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

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:38 pm
by draglist
Great piece and great poster, John! (Need to fill in for Gorilli!) bp

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

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:59 pm
by WildcatOne
Thanks, BP! Gorrilli was always here, commenting on our Racers of the Week, and I know he is still dropping in and checking out the hot rods every week.
You're good people, my friend.

My pick for Racer of the Week is T’Ryane Sakamoto, from Kauai, Hawaii. T’Ryane was recommended to me by our friend and the admin of the 808_FUEL page, Michael Baba Balbarino. Thanks, Michael!

I featured T’Ryane in 2016 when she was a junior dragster champ, and she’s in a big girl car now, piloting her Dad Ryan’s dragster in the Top Gun class with the Garden Isle Racing Association.

The dragster has a 268” Dave Tuttle California Top Alcohol chassis and it’s powered by a 555 cubic inch Scott Shafiroff engine. It’s painted a beautiful Candy red, similar to her sister Ryancie and her brother Ryant’s junior dragsters.

As of now, T’Ryane’s best time in licensing runs has been an 8.06 at 164 mph. The team is looking to get into the 7.90’s at the next race.

T’Ryane recently graduated from Kauai High School with Summa Cum Laude honors and is at this time moving to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she will be majoring in Biology and continuing on into the Nursing program. She then plans to pursue her journey in the medical field. She is hoping to get accepted into medical school after graduation. T’Ryane also moved up from her Junior dragster this year into her Dad’s full size dragster which she is being featured in now. When T’Ryane is not at the race track...she enjoys spending time with her family, friends & puppy Tato, studying, shopping, dancing and traveling, most especially to Disneyland! She thanks Uncle Mike Balbarino of 808_Fuel for nominating T’Ryane and to JB for the awesome artwork!

T’Ryane’s Mom Tracie also thanked us for always featuring the kids as they excel in this world on and off the track.

For an outstanding young lady like T’Ryane, I consider it a privilege to feature her and her great family on our program.

We wish T’Ryane and the Sakamoto family good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!

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

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:09 pm
by draglist
Nice! I assumed it was a junior dragster! Didn't realize it was a full size car until the podcast! bp

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

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:19 pm
by WildcatOne
Yes, T'Ryane is moving up in the ranks!

My pick for Racer of the Week is Mats Eriksson, from Borlange, Sweden. I found Mats online from checking out his company, ME Racing Service in Borlange.

Mats is a lifelong drag racer, having been fascinated with Fords since he was a kid in 1963. He built his first drag bike when he was 12 years old out of a Moped. In 1975 he acquired a 1962 Ford Falcon and he installed a 351 4-valve motor with a rug transmission and a 9” rear end. He made his first passes in 1978 and without direct success, he decided to tear the car apart. He built a tube chassis for the car and obtained a new motor. The 429 was too slow for his liking, and in 1985, Mats founded his own company. With Bo Redin’s wild Hemi motor, Mats went to Santa Pod and ran an 8.45 and he became the fastest in Europe in the SA class. He was running just outside of the Pro Stockers’ times.

In 1987, the Ford motor went back into the Falcon and with a good time of 8.56, it was OK, but Mats quit racing the Falcon and focused on ME Racing Service and didn’t race but only a few times over the next several years.

In 1990 ME Racing started up serious chassis production with chrome moly tubing as a specialty.

In 2001, after a few years of building, the Green Goblin was finished and ready to race again in 2002. This ’56 Ford Crown Victoria Pro Mod was the first car under 6.1 seconds. He also ran a 5.98 and ended up as the European Champion, Nordic Champion and Swedish Champion, and he set track records everywhere he ran. He was the 2009 Driver of the Year, Eagle of the Year, and he received the Royal Motorsports Medal for 2009.

Today, ME Racing Service, AB is an established and well-known name in the the racing world, as a leading and innovative chassis manufacturer. We supply chassis to many of the elite in both rally and drag racing. Mats also has a place in the SFI chassis committee in the U.S. This committee is responsible for forming the safety and structural regulations for  drag racing around the world. ME Racing Service AB is also certified by FIA/SBF to build roll cages for international rally and race cars. It’s without question the top chassis shop in Europe. They build everything from Top Fuel dragsters to Junior dragsters and their work is second to none.

The current ’56 Crown Victoria Pro Mod has a Brad Anderson 521 cubic inch semi with MBE heads, a Kobelco supercharger by Mike Janis, a Lenco 3-speed transmission, and several sponsorships. Mats ran at the Eurofinals this weekend and did well, qualifying #3 in a very tough field of Pro Mods.

His crew chief is is son Lars-Goran “LG” Eriksson, and the crew includes the talents of Adam Flamholc, Jan “Exon” Eriksson, Lena Peres and Ludvig Peres. Also John Thide’ and Ray Hill.

Mats, we wish you good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!

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

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:09 pm
by WildcatOne
My pick for Racer of the Week is Ian Merryweather, from Ballaugh, Isle of Man. Ian has been a drag racer fo most of his life but the last 35 years are most noteworthy. I have included 5 scans to his feature in the DragList Forum that he included with his story, and these illustrate the great words that he sent. I’d like to read Ian’s story tonight word-for-word in the first person. I didn’t change one word of it. This is a drag racer telling it like it is.

Starting back in 1984 when my 1st visit to York Raceway in the North of England got me hooked on Dragracing, peviously being into custom cars, I decided I had to have myself one. Along with my school buddy Steven 'Jack' Russell and Alan Gray we began building the Cobra finishing in 1988. Running a 461 BBC the car ran a best of 9.5 142mph, ideal for the new class to the UK, Super Gas. Finishing 4th in the 1990 season we decided to give it a go at the European 4 rd championship in 1991. With 2 rounds in Sweden and 2 at Santa Pod. We won the 1st round at Santa Pod easter weekend, then went onto the two Sweden rounds. A semi final at Mantorp Park and a win 2 weeks later at Karlskoga put us in a great position for the final event at Santa Pod in Sept. Needing only to win the 1st rd, this was achieved fortunately as the rain came and finished the weekend off! The years from 1992 to 1997 were limited on the racing front due to family commitments. Then in 1997 the move to the Isle of Man meant the Cobra would have to go. With an itch still there and personal life back in great order the Willys body was ordered and work began on the Hot Rod. See Custom Car mag article.

Moving onto October 2017, I was approached by Peter Astel-Burt from the Isle of Man to rebuild an Iconic model T altered from back in the 70's / 80's called Helzapoppin. The car built by Dave Coles and driven by his wife Sue ran a best of 7.9sec back in 1984 running a blown Donovan SBC. A new chassis was built by Roy Wilding, delivered in Febuary 2018 and work began to finish the car before June as both Helzapoppin and Banzai were to be shipped to Malta to race at their finals event in November 2019. All went to plan and we had a blast. Both cars ended up against each other in the semi final, Banzai winning after Roy red lit! Unfortunately the old 392 in Banzai had run it's last run as the old tired block finally gave up with major cylinder damage. Have to say we had a fantastic time, the Maltese are a fabulous bunch, we wanted for nothing.

Moving onto 2019 season my Facebook friend Mike Morrison [who I would like to nominate for your racer of the week] sourced me a barn find standard bore 392 block in Texas. A deal was done, it arrived home in April. After cleaning and block filling it went in for machining. The refreshed block arrived back two weeks before the Dragstalgia event at Santa Pod, we thrashed to get it together fitting new BME rods, rings, bearings etc. At Santa Pod the car sounded strong, this proved to be the case. Running the same tune as we ran in Malta the car ran it's first 7 with a new PB 7.90sec 170mph final pass of the weekend. Without doubt there is much more to come as we were hitting tyre shake from 300ft out having to pedal on every run. After speaking to Randy Bradford the windscreen has been removed from the car and the plan to increase tyre pressures are on the cards for our next race the Hot Rod Drags weekend of 14th 15th Sept.

The car specs as follows - 392 hemi, 352 heads, BME rods stock crank, Manton oil pump, custom adjustable rocker set up, old worn 8/71 littlefield blower [we have a brand new billett TBS all singing all dancing 8/71 ready to drop on when the time comes] Enderle hat, Mallory mag, ATI Proglide + their converter, Stange 9" rear 3.7 gears, 12x15 Centreline rears with Hoozier tyres.

Schneider roller cam

As for the future, well a new moly chassis, fit the new blower and see how we go  We are planning a 2020 Malta trip again, as for everything else as long as it stays fun it would just be a bonus.

Thank you's go out to - Firstly my wonderful wife Selena who without it just would not happen, incidently on one of our trips to the US back in 2006 we were married in the little log church at Coffee Creek near Weaverville, Trinity County, California.

My longtime friend Steven Russell, we have known each other from the age of 11, cutting our teeth on many things mechanical but before that skateboarding.

My son and crew chief, Lee Merryweather who knows it all! not sure where he gets it from!

My family, sons James, Dale and Steven, Daughter Laura and the 11 grand kids, who don't see as much as they should due to my being in the workshop most of the time.

Ian, it’s a privilege to meet and get to know a great drag racer like yourself. We wish you good luck, safe racing, and the best of times in the future!

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

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:13 pm
by WildcatOne
Here is the last of the photos and scans that Ian sent:

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

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:04 pm
by WildcatOne
My pick for Racer of the Week is “Dyno Dom”…Dominic Blasco, from Cordova, Illinois. Dom is the president and general manager of Cordova International Raceway, which in addition to being the premier drag racing facility in the Quad Cities region, this historic track also hosts the annual World Series of Drag Racing, which is the longest-running drag racing event. Under Dom’s guidance, this track is better than ever, and this year’s World Series was an absolutely fantastic success.

Dom is a native of Chicago. He’s participated in various forms of racing from the time he was a kid until now. He raced bicycles, go-karts, snowmobiles, anything that had wheels and went fast, until he got his first hot rod, a 1964 Chevelle. He started drag racing at the track in Union Grove, Wisconsin and he later became a co-owner of Great Lakes Dragaway there.

In 2012, Dom and his wife Teri became the owners and operators of Sikeston Raceway in Missouri. It was an outlaw track when they acquired it, and through a lot of hard work and dedication, they made improvements to it including concrete guardrails, the timing system, the fire-safety system, and an emphasis was placed on consistent track-prep. By the time Dom and Teri moved on from Sikeston, it had been transformed into an NHRA-sanctioned facility.

After a period when Dom was named director of operations at Memphis International Raceway, where he oversaw events for the facility’s 1/4-mile drag strip, the 3/4-mile oval speedway and the 1.8-mile road course, he and Teri happily returned to Cordova, where he took over for retiring president Rod Wolter.

Being back home, Dom has numerous relationships from his years of competing ever since he got a driver’s license. He is the perfect fit for his position. Being involved in such a historic track as Cordova, where anybody who is anybody in drag racing has raced, Dom is inspired and motivated to keep it up as the best track in the Midwest. Dom lives and breathes it, paying close attention to all the details from track prep and racing operations to spectator amenities and comfort, and he occasionally still races his blown and injected ’40 Willys.

Dom told me that in addition to the fleet of hot rods he has owned, worked on, raced and maintained, his current project is building an ’82 Camaro Nostalgia Pro Stock car which will be a tribute to Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins. We can’t wait to see that car take to the strip! From having Jeff Rudisill on the show tonight, Dom’s info has an even more profound meaning. Look for Nostalgia Pro Stock to rock in the near future, folks!

Dom told me that it wouldn’t have been possible for him without the support and help of his wife, Teri, and his friends and family who have stood behind him in everything he has accomplished.

Anybody who has made a pass at Cordova has done so under the supervision of this great man, and we’re looking forward to a fantastic future for Cordova International Raceway, thanks to “Dyno Dom”.

We're hoping to have Dom on the show next year as a featured guest. He's up for it and so are we!

Dom, we wish you good luck, safe racing, and the best of times in the future!

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

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:34 pm
by WildcatOne
My pick for Racer of the Week is Dean Kalawe, from Hilo, Hawaii. Dean was recommended to me by our friend and the admin of the 808_FUEL page, Michael Baba Balbarino. Thanks, Michael!

Dean’s 2001 Ford-powered Chevy S-10 pickup is a gorgeous hot rod and it runs as good as it looks. It is an extremely fast car. Dean has run low-to-mid 8 second passes at over 160 mph on his home track at Hilo, and I’m told the engine is a naturally aspirated small-block Ford hooked up to a 5-speed Lenco transmission!

Dean recently won the Kolohe Fest, and he has many victories to show for this outstanding ride in the HDRL.

Dean has his own company, 808 Metalcrafts in Hilo and he can build anything anybody wants. He is widely known as one of the best fabricators in Hawaii.

His new project is a Pro-Stock style Chevy Lumina, powered by a Big-Block Chevy and a Lenco Transmission. We can’t wait to see this…if it’s anything like his S-10, it will be a huge addition to Hawaii’s beautiful and growing fleet of drag racing machinery.

Dean Kalawe’s future looks as bright as his past and present, and we with him good luck, safe racing and the best of times!

I’d like to take a moment here to send a special word of thanks to my wife Debby, our family and my friends who all came together last night at Diamond Jim’s in Texas City to surprise me with a wonderful birthday celebration. I had no idea that it was going to be my 70th birthday party and Debby and her Mom and 3 sisters pulled it off without a hitch. It turned into a great jam with the incredible Little Terry and the Bluesbirds as well. They helped Debby with the plot. With all my heart, I thank you all for being there. And thanks to Debby the head waitress at Diamond Jim’s for decorating the place, setting up the food and tables and making sure the whole thing went smooth.

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

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:10 pm
by WildcatOne
My pick for Racer of the Week is Kirsten van Croonenborgh, from Rotterdam, Netherlands. Kirsten was recommended to me by our friend and the admin of the Supercharged Outlaws UK group, Andy Fadster. Thanks, Andy!

Kirsten got involved with drag racing in 2011, as back up girl for a nostalgia funny car. In 2012 she made her first runs on the strip in her Barracuda street car (which had a 340 engine and made 13.8 second runs) and immediately got hooked on driving a drag race car herself. Kirsten’s husband wanted her to race a proper race car with more safety measures, so in December 2012 they bought a ‘Cuda race car from Sweden. They replaced its engine with a 500 ci blown Indy engine (440 wedge model, running on racing gas), updated the chassis to the current SFI specs and started racing it. David from Priceless Paint gave the orange Cuda a lovely seventies paint job, with turquoise flowers and purple sparkles. Kirsten is very fond of seventies music, so she decided to call her girly car after the song of Creedence Clearwater Revival.

With SuzyQ running on race gas they managed to make 9.0 second runs. After a few years of happy racing they decided to shift to methanol in 2017, the two Demon carburetors were replaced by an Enderle mechanical injection system.

The current specs for SuzyQ are:
1970 Plymouth Barracuda
Steel body. Polyester nose, doors, hood and trunk lid
It makes 1300 hp with a 500 ci Indy engine, running on methanol
It has an 8-71 Blower by The Blower Shop
It runs a 727 Transmission by A&A Transmission
A Ford 9" rear axle, 3.89 differential
The paint is by Priceless Paint
She is sponsored by Noviol with Kendall Oil
Also sponsored by Roltrex Cargo Broker
Her fastest ET is 8.29 seconds at the 1/4 mile, with 169 mph top speed
The fastest 60ft time is 1.18 seconds

Kirsten’s goals with SuzyQ are to keep having fun with her team members, a bunch of great guys who always support her racing antics. She said it would be great to get to a 7.9 second run with SuzyQ, so they will try to achieve that in 2020. They installed a Racepak to acquire the necessary data and are making plans to install a different gearbox during the winter. For 2021, she’s planning on a big thing to come up with, but she can't say anything about that yet until every little piece of the puzzle has fallen into its place. But she has assured me, it's going to be good! She told me about it, and I agree, it’s going to be an awesome project! Stay tuned!

Kirsten told me that Drag Racing is a special, colourful little world with a lot of great people in it. Throughout the years she has met so many lovely people and acquired a lot of new friends. It's often hard to explain to people "on the outside" why Drag Racing is such an addictive sport. Of course it's the speed, the great sound of a roaring V8 engine, as well as the challenge of making that perfect run, each and every single time. But it's also a bonding experience. It's great to spend time with a bunch of guys that she’s honoured to call "my team", as well as meeting other racers, their team members, and all the people who enjoy to visit events and watch the racing. She absolutely loves it and wouldn't want to miss it for anything!

Kirsten said there are so many people that make it possible for her to race. The first and most important of them is her husband Henk, who is always enthusiastic for her racing and supports her wherever he can. She thanks her mechanic/crew chief Ted, and all her other team members. Her sponsors Noviol Oil and Roltrex Cargo Brokers have never let her down. A special mention goes out to Post and Dros Racing Engines and Parts, who always give Kirsten a lot of support to keep the engine of SuzyQ well and running. And last but not least Dick Koster from Racepak Europe, who never hesitates to help her out with advice.

The website is People can also find her on Instagram (@kirsten_suzyq) and Facebook

She is very happy to race with the Supercharged Outlaws in the UK.

Her biggest overall Drag Racing goal is to race in the United States someday.

Kirsten lives in a countryside-like area, where they have enough room to store a few American classic cars, as well as a nice bunch of animals, which she loves to bits. Kirsten has been seriously hearing impaired from the age of three years, which meant that she always had to wear hearing devices. In 2011 she was approved to receive a cochlear implant, and she said that surgery changed her life for the better in so many ways. For the first time in her life she was actually able to follow conversations and have a social life that wasn't so frustrating. She does have to admit that her hearing impaired life has taught her something useful as well: She’s able to do lipreading. This means that when she’s strapped into her happy seat (which means in SuzyQ) and her helmet is on her head, she can still follow what her crew chief is saying to her. He is simply talking to her from the outside of the car and she can read on his lips what he is saying to her. But since he is also actually speaking as well, it has often surprised the people in the line up. "Why is that guy talking to a car?!" This is often hilarious and an inside joke of Kirsten’s team. When they want to fool her, they cover their mouths with their hands while talking to each other, which is the best way to hide something from her!

Kirsten studied Biology at University, so she doesn't have a mechanical background or education. Yet, she loves to work on SuzyQ and her crew chief Ted has been teaching her a lot during the last three years. She said it's great to not only race her own car, but also be able to actually work on it. She loves it, and she can't wait to learn more. It's funny how something can work out that way, and how her love for Drag Racing has learned her to wrench on a supercharged methanol doorslammer car.

Kirsten, thank you for sharing your story with us. It was inspiring to read. We wish you and the Suzy Q team good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!

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

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:57 pm
by WildcatOne
My pick for Racer of the Week is Mike Honey, from Lehighton, Pennsylvania. Mike is the co-owner of Honey Racing with his brother Lee John, who was Racer of the Week on July the first of this year. Both brothers are members of the Mid-Atlantic Street Outlaws group, and both were recommended to me by our friend and admin of the M.A.S.O., Duane Morris. Thanks, Duane!

Mike is a lifelong hot rodder, and he is now married with 4 children. When he’s not working or racing, he works on one of his 5 classic cars. He loves heads-up racing, and he and his wife and kids also love going to car cruises.

Mike’s ’71 Chevy Vega is a Naturally Aspirated 632” motor that makes 1240 Horsepower with a TCI Pro X Powerglide transmission. The car was built to be both driven on street and to race. Mike and a few of his friends built it. It came out great, and it runs as good as it looks! The Dupont Blazing Copper color coat was applied by Tony’s Towing & Auto Body in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

He also has a ’91 mustang Small Tire that has a 400” Small-Block Chevy with a nitrous feed that he really enjoys racing.

Mike’s current project is a 1937 Chevy truck that is being built to be a cruiser or to race down the track.

Mike won the 2018 Mid-Atlantic DOT Street Class with the Vega. He has won multiple times with both the Vega and the Mustang.

He won the Mid-Atlantic Street Outlaws first No Prep race at Beaver Springs with Vega. Mike and his wife really enjoy being at the track with good people and friends. It’s all about having a good time.

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