Goodguys: Pacific Raceways preview

Pacific Raceways Plays Host to Inaugural Goodguys Event Labor Day Weekend Kent, WA - The nation's premier vintage drag racers are preparing to spend a memorable Labor Day weekend in the Pacific Northwest as the Goodguys 1st Northwest...

Pacific Raceways Plays Host to Inaugural Goodguys Event Labor Day Weekend

Kent, WA - The nation's premier vintage drag racers are preparing to spend a memorable Labor Day weekend in the Pacific Northwest as the Goodguys 1st Northwest Nostalgia Nationals gets set to blast off at Pacific Raceways, in Kent, Washington September 2-4. All fourteen Goodguys/VRA classes will compete in the new event including Nostalgia Top Fuel and Funny Car all the way through Hot Rod Eliminator. Joining the vintage drag racing action will be a rod & custom show & shine for 1972 & earlier vehicles which will fill the Eastside of Pacific Raceways with gorgeous multicolored and chrome plated hot rods & customs. A bustling vendor exhibit midway will offer the latest in speed and custom equipment for racers and rodders. On top of all the sensory attractions, Goodguys will honor "The King" of Northwest drag racing...the legendary Jerry Ruth who will be on hand for autograph signings and special exhibitions with some of his restored dragsters from the late 60s and early 70s.

This is actually the second time Goodguys has held a major vintage drag race at the track, formally known as SIR. "We put on a race here in 1990," remembers Goodguys President Gary Meadors. "Back then you maybe had two or three guys running front engined top fuel cars and maybe a few Gasser's too...nothing like today." Nostalgia drag racing has indeed grown leaps and bounds in the last fourteen years and the Goodguys/VRA has become one of drag racing's most popular series'. The Seattle event is the fourth stop on the five-race 2005 Goodguys West Coast Series, the nation's only competitive point's series for nostalgia drag racers.

San Diego's Rick White, a veteran speed demon in his sophomore year of Goodguys Nostalgia Top Fuel competition, is currently leading the Goodguys Championship points following a quarter final finish last month at the Goodguys Pomona Nitro Nationals in Southern California. White, 54, and partner Chuck Neal are looking forward to their trip north. "It's a long trip up there but it feels good to be leading the points. Nostalgia top fuel is a tough division with the likes of Jack & Brett Harris, Bill Dunlap, Jim Murphy, Howard Haight, Lee Jennings, Terry Cox and so many others. I believe that our 5.77 (run in April at Sonoma) is the quickest run of the year so far so we know we can run with the best teams. We're working on consistency. We've smoked the tires a few times in eliminations this year. We've got all the horsepower we need but now we're working on applying that power to the surface on a consistent basis. This should be a fun trip - I've never been to Seattle before." White also mentioned that he had just returned from the Bonneville Speed Week in Utah were he helped his son race his roadster. Back in 2002, White held a class record driving a streamliner owned by his father. He was clocked at 413mph. White owns Autopower Industries in San Diego - manufacturer of automotive safety equipment commonly found on SCCA road race cars. He has drag raced since the 1970s.

Goodguys Funny Car points leader Larry Petit is planning on making the trip to Seattle fresh off his popular victory at the Pomona event -- his first ever Goodguys Funny Car event title. He and partner George Doty will saddle up their gorgeous "Crazy Horse" 1971 Mustang Funny Car to take on fellow southern Californian Dan Horan Jr who is eager to get back in the points chase following a technical snafu in Pomona. Horan's body was found to be 44.5 inches long (4.5 inches over the allowed overhang amount) and he was docked all championship points from the Pomona event. Other Funny Car racers expected are Dennis LaChartie, Mike Savage of Tucson and Ed Schwarz among others.

One racer who will be extremely anxious to get back on track in Seattle is AA/GAS veteran Steve Woods of San Leandro, CA who had a disastrous outing in Pomona. On his lone qualifying attempt, Woods, who was leading the points coming into the event, sped off the end of the Pomona Raceway track surface straight into the sand pit. The resulting crash took him out of competition for the weekend and nearly destroyed his 1948 Anglia. Woods talked about the aftermath. "I had to totally disassemble the car," said the 66 year old racer. "When I first hit the lip of the sand trap it ripped open the belly pan and filled the car with sand and dirt. When the belly pan ripped off -- it took the throttle cable with it which broke the injector blade stops and turned the blades completely over backwards which then revved the motor to 9,000 RPM. Sand and dirt was everywhere. The nose won't be painted but we're optimistic we can win again if we can get past (points leader) Chris Abbey. Abbey meanwhile, pilot of the "Goshgarian and Abbey" 1963 Corvette AA/GAS entry has been on a terror most of the season, turning in a season's best 6.67 and is fresh off a big win last month -- his first of the season.

Qualifying and time trials for the Goodguys 1st Northwest Nostalgia Nationals is scheduled for Friday and Saturday with final eliminations slated for Sunday at 10am. Jerry "The King" Ruth will sign autographs Saturday afternoon at the Goodguys merchandise trailer and will be introduced to the crowd prior to Sunday's final eliminations.

General admission is $20 Friday, and $25 per day Saturday and Sunday. Kids 7-12 are $10 per day. Pacific Raceways can be reached at (253) 639-5927 or via the internet at www.pacificraceways.com.

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Series Drag
Drivers Brett Harris