Well it was a hot day both on and off the track for the first race of the 2012 drag racing season. It was a perfect day for racing at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, WI. The turn out for the race was good and the weather was great. The day would see racing that has become common among the GDRA competitors, very close and exciting. In the 8.60 class, Jim Pydo would grab the Outlaw Graphics #1 Qualifier award running dead on the 8.60 index with an 8.600 @ 158.59 mph which put an additional $50.00 in his pocket plus an additional $80 going to Jim (Closest to the Index with his 8.600) and $80 going to Mark Zierer (Best Reaction Time during qualifying with his .014 R/T) from a 10 and 10 pot put together by the racers. This is something that the racers started in the 2010 season and has become quite popular. The racers all throw in $20 into a separate pot. The total pot gets split in half with one half going to the driver who is closest to the index and the other half going to the driver with the best reaction time during qualifying. The more racers that participate, the larger the pot and we all know that cash is king!!! There were 4 total drivers that did not take qualifying time which left the field with 9 car ready to do battle.
8.60 Qualifying Results
1. Jim Pydo 8.600 @ 158.59 mph
2. Matt Syzmczak 8.617 @ 156.52 mph
3. Mark Zierer 8.619 @ 159.65 mph
4. Ken Kendall 8.654 @ 157.70 mph
5. Paul Pommerich 8.665 @ 161.57 mph
6. Kevin Harrison 8.669 @ 158.53 mph
7. Pat Shea 8.669 @ 156.38 mph
8. Steve Roden 8.924 @ 150.55 mph
9. Steve Peterson 8.587 @ 160.59 mph
Did not take time: Kevin Deaton, Tony Orts, Rocket Ron, and Mike Mackey
Round 1 would see Jim Pdyo with the bye run, Paul Pommerich vs. Kevin Harrison, Matt Syzmack vs. Steve Peterson, & Mark Zeirer vs. Steve Roden, and a rematch of the 2011 All-In Showdown final round Ken Kendall vs. Patrick Shea. Paul Pommerich would get to the stripe first over Kevin Harrison. Steve Peterson would take out Matt Syzmack who was competing in his first race with the GDRA. Steve Roden who also was competing in his first GDRA outing would also get a victory over Mark Zeirer. While Ken Kendall would watch Patrick Shea turn on the red light and hand that round to Ken. Jim Pydo moved on to the 2nd round with the free pass from his qualifying effort.
8.60 second round pairings would put Jim Pydo up against Paul Pommerich, Ken Kendall and Steve Roden in the Battle of Big Wagon Versus Little Wagon, and Steve Peterson would get the bye into the Semi Final round. Paul Pommerich would leave too soon leaving the red light glaring handing the round win to Jim Pydo. Steve Roden and Ken Kendall put on one fierce battle both with almost identical reaction times with a slight advantage going to Kendall and at the stripe would been Steve Roden going too fast running an 8.589 and giving Ken the win. Not that Ken would have been easy to get around… no no, just the opposite. Ken’s time was an 8.600 leaving no room to get around. This was one of those exciting and super close races that the GDRA has become known for. Steve Peterson would get down the track on his bye run and set up the Semi-finals.
Jim Pydo would face Steve Peterson in his Semi Final round and Ken Kendall earned himself a bye run into the Final Round. So who would he face? Steve Peterson would get a slight advantage off the line with his .026 light to Jim Pydo’s slower .068 reaction time. Pydo would get to the stripe first but a double breakout would shake things up with Jim Pydo running an 8.576 @ 159.03 mph and Steve Peterson getting the win by breaking out the least with his 8.584 @ 154.79 mph. Pydo after the race had this to say, “It was one of those close races where I didnt think I had enough and was trying to push the pedal through the floor while leaning forward to catch him (Peterson).”
This would set up a final round match up between Ken Kendall and Steve Peterson. Peterson would get lane choice as on Kendall’s previous bye run would run it out the back door and break out himself worse than Peterson. Peterson would put Kendall in the left lane and in the end, Ken Kendall would get to the big end first and take home the top honors in the first race of GDRA Race #1 Presented by www.CoolRidesOnline.net.
Another great day of racing and non stop excitement. Race #2 Presented by Device Tech Inc is coming up June 2nd, 2012 and will take place at Byron Dragway. Check out the website (www.GamblersDragRacing.com) and Facebook page for details to either spectate or sign up and come out and compete in one of the four classes that will be on hand that day. 6.90, 7.80, and for the first time in 2012… the new 9.50 class. See you there.
Ken Kendall and Family – 8.60 Class Winner
Steve Peterson – 8.60 Runner Up
Jim Pydo – 8.60 Class Semi Finalist
Jim Pydo – 8.60 Class Outlaw Graphic Designs #1 Qualifier Award
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