Young Guns Capture Goodguys 9th Nitro Nationals at Pomona Raceway
Pomona, CA - A full weekend of scintillating performances and cool temperatures highlighted the 9th running of the Goodguys 9th Pomona Nitro Nationals held this weekend at Pomona Raceway. Over 420 entries did battle in 14 different classes throughout the three day event. A new national top speed record was set in the Nostalgia Top Fuel division by Kayesville, Utah's Brett Harris. The second generation driver took the big red "Nitro Thunder" entry down the track posting two identical 260.26mph top end charges to establish a mark, previously held by his father Jack.
Sunday's eliminations started off with a humorous tribute to the event's "Hot Rod Hero" Ed Iskenderian, a founding father in the cam grinding business from nearby Gardena. Iskenderian told the crowd how he first acquired his original cam grinding machine and also shared stories of inventing silk screened tee shirts back in the late 1940s. Isky, now 85 years old was honored with a patented Goodguys Hemi Oscar for his 60 years in the hot rodding industry.
In Top Fuel action it was Harris all the way all weekend. The 39 old driver was quickest in each qualifying session Friday and Saturday and basically mowed through his competition on Sunday beating Adam Sorokin in Sunday's opening round with a 5.874 @ 258mph then advanced to the final by beating Fresno's Denver Schutz in the semi-finals running a 5.883 @ 250.00
The top fuel final pitted the two quickest dragsters on the property against each other as Harris locked horns with Visalia's Brad Thompson who was having his best weekend ever at a Goodguys race. At the green, Thompson appeared to have a sizeable advantage but the car lost traction and skated back and forth allowing Harris to slip by for the winning time of 5.85 @ 000. After the finish line things got really exciting for Thompson when his parachute failed to deploy sending him into the sand trap at over 100mph. His bright orange dragster barrel rolled several times but he escaped uninjured.
In Nostalgia Funny Car competition, Orange, California's Kris Krabill, a fresh faced 30 year old rookie to the Goodguys circuit got his first-ever event win driving Gary Turner's 1979 Plymouth Arrow, named the "Pedaler" after Turner's former GT Bicycles empire. Krabill, under the guidance of veteran crew chief Donnie Couch battled Arizona's Mike Savage in the trophy dash taking the win in 6.074 seconds. His top speed was 229.78mph.
In other action it was Burlingame, Kansas racer Scott Parks taking the Junior Fuel division win over Chico's JD Zink while John Rasmussen defeated Bud Hammer in the Junior Fuel B final. Both Parks and Rasmussen are defending series champions who look poised to repeat those championship efforts this season.
In the A/Fuel division it was a "Family Feud" as Kin Bates Jr. of Anderson lined up for the final against his brother-in-law Claude LaVoie of Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada. At the finish stripe it was Bates who took a solo win when LaVoie broke on his burnout.
Other event winners included: Ed Moss (AA/GAS), Don Taros (Nostalgia Eliminator), Traci Sterbens (Nostalgia II), Craig Wallace (Nostalgia III), A/GAS (No champion -- final could not be run due to track curfew), AJ Schwitchenberg (B/GAS), Ernie McCallister (C/GAS), Ed Carey (D/GAS) and Jim Losquardo (Hot Rod Eliminator).
The next Goodguys/VRA West Coast Series event is May 26, 27 & 28 at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA. For more log on to www.good-guys.com