This was not Moroso Raceway Park's first import event but it was certainly its biggest. The two-day event had qualifying Saturday night with heads up competition on Sunday. With plenty of big- name racers in attendance we knew the competition would be cut throat.
Toyo Tires Pro IV
Dominating the class once again was Matt Hartford in the Hoyos Ford Focus6 powered Ford ran record numbers throughout competition qualifying with a 7.41 at 184 mph beating its old personal best record of 7.42. The three remaining spots in the Pro IV were taken up by Daniel Gonzalez out of Hialeah, Florida in his 93 Mazda, Ryan Garcia from Longwood, Florida in an '82 Mitsubishi and Chanito Vazquez from Orlando, Florida in an '89 Conquest. The only seven-second car in the field was Matt Hartford who coasted to victory over Daniel Gonzalez who broke in the finals. Team Hoyos was also able to better its previous time of 7.41 to a 7.38 at a blistering 189.1 mph.
Apex Integration Outlaw VIIIWith a wide variety of race cars entered in the Outlaw Class the one thing most of them had in common was alcohol. Cars that would normally be entered in the Quick Class have now made the move to weight reduction and the addition of alcohol, which has really increased the number of front-drives in Outlaw.
The number one qualifier was Carlos Gonzalez who was also the only eight-second car in a field of various nine-second warriors. It was obvious that if Carlos could keep his Mazda running consistent a first place victory was not out of the question. The underdogs in this class were the all-wheel drive Mitsubishis piloted by Len Monserrat, Richie Rosado and Steven Thomson.
Carlos went on to the finals to defeat Waldemar Vazquez' Toyota with an 8.54 to a losing 9.06. Steven Thomson piloted his alcohol Pacific Performance Civic Hatchback down the 1320 with back to back to back low 9.6s. Richie Rosado also made a powerful debut in his back-half front-drive '88 Celica. This was the vehicle's debut at the IDRC and the 3SGTE-powered rocket came home with a 10.10 timeslip. One of our featured vehicles was in attendance in the Outlaw Class. Len Monserrat's Eclipse was featured as a 10-second racer earlier this year but now the 4G63 Diamond Star has ran a personal best of 9.37.
Nitto Tire Quick XVI
While most Quick Class events feature the Honda badge in the top five qualifying spots this one was much different. The five spots were comprised of the Phatridz Neon, Extreme Talon, Thermal Research & Development Eclipse, Echo Civic and Japtrix RX-7. One Civic, two Diamond Stars, one Dodge and a Mazda, now that's diversity.
The fight for the number one qualifying spot became a battle between Sean Glazar's Extreme-sponsored Talon and Mike Crawford's Phatridz Neon. In the first round of qualifying Sean had a commanding lead with a 9.42. Sean was unable to continue in qualifying due to driveline problems but the e.t. was good enough to put him in the top spot until the Phatridz team stepped it up a notch. According to crew chief, Darrel Cox, "we decided to try bumping up on our tire size so we scrapped the 24.5x9-13s for 26/10-15s in hopes to better our e.t. It worked enough to get us our personal best e.t. but not enough to get the number one spot. Our last minute effort was to add a single-nozzle nitrous system to get a little more power out of the engine since the turbo was under sized. The nitrous didn't hurt us in the weight category since we still weighed over 2,000 pounds." All the last minute efforts paid off because the Neon stole the number one spot from Sean by running a personal best of 9.37 at 152 mph.
The number three and four spots were battled out between Brent Rau and our candidate for rookie of the year, Gary Gardella. The two were within one thousands of a second away with Brent stealing the spot with a 9.552 to Gary's 9.559.