The fourth installment of the Cecil County Dragway – Finishline Performance Outlaw Street Car Shootout brought some scorching action.. but more noteworthy, scorching temperatures!! We reached record 102 degree heat down in Rising Sun, which also, as you would expect, caused some ridiculously high track temperatures. As usual, Jim Halsey and the Cecil crew were on top of things, pulling out their signature move of hosing down the track with water between rounds in order to cool it off. It worked, and most racers, while understandably off the pace that we are used to, still made it down the track. It was certainly a battle of the tuners, and the drivers also had a tough time staying cool while suited up in their race gear. Heck, even the fans were hiding in the shade as much as possible!! It was a brutal day weather wise, but another awesome day of racing.
July 7th, 2012 Cecil County Dragway / Finishline Performance Outlaw Street Car Shootout Photo Galleries – scroll to the end for Qualifying and Run Sheets
Steve Gorman (Precision Powdercoating) came in to race day leading in points, and set the bar high in qualifying with his 4.432 pass to take the #1 qualifier spot. Larry Wood, also regularly showing up with impressive numbers off the trailer, took the #2 qualifier spot with a 4.451 at a mere 173mph. Billy Mitchell, fresh off new personal best runs on the new Corvette at Atco Raceway last month, was solidly in the field in the #3 spot with a 4.482. Charlie Dolbin and the Caldwell motorsports team had the best qualifying run for a Nitrous team in the #4 spot with a 4.507, with Mo Hall (Fulton Powered) the other nitrous entry in the top 8 at the #6 spot. Billy Gordon, last month’s winner, qualified 5th with a 4.545. Rounding up the top 8 was Steve Crisafulli #7 and Tom Kasper’s Disomma Racing powered Mustang in the #8 spot.
Steve Kluepfel, back in action in the big bad blown Mustang, took on Mo Hall’s Camaro to lead off eliminations. Kluepfel was off the pace and Mo took advantage, running a 4.666 @165 for the win, but off his pace and not happy with the run. Joe Newsham, qualified #9, caught Tom Kasper sleeping on the tree, Newsham’s .029 reaction time to Tom’s .108. Tom was able to get around Joe and won with a 4.676 @172 pass. Billy Mitchell’s day ended as he had problems getting down the track, TJ Kasper moving along with a 4.654 pass. Brian Penna had a .055 advantage at the line over Steve Crisafulli, but Steve was the one with the big power and drove around Penna, winning with a 4.519. Billy Gordon was caught dead late against John Fisher, a .227 reaction time to Fisher’s .025. Gordon, on point with the tune once again, laid down a round best 4.354 pass to take the win and move on, trying to defend his win from last month. Charlie Dolbin, Larry Wood, and Steve Gorman all had competition singles into Round 2. Both Gorman and Wood got down the track with low 4.4x passes.
Charlie Dolbin, who was not able to get down the track in the first round, again struggled, but dodged a bullet and pulled the upset over Billy Gordon, who went red by .008. Gordon went on to run a 4.303 @ 190mph pass, which would in turn be the race fastest and quickest pass, but unfortunately a wasted effort. TJ Kasper and Mo Hall both did not have very clean passes, but TJ did some wheeling and was able to take a win with a 4.669 @ 182mph pass. Steve Gorman nailed the tree against Tom Kasper and didn’t look back, his .031 reaction time coupled with a great 4.386 pass took the win against Turbo Tommy. Finishing up the round was Larry Wood and Steve Crisafulli, both cars with nearly identical power plants, but Larry had the goods in his tuneup and was able to take the win with a 4.428 @ 184.12mph pass.
Charlie Dolbin and the Caldwell team finally improved on their setup, too bad it was against Steve Gorman. Dolbin was on his way down broadway but had to get out of it, while Gorman ran in the 4.30′s yet again with a 4.371 pass, with no one left in the race running that fast at this point. Larry Wood did not make a clean pass and neither did TJ Kasper to finish up the semi-finals, but TJ ran a 4.466 @ 170mph and that was good enough to make the finals, all the way back from the #14 qualifier spot.
TJ Kasper had a fresh set of tires on in the semi’s, and did another enormous smokey burnout as the heat-beaten crowd looked on. Steve Gorman did his burnout and pulled to the line, and both cars began to spool up the big motors. Gorman inched in first and held the trans brake, TJ bumped in and his stage lights flickered a little, that caught Gorman off guard as he did not want to leave early. Unfortunately, Gorman was thrown off and TJ left on Gorman, taking the win on a holeshot, Kasper’s 4.396 to Gorman’s 4.343. Gorman was disappointed at the result but in the end remained at the top of the points and will be back next month looking to improve. TJ thanked the team owner Gil Christy, DiSomma Racing, Don Bailey (DCB Enterprises), and Neal Chance Racing converters on making it possible to reach the winner’s circle yet again.
Outlaw Drag Radial
Saturday’s kind of conditions were extra brutal for radial cars, who have enough of a handicap getting down the track without record heat. Robby George struggled through qualifying, taking the spot at the bottom if the field in the #8 spot. Ed Pfeiffer was in the #7 spot, making his car’s debut after quite a popular build in a long thread on YellowBullet.com Steve Drummond was out in a new car also making its debut, built to be a street legal car running in the 6′s. Ricky Fox took the ride up north and made a 5.173 pass, good enough for the #5 qualifier spot. Chris Evans again making an entrance in ODR ran a 5.063 for the #4 spot. Scott Bitzer and Bill Dutka, both receiving help and from John Balinsky over at OAB tuning and continuously improving, took the #3 and #2 spots respectively, Bitzer with a 5.060 and Dutka 5.003. Dutka also had the fastest qualifier at 162.94mph. Frank Soldridge took top qualifying honors, covering Dutka by a tenth and running a 4.900 @ 159.87 mph in the twin turbo Mustang.
Eliminations on Saturday turned out to be the Ricky Fox show. Fox’s Fulton Powered Mustang ran the best in each round, taking out Chris Evans in the first round with a 4.790. Frank Soldridge broke after the burnout giving Robby George a spot in the semis, but Ricky smoked him in the semis with a 4.796 @156mph pass. Bill Dutka, with the fastest pass of the day at 167mph in the semis against Scott Bitzer, made it to the finals against Fox. Bill’s car left with no power at all, while Ricky ran his best pass of the day, a 4.772, for the win.
Outlaw Big Tire
Tommy Romeo was back after some major updating on the Nova over at K&K, taking the #6 qualifier spot on the day in Outlaw Big Tire. Kevin Ashley’s El Camino was definitely one of the more unique rides on the property, took the #5 qualifier spot with a 5.472. Adam Cohen, in the Fiero, another rare car to see at a drag strip let alone in a fast heads up class, went #4 with a 5.001. James Houston took began the top half of the field in the #3 spot with a 4.980. Tom Tarsia’s ridiculously loud, blown Camaro, went #2 with a 4.790. At the top of the field was Charlie Boy Micallef, taking the honors of #1 with a 4.686.
During eliminations, Tommy Romeo stepped up his game and snapped off a 4.774 pass with an .013 reaction time, unfortunately he had the #1 qualifier who was able to get by him. Charlie Boy ran a 4.678 to take out Romeo. James Houston’s win light came on after Adam Cohen went .027 red, Houston did not have a clean pass. Getting the single was Tom Tarsia, not far off of Charlie Boy and ran a 4.692. Semi-final action gave Charlie Boy a single, in which he did not make a full pass. Tom Tarsia improved again and made quick work of James Houston, runing a 4.687 @ 163mph. Final round action brought us #1 versus #2, a matchup always loved by the fans. Charlie Boy ran a 4.620, quickest pass of the race, but it was for nothing as he went .058 red on the tree, giving Tom Tarsia and his 4.796 pass the win for the day.
Track conditions were understandably tricky for the X275 teams today, who have enough of a time getting down the track clean when there isn’t record heat to deal with. While times were off the pace a bit, qualifying order was about where it has been in recent days. Ronnie Diaz edged his way into the field having not made a clean pass during qualifying, in the #8 spot with a 5.948. Dave Valora was right ahead of him in the #7 spot with a 5.302. Vinny Palazzolo took #6 with a 5.300, while Steve Thompson #5 with a 5.226. Mike Cerminaro, making an impressive outing recently and joining the 4.x second X275 club, made it into the top half of the field in the #4 spot with a 5.177. Ron Rhodes (Rhodes Custom Auto) was oh-so-close to a 4 second pass, his 5.002 @143 was good enough for the #3 qualifier spot. Right ahead of him was Dean Marinis, who is always right on the tails of the Bruder Brothers, taking #2 honors with a 4.923 @ 151mph pass. At the top of the field was Rich Bruder, who along with his family and Mustang Mike Modeste tuned through the heat and made a clean 4.827 @ 156mph pass for the #1 qualifier spot.
Rich Bruder took out Ronnie Diaz in the first round, Diaz again having trouble getting down the track while Bruder ran the quickest and fastest pass of the race, a 4.770 @ 157.25mph. Mike Cerminaro made a solid 5.092 run to take the win over Steve Thompson’s 5.409. Ron Rhodes and Vinny Palazzolo left within .005 seconds of each other, Rhodes took that advantage and put up a 4.944 pass on the boards for the win. Finishing up the first round was Dean Marinis and Dave Valora. Marinis was slow at the tree and both cars had trouble getting down, but Marinis was able to get back in it and take the win with a 5.752 pass.
Dean Marinis made his adjustments and faced Ron Rhodes in the semi-finals. Marinis killed it at the tree with an .004 light and never looked back, running a 4.939 to take the win over Ron Rhodes’ also impressive 4.945. Mike Cerminaro did his job and left on Rich Bruder, running a nice 5.038 pass, but it would not be enough as the Procharger combo of the Bruder twins is making sick power and put up a 4.774 for the win and earned another trip to the finals.
In another #1 versus #2 qualifier matchup, the fans watched Rich Bruder and Dean Marinis pull into the beams. To everyone’s surprise, Bruder’s consistent car spun as the power came on, and the race was there for Marinis to take. Marinis unfortunately also had trouble getting down and was not able to recover, Bruder’s 5.471 @ 148mph held up and put him and the family back into the Winner’s Circle.
Before Ultra Street was called to the lanes, the rumblings in the pits were mainly about trying to figure out what the Ultra Street class would be running in today’s conditions. Everyone figured the top of the field to be in the mid 5 second range, which was quite accurate. John Keesey was in the neighborhood, running a 5.661 pass to take the #5 qualifier spot. Jeff Moyer was running solid, taking the #4 spot with a 5.584mph pass. Todd Geisler went #3 with a 5.498 pass, while Mark McCloud’s Silver Monte made a great 5.403 pass for the #2 qualifier spot. At the top of the field was Ron Rhodes in the Rhodes Custom Auto ride of Larry Rhodes, wheeling both X275 and Ultra Street today, running a 5.282 and having the field covered by over a tenth.
First round match-ups started with John Snyder and Casper Pigott, Snyder making quick work of Pigott and winning with a 5.478. Marc McCloud nailed it as the lights dropped, a .021 reaction time and 5.386 pass good enough to take out the sweet looking ride of Dennis Lowman. Mike Barry, a class sponsor, caught Radial Tire King Jeff Moyer sleeping at the tree and that cost Moyer the win, Barry running an impressive 5.505 to take out the #4 qualifier. Dave Mizell did not have the power to keep up with John Keesey, Keesey going 5.633 foro the win. Michael Gross came out of nowhere in the #12 qualifier spot running a 5.429, almost taking out the #2 qualifier Todd Geisler. Geisler inched out a win by a mere .026 seconds. Marcus Thompson didn’t make a clean hit against Ron Rhodes, who reset the track E/T record in the first round of Ultra Street with a 5.270 @ 131.70mph pass.
Quarter final action began with Marc McCloud, who put up big speed in the first round with a 133mph pass – this time he would take out John Snyder with another fast pass, a 5.370 @ 133.39mph. Mike Barry took a holeshot win over John Keesey, a 5.645 winning over Keesey’s 5.599. Todd Geisler continued to improve on previous passes and beat Mark Dill, a 5.368 to Dill’s 5.728. Ron Rhodes took the beams in a bye run.
Semi-final action got underway with the #2 and #3 qualifiers, who had been close all day up to this point. This race was no exception, as Mark McCloud again put up a big MPH and ran a 5.341 to take the win against Todd Geisler’s 5.388. Mike Barry, outgunned against Ron Rhodes, did his job at the tree and left with a .026 advantage, but Rhodes had the power and won with a 5.295.
#1 qualifier Ron Rhodes met #2 qualifier Marc McCloud in the finals. Marc nailed the tree yet again, an .061 reaction time to Ron’s .110. Unfortunately for McCloud, Ron continued to have him covered and his 5.271 was good enough for the win for the day, over Marc’s impressive 5.328.
Not a usual sight in 8.50 Index, only the top five qualifiers were actually in the 8.5x range on Saturday, thanks to the weather. Our buddy Robb Puller was in the #5 spot, barely in the 8.50s with an 8.599 pass. #4 belonged to the H&J Motorsports entry of Harry Gerb, with an 8.571. Al Fonse Jr (Fonse Performance) was up at the top, the #3 spot with an 8.541. Mike Good, June’s Winner, was still doing well and took the #2 spot with an 8.531. Top qualifier honors of the day went to Brian Ferrari, with Mean Green running an 8.519.
Eliminations were exciting as usual with some close heads up racing, starting with the very first pair. Lil’ Man Marty Brown lined up against Mike Pyott, who was back in action with a brand new rear in the car. Marty caught Mike sleeping, Pyott ran a great 8.540 but it was wasted with a .108 reaction time, Brown’s 8.549 was good to move on. Lil Man also pulled the upset over the #1 Qualifier, putting Brian Ferrari on the trailer in the quarter finals. John Razler, back in 8.50 Index after a long time away, had quite an impressive day making it all the way to the finals, only to fall to Harry Gerb. Al Fonse Jr continued to do well and add to his points collection, pulling out a huge win against Mike Romeo in the first round, as well as against Paul Cottone in the quarter finals, only to fall to John Razler in the Semis when his Camaro made an uncharacteristic hard move to the right off the line. Paul Cottone has been steadily improving with the new setup in his car, going rounds last month at Atco as well.
Harry Gerb was on point all day with .040, .011, and .032 reaction times under his belt. Harry ran 8.540, 8.554, and 8.541 passes, all impressive and well deserving of the win for the day, putting the H&J Firebird back in the Winner’s circle, a rare occurrence when his wife is at the races (just kidding, Jackie). Harry is normally at the top of the qualifying ladder and was happy to be able to finish the job and take home the win.
Just like 8.50 Index, 10.0 had a lower amount of guys within hundredths of the Index. At the bottom end of that pack in the #5 qualifying spot was Christian Benedict with a 10.066. Mark Plucinski, points leader so far, ran an 10.043, while Steve Porter squeaked by him for the #3 spot with a 10.042. Rich Sosnowski took the #2 spot with a 10.039, and at the top was no stranger to #1 qualifier, Carey Cable, with a 10.032. Just because the rest of the field was not in the 10.0x range does not mean they didn’t try, nor does qualifying order give anyone much of an advantage in 10.0 considering how the field is entirely seasoned racers. Brian Grinnell (S&W Race Cars), a relative newbie that has been doing quite well lately, qualified 11th but then unfortunately hurt the motor in the Wagon and ended his hot day early.
The first round of 10.0 Index included the end of the day for quite a few racers that we are used to seeing later in the rounds. Carey Cable, the #1 qualifier, made a quick exit in the first round after going .007 red against Rob Ward. Other wins in the first round went to Rich Sosnowski, who took the win light after a .033 redlight by Michael Copenhaver. Tom Wood, back in action, was able to drive around Ray Wallis, a 10.162 for the win. Christian Benedict nailed the tree with a .009 and caught Mo Bolduc sleeping, Mo not able to catch up and Benedict’s 10.120 was good for the win. Even with a .001 reaction time, Keith Reis Jr. fell to Carl Ungaro who had the speed and came around with a 10.125 to Reis’ 10.183, a tight race with Ungaro’s .036 reaction time. Brandon Diemicke took the stripe and the win over #3 qualifier Steve Porter, a 10.047 for the win. Mark Plucinski got a single in the first round due to Brian Grinnel’s broken car.
More red lights in the second round would end the day for two additional racers, Christian Benedict and Rich Sosnowski. Mark Plucinski faced Benedict, he ran it out the back with a 9.990 pass, dialed in perfect for the next round. Carl Ungaro took the win over Rich Sosnowski who also went .004 red, bout would have had a tough time beating Ungaro’s 10.020 with .034 light package. Tom Wood nailed the tree with an .007 and never looked back on Brandon Diemicke, moving on with an impressive 10.034 pass.
Semi final action brought Rob Ward and points leader Mark Plucinski to the line. Ward left with an .011 advantage, and Plucinski never caught up. Ward took the win over the #4 qualifier with a 10.119 to Mark’s 10.149. Tom Wood left on Carl Ungaro with another great light, a .011, but Ungaro was able to (literally) inch around him and Ungaro’s 10.015 was good for the win to WOod’s 10.077, an .020 margin of victory.
Rob Ward again enjoyed a starting line advantage, this time in the finals over Carl Ungaro, with a .019 advantage. We ended up with a double breakout situation, Ungaro taking the stripe trying to catch up but went too quick, his 9.965 fell to Ward’s 9.991, putting the truck in the Winner’s circle for the first time this season at Cecil County.
Keith Huffman brought up the tail end of the qualifiers in the 11.5x range with an 11.542 pass, only to be bested by #2 Frank Newsome with an 11.518 and #1 Jim Schmidt with an 11.511. The rest of this 11 car field was not far off, we saw last month’s winner Steve Gurnick pulling double duty with Pro Dial in the #9 spot of 11.50, everyone would have to keep an eye out for him during eliminations.
During Eliminations, Jim Schmidt proved his #1 qualifier spot was no fluke by making an 11.519 pass with .026 reaction on a single in the first round. Keith Huffman ran a nice 11.553 pass taking out Greg Newsome, only to be eliminated by Steve Gurnick in the second round when he was caught dead late on the tree. Gurnick was deadly on the tree throughout eliminations, with .045, .019, .034, and .037 lights, earning him a trip to the final and ultimately the winner’s circle. In the final, Gurnick met #2 Qualifier Frank Newsome, who was dead late with a .205 reaction time and had no chance catching Gurnick. Congratulations Steve Gurnick for the second win in as many races, and also doubling up on the day by winning the Pro Dial class!
Pro Dial Winner: Steve Gurnick
Super Street Winner: Brandon Michaels
Top Sportsman Winner: Vonnie Mills
Pro Street Winner: Don Naser