4/15/2011 Atco Raceway Event Recap

Finally, racing!! Because of a big race on Sunday and prep time that was required for it, we had a rare Friday race at Atco Raceway where there was an afternoon of testing included with night time race entry. As far as days go, it worked out in that regard, since Saturday was a monsoon and would have been a total washout.. so I am happy we at least got SOME racing in.

Due to the plummeting temperatures and also a nasty crash courtesy of the No Time crowd, unfortunately for all, the night ended short with only qualifying finished up and no eliminations run. We’ll have better luck when these events are normally run on Saturdays, plenty of time in then. With the cool weather all day though, did come the benefit of more power from just about everyone. While we didn’t see any eliminations, we still had a good show and so did the crowded stands.
We had some Outlaw Drag Radial appearances, as a few teams took the opportunity to test. Bill Dutka was out testing in the Outlaw 10.5 class with his new setup, his car has been completely reworked by the masters at J&E Automotive including a bit of chassis upgrades. He’s sporting the multi-color front at the moment as things are still getting buttoned up, we are liking the look and the new turbo placement!

Alex VrettosAlex Vrettos was out to test as well, we saw him have major success with his new setup at the end of last season. He and the CoRuPt boys are back to try and reset as many records as they can this year! During testing though, Alex had an unfortunate incident where he got loose and got dangerously close to Brad Harris in the left lane. Luckily, both drivers are superb and Alex was able to avoid a crash, and bring the car to a stop just barely tapping the right side wall. Damage is minimal and he’ll be back in no time. Click here to see the whole sequence.

Bill VerzilliIn 8.50 Index, we had a great showing, always tough for them to interrupt life and make it to the Friday night race series. Right out of the gate in the first qualifier, we saw 4 cars in the 8.50x range – Mark Bowen, Adam Sailor, Mike O’Sullivan, and Bill Verzilli. Verzilli had top honors with an 8.506 @ 161.23mph which held up through the second qualifier and he will take the pole position come eliminations. If qualifying was any indication of the close racing we will see this season, we are pretty excited! The top TWELVE out of the eighteen cars that showed up were all in the 8.5x range!! We saw a few new faces in the field but most of the veterans from past seasons are back and there’s no way to forecast a winner in this field yet again this year, the competition is too close. Check out the picture gallery to see the Fonse Performance Camaro in a slick new silver / black striped paint job !

Larry RhodesX275 is probably the fastest growing heads up class in the country, with a lot of teams coming out with new combinations and trying to get some baseline tuning information. It’s especially tricky for teams on a cold night, as the power is easier to make but getting it down the track on those little tires is not. We had 9 X275 cars on Friday, some old faces, and some new. Brendan Mills is both an old face from the 10.0 Index crowd, but a new face to the 275 crowd. He had a great showing with his new setup and ended up in the #4 qualifying spot with a 5.543 @132. Kyle Buonocore takes #3 with a 5.395 @ 139, and Craig Walls goes #2 with a 5.373@136.28. Taking the top honors for the night was Rich Bruder, laying down a solid 5.155 @ 150.01 mph pass in the first round of qualifying. Ron Rhodes was in the house but at the bottom of the field, finishing on the bump spot – for sure he will be improving during eliminations. Tony Mullin was making some hits in Tom Wood’s Buick, checking out the clouds like Tom is used to. On motor he went 6.177 @ 111.35, not bad for a 3400 pound ride!.

Tom KasperThere’s no need to travel the country to see some of the best looking and best performing Outlaw 10.5 cars in the country!! They all live and race in our back yard!! We had 11 entrants to Outlaw 10.5 on Friday, including some of the Outlaw Drag Radial boys getting in on the action. Since the air was so good, these guys were making some great power and had to really finesse the tuneups to get down the track. Our good friend Mo Hall was in the house, he did not get a clean pass on the first round, but went deep into his tuning bag of tricks and snatched the #4 qualifier spot in the second round with a 4.351 @ 170.47mph. Judging by when his candles lit up, it was a soft tuneup compared to what we are used to – Mo has a lot more there for us when the track can hold it. The other lone nitrous car driven by Charlie Dolbin was right above Mo in the #3 spot, with a 4.326 @ 163.83 pass.

In the boosted world, Buck Jarvis came out in the first round and made a great 4.418 pass but unfortunately hurt something, we don’t have the specifics but it did keep him out of round 2. Tom Kasper rocketed down the track with a 4.307 at an astounding 184mph in the first round to snatch the #1 qualifier spot early. In the second round, his son TJ had something for him – he layed down a 4.258 @ 184.72mph to grab the #1 qualifier spot, but not for long, as the old man ran a 4.249 @ 183.47 mph pass right behind him to take that #1 spot back. Both Christy & Kasper cars are sporting some new Mickey Thompson vinyl on the sides and representing Precision Turbo well!

Tommy MauroTommy Mauro made an appearance and his ride was looking good, but also running good, he ended up #6 wth a 4.554 @ 162.63mph. Steve Gorman was shaking the cobwebs off and figuring out his tune, he is #7 with a 4.691 @ 170.71mph. Ending up on the bump spot was Dale Collins, Orlando Champ, with a 4.759 @ 163.65. Surprisingly not qualified was Larry Wood, Brad Harris, and Vinny Fiore, we are sure we’ll see these guys at the top of the field in no time fast.

Click here to visit our event coverage forums and read all about the event, and find the link to our full picture galleries.

About Seth

Primary Contributor and Photographer for GoneDragRacing.com
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