Summit E.T. Racing begins at Irwindale

2002 NHRA E.T. Summit Racing Series Championships begin at Irwindale dragstrip ... but something's missing Irwindale, Calif. - - The 2002 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Summit E.T. Racing Championship, a series of seven street legal ...

2002 NHRA E.T. Summit Racing Series Championships begin at Irwindale dragstrip ... but something's missing

Irwindale, Calif. - - The 2002 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Summit E.T. Racing Championship, a series of seven street legal racing events at Irwindale Dragstrip began in earnest last Sunday (March 18) at the brand new 1/8-mile facility located right beside the 605 Freeway in Irwindale.

There will be trophies and honors at each event and season series winners will be invited to join "Team Irwindale" and represent their track at the Pacific Division Summit E.T. Finals in Fallon, Nevada October 10-13, 2002.

This series is considered the first step into true competition; E.T. (elapsed time) is the common denominator in these races and drivers will compete in "E.T. Brackets". Drivers will "dial-in" their own best possible time and then be randomly paired-off against other racers that will be handicapped via each driver's dial-in. The idea is that a slower car gets "head start" and that both cars (based on the handicap and all things being equal) should get to the finish line at exactly the same time. That, of course, rarely ever happens.

Driving skills, like "cutting a light" (leaving the starting line the instant that the green flashes on), giving the car the precise amount of throttle to get it launched right, and hitting all the shift points on the nose, all make the race a race. It's all over in matter of seconds (6 and a half for some of the fastest Summit competitors!) so quickness and coolness are rewarded almost instantly with a win light. Remember, no matter how fast the top speed, nor how low the E.T., in the sport of Drag Racing the winner is the person who gets from here to there FIRST (and not always fastest). That factor is what makes Drag racing so watchable. Power, wheelspin, smoke, vibrant exhaust sounds are all fun ... Whoever gets there first gets the win, its as simple as that.

And four divisions of racing a Irwindale Dragstrip did just that last Sunday. James Sullivan of Azusa won the Quick-Sport Division and Tru-Street was won by Kevin Tanaka of Covina. The Pick-Up and SUV Division was won by Steve Bolstad of San Gabriel and the Moto-BIKEs group honors went to Louis Heil of Mission Viejo.

But there were five divisions available on Sunday at Irwindale ... The fifth division "High School" had no competitors on hand. And that's not what the track had expected. The good news is that Irwindale Dragstrip has decided to do something about the lack of competitors in the High School category.

Beginning with the Sunday April 21 race, entry in this division will be FREE to all bona fide high school students. The really good news is that, since no one competed or got points at the first race of the season, everyone is still on a equal footing. Thus April 21 becomes the first race of a six-event racing season for high schoolers at Irwindale. (valid high school picture ID and valid state driver's license are required - no 30 year-old ringers please!)

The races are scheduled for March 17, April 21, May 19, June 16, July 21, August 18, and September 15, with the division winners representing Team Irwindale at the prestigious Summit E.T. Finals in Nevada on October 10-13.

Summit Racing Equipment in Akron, Ohio, is the world's largest mail-order automotive performance equipment company, specializing in parts for auto racing, street-driven classic and late model performance cars, trucks and sport-utilities, and sport compacts.

To maintain a high profile among racing enthusiasts, Summit Racing is a Major Sponsor in the National Hot Rod and International Hot Rod Associations. Summit also sponsors the IHRA national sportsman racing program, the Summit Super Series, for bracket racers. In the NHRA, Summit is the Title Sponsor for the SummitRacing.Com Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the Presenting Sponsor for the NHRA Pontiac Excitement Nationals Presented by Summit Racing in Columbus, Ohio, and sponsors the Summit Racing Series for bracket racers. Summit also sponsors the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series for sport compact racers.

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