West Coast Hot Rod Association Shoot Out at Sundown Breaks Records
The West Coast Hot Rod Association (WCHRA) Team Performance Products Shoot Out at Sundown drew record numbers of cars and spectators August 15 & 16, 2008 at the Famoso Dragway in Bakersfield. The event was presented by Deeds Performance. The WCHRA now in its second year has been growing rapidly as a racing association created for racers by racers. In was an exciting event as three classes broke previous records in True 10.5, Drag Radial, and Prostock. Participants and spectators enjoyed cool evening racing action catching a break from the hot daytime summer.
Kelly Bluebaugh/ Team AutoTrader – Prostreet Taro Martinez- Modified Production Steve Rice – Pro Mod Bike
In the Prostreet class, an increasing number of West Coast heavy hitters are showing up to compete. Kelly Bluebaugh and Team AutoTrader took their first WCHRA victory with a 6.563 @ 216.65 over the Petronix GTO of Clint Hairston who rolled the beam at the start. The match up was highly anticipated as both drivers had just put down matching 6.54’s in the previous round. Bluebaugh said we would have rather raced him for it, but we were glad to take the win for AutoTrader and Team Performance products. The Outlaw class has shown a nitrous powered Chevy versus Ford rivalry between Rich Zehring and Doug Sikora, who have been neck and neck all season. It’s always an exciting race to watch as both are top performers on the West Coast. This final was, as usual, a good showing as Zehring caught Sikora on a hole shot in his Mel Cotton Sporting Goods/ Protrades 70 Nova and never looked back taking the win with a very close 7.195 @ 198.45 to [email protected] 191.36. The margin of victory was two thousands. In Pro Mod Bike, Steve Rice muscled his way to the finish with raw horsepower on his Kawasaki over Bojorguez who left the line with a considerable head start advantage. Rice who held both Low ET and High MPH of the event took the win with a stout 7.387 @ 190.59 over Bojorguez 7.951 @ 164.71. Rice explained that the class is modeled after NHRA Top Alcohol Motorcycle. His machine is turbo charged on alcohol.
Rich Zehring – Outlaw Winner Roger Holder – Record 4.922 @ 148.80 David Bowman- Record 7.824 @
It was High Stakes in True 10.5 1/8 mile. Roger Holder was the man to watch and the man to beat, breaking the ET and MPH record with his 68 Nova in the final round. Holder took the win cutting a near perfect light over his rival Rich Hoyle who put up a good battle falling short to Holder’s Record Setting 4.929 @ 148.68 (Backing up his earlier 4.922 @ 148.80 actual record) over Hoyles 5.018 @ 142.45. Holder said the team struggled early on with tire spin, but prevailed victorious with some quick thinking and ingenuity. The Nova is sponsored by Holder’s own Air Conditioning and Heating company who also supports the WCHRA. Holder wished to give special mention and thanks to Mikes Transmission’s and Chuck Roberts who specializes in nitrous tuning.
It was an ET record setting final in Drag Radial, David Bowman was the fast guy to beat in his 2002 Camaro and showed no mercy taking the win over the 57 Chevy of Armen Maghdessian with the Record Setting Run of 7.864 @ 182.7 (Backing up his earlier 7.824 actual record) to 8.774 @ 169.58. Bowman said the team has been in the final at the WCHRA a number of times, but tonight is our first win. We are really glad to have it. Bowman Motorsports is supported by Precision Turbo, Daves Engine and Machining, and Enterprise Motor Sports. The Prostock Class saw an exciting new ET record in the final set by Mike Pritchard in his Hutcheson Motorsports/Rebs Specialities 85 Mustang. Pritchard actually broke his own record and holds both the ET and MPH record for the class along with being the current points leader. He took the win with starting line advantage over Steve Fulgham in his Braswell Carbs 66 Chevelle with the record 8.384 @ 164.17 to 8.475 @ 162.04
Mike Pritchard- Record 8.384 @ 164.17 Bill Hickok- Modified Production Greg Dreher- A/FX
Bill Hickok swept the Modified Production class coming up with both high MPH and Low ET of the event racing Glenn Waltons 64 Falcon. Hickock said the team had to chase the condition of the track to get their 275 drag radial tire to hook. The work paid off in the final as Hickok grabbed the win with a slight start advantage over T. Martinez with a 9.448 @ 142.33 to 9.828 @ 138.41. It was a real upset in the A/FX class as the 67 Ford Mustang of Greg Dreher put a mean hole shot on #1 Qualifier Al White’s GTO taking the win with a 10.514 @ 114.85 over White’s quicker but losing 9.453 @ 144.57. Dreher held the best reaction time of his class with a lethal .015 light. There was an unusual twist in A/Gas as Frank Merenda took a bye round win in his Blown Alcohol Injected 65 Nova Wagon after Holloway had to leave the track unexpectedly. The Nova dubbed “Home Wrecker III” is supported by Lemons Headers, West Coast Converters, and Sensations. Merenda took it easy simply breaking the beam to take home the pot of cash.
Frank Merenda- A/Gas Rick Logsdon- B/Gas Mark Capps- C/Gas
The B/Gas class proved tough as every race was neck and neck at the finish. Rick Logsdon the current points leader took the win with a near perfect,.001 light, in his TCW Performance 55 Bel Air over Randy Armstrong in what was a spectacular side by side race to the finish with a 8.604 @156.65 to 8.596 @ 157.27. Logsdon said, it was so close, I was not sure who won until the light came on. The C/Gas class brought exciting side by side racing action with every round a battle to the finish as well. There were no give aways here. Marks Capps fought his way through five rounds in his Mustang Ranch 67 Mustang to keep his points lead and take the win over Larry Bernitzk with a 9.578 @ 137.34 to 9.533 @ 137.90. Capps said Bernitzk caught me mid-track and it was a real run for the finish. This race brought the toughest competition yet.
Mike Silva- D/Gas Diane Diedrich- Open Comp Steven Hulse- Sportman
In the D/Gas class Mike Silva got a free pass to the finish in his Payless Transmission/ Fel-pro Gasket 64 Chevy Nova when J. Bennet came up red by a mere -.007. Silva running the race with a borrowed motor was glad to take an easy one with an 11.597 @ 105.59 to10.488 @ 127.78. The Open Comp class brought some pedal fest action as Diane Diedrich pedaled her way to the finish against Jim Henderson in her 65 Firebaugh Express Nova winning with a 10.597 @ 119.52 to 10.845 @ 122.61. Diedrich said it was a close run at the end as both drivers tried to get back in the groove and get hooked up. Steven Hulse battled though six rounds of tough competition in the ever popular Sportsman class taking a free ride to the finish in his Valley Insulation Datsun 240Z when the motorcycle of Anthony De La Torre rolled the beam early going red by -.207. Hulse, very pleased with his win ran, 11.221 @ 117.8 over De La Torre’s 9.523 @ 149.80.
The WCHRA association will run its seasons finals October 4th & 5th , 2008 at the Sacramento Raceway. This will also be the first run in Sacramento for the association. A good turn out is expected as area racers are already inquiring about the event. For more information about WCHRA, visit our website at http://www.westcoasthotrod.com Photography was provided with permission of Paul Schmitz at Reflections of… Motor Sports Photography
WCHRA is supported and sponsored by: Team Performance Products, Team Racing Engines and Dyno Service, Mikes Transmission, Dyno-Flo, Holders A/C & Heating, Deeds Performance, Brandt Racing, Bakersfield Glass and Window, Paul Williams Specialties, Kopps, VACA Performance & Dyno, , Hoosier Tire West, HK Motor Sports, Calvert Racing, TCW Performance, Chris Alston’s Chassis Works, Circuitz Wiring