Lady Luck Takes Haight to Goodguys Pomona Top Fuel Title Pomona, CA -- Top Fuel veteran Howard Haight of Upland, California caught every break he could during final eliminations to take the Top Fuel Eliminator crown at the Goodguys 8th Pomona...
Lady Luck Takes Haight to Goodguys Pomona Top Fuel Title
Pomona, CA -- Top Fuel veteran Howard Haight of Upland, California caught every break he could during final eliminations to take the Top Fuel Eliminator crown at the Goodguys 8th Pomona Nitro Nationals, Sunday August 7th at historic Pomona Raceway. Haight defeated Pomona's Lee Jennings in the final round running a 6.242 @ 239.10 to the loser's tire smoking 6.495 @ 229.06. It marked the second time in 2005 Haight has won a Goodguys top fuel crown. In March he won the season-opening 46th March Meet in Bakersfield -- a win he called "the biggest of my career." Haight's good fortune started during Saturday night's opening round of eliminations when he suffered an engine explosion but had enough momentum to beat opponent Bob Hallock. On Sunday he wounded the engine in a second round victory but caught a very lucky break in the top fuel semi's when opponent Jeff Diehl red-lighted away an almost certain victory. "We went up there for the semi's with a wounded motor and basically had had it patched together, but when the other car left too soon -- I just coasted down the track for the win," he said. Haight and his team owner Butch Blair put together an engine from every last spare part they had in the trailer for the final and it held together for the win. Ironically, the team would be in the Goodguys Top Fuel Championship points lead after their second win of the season, but they failed to join the Goodguys/VRA Series points fund earlier this year, which could ultimately cost them the 2005 Goodguys Top Fuel Championship.
Larry Petit of Hawthorne drove the Doty & Petit "Crazy Horse" 1971 Mustang to victory in the Nostalgia Funny Car division. Coming into the race, all the pre race funny car buzz surrounded NHRA ace Ron Capps who competed here at the Nitro Nationals, but Petit disposed of Capps in Sunday's first round and marched right through eliminations, beating Nathan Bugg of Orange in the final. Petit had his competition covered all day, running quicker and faster than his opponents in each and every round of eliminations, running a 6.239 @ 231.66 to win it all. "Being on the event poster must have brought us good luck," chuckled Petit whose car was chosen to promote the event.
Canadian sensation Claude Lavoie ran the quickest A/Fuel run of the year during Saturday night's first round eliminations posting a 6.311 then continued his torrid pace Sunday winning his first-ever Goodguys event title defeating class points leader Mike Austin for the trophy. The A/Fuel class is set up to pit injected nitro dragsters against blown alcohol dragsters, and this time around it was the nitro cars taking charge. "Our car loves the hot weather," Lavoie said. This weekend's warm weather conditions played right into our hands." His final round time of 6.477 @ 207.66 was his slowest time of the weekend but it stood against Austin's gallant effort of 6.565 @ 215.67.
21 year old Scott Parks of Burlingame, Kansas made the 1,600-mile tow to Pomona worthwhile, taking home the event's Junior Fuel trophy. Parks was the underdog in the final but he cut a superlative .449 reaction time and ran a slower 7.097 186.29 to defeat opponent Jon Haire's quicker and faster 7.086 @ 187.77. Like Haight in Top Fuel, Parks won the season-opening March Meet doubling up his win total for the year.
The blown coupe and sedan class of AA/GAS was won by low qualifier Chris Abbey of Clovis. Abbey's '63 Corvette dominated the competition all weekend running two of the quickest runs during Sunday's eliminations. His final round time of 6.743 easily covered his opponent Dale Boomgarden who ran an early shut-down 6.915 @ 200.53. Abbey's 6.736 @ 207.18 qualifying time stood up for Low ET and Top Speed of the meet for AA/GAS.
Other winners at the Goodguys 8th Nitro Nationals included John Rasmussen (Junior Fuel B), Steve Castelli (A/GAS), Kevin Riley (B/GAS), Pat McDonald (C/GAS), Ed Carey (D/GAS), Dan Schrokosch (Nostalgia Eliminator), Randy Winkle (Nostalgia II), Bobby Lee (Nostalgia III), Chuck Killian (Hot Rod Eliminator)
The next event of the 2005 Goodguys West Coast Championship Series is September 2, 3 & 4 at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington.
POMONA, Calif. - Summary of eliminations in Nostalgia Top Fuel at the Goodguys, 8th Goodguys Pomona Nitro Nationals:
Rick White, San Diego CA, Hansen-Chrysler, Right lane, (0.620) 5.951 242.58 def. Chuck Tanko, Prescot AZ, Stirling, NT-Broke Before Staging
Rick Rogers, Pismo Beach CA, Tuttle-Donovan, Left lane, (0.468) 6.098 208.09 def. Lee Jennings, Pomona CA, Stirling-Chevy, (0.605) 6.113 215.31
Sean Bellemeur, Camarillo CA, Stirling-Chrysler, Right lane, (0.472) 5.976 249.58 def. Bill Dunlap, Capitola CA, Uyehara-Donovan, (0.541) 6.040 247.25
Brad Thompson, Visalia CA, Uyehara-Donovan, Left lane, (0.453) 6.064 235.97 def. Rick McGee, Exeter CA, Tedford-Donovan, (0.516) 6.329 220.31
Terry Cox, Clarkburg CA, URC-Hemi, Left lane, (0.665) 6.288 236.96 def. Mendy Fry, San Diego CA, Dragster-Donovan, NT-No Show
Jeff Diehl, Salinas CA, Uyehara-Rodeck, Right lane, (0.496) 6.152 238.09 def. Jim Murphy, Santa Rosa CA, Stirling-Rodeck, (0.554) 6.165 230.00
Pete Kaiser, Chowchilla CA, Stirling-Donovan, Right lane, (0.521) 6.100 241.15 def. Brendan Murry, San Jose CA, Stirling-Arias, (0.520) 14.230 57.77
Howard Haight, Upland CA, Srirling-Donovan, Left lane, (0.517) 8.102 172.14 def. Bob Hallock, Costa Mesa CA, Stirling-Donovan, (3.097) 6.313 227.38
L Jennings, Right lane, (0.597) 6.100 223.76 def. B Dunlap, (0.556) 6.221 240.38
H Haight, Left lane, (0.508) 6.161 210.42 def. B Thompson, (0.487) 8.502 106.72
T Cox, Left lane, (0.549) 5.999 242.58 def. R White, (0.580) 6.827 226.24
J Diehl, Left lane, (0.522) 6.146 239.61 def. S Bellemeur, (0.475) 6.366 197.80
H Haight, Right lane, (0.493) 15.060 54.91 def. J Diehl, (0.080 foul) 6.125 243.44
L Jennings, Right lane, (0.566) 6.315 194.84 def. T Cox, (0.429) 6.607 126.40
H Haight, Right lane, (0.532) 6.242 239.10 def. L Jennings, (0.538) 6.495 229.06
Low ET: Rick McGee 5.949 seconds
Top Speed: Rick McGee 251.11 MPH
Summary of eliminations in Nostalgia Funny Car at the Goodguys, 8th Goodguys Pomona Nitro Nationals:
Mike Adams, Prescott AZ, '79 Vette, Left lane, (0.503) 6.918 218.76 def. Dan Horan Jr, Sylmar CA, '66 Mustang, (0.526) 10.247 93.14
Larry Pettit, Hawthorne CA, '71 Mustang, Right lane, (0.589) 6.322 218.28 def. Ron Capps, Carlsbad CA, '70 Cuda, (0.504) 10.081 91.78
Nate Bugg, Orange CA, '71 Dodge, Right lane, (0.579) 6.223 226.81 def. Mike Savage, Tucson AZ, '70 Cuda, (0.611) 6.401 198.19
Dennis LaCharite, Torrance CA, '69 Corvette, Left lane, (0.556) 6.170 231.00 def. Jeff Utterback, Santa Monica CA, '78 Arrow, (0.589) 6.725 210.03
L Pettit, Right lane, (0.545) 6.225 227.10 def. D LaCharite, (0.541) 6.272 228.65
N Bugg, Right lane, (0.565) 6.292 220.31 def. M Savage, (0.594) 6.509 215.41
L Pettit, Right lane, (0.526) 6.239 231.66 def. N Bugg, (0.545) 10.873 77.69
Low ET: Dan Horan Jr 6.149 seconds
Top Speed: Larry Pettit 235.41 MPH