Fresh Faces Grace Goodguys 17th Nitro Nationals Winner’s Circle
By John Drummond
|San Diego’s Rick White won his first-ever Goodguys Top Fuel event title driving his and partner Chuck Neal’s “Autopower/CNC”sponsored Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragster to victory at the 17th Nitro Nationals.|
Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, CA – The 17th edition of the Goodguys Nitro Nationals held at the sprawling Infineon Raceway, featured several record runs and numerous first time Goodguys event winners. At final count, 310 pre 1972 racing entries competed in fourteen different classes over the two day race, which was hampered a bit by tumultuous, unsettled weather.
The San Diego, CA based duo of Rick White and Chuck Neal, both veteran drag racers teamed up to win their first-ever Goodguys sanctioned event, taking the Red Line Oil Top Fuel division, defeating other first-time Goodguys finalist Brett Harris of Kayesville, Utah in the final. Harris did all he possibly could to pull off the victory by cutting a perfect .000 light (reaction time), but White’s 5.825 @ 250.97 overcame Harris’ 5.906 @ 258.27. Harris 258mph top end charge in the final round held for top speed of the event.
Earlier in the day, White ran 5.775 @ 250.13 – a career best performance which also stood as the event’s quickest Top Fuel elapsed time. “This feels awesome,” said White in the winner’s circle. “We have been running this car since 2003, but it seems every time we get to an event, we don’t get enough runs to get it dialed in. That changed today and we were the most consistent and the quickest car in the field. I owe it all to Chuck (Neal).”
Hometown favorite Mendy Fry, a Santa Rosa native, lost her quarter final race when the engine in her top fuel dragster disintegrated in a huge ball of fire. Fry emerged from the incident without a scratch but the concussion of the explosion was felt some 2,000 feet away back at the starting line. She vowed to return to competition later this year.
Dan Horan Jr of Sylmar, California was the top performer in the Pro Nitro-sponsored Nostalgia Funny Car class, taking his metallic blue 1966 Ford Mustang to the winner’s circle as the class’s quickest entry. His opening round 6.056 was the all-time best run for a Nostalgia Funny Car. He attributed his success to good “air” (atmospheric conditions) and a great race track surface. “My guys did everything,” he said. “I was just a passenger today. The car performed better than it ever has, obviously. We need more fast guys to step up and build Funny Cars and come out here to race with us. This win feels awesome”
It was back to back event titles for veteran racer Steve Woods in TCI-sponsored AA/GAS competition. Woods, driving his bright purple 1948 Prefect (an English Ford sedan) did it the “right way” this time around, referring to his quirky and lucky win at last month’s Goodguys 46th March Meet in Bakersfield – an event he won with some of the slowest times of eliminations.
Here at the Nitro Nationals however, Woods was on his game, getting quicker and faster with each run throughout the day. His opening round 6.808, was followed with a 6.760 in the semi’s and in the finals, he defeated rival Howard Anderson with a quicker-yet 6.743 to the loser’s 6.771. The final round numbers were the best of his career. “I earned it today” grinned the 65 year old machinist. Woods is a four-time Goodguys AA/GAS Class Champion and with his back to back wins this spring, took a sizeable points lead in the Goodguys West Coast Championship Series.
Wilton, California’s Ken Moitoza made sure his first-ever final round appearance at a Goodguys/VRA event was a good one, winning the Pro Nitro A/Fuel class over Trinnon Cirello of Costa Mesa. Moitoza used every bit of his 6.453 @ 216.20 to defeat Cirello’s close 6.596 @ 203.74.
And finally it was Chico, California’s J.D. Zink who bagged the Junior Fuel title by ousting two-time class champion Scott Parks in the finals. Zink had the field covered by a wide margin performance-wise. He ran a 6.898 @ 190.59 which was the all time best in the class and ran 6.911 @ 188.46 in the finals to Parks’ slowing 7.056.
Other winners at the Goodguys 17th Nitro Nationals were John Rasmussen (Junior Fuel B), Ronnie Lennon (Hughes Performance Nostalgia Eliminator), Bob Lander (Hughes Performance Nostalgia II), Craig Wallace (Nostalgia III), Mike Ward (A/GAS), Bret Pichler (B/GAS), Steve Galileo (C/GAS), Bob Nance (D/GAS), and Jim Brower (High Performance Coatings’ Hot Rod Eliminator).
The third stop of the 2005 Goodguys Vintage Drag Racing Series is August 5, 6 & 7 at historic Pomona Raceway for the 8th Pomona Nitro Nationals. For more visit www.good-guys.com
|Dan Horan Jr of Sylmar, CA, not only won the Nostalgia Funny Car division at the Goodguys 17th Nitro Nationals, he also recorded the quickest run ever recorded for the class by posting a 6.056 elapsed time in Sunday’s first round eliminations.|
Goodguys 17th Nitro Nationals
April 23 & 24
Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, CA
Final Race Results:
Nostalgia Top Fuel:
Winner: Rick White, San Diego, CA 5.825 @ 250.97
Runner Up: Brett Harris, Kayesville, UT 5.906 @ 258.27
Nostalgia Funny Car:
Winner: Dan Horan Jr., Sylmar, CA ’66 Mustang, 6.148 @ 227.88
Runner Up: Larry Pettit, Hawthorne, CA ’71 Mustang, 6.431 @ 235.43
Winner: Ken Moitoza, Wilton, CA 6.453 @ 216.20
Runner Up: Trinnon Cirello, Costa Mesa, CA 6.596 @ 203.74
Winner: Steve Woods, San Leandro, CA ’48 Prefect 6.743 @ 201.22
Runner Up: Howard Anderson, Applegate, CA ’38 Chevy 6.771 @ 202.12
Junior Fuel A:
Winner: J.D. Zink, Chico, CA 6.911 @ 188.46
Runner Up: Scott Parks, Burlingame, KS 7.056 @ 186.02
Junior Fuel B:
Winner: John Rasmussen, Littleton, CO 7.313 @ 180.14
Runner Up: Neil Okane, Castro Valley, CA 7.934 @ 168.30
Winner: Ronnie Lennon, Sonoma, CA ’47 Crosley 7.618 @ 176.65
Runner Up: Don Taros, San Pedro, CA 7.700 @ 159.63
Winner: Bob Lander, Sebastopol, CA 8.744 @ 144.43
Runner Up: James Martin, Marysville, CA 8.734 @ 146.83
Winner: Craig Wallace, Nevada City, CA ’29 Ford 12.260 @ 83.29
Runner Up: Ron Austin, Medford, OR ’27 Ford 9.568 @ 128.32 (foul)
Winner: Mike Ward, Anderson, CA ’33 Willys, 7.727 @ 175.48
Runner Up: Ken Ratzloff, Idaho Falls, ID ’53 Studebaker 7.757 @ 179.68
Winner: Bret Pichler, Cameron Park, CA ’69 Camaro 8.873 @ 129.05
Runner Up: Mike Doushjounian, Morgan Hill, CA ’68 Camaro 8.835 @ 151.63
Winner: Steve Galileo, San Francisco, CA ’64 Ford 9.609 @ 137.33
Runner Up: Jessie Wooten, Visalia, CA ’72 Dodge 9.617 @ 133.49
Winner: Bob Nance, Napa, CA ’34 Ford, 10.604 @ 122.47
Runner Up: Roy Sommers, Escondido, CA ’56 Chevy 10.586 @ 123.89 (foul)
Hot Rod Eliminator:
Winner: Jim Brower, Sacramento, CA ’70 Chevelle, 11.104 @ 119.78
Runner Up: Joe Furiani, San Gabriel, CA ’71 Dodge 10.053 @ 112.97
Goodguys Rod & Custom Association