the rain-from all directions. The wind was on the verge of blowing the tents away when all of a sudden a bolt of lightning struck a telephone pole just yards away from us and fried the tracks' timing equipment. It was enough to make this California boy wish he were home. Needless to say, the Battle of the Imports race was cancelled on Saturday.

On Sunday, everything started bright and early. BOTI Atco 2008 was completed and logged into the history books. The racing action was exciting. The stage was filled with activities. The car show was packed with shiny cars.

Turp_0810_02_z+2008_battle_of_the_imports+atco_raceway Photo 2/19   |   2008 Battle Of The Imports Atco, N.J.

The other two lightning strikes-Christian Rado and Leslie Durst-came from the Scion camp. Christian out drove New Jersey native Gary Gardella in the Pro FWD final round. Reaction times decided the race. Christian's holeshot was large enough to hold off the charging Redbull Racing Chevy Colbalt to claim the win. Rumor is that this was an extra special win for Christian, since there's an unsaid feud between these two camps.

Leslie reeled in her Toyota teammate Scott Kelly in the Pro Stock final round. The holeshot went to Scott, but the huge horsepower from the Scion was strong enough to carry Kelly in. Team Toyota took out the dominant Hondas from Prayoonto Racing in the semifinals. Leslie's victory at Atco broke Prayoonto's winning streak this year.

Turp_0810_03_z+2008_battle_of_the_imports+turbo_setup Photo 3/19   |   2008 Battle Of The Imports Atco, N.J.

Brandon Millman handed the win in the Pro Import class to Harry Sohn's Honda Del Sol when his Evo red lighted at the starting line.

In the Modified class, it was Raul Acevedo in his KP11 Toyota Starlet who threw down a mid 7-second pass against Henry Montero's rotary-powered MG Midget. It was pretty amazing that Henry was able to even compete in the final round, since his MG experienced a fire in the semifinal round.

Turp_0810_04_z+2008_battle_of_the_imports+tape_measuring Photo 4/19   |   2008 Battle Of The Imports Atco, N.J.

Even though Prayoonto Racing didn't make it to the finals in Pro Stock, they didn't walk away empty-handed. Jonathan Reynolds took an easy in the Street Comp class in his Yo Parts Acura Integra, while Loan Nguyen in her 10-second Civic took the win in the Street Performance class. Two out of four isn't a bad weekend.

Off-track action was buzzing all day. BOTI had the stage full of activities, with a bikini contest and DJ Roldan and DJ Collin letting go-go dancers shake their stuff. Atco was filled with show cars, ranging from huge domestic trucks, stylish European cars, and crazy JDM cars.

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By Scott Kanemura
18 Articles

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