As reported on WA Drag Racing some years ago…
Fortunately for all concerned, the rain that struck at half past six was only shortlived, with the track able to be dried and eliminations resuming. Surprisingly enough, the show seemed to stay on schedule! Still it was great to see a lot of the crowd head to the pits, it gave the “Top Comp Alley” a good atmosphere. Thanks to the Attitude team for some nitro warm ups during the rain too, brings tears to my eyes! The first races after the rain were some of the most exciting of the night, with the slippery track providing a challenge for the Super Comp racers who wandered too far out of the groove.
Feature for the night was the USA Jet Dragsters, with American Chuck Haynes at the wheel of Volcano and track manager Gary Miocevich steering Gravity Storm. The pre race fire show was spectacular, warming the crowd and introducing a whole lot of new spectators to drag racing. The first race saw Chuck card a 5.11/305 run, as problems limited Miocevich’s machine to a 6.18. The next race was pretty similar, with Chuck’s 5.07/311 knocking out Miocevich’s 6.16. However the problem that had been limiting the ETs of the Gravity Storm car was found, with a dud solenoid fixed. The final race was a cracker as Haynes gave Miocevich a jump off the line, but needed all the brute power that Volcano could produce to wheel in Gravity Storm, Haynes running to a 5.07/313 to Miocevich’s 5.61/283. With the reaction time difference, the end gap between the two was two thousandths of a second!
In Modified Bike, racers were contesting the annual Roland Johnson Memorial, in honour of Roland, who was tragically killed in a road accident by a drunk driver many years ago. The pressure was on, evidenced by the amount of red lights, but in the end it came to Glen Learmonth and Dale Prior. Learmonth took a .477 to .593 holeshot and from there was able to safely take the win with a 9.02 on an 8.95 dial in too good for Prior’s 9.74 on a 9.70.
Top Comp featured the awesome small block AA/A of Mark Sheehan on top with a 6.13 on a 6.61 Personal Index, that is until he broke a rod in the compulsory qualifier burnout. This meant Trevor Morrison would be on top with a 6.66 from his BB/A.
The B Final saw Robert Pannizza and Peter Nowak in a battle of the small blocks. But it was all over on the line when Nowak left with a .398 red to hand Pannizza the win. The A Final had Damien Harris up against Trevor Morrison. The Ventura Homes Funny Car of Harris had been running 6.4’s all day, but in the final it didn’t want to play and appeared to lose a blower belt or something just past half track, leaving Morrison to run another evil 6.66 for the win (don’t want to know who was helping him that day!).
Super Comp had Ian Johns as top qualifier yet again with a 7.16 on his 7.29 A/AP index. It was a match between Johns and Rob Demaniel in the final, and when Johns got wildly out of shape just past the 60 foot beams, almost crossing into Demaniel’s lane, the Calais had the win with an 8.427 on an 8.42 B/SK index.
Comp Bike had Ray Easson on top with a 7.73 from the A/CB. The B Final came down to Sean Arthur and Dave Richter. Arthur had the holeshot and enough power to keep Richter out. The A Final was between Easson and Paul Nieuwhof. It was Nieuwhof off the line, a .436 getting out on Easson’s .507, but that Easson horsepower was just that bit too much for Nieuwhof and a 7.79 took out the Kawasaki’s 8.16 by one thousandth of a second! Ouch!
In Modified eliminator, Mark Reaney’s engine seemed to be going slower during the night, and sparks from the engine on an earlier burnout perhaps signaled what was to come. He took the jump on the line, a .578 to Neil Gannaway’s off pace .727, and appeared to have it one, until at the 1000 ft mark the motor in Reaney’s rail cried enough and white smoke trailed the car through the traps, putting some oil down in the braking area and putting a hole in Reaney’s motor. Gannaway played it safe in his lane, backing off to a 9.76 which was good enough for the win.
Rick Johns stays in the points lead with 30 points on Steve McGrath, however Gannaway is starting to really heat things up, only ten points behind McGrath in third.
Chris Mills Performance Super Sedan had a final that was as good of a race as any you are likely to see. Greg Carter scored the holeshot, a .433 to Alistair McClure’s .444, with Carter picking his dial in well, a 9.23 on a 9.22 good enough to keep McClure’s by no means bad 9.90 on a 9.85 out of contention.
The win left Carter with 40 points on nearest rival Graham Kennedy in the track championship.
In the Genie Super Street final it was a case of first is worst for Mark Rothwell, when a .388 light ended his night as JasonGill left on a .389 in the other lane. From there both drivers were aware of the situation and went under their respective dial ins.
The win kept Gill on top of the point score, with a 40 point gap between himself and Matt Treloar. Tim Hudson is in third a further 50 points behind.
In Smarter than Smoking Junior Dragster the final matched Laurence Adamos and Matt Johnson, with Adamos the only one to have defeated the “Mozzie” all season. Could he repeat? It was close off the line, Adamos’ .446 reaction getting by Johnson’s .471 but Johnson had dialed in just that bit better, and an 8.78 on an 8.77 was too good for Adamos’ 9.93 on a 9.78 dial in.
The win not only leaves Johnson on top of the points standings, but he is also the higest points scorer in any bracket, meaning he could take out Racer of the Year! Jordan Scott retained second despite a first round lose, as Ecclestone edged closer, only ten points behind second.