At the Street Glow Extreme Rush, NHRA Sport Compact Pro RWD and Pro FWD classes got to play on the NHRA Powerade Tour with the likes of John Force, Larry Dixon and Warren Johnson. The imports qualified by accruing points at select NHRA Summit Sport Compact events. The top eight in each class would qualify on Saturday and run eliminations on Sunday.
The event got off to a shaky start. The racers knew they'd have to rock the clock to get any respect from the crowd. Ara Arslanian turned the tide when he dropped a 6.78 at 203 mph in the Street Glow Solara. Before the shell-shocked fans could recover, Matt Scranton ran a 6.90 at 202 mph in the Turbonetics Celica.
In the second and final qualifying session, George Ioannou provided the wake-up call-a wicked 6.75 at the fastest-ever import trap speed of 207.27 mph. Ara followed that up with a 6.76 at 204 mph. To put this in context, Greg Andersen was on top of the Powerade Pro Stock ladder with a 6.761 at 203.58. For the Pro Stockers, it's all about consistency; the number 16 qualifier was at 6.815-that's .054 seconds covering the entire field. In fact, the 17th and 18th fastest cars both ran 6.816. That's some tight racing.
In eliminations, Ioannou and Grant Downing advanced, thanks in part to their foes' woes. Scranton moved on with a 6.97, but Arslanian red-lit on a 6.77 to bump Jorge Lazcano, and the Contreras 300ZX into the semis. Ioannou made the quickest pass of the week in the semis, a 6.707 at 205 mph, to beat Downing, while Scranton posted a 6.99 to advance to the finals.
In the finals, the Turbonetics Celica and Street Glow Solara teamed up and rolled a pair of 6s. The first-ever, side-by-side 6-second battle went to Scranton and the Turbonetics Celica 6.85 at 194 mph to Ioannou's 6.92 at 207 mph.
In the front-wheel-drive class, fans had a hard time processing slicks in the front and skinnies in the back. In qualifying, Nelson Hoyos was the only player who was on his game. He ran 8.63 and 8.53 to take the number one spot. Shaun Carlson and his Mopar Neon had transmission issues and were nowhere near their record-setting 8.22-second debut in Florida.
In eliminations, Hoyos ran 8.54 and Team Bergenholtz wowed the crowd with an 8.50 at 171 mph. The best race in the front-wheel-drive class was the semifinal match-up between John Brown and Nelson Hoyos. Brown got a microscopic jump and motored to an 8.65, but Hoyos' 8.32 beat it. Hoyos faced off against Jerrold Rhodes, who hadn't gone quicker than 11.54 in eliminations. Hoyos closed the deal with an 8.34.
There's another Extreme Rush planned for the 2003 season. The first go-around was mind-blowing for the teams that rubbed elbows with the legends of the 1320, and it showed domestic fans the speed and spirit of sport compact drag racing.
|PRO RWD |
|Ara Arslanian ||Street Glow Solara |
|Manny Cruz ||Duttweiler/DRT Cougar |
|Grant Downing ||Venom Tundra |
|Abel Ibarra ||K&N Filters RX-7 |
|George Ioannou ||Street Glow Solara |
|Jorge Lazcano ||Contreras 300ZX |
|Stephan Papadakis ||AEM/Driver FX Civic |
|Matt Scranton ||Turbonetics Celica |
|PRO FWD |
|Ed Bergenholtz ||Mazda 6 |
|John Brown ||Civic |
|Shaun Carlson ||Mopar Racing Neon |
|Luis Ferrer ||Celica |
|Nelson Hoyos ||GM Racing/Bothwell Cavalier |
|Bruce Mortensen ||Venom Civic |
|Jerrold Rhodes ||CRX |
|Jarrod Silvers ||Civic |
|PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS |
|Best E.T |
|Ioannou - 6.707 (Pro RWD) |
|Best MPH |
|Ioannou - 207.94 (Pro RWD) |
|Best E.T. |
|Hoyos - 8.329 (Pro FWD) |
|BEst MPH |
|Hoyos - 187.65 (Pro FWD) |