The International Drag Racing Circuit (IDRC) kicked off the 2001 import drag racing season this past February with a wet-and-wild West Coast Nationals held in Palmdale, Calif. With weather forecasts changing minute by minute, no one knew what to expect for the race weekend. Despite scattered showers, which delayed the start of Sunday eliminations until 1:30 p.m., a couple thousand die-hard import enthusiasts battled the weather during the weekend to witness the start of the 2001 racing season.
A few teams, including Venom Racing and Kubo Racing, thought it best to call it an early day on Sunday; the weather-challenged track conditions could prove the notoriously slippery Palmdale track wouldn't be able to hold the cars' power. However, the teams that remained, put on an incredible show for the performance-hungry crowd.
DC Sports All-Motor Class presented by Import TunerThe DC Sports All-Motor class featured the first-ever 16-car field. Ten in the field qualified in the 11s. Some of the top-name racers included Jeremy Lookofsky, Bisi Ezerioha, Scott Kelley, Aaron Schley, Teren King and Joel Mandol.
The DC all-motor division is often dominated by Honda-powered racers, but we were surprised to see a couple of old-school RX-7s and a pair of VWs stepping up to the plate. There were no upsets in the first couple of rounds, with all the heavy hitters winning their respective heat races. In semis, the long shots made a mark when No. five qualifier Bisi Ezerioha got the best of class favorite, number two qualifier, Jeremy Lookofsky. Trying to cut a good light, L'Natural red lit, giving Ezerioha the go-ahead win into the finals. In the end, Scott Kelley's VW "Bugpack" qualified in the number one position and never looked back. Kelley demolished his competition by running consistent low-11s all day, with a best of 11.072. Kelley defeated Ezerioha's SOHC Honda CRX in the finals by running a 11.182 vs. Ezerioha's 11.795.
Importdrag.com Street VIII Presented BySport Compact CarIn the Street class, the favorite was Ari Yallon, and for good reason. Yallon, last season's IDRC Street VIII champ, qualified in the number one spot with a 10.631, nearly a full second faster than his second closest qualifier.
In the first round, the top four qualifiers won their heats, which set-up the semi-final round. Yallon was scheduled to face off against the number three qualifier Robert Lives Jr. and number two qualifier Ryan Carwin squared off against Roy Narvaez. Lives pulled off an amazing upset, cutting a killer light and sent Yallon packing his bags. Narvaez also pulled off an upset by beating the quicker qualifier, Carwin. Narvaez cut a better light and was able to beat Carwin with a 12.516 to his 12.514. Reaction time was the difference.
This set-up the finals between Robert Lives Jr. and Roy Narvaez. Lives proved too much for Narvaez to handle and took the easy win in the Street Class.