Apex Integration Outlaw ClassIt seems like the IDRC Outlaw Class has a few shining stars that run consistently while the rest of the pack play catch-up. The qualifying pack ranged from the eighth and final qualifying time of 9.459 posted by Mickel Rosado to the quickest qualifying time of 8.261 by crowd favorite Stephan Papadakis.
Hailing from Ponce, Puerto Rico, Cesar Febus made waves in the Apex Integration Outlaw Class. Febus advanced to the semis by defeating Jose Rodriguez's '82 Starlet and was matched against the "Pepe Loco" Datsun of Carlos Montano. Montano previously ran consistent, low 8-second passes and even ran well enough to defeat the force of Papadakis' AEM Civic, but his best time would still be a bit shy compared to what Febus laid down in the semis. With front wheels lifted, Montano launched past Febus and pulled away after the 60-foot mark. Febus got it together for this run, though, as his Nissan 300Z clawed hard at the track, passing Montano by mid-track as if Pepe Loco was standing still. But the real thrill came when the timing board flashed a 7.825 at 173 mph, which was the first 7-second pass in IDRC's Outlaw Class. The run also ensured Febus a spot in the finals as well as lane choice.
In typical fashion, Stephan Papadakis was taking names and kicking butt through the early rounds, defeating Mickel Rosado in the first and Jose Escalera in the second. Papadakis was running very consistent 8.3s, but knew it would come down to either driving skill on his part, or broken parts on Febus' part, to defeat another pass like the Nissan's 7-second e.t. in the semis. When the tree dropped, Papadakis managed a better reaction time but any advantage was snuffed by the RWD traction of Febus' 300Z. Febus was able to get a two-car lead on Papadakis and carry it until half-track. Then Papadakis came charging right back but ran out of track. Febus crossed the finish first in 8.018 at 155 mph to Papadakis' 8.302 at 172 mph.
Falken Tire All Motor ClassHondas ruled in the All Motor field, boasting four out of the top five qualifying positions. And when it came to the first round of competition Scott Mohler's number two qualified Dodge Neon was nowhere to be found. However, the first-gen RX-7 of Angel Valentin advanced his way through the rounds by defeating Dennis Melendez in the first round and Steve Jung in his brightly painted Honda in the quarterfinals.
With a removed rear bumper and primer painted fiberglass nose, Jeremy Lally made his way through the first two rounds, easily defeating Jose Cello in the first round and Buddy Dunagan in the second, proving that you don't have to look good to win. Lally was out to prove to Angel Valentin he had the goods in the semi-final round when the light turned green. Lally cut a .598 light, launched past Valentin and pulled away. And even though his RX-7's RWD traction was somewhat able to catch up, his poor reaction time cost him the race and he let off by the 1000-ft marker, pushing Lally into the finals.
It was obvious who was going to make it into the finals to run against Jeremy Lally. Erick Aguilar must have completely intimidated the competition with his wicked number one qualifying pass of 10.590 at 127 mph because both Anthony Dowd (quarterfinal) and Jeremy Allen (Semifinal) red lit, hoping to get a jump start advantage on Aguilar. Lally definitely had his work cut out for him. When the light turned green in the finals Lally was able to get a slight lead over Aguilar, but horsepower ruled the day and Aguilar easily pulled past and even let off by the end, giving Erick Aguilar the IDRC All Motor win.
There were plenty of fireworks on the tarmac at Englishtown and Craig Paisley saw more than his fair share of shooting stars after his roof-scrapin' run. With crazy fast racers and all the ambiance that comes with East Coast drag racing, the Summer Slam once again proved why it is the IDRC's biggest and best event.