It was nice to get back to the track, between Mother Nature and some personal obligations throwing a wrench in our plans, we have been missing out on racing coverage. Today at Atco Raceway we had both some exciting racing, and some more wrenches being tossed. Saturday’s race featured 8.50 Index, Outlaw 10.5, and X275 Drag Radial. Because of a nasty crash, a few cleanups, and a packed house, we ended up being about 2 hours behind on the racing schedule. To add insult to injury, the skies opened up early in the evening, soaking the racing surface. With the sunlight gone and the amount of time it would take to dry, the race was called after the first round of eliminations. No fault to the track, these kind of days just happen for us unfortunately, especially as of late with all of the wet weather.
X275 Drag Radial
We really admire the X275 guys – getting these cars to hook and shoot down the track is pretty difficult, the drivers are often fighting to keep the front ends down, or from doing 60 foot burnouts. Mike Cerminaro is back in action with a Nitrous combination and took the #1 qualifier spot during the first round of qualifying with a 5.310 @ 133mph. Rich Bruder, #1 qualifier from the last race, was right on his tail with a 5.341 @ 140mph pass. In the second qualifying round, Craig Walls came out with a setup good enough to take the number one spot with a 5.298 @ 137mph, in a field full of tough competitors.
Craig Walls drew John Ashnault in the first round of eliminations. Ashnault and the Disomma team have been working hard to get down, unfortunately they lit up the tires at the onset again and Walls’ .032 light and 5.284 @ 138mph earned him the win. We saw Ashnault and team at E-town on Sunday, continuing to test and tune. Walt Pfister turned on the red bulb leaving .031 early against Ron Rhodes, Rhodes not making a full pass but he’ll take the win. Brendan Mills had a great leave on Rich Bruder with a .013 light, Bruder no slouch with a .023 drove around Mills for the race fastest elapsed time of 5.042 @ 144.38mph. Wrapping it up on a broke bye, Mike Cerminaro puts it on the bumper to about 100 feet out which slows him down a bit, running a 5.748 @ 126.
8.50 Index as usual had a great showing, with each team showing up with a show quality car and putting on a great race for the fans. Many of these teams have enough data on their cars to roll them off the trailers, put a tuneup in, and make a great run. This was definitely the case for Craig Buscio, who brought out the Nova and put up an 8.511 in the first round of qualifying. That time would be challenged in the second round, but would hold up and Craig kept the #1 spot for the day. In the second round of qualifying, the Fonse Performance team moved up from #3 to #2 with an 8.518. Harry Gerb improved from #6 to the #3 spot with an 8.532 pass. The top 8 out of the 15 car field were all in the 8.50s! But as most of you know, these 8.50 racers are professionals and elimination order often does not matter much when it comes to who hits the winner’s circle.
Mother Nature dumped on 8.50 Index in the middle of round 1 of eliminations, please visit Atco Raceway’s web site for any information regarding rescheduling / results decisions.
8.50 Index Qualifying Round 1
8.50 Index Qualifying Round 2
8.50 Index Ladder
Team South Jersey was in the house, with local racers making up half of the 11 car qualifying field. Traveling from out of state and much appreciated by all of us for coming to our neck of the woods was Mo Hall, Charlie Dolbin/Team Caldwell, Scotty G, Lou Sciortino, and Dale Collins Jr. The first round of qualifying seemed to be an information gathering exercise, with teams a little off the pace and trying to get a read on the track. Early in the round, Scotty G made a great pass with a 4.503 @ 164mph. TJ Kasper and team do a good bit of testing at Atco, their home track, and it showed as TJ went a 4.395 @ 182 to take the #1 qualifier spot after one round of qualifying. In the second round, it would be his old man, Tommy Kasper, who turns the wick up and goes 4.356 @ 180 to take the #1 qualifier spot in Outlaw 10.5 for the second race in a row, knocking Kid Kwik to #2. Scotty G improved on his previous elapsed time and also held on to #3 with a 4.484 @ 164. Mo Hall did what he needed to make it into the show at the bottom of the field with a 4.998 @ 160, with everyone knowing his car is more than capable of blowing the doors off the rest of the competition. Steve Gorman, fresh off his last win at Cecil County, was in the middle of the field in the #4 spot.
First round of eliminations brought us an amazing matchup with Tommy Kasper versus Mo Hall. Mo and Tommy leave virtually at the same time (.001 difference), Mo shooting down the track with the candles lighting up nice and bright. Tommy had the upper hand, running a 4.346 @ 181 to take the win over Mo’s 4.570 @ 167. Steve Gorman went back to the pits kicking himself for going .009 red against Lou Sciortino. Sciortino made a very respectable pass at 4.456 @ 178. Dale Collins gets off the line .032 ahead of TJ Kasper with a .025 reaction time, but TJ is able to drive around Dale and wins with a 4.447 @ 178mph, to Dale’s 4.585 @ 171. Finishing up round 1 was a great race win coming from the Scotty G camp. Scotty was up against Brad Harris, the round was all Scotty. Scotty has a .018 reaction time and puts up a 4.386 @ 168 elapsed time, the fastest nitrous pass of the day, to Harr’s 4.574 @ 165 pass.
In Other News….
Tommy Mauro was involved in a bad wreck while piloting Jim Lawson’s Mustang. From what we can gather and in a preliminary investigation by the race team, something in the driveline locked up and sent the car into an uncontrollable spin and roll in between the 1000 foot mark and the 1/4 mile finish line. Tommy somehow walked away from the wreck, the car was not so lucky. We’re happy to see Tommy in one piece and wish the best to him and the Venomous Motorsports team, we hope to see them all back at the track when they are ready. Click to see the sequence we captured.