An Unreal Way to Win a Drag Race
By Stu Bond
Mark Mackay showed terrific sportsmanship in losing second round to Krystal Ecclestone Saturday night. Photo thanks to
Hi to Bill and all the regulars. I thought I had seen every possible way to win a Drag Race, but Saturday night we saw a young lady named Krystal Ecclestone defy the law of averages to win the Jr Dragster class at our Genie Exhaust Saturday Night Street Meet.
As some of you are aware, our new track, The Quit Motorplex, Kwinana Beach
(www.motorplex.com.au) has been going since December 2000. However, I have been going to the drags since the early '70s and announcing since 1982 and I have never seen a racer take the trophy under such strange circumstances.
The field size gave us three rounds of eliminations. Krystal's dad Tony had been having a bit of a battle with the car through the afternoon, with the usually reliable dragster running more than a second slow on each qualifying round. The problem was sourced to the carby and was solved before final qualifying. Everything was back on track with the regular dial in on the car for eliminations.
In round one, Krystal left on a good .4 reaction time, but the car stalled before 60'. The look of disappointment on her father's face changed to amazement as the driver in the other lane drove out the back door, giving her the win. Now we have seen this happen quite a few times before in DYO Handicap racing. It gave me a chance to harp on about racing both ends of the track and being aware of the location of the opponent, and then the subject was left at that.
In round two Krystal had the faster reaction time again, and stalled in exactly the same place, leaving her opponent, Mark McKay, to scorch off down the track. That is until he seized the motor at about the 500' mark and was unable to cross the finish line.
Hmm, this time we had a bigger problem as the regulations state that if no winner is declared, we treat the race as a double loss and neither racer can move up in to the finals. This rule is used to prevent the "I coulda and you shoulda" arguments and allow the person already seeded into the finals to prepare for their next lap.
However, young Mark came up to race control and told us that his car was broken and would not be repaired before finals time. He declared Krystal the winner because she could front for the next round. The race director thanked him for his sportsmanship and reinstated Krystal to the finals.
In the final Krystal once again had the fast reaction time and once again stalled on the start line, moving all of 10 feet. As the crowd watched in amazement, her opponent drove out the back door to a break out personal best for the day, giving her the win!
As was said at the trophy presentation, it is only possible to win the event without ever crossing the finish line in Group 3 DYO Handicap racing. And of course, in Drag Racing, it is only possible to win if you are on the start line trying as best you can to cut a good light.
We were entertained by some very interesting racing and witnessed a fine act of selflessness form a young man who has a great future in the sport if his attitude is anything to go by.
And who said nothing interesting happens in Jr Dragster?