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The latest update as of August 1, 2010

Some quick updates from the Spokane Lucas Series race

As mentioned earlier in my little piece on the decision to run two competing events on the same weekend, the fields at Spokane are somewhat on the light side. With four Top Alcohol Dragsters - for an 8-car field - the herd was thinned by one during the first qualifying session on Friday evening when the Bill Edwards car did a very short burnout, then staggered to the finish line with a 13-second clocking.

Reading between the lines of yesterday's Drag Race Central postings leads me to believe the team put the car in the trailer and headed home to Sumas. Frankly, they've been running on fumes (financially) and a collection of old, tired parts for too long and Bill Sr. and Jr. are almost at the point of saying "enough". It will be very sad to see them leave the scene, but when the money runs out and the parts are worn out, then reality says: stay home until things improve.

A small aside: the Hugh Ridley-owned, Jeff Johnsen-tuned, Dale Carlson-driven, Top Alky dragster out of the lower mainland has already felt the financial pinch and Ridley has parked the car until he's sufficiently bucks up enough to start running again. When, or if, that will be is anyone's guess. Another real loss to a division that's rapidly running out of fast race cars - at least of the top alcohol variety.

Where were we? Oh yes, the first round of Top Alky dragster. Three cars left in competition. Joey Severance gets a bye run due to Edwards' departure. Then he bombs the blower on the burnout. Ooops.... The rules say that "the car must be staged under its own power to be considered a valid run". In other words, Severance is out and it's down to Don St. Arnaud and Mike Austin to fight it out for the title.

Austin wins easily in the first/semi-final race, but the rules state he must come back and stage the car for the final round unopposed to be awarded the event victory. What happened at the Seattle national event when Chris Demke didn't have to come back for the final and was simply given the trophy after Mark Niver died? That was obviously a VERY different situation. Speaking of Niver, the memorial service to celebrate his life happened yesterday afternoon in Scottsdale, Arizona. Just another reminder of a very sad day for drag racing and good people in general.

Moving back to Spokane, the Top Alky flopper field of five cars was reduced to four when Dave Germain blew an engine and tagged the wall on Friday night. Then last night, Ken Webster killed his engine and the tribe was reduced to just three cars for today's eliminations. Luckily, Brian Hough didn't do anything wrong on his bye run and he's into the second and final round against arch-nemesis Clint "No Nitro This Weekend" Thompson for the event title.

The entire 9-car Comp Eliminator field managed to make it through four rounds of qualifying unscathed and every car made an appearance in the first round of eliminations this morning. Low qualifier, and this is getting to be a bit of a habit for him, Rob Harrison of North Vancouver, sailed into the second round on a bye run. He has to face the C/D of Pat Byron in that round, and then the ladder will have him facing, if all goes well, fellow Canadian Dale Giroux in the semi-finals,

One more note on Spokane, this time about the nitro funny cars. There were only six cars in attendance, and only four appeared to run in the final session. Not sure if that was planned or by accident. There seemed to be some serious gaps in the Drag Race Central coverage of that portion of the event, and until we hear/read more about it, that's all we can report. There were some good laps laid down by Tim Boychuk - as usual - of 5.82 and 5.83, but the low e.t. pass of the race was turned in by Leah Pruett with an excellent 5.76. She picked up the pace each time down the track, from a 5.95 to a 5.83, and finally, a 5.76 at 243 mph.

That's all we've got time for today, as the keyboard is acting up badly and we've got to head out to work early this afternoon. We'll have a little more news from Spokane late tonight, but in the meantime, just check ou the Drag Race Central website for all the dirty details. Until later, stay tuned!

Late update: The red-light bug has struck Rob Harrison as he turns it on big-time in the second round of Comp Eliminations at Spokane. A .221 redlight isn't even close so the clutch woes that have been moving the car out of the beams early appear to have struck again. Maybe I'll get brave and drop into his shop on Tuesday morning to find out the real reason(s). Anyone dare me to? One more note from Spokane: the car total for the event was 207 (including the nitro floppers, but not the jets, or anything lower than super street).

PS: If you're really desperate for some new pictures from the Mission Raceway National Open last weekend, click on the Mission button on the upper left side of this page, then sroll down that page to the "Pro Photo" button, click on it, then scroll down to the bottom of the page - see, I said you'd have to be desperate to do all that work - and see the latest edition of the "Back-Up Girls Photo Gallery".

To see previous updates go to the What's Old page