First round action drew fans from the pit area to the stands so they could watch Vinny Ten put the hurt on Juan Lopez as he cut a brilliant light (.411). You don't get much closer than that. Unfortunately Vinny had driveline problems afterward and would not be able to make it into the semis. Christian Rado, who just recently broke into the 8's with his Honda Integra, was matched against Gary Moysouret who was driving a first-gen Mazda RX-7. Christian also left the start with a great reaction time, especially considering his opponent had dropped the clutch a half second after him. Christian had problems mid track and Gary was able to run him down by the end. In the semi-fina,l Carlos Perez, who had just beaten his Puerto Rican teammate in the first round, was supposed to race Vinny Ten who had broken in the first round. Vinny was unable to make the necessary repairs and was actually praying for the rain to come early, but this was not the case. Carlos Perez was bumped to the final. Gary Moysouret also got bumped to the final when Carlos Montano (Pepe Loco) broke by the end of his first round but still was able to beat Jose Perez (who also broke). In the last run of the afternoon (it poured right after their run) Gary would earn his victory as he left Perez at the line and just pulled away finishing with an 8.155 at 166 mph to Perez' 8.664 at 152 mph
Toyo Tires Pro Class
Seven was the number for the day. "Why is that?", you ask. Because if you weren't running a seven, or at least close to it, in the Pro Class, you were on the trailer. Six out of eight qualifiers all posted a seven. On Saturday, the Siguel Racing RX-7 made history by becoming the quickest import drag racer by blasting a 7.440 at 179.90 mph. Unfortunately, this landmark acheivemeent would stand for mere hours. About 17 hours later, the Hoyos-sponsored Ford Focus, driven by Matt Hartford, was the car to catch as they set the new record for import drag racing by running a 7.411 at 184 mph. That's right, had you watched qualifying on Saturday and Sunday you could have seen history in the making... twice!.
Round one put Matt Hartford and his twin turbo V6-powered Focus against Jimmy O'Connor and the Venom Racing Toyota Tacoma. While Jimmy posted a respectable reaction time and extremely quick low-eight-second pass (8.051 at 169 mph) it was just not enough to catch Matt, who probably had his helmet off and seatbelt undone by the time Jimmy hit the chute. In what might have been the comical relief run of the day, Rafael Rivera (Rafealito) and Orlando Torres showed fans that it's not necessarily who's the fastest but who's first. As the light turned green both rotary powered cars fell flat on their face sputtering and coughing, barely rolling past the 60-foot marker. Orlando was able to get his car somewhat working and managed to limp his car towards the finish traveling at around 40 mph. By the time Orlando hit the 1/8-mile, Rafael finally figured out his motor's problems and came roaring towards the finish. I am sure Orlando felt the 100+ mph breeze created by Rafael, but it was too late as Orlando crossed the finish first moving himself into the semi-final. Unfortunately for Orlando, this meant going against Matt Hartford and the Hoyos Focus. Had Orlando sorted out his problems from the previous round he might have had a fighting chance racing Matt as the Focus pitched toward center track until Matt was forced to lift. It was not to be and Matt moved himself into the final.
Jose Torres and the Siguel Racing RX-7 would have to give up ideas of making the final as he red-lit in the semi against Jorge Lazcano. Unfortunately Jorge and Matt would never see the final round as they too fell victim to the impending rain that eventually drenched the day. Purse and points were split.
Despite the blazing heat of Saturday qualifying and the torrential rain that killed that last few rounds of competition Sunday, this was an event to remember and to brag to your friends that decided not to go. If you missed it this year, you need to mark your calendars for next year as this is undoubtedly the largest import drag event of the racing season: the annual IDRC Summer Slam.