[ 05/28/12 1:36 AM ]

Hale wins first DRO/Heritage AA/FC race at Vegas

The AA/FC final round at the Rockabilly Rod Reunion was an absolute classic as two defending AA/FC National Champions met to not only decide the winner of this race, but the Championship points lead in both the DRO Series and the Hot Rod Heritage Series would be determined by this race.

As for the final round itself, it turned out to be a real barn-burner. John Hale had a slower than .200 RT and still won for the second time in Eliminations. Hale had a .245 RT to Rupert’s .148 and still got the win. Hale ran Low ET of the meet at 5.737/251.81 while Rupert slowed to a 5.848/ 252.19 losing effort. When you add the reaction times to the ET, Hale had a 5.982 and Rupert a 5.996.

Determining who would leave the race with the points lead in either Heritage or DRO points is going to take some serious calculation. Hale won the race and set a new speed record which is now official, and the odds are very good that Rupert holds the ET record. He also qualified seven spots better than Hale. As for the Heritage series, both Hale and Rupert have a win and runner-up finish but Rupert has had the Heritage points lead since Hale was DNQ at the March Meet. Having said that, both men are assured of being either first or second in points in both Series leaving this event.

Unlike Saturday, when oil downs were a major issue resulting in two DQs of qualified cars, that wasn’t an issue today with only a single oil down, which came when winner John Hale burnt some pistons and trailed a little oil in the final round. The race ran absolutely on schedule from start to finish. Rupert, who slowed significantly in the final, said that they had too much weight on the clutch. “I could feel it (the car) slowing down because of the clutch. It caught itself late in the pass and I started reeling Hale in but by then it was too late.” Track manager Chris Blair told DRO’s Jeff Burk that the race was a financial success and that it would be on the schedule for next season with the DRO Series cars returning.

Also, for the first time the winner and runner-up of a AA/FC race had their pumps disassembled after the race was completed and the gears were checked with both a micrometer and the DRO Series Go-No-Go guage in front of witnesses. The NHRA also made the decision after the race to send each racer’s pump back to KJ Crawford to be re-certified and re-sealed. The next race on the DRO schedule will be at Cedar Falls Iowa in July. Beeee Theeeerrrr!

[ 05/27/12 5:40 PM ]

DRO Champ John Hale and Heritage AA/FC Champ Rupert will meet in classic final at Vegas

Jason Rupert appears to be unstoppable, as he had no trouble sending Will Martin and his Mustang to the barn. His Mert Littlefield Tribute Camaro ran a 5.806/252.52 to easily cover Will Martin, who returned to earth after his 5.773 thrashing of Paul Romine, with a 5.932/245.27 losing effort. the two car left the line almost together with a .127 RT from Martin to Rupert’s .128. On the other half of the ladder, John Hale continued his unexpected path to the finals against Rupert. After winning the 2011 Hot Rod Reunion, Hale struggling all through the 2012 March Meet and the first Boise race. Hale and his crew chief Guy Tipton seem to have found the combination again. They ran a very impressive 5.826/252.28 in the semis to beat Bob Godfrey’s off the pace 6.012/211.66.

Going into the final, the pair of champs appears to be very close performance-wise and the Vegas odds makers would probably rate this as a “Pick Em” event.

[ 05/27/12 5:40 PM ]

Pit Notes

Jason Rupert told the DRO reps that he has no problem with the DRO policy requiring him to disassemble his “sealed” NHRA pump for inspection. “I’m absolutely in favor of it,” he told DRO’s Jeff Burk.

Right now Rupert leads the NHRA Heritage points and John Hale is in third place. After this event it is very possible that Jason Rupert could also lead the DRO points and Hale will be second. These two cars and drivers appear to be the dominant cars in the class.

[ 05/27/12 3:15 PM ]

Rupert wins and sets both ends of Series records at The Strip

The action in the first round of eliminations was absolutely spectacular. Defending NHRA Heritage Series champ Jason Rupert showed why his car is the dominant car in the Heritage Series. In his first round matchup with Canadian Tim Nemeth, Rupert overcame a serious holeshot and stormed to a 5.770/253.14 win. Those numbers backed up a previous ET of 5.768, and the 253.14 speed was backed up by yesterday’s 253.04. It’s not final, however, as the record is pending until his pump has been checked, and Will Martin still has a chance to go quicker and take the ET record.

The first pairing was Steven Densham and number one qualifier John Hale, who got into the elite 8-car field Saturday night on his last attempt. At the first flash of green, Densham mashed the throttle and instantly went up in smoke! In the other lane Hale had a .213 light but got the win anyway as Densham coasted down the track.

The most spectacular race of the first round matched up the Mustangs of Will Martin and last year’s winner Paul Romine. Romine had qualified with a 5.80 and Martin had a 5.91. In memorable side-by-side race Romine put up a 5.779/243.68 and Martin really stepped his act up with a 5.773/247.75 to send the defending champ home early. It was the quickest side-by-side race in the DRO/Mickey Thompson Tire AA/FC Series.

Bob Godfrey continued to improve his performance with a 5.893/240.81 effort to drop Canadian driver J Obalek, who slowed to a 6.082.

[ 05/27/12 3:15 PM ]

Pit Notes

Martin became the first car to go 200 mph in the eighth at this event when he recorded a 200.41 in his win over Romine.

Steve Densham spun his tires so hard in his first round loss that they “grew”  tall enough to hit the body of his Camaro, causing some minor damage.