Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Here's where we go to kick back after the races with our pals. Pour a tall one, punch a few buttons on the jukebox, and relax...
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WildcatOne
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:32 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Wendall Nonaka, from Hanapepe, Kauai, Hawaii. Wendall was recommended to me by our friend Michael Baba Balbarino. Michael's 808_Fuel page is the most informative and colorful source of Drag Racing in the Hawaiian Islands. Thanks, Michael!

Wendall Nonaka is one of the winningest and most popular Drag Racers in the state of Hawaii. His win list goes on forever, and his feature has come in as #4 all-time for likes, shares and comments, behind Bret Kepner, Don Speer and Jim Wilson. Everybody knows Wendall and roots for him, as he has consistently showed the true character of a champion. I chatted with Wendall last week and he gave me some info on this great hot rod:

It's an '87 Buick Regal running a 355 small-block Chevy engine . Wendall put in a Powerglide transmission . He's had this car for about 14 years or so.
Wendall's friend Kevin and he back-halved this car in about a month, trying to make the first race in March of last year, spending some long hours after work to finish it and they got it done on time.

The car runs 10.70's at 123mph . It runs in the Super Pro Class.

Wendall sends thanks to his friend Calvin Tani who helped him start this Super Pro Class by inviting some neighboring island cars who just want to run electronics. So far, Wendall has performed magnificently on track. He's the man.

Wendall said Thanks again to Racin' & Rockin. He said it's an honor for having having him for something like this.

Wendall, we wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:41 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Michael Stanley, from Youngstown, Ohio. Michael was recommended to me by our friends with the DADs Old-Fashioned Drag Racing Group, Don and Sandi Turner and Gorden Jenkins. Thanks, ya'll!

Michael is a very popular and successful racer in his region. He sent me some fascinating data on his hot rod. I'll pass it along now:

He said: "We Race Our 1967 Camaro that was Originally was Built in the 70-80's by My Brother-in-law Alan Peterson. Alan had Muscular Dystrophy (MS) and built the Car from a Wheel Chair. I helped Finish it when I was 14 years old and I actually Raced the Car when I was 15 years old (yes before I had My Drivers license, LOL).

It originally had a 355 Small Block, with a Power Glide & 5.57 Gear and Ran 11.20's. Alan Passed away in 1982 and We stored the Car untouched for 30+ years. After I Got Married, had a few Kids and then when My Son showed some Interest, we decided to freshen the Car. What a Silly Idea! Over the next 6-7 Years the Build got Crazy & out of Control money-wise, and I realized I was building a Show Car to Race, with the Help of Scotty Emerson @ MSE Chassis Shop (Master Street Engineering)!

In the Current Day, our Team is called "M&M Extreme Motorsports" and We Race & Show Our 1967 Outlaw Street machine, all Steel with a full interior 3200lb Camaro that has a Round Tube Back Half Chassis with a Ford 9" Narrowed Rearend and a 4.56 Gear and 40 Spline Axels! Our Transmission is an air shifted Turbo 400 3 speed. The Transmission & Converter were Custom Built by Abruzzi Transmission in Warren, Ohio. Our Motor is a 555 CI Big Block Chevy with 2 kits of Nitrous from Minors Performance in Lordstown Ohio, and makes almost 1,000 Horsepower on Motor and with a 400-500 HP Shot of Nitrous Juice it makes for a lot of Fun!

To Date We have Run a best of 5.23 in the 1/8 mile and 8.20's in the quarter! We are just starting to learn how to Tune the Progressive Nitrous Controller and We know there is a lot more ET available!"

Mike said "I couldn't do what I do without My Super Awesome Family & Team - My Wife (Sherry), Son (Michael), Sister (Sis), Mom (the Team Cookie maker), my Brother in Law (Tom), Dave Slaughter, and Joey Bieganowski! It's a Family Fun Time every time We go Racing! We have been pretty Successful and had a Great Time Racing with the DADS Heads up "Run what You Brung" Racing Series at Quaker City in Salem Ohio and We have Won a few Awards at the Local Car Shows as well! I also Crew & Help Tune on a Pro-Mod Team that Races a Local Series as well as a few PDRA Races! Thank You for selecting Me for the Racer of the Week."

Michael Stanley, we wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:39 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Russell Izumo, from Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii. Russell was recommended to me by our friend Michael Baba Balbarino, whose 808_FUEL page on Facebook has the most up-to-date information on our sport in the Hawaiian Islands. Thanks, Michael!

Russell Izumo has been drag racing virtually all his life, learning the ropes at a young age. He started out with a Super Gas Chevy S-10 but he moved up in the last few years to his current dragster, which is a marvelous sight to behold. It runs as good as it looks, too. Russell told me it's a locally built chassis, measuring out at a 240" wheelbase. It was fabricated by Sportcraft Racing in Pearl City, Hawaii by Tom Brown and Kell Komatsubara.

Every once in a while a car or a dragster comes along that captures my imagination and I can't quit looking at it. I aksed Russell about the fantastic appearance of this dragster and he told me that it is a clear-coated Wrap. I thought it was one of the most beautiful color and graphic design schemes I've ever seen. It seems to tell a story. The motor in the dragster is a big block Chevy with not many mods to speak of, but it is tuned to perfection, and Russell's averages are ETs in the 8.30s at just under 160 mph. He said he's going to bump it up later but for now the car has been good for 5 first-place finishes in a row.

Gizmo told me that he plans to give his seat in the car to our former Junior Dragster Racer of the Week, Devin RK Almarzo, when he graduates from the junior league. He also mentioned that an upcoming Hawaiian Racer of the Week, Kelsie lida-Vierra is the first of the junior dragster racers to step into one of the big cars.

The Racers in Hawaii are a family, and they are bringing their kids into the sport with great care and integrity. Most of the racers are second and third-generation drag racers, and the sport has become a tradition with them. My hat's off to you guys. I'm thankful to be able to feature y'all.

Russell thanks his wife, his sons and his gang for their support. He can be found every day at his business, Nex Gen Diesel, of which he is the owner and CEO. The future for Russell, his dragster and the great drag racers of Hawaii looks terrific. I will continue to update the kids' progress when they move up to the big leagues.

Russell Izumo, we wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:32 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Michael Smith, from Revere, Missouri. I found Mike online while looking through the photos on a Sportsman page, and when I found him on Facebook, he accepted my offer to be featured. He has been a great racer in the Midwest for many years, and it's been an enjoyable experience getting to know him.

Mike's race car is called "Dragula". It was, named by his daughter when they were trying to come up with a fitting name to the black beauty. It's a 2000 Firebird with a 632 cubic inch Rehrer & Morrison engine running a single stage 350 nitrous kit. It has a new trans & converter and runs in Top Sportsman, Quick 8 and Quick 16, depending on the event.

Dragula has a Jerry Bickel chassis and was originally owned and raced in Pro Stock by V. Gaines. It was soon picked up by another sponsor and Rickie Smith drove the car to a win, ironically on Halloween Night in 1999 at the Matco Tools Supernationals in Houston. It went through a succession of ownership until Mike purchased the car from Scott Paluse Racing in 2015 and he went about making it into the first-class machine it is today.

Mike prefers to race eighth-mile tracks, and he told me his home track is Eddyville Raceway Park in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He has run 4.50s there, and although the car can run below 6 1/2 seconds at over 211 mph in the quarter mile on 4 stages of nitrous, he enjoys the eigth-mile setup and he keeps it all safe and together and is focused on running the eighth-mile tracks for the forseeable future. Mike also told me his daughter Avery will be joining the team this year in her own junior dragster which she named DRAGZILLA! I forsee another Racer of the Week feature on the horizon!

Dragula is not only a consistent competitor in Mike's region, it is an iconic feature to every drag race he enters it in. Eddie Munster showed up with the original Dragula coffin dragster and the Munster Mobile and a huge party ensued. He had 500 Dragula t-shirts made and sold every one of them. I believe that Dragula is a name that stands out as much as Nanook, the Winged Express, the Little Red Wagon and many of the famous cars that are instantly recognizeable by the name and not a sponsor decal.

Mike thanks Reher & Morrison for the outstanding engine that they provided him, and he particularly thanks Larry at that company. He said any time he calls them with any issue at all, they will drop everything and get on his question, giving advice and expertise to help with anything at all that he calls them with, any time. He highly recommends getting a Reher & Morrison engine if you're looking for a reliable and trustworthy racing motor.

Along with his wife Sara and his daughter Avery, Mike thanks his friend Wes Buck at Drag Illustrated and his tuners and crew chiefs W. R. and Eddie Buck for their excellent work on his engine, and Wes for doing all he does to promote the sport of drag racing. Mike brings his family and friends to the races. He prefers to bring folks that have never been so they can get the full impression that drag racing always does to first-timers. He always has a great barbecue for everybody in his pit, and going drag racing with Dragula is always a fun and unforgettable experience for everybody.

Mike, we wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future.
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