Sportsman Stars Shine in E.T. Finals
(KENT, Wash) – Some of the top names in sportsman drag racing in the Northwest proved why they have earned that distinction as they came alive during the 2012 NHRA Summit Racing Equipment E.T. finals at Pacific Raceways.
Rob Asbury, Scott Lang, Jerry Durant Jr., Robert Steffen, and Derrick Jackson all stepped up when the going got tough at the annual Labor Day weekend event that brought together the top racers from all 17 NHRA Division 6 tracks in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia and Alberta. More than 550 racers competed in the event at the historic Kent track that featured what was literally non-stop curfew-to-curfew racing. Pacific Raceways operates under tight racing restrictions imposed by King County.
Woodburn Drag Strip drivers dominated the final round of Sportsman with the tough Jerry Durant Jr. cutting a near-perfect .004 reaction time in his 2005 Dodge pickup to take the win over Karl Hart’s 1984 Trans Am. Du
rant Jr.’s winning time was a 13.966 at 86.11 mph over Hart’s breakout 13.436 pass on a 13.44 dial.
Woodburn Drag Strip won the team trophy edging out Portland and Bremerton. Firebird Raceway finished fourth and host Pacific Raceways finished fifth. Rounding out the top 10 teams were Mission, Renegade, Spokane, Madras, and Walla Walla.
In the Track Managers' Cup, which is awarded on points during the Race of Champions, Woodburn finished on top just one point ahead of Portland. Mission, Firebird, Bremerton, Spokane, Pacific, Renegade, Medicine Hat and Madras rounded out the top 10.
In Pro, Beaverton, Oregon’s Scott Lang drove his modified 1976 Pinto to a 12.133 at 104.42 mph on a 12.13 dial for the win. The Portland International Raceway driver beat Woodburn racer Nicholas Shepherd who ran 10.669 at 116.01 on a 10.66 dial.
Renegade Raceway’s Rob Asbury drove his 1980 Camaro to the Super Pro win over multi-event winner Gary Ericksen, who fouled away his chances in the final round by .005 seconds.
In Motorcycle/Sled, Richmond, B.C. Suzuki rider Jon Jenkins topped Pacific Raceways’ ace Jake Havens in the final round of the team race with an 8.727 at 145.38 mph on an 8.70 dial to take the win. Another local racer running for Pacific Raceways, Lane Cavar runner-upped in Jr. Dragster Lightning falling to Renegade Raceways’ Ryan Widhalm in the final round.
Local racer Cameron Calhoun, of Covington and running for Bremerton, was runner-up in Jr. Dragster Thunder losing to Kyler Pitts of Oregon. In the High School Class, Brandon Rieken of Firebird took the class championship in his 1971 Ford Maverick over Kenny McGarry of Philomath High School in Oregon.
In the Race of Champions, which featured the best six racers from each track vying for a trip to Pomona, CA, McMinnville, Oregon’s Derrick Jackson running for Woodburn Drag Strip and no stranger to the event pushed Meridian, Idaho’s Duston Wurtz under his dial for the win and a trip to Pomona, CA to take on the top E.T. racers in North America. Jackson’s winning time in his Sportsman class 1967 Dodge truck was 12.851 on a 12.80 dial. Wurtz, driving a 1965 Mustang, ran 11.995 on a 12.02 dial.
In the Super Pro Race of Champions, Livingston, Montana’s Larry DeYoung drove his big-block powered 1955 Chevrolet to a double breakout win over the 1967 Oldsmobile of Portland’s Greg Rollin. DeYoung carded a 9.237 at 150.80 mph on a 9.28 dial.
Olympia’s Robert Steffen, driving for Bremerton Raceway, topped Twin Fall, Idaho’s Mark Kidd in a battle of Pro heavyweights. Steffen’s reaction time made the difference in a double breakout race running a 10.599 on a 10.56 dial.
Yakima's Jeff Havens had to wait an extra day to secure his ticket to Pomona winning the Bike/Sled Race of Champions over Zak Pedraza of Firebird.