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 Apr 09, 2018 7:09 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Danny Schrokosch, from San Diego, California. Danny was recommended to me by our friend from Hawaii, Erik Kollist. Thanks, Erik!

Danny is a Four-Time March Meet Champion. He is the 2017 and 2018 Nostalgia Eliminator 1 champ with his beautiful Front-Engine Dragster. I talked with Danny over the last couple of weeks, and he gave his approval for me to use parts of this blog from Cary's Corvettes for his feature tonight, which details his 2018 championship day at Bakersfield.

Danny has been interested in drag racing since he was 10 years old, when he attended his first race at Carlsbad Raceway in 1969. By the time he was a teenager, Danny was racing instead of watching. He has driven and owned more race cars than you can count. For the past eighteen years Danny has been successfully campaigning a vintage, classic slingshot dragster. Anyone who can strap 1,000 horsepower between their legs and go drag racing with it is a hero! Danny’s house is filled with trophies, including many “Wallys”.

In an era of “celebrity” racing, including NASCAR, NHRA, IMSA, and Formula 1, Danny is an anomaly. Racing on a modest budget, using his own tools and equipment, financed by loyal, local sponsors, doing virtually all the mechanical work himself, and relying on friends and family to do all the race prep and pit work, his success is marvelous.

The March Meet – an historical West Coast drag racing event that draws a large number of the very best competitors and throngs of spectators. Until now, Dan had won the March Meet event in Nostalgia Eliminator 1 three times, including being the defending Champion by virtue of his victory in 2017.

In NE1 the driver has a target time of 7.60 seconds, and getting your car to run as close to, but no faster than, that time is essential for victory. Despite a rain-filled weekend Danny was able to qualify in the field of 31 NE1 cars in 3rd place with an impressive 7.623 time. As qualifying moved through the day other drivers did well and he ended up qualifying 6th in the field. Because it rained all day Saturday, eliminations couldn’t start until Sunday.

Assisting Danny in the pits, and in prepping, towing, staging and retrieving the car were his long-time pit crew members Marcus Havens, and Dan’s wife, Kim. With their help, on Sunday he was victorious over the #22 qualifier in round one. The day grew dark and cold, but by Sunday night Danny was also victorious over the #10 qualifier in Round 2. Unfortunately, Marcus needed to leave Sunday night to return to work, leaving Danny and Kim alone to continue the campaign.

Kim drives the truck, tows the dragster to the staging area, gets Danny settled in his racing suit and strapped into the car, starts the engine, gets him aligned at the starting line, watches him blast off, yells like a cheer-leader, jumps in the truck, races down the track to retrieve Danny and the dragster, and tows him back to the pits. Then she does it again in the next round!

The whole family is involved in the racing program. Kim and Dan's son, Bohdi, age four, is already a drag race fan. He has been joining Mom and Dad at the races since he was born. He now even has his own Junior Dragster.

Danny’s third round was about as perfect as is possible with a reaction time of .004 seconds on the tree and a run of 7.602 – you can’t get much closer than that. Now the field was down to four cars and two rounds to go!

Round 4 proved to be Danny’s best run of the meet. By this time he was matched against last years’ season-long NE1 champion. With nerves of steel Danny beat his opponent by 2 one-hundredths of a second at the line, and ran a remarkable 7.600 dead on! It don't get no better than that!

Continuing the extremely competitive racing of the weekend, the fifth and final round was another nail-biter. Danny shaved his opponent at the light by one one-thousandth of a second, and his time through the course was three one thousandths of a second faster. Victory is always sweet, but to finish a full weekend of racing with such tight competition and in near-perfect driving is surely as sweet as it comes!

Danny’s reward for this amazing, nearly perfect, performance? A “Wally”. It is the most coveted trophy in Drag Racing. The Wally is the image of Jack Jones, a Top Gas Dragster champ from the 1960s. Cast in Bronze, smiling, resting his driving gloves on a drag slick, holding a classic helmet – a perfect image to celebrate a racer like Dan – vintage, old-school, low-tech, filled with grit and determination, and hoping to race dragsters as long as he can hold a steering wheel.

Dan wanted me to be sure to thank his sponsors for their support this season and throughout his career (some of his sponsors have supported him for more than eighteen years):

Mother Earth Brewery, Churchill's Pub and Grill, Curtis Drilling, Chapman's Automotive, Maxima Oil, Kevin Walsh, Helix Mechanical, Crest Water Treatment, Comp Cams, TCI Transmissions, Machine Tech Racing Engines, Cogswell Motorsports, Lyons Muffler, Seaside Rooter, Carb On Tech, RK Fence, Lenard Izbicki, Water Works, San Diego Gear and Axle, Joe the Door Guy, and Jiffy Tite.

Congratulations, Danny! You are an inspiration to anyone who ever broke the beams at the starting line and blasted down the track! We wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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Wheelzman
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby Wheelzman » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:37 pm

Man that was a good read John. Keep it up. :D :D :D

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WildcatOne
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Re: Racin' and Rockin'..."JB's Take"

Postby WildcatOne » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:00 pm

Thanks, Wheelz! Danny is a great guy!

My pick for Racer of the Week is Ryant Sakamoto from Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii. Ryant was recommended to me by our friend in Hilo, Michael Baba Balbarino, whose 808_FUEL page is the standard source of information on motorsports in the Garden Isle.

Ryant is a 7th grader at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School. He first started Jr. Drag racing at the age of 8 and has achieved tremendous success in his academics and the sport of Drag Racing thus far. He comes from a family with a history of drag racing, as his Dad Ryan and Uncle Kevin were both racing from high school. Two of Ryant's older sisters, T'Ryane & Ryancie, who also race Jr. Dragsters have been past Racers of the Week as well, and were also recommended by Mike.

Ryant has received numerous academic excellence recognitions along with many well-deserved awards. He looks forward to race days and tries his best to help out his fellow racers whenever he can. Ryant not only has a passion for Jr. Drag racing, but he also plays baseball and has a love for the outdoors like fishing, camping & shooting his guns.

In my book, this kid is an All-American Boy. He's definitely headed in the right direction, like his sisters also are. Without me having to say it, Ryant, T'Ryane and Ryancie are the collective product of outstanding parenting by Ryan and Tracie Sakamoto. It shows in everything these kids do. The Sakamoto family is the template I would use for raising good kids. I have no doubt that they are proud of Ryant and his accomplishments, but if I were y'all, I'd take a minute to pat myself on the back, too. You have done a truly great job with your kids.
Ryant, 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 Apr 23, 2018 6:42 pm

My pick for Racer of the Week is Mick Taylor, from London, United Kingdom. Mick was recommended to me by our friend and former Racer of the Week, Lee Cohen. Thanks, Lee!

Mick and the Banshee Racing Team are a family who are all involved in the race car and the projects they take on. The team consists of Mick, his wife Deb, their sons Joe and Lee, and their grandchildren Frankie and Freddie. The tuneup on the awesome hot rod is overseen by their crew chief, Rob Chiltern.

The Banshee is a 1946 Fordson, we called them Thames, or pie trucks at times. It has a steel body, a 97" wheel base, full moly chassis tagged to SFI 25.1E. The engine is BBC 497cubic incher with Brodix heads, a 1250cfm dominator, built by Peter Knight Racing. It runs a Power Glide trans build by Andy Robinson Racecars, a 4500 stall converter, moly driveshaft, Strange Pro 9" rear end with Pro 3:9 gears and 41 spline shafts. The best ET to date is an 8:41@ 161mph with a 150hp Nitrous plate kit, but this year Mick has gone to an NX fogger kit and fitted a new Neil Chance converter, all so fitted a Racepak logger to keep an eye on things, and Mick's hoping to run a high 7 this year.

Mick runs in a class called Outlaw Anglia, which is for Pops and Thames vans etc. the maximum wheel base allowed is 101"; other than that anything goes. Mick's first full MSA season last year, he got to the final at Dragstalgia, came in as runner up, and he finished 4th in the championship series, which he's quite happy with. Mick's grandson Freddie's junior dragster is a JM 8:90 class. This is his second year with the car. His granddaughter Frankie's is a JMA 7:90 class and this is her first year, and she's taken to it like a duck to water. Freddie is 10 years old and Frankie's 13.

Mick sent me a Banshee Racing t-shirt and I'm proudly wearing it tonight. I love it when a racer appreciates the recognition and reciprocates with a keepsake like this. Thanks, Mick!

We wish the Banshee Racing Team good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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