Turbo High Tech & Performance Quick ClassTechnology is a wonderful thing but it's especially awesome where drag racing is concerned. Quick Class cars just keep getting faster and more reliable by the day as proven by the Venom Performance team and Bruce Mortensen, who qualified in first place with a 8.834 at 165 mph and set a new IDRC Quick Class record. Jojo Callos, Kenny Tran and Lance Ho Lung are also indicators of the evolution of unibody FWD racers as they're on the verge of 8-second stardom. But at E-Town the 13 other Quick Class racers were not about to bow down without a fight for the Summer Slam championship.

After two rounds it was obvious who had the moxie to win. Second qualifier Saverio Leone driving the IMPO Performance Civic made it to the semis with two lucky breaks, taking Bye runs in the first two rounds. This was fortunate considering the bad luck he had been experiencing all week (See Burning the Midnight Oil), but Leone had no idea if his fresh motor was up to the task of taking Jojo Callos down for the count. Both cars left staging at the same time, but a missed shift by Leone gave Callos the edge he needed to move the Castrol Integra into the finals and send Leone packing.

The second pairing in the semis was the Venom Civic of Mortensen and 2002 Quick Class newcomer Jennifer Williams. Jennifer had been moving up through the bracket classes with her own daily driver, so when Inline Pro approached her to drive their Civic this season she jumped at the chance, knowing this would be her ticket to the big league. She won an event this year at the IDRC Spring Nats at Atco, NJ, but this was a new day. Williams would have to top her best run to have a chance against Mortensen. Unfortunately, she was unable to get away from Mortensen from the start and horsepower would rule as the Venom Civic pulled away authoritatively.

The final round was exciting and dramatic but way too short. Callos and Mortensen ran similar numbers in the past, but this time there was no stopping the brutally consistent 8-second passes Mortensen laid down. Callos was able to get a slight lead on Mortensen with a better reaction time, however it was all over by the 60-foot with Callos begging for traction and Mortensen just passing him by. The Venom Civic reigned supreme, beating Jojo Callos and finishing with an 8.933 at 164 mph to Callos' 10.488 at 142 mph.

BFGoodrich Street Tire ClassIt's the year of the single digits in the Street Tire class. Competitors need to start running 9-second passes consistently to even have a shot at winning.

Two of the eight qualifying competitors made it into the 9s with the AWD Eclipse of Jeff Hill knocking on the 9-second door. And had the boys from Titan Motorsports not disintegrated their Supra's drivetrain during qualifying, they too could have been in the 9-second club. And to think we were impressed a few years ago when Quick Class cars ran 9s.

Top qualifier Paul Efantis easily took out the Eagle Talon of Nathan Crisman in the first round and the Peter Farrell RX-7 of Ray Wilson in the semis by over a second. This would move him one win away from the trophy and the big payday. But IDRC Street Tire points leader John Shepherd was also making his way though the field by defeating Jose Castillo in the first round and good friend Jeff Hill in the semis. But Shepherd knew a low 9-second pass was not in his deck of cards and that he would have to rely on sheer driving skill and a bit of luck to win the day.

In the finals John Shepherd did the almost impossible. He was able to leave the staging beams one one-thousandth of a second after the light turned green. Yes. That's right. Shepherd managed to cut a .401 light to launch past Efantis. By the time both competitors hit the 1000-foot mark it was anybody's race. Shepherd's work on the tree was a tad too much and his slower 9.71 stood up against Efantis' 9.28.