Pro OutlawThere were only three qualifiers in Pro Outlaw. Shaun Carlson qualified in the number one spot followed closely behind by Ray Lochhead and Joel Tanzman. Shaun had a Bye run into the final while Ray faced Joel in the semis. Ray ran a low 9.157, beating Joel's 9.996. The battle of the outlaw cars was between Shaun's FWD tube-framed racer and Ray's RWD back-halved RX-7. Ray cut a great light, taking a two-car-length lead but had to lift when the rear tires busted loose. By the time Ray got back on the gas Shaun had steam-rolled him. Shaun ran a 9.250 to Ray's losing 9.787 but the real story was in the trap speeds where Ray's 133 mph clocking testified to how long he had to get off the gas.
Pro ImportIn Pro Import the drivers had their work cut out for them, especially with Palmdale's famous crosswinds. Only four drivers-Grant Downing, Abel Ibarra, Adam Sarawutari, and RJ Simrock-were brave enough to take the challenge, with most of them off their pace by well over a second. With only four cars, round one of the eliminations became the semi and round two the finals. Adam squared off against Abel in round one while Downing took on Simrock. Adam and Abel both experienced tire shake at the top end resulting in both letting off and then getting back on the accelerator. Adam was able to fend off the shake first and took the win with a 9.091 to Abel's losing 9.752. In the battle of the chassis builders, Downing came out on top, beating Simrock with an 8.382 to RJ's slower 16.341. The final pairing of the entire weekend was Adam's A&L Racing NSX up against Downing's VenomTundra. The veteran showed his true colors as Downing took the easy win in the "Back pedaling Nats" with an 8.157 to Adam's losing 10.532.
The NOPI LA Drag Wars had a different aura compared to most LACR events. The action in the manufacturers' midway was bustling on both Saturday and Sunday and the buzz around the stage was 24/7. The event started later and ran until 10PM on Saturday with a NOPI foam party, light show, DJs galore, a screening of the film "The Fast And The Furious," and a pre-screening of "The Fast And The Furious 2." On Sunday the car show awards and bikini contest awards competed with the drag racing finals for spectator attention. The bottom line is there was much more than racing going on. In fact, drag racing seems to have become the constant in an event that is continually expanding beyond the strip, giving spectators more to do between rounds than just stand in concession lines.