Sand Drags Race & Results - July 6th, 2013
Written by Chris Messer Monday, 15 July 2013 09:00
I finally arrive at the track after an unusually slow drive in from the East side of the island. The traffic had been backed up for miles right around the stadium area and suddenly the traffic had sped up and the road cleared while I had been expecting to come upon an accident. Somewhat typical for Hawaii; it was a slowdown on the freeway with no apparent cause.
I pause for a moment to let the Tonka Toy truck of Manuel Moisa pass (so I can see the new headers he installed) and cover my ears pretending the exhaust note is too much to bear as he grins while driving by. I'm pleasantly surprised to see Junior Alimoot in the pits as I make my way to the tower. He hadn't been sure he'd be able to get "Wicked" repaired in time for the event and, although he and his crew are busy working on the car, he thought he'd be ready for time trials which were about to start. And Bobby Perkins appears to have made the transmission repairs that he'd suffered at the last event as I can see the back of the white Toyota truck behind the second bunker. "There's a new roadster " Gerald Ing points out to me as I greet him and his son (who have already unloaded). Gerald and Tim must have been just far enough ahead of whatever incident had slowed me down as they were unaware of the slow traffic I had encountered.
There are a few late registrations at the tower, but in general everyone appears ready to roll as the announcer calls for drivers to come to the staging area so they can get started and I can see the beginnings of another gorgeous sunset (which Hawaii is so, so famous for).
They run time trials and I see a new stretched, black quad as well as all of the regulars. They grade the track quickly and run one of the Jr. dragsters as well as the kids on bikes and quads. Mike Kitchens reminds everyone on the PA that, as always, the kids run for free so everyone shoul be sure to take advantage of the opportunity. Granny Grace provides a prayer, in Hawaiian first followed by a version in English and we all face the flag quietly in attention as the National Anthem is played prior to getting started.
Bracket 1 Round 1
Round one starts off with the Unlimited class as usual and first to the line is the 502 in the tower lane against the new purple roadster number 7322 of Cliff Duarte. There's rather a long pause for some reason so they shut the cars down, then the announcer says they are ready and they bring the cars to the line. The 502 of Chaelani Harris stages first and leaves as she's posted a slower dial in, but the roadster manages to catch her before the end of the 300 foot track for the win.
Next up is Bobby Perkins (who becomes the first truck to move to the Unlimited class) in the 7369 in the Tower lane up against the rail of Koa Grace # 1122. Grace gets the rail staged first and Bobby comes up to the line, lights up the staging lights and is off first making a great run, but the ever consistent rail of Grace catches him at the end of the track and snatches away the victory.
Next up we see the black roadster number 503 of Alika Harris in the tower lane against Paul Giovanetti's rail number 556 in the far lane. Giovanetti stages first and gets a great reaction time which ends up allowing him the victory. Harris ran well, but got really squirly as he crosses the finish line so I'm wondering if he needed to peddle it a bit at the end of the track.
Now it's time to see what the Wicked #3 of Junior Alimoot who's dialed in at a 4.40 in the tower lane can do against the V-8 modified pipe buggy 8164 of Iwalani Medeiros who has dialed in at a 4.50. Iwalani gets a .10 second jump at the starting line and appears to take that advantage of about half a car length all the way to the checkered, however, Junior is awarded the win so I'm pretty sure she red-lighted at the start. Junior might have gotten the win, but it wasn't an easy one as I hear a report that he drifted right up against the concrete guardrail around mid track.
The final pairing of Unlimited cars in round one is the rail of Ashley Brown #7902 in the tower lane against Tim Ing in the white Camaro number 796. Ashley's rail (3.83) is considerably faster than Tim's full bodied Camaro who's decided to dial in at 4.90 after experiencing soft launches during time trials and she will leave over a second after Tim. But, Tim gets a good launch this time and runs faster than his dial in causing him to break out. Tim had a good lead at the finish line and might have won had he backed off slightly, but talking to him in the pits after the race I learn that he simply couldn't see the lead he had. Had Tim not broken out I think he would have won the race handily as he had a pretty good lead all the way down the track
Bracket 2 Round 1
Next up is Bracket 2 and the first pair of cars sees the car owner's daughter Racquel Moniz piloting the 7x in the ranch lane up against the pipe buggy #55 of Brant Kam. It appears that the 7x has been detuned slightly for today's event as the car usually runs in bracket 1 (the unlimited class that runs 5 seconds and faster), but today is running in bracket 2 (5.01 – 6 seconds). Both cars launch well, bu Kam misses the shift from 1st to 2nd while Racquel makes a good solid pass for the win.
Now it's time to see how Manuel Moissa does in his revamped Tonka Toy #12M who's selected the tower lane and is up against the 000 Suzuki Samurai Jeep of Candy Smith. They are dialed in nearly identically and when the tree drops both cars leave almost at the same time, run neck and neck down the 300 foot track and for the first time in the season current Championship leader, Moissa, breaks out running too fast thus handing the victory to Candy Smith's 000.
Bracket 3 Round 1
Bracket 3 round 1 will compete the blue Jeep #80 of Buddy Kupau against Holly "The Huntress" Almeida in the #57 Toyota truck in the ranch lane. Holly has a strong start and Buddy has some ground to make up after leaving slightly later. Buddy is catching Holly towards the finish and is catching the Toyota, but Holly has enough room to peddle it at the end of the track ensuring she didn't break out and Buddy just can't quite catch her.
Now it's Holly's dad, Chuck Almeida in the 575 pipe buggy up against a stock looking white Toyota truck #44 driven by Noa Silva who's lined up in the tower lane. At the start Chuck red-lights the buggy by .055 seconds and he backs off the throttle about half way down the track having known this handing the victory to Noa.
It's rather a small turnout for the bracket 3 group and the final pair is the Toyota #2217 of Rick Ricard in the tower lane vs. the only diesel in the field today the Ford truck number 66 of Derek Quizmoro. The Toyota jumps really early earning a red-light while the Ford, belching thick black smoke all the way to the finish, gets the sin with a strong performance.
Bracket 4 Round 1
Bracket 4 round 1 sees the first of the bikes and quads starting with the 310 of Kamakana Perkins against the black stretched quad #58 who's selected the ranch lane. Kamakana leaves first and is appearing to have a great pass, but it maybe a little too good as he red-lights and hands the win to the 58.
Now it's time for #27 which is a black stretched quad piloted by Peter Wong in the near lane and the new yellow and blue quad #777 ridden by Kirk Muraoka in the ranch lane. When the lights on the tree fall they're off, but the usually solid #27 won't shift and slows so the 777 gets an easy win.
Next is the white quad #888 of Romeo Peralta in the tower lane who's going up against the rock steady, always in the final #17 of Scott McCully. This time it's the 888 that misses a shift and by the time he gets going again, but it's too late as the 17 is across the line first for the win.
Next it's the #30 of Makana Paulos against the other regular finalist #72 of Isaac Hodsen. The 28 isn't the fastest bike out there, but doesn't need to be today as uncharacteristically the 72 breaks out and for the first time this season will not be in the final.
The final competitor is number 629 of Henry Maile Jr. who runs a smooth line with no problems in the tower lane by himself for a bye run.
We take a short break while the smooth and groom the track and this gives those moving on to round 2 a chance to prepare for the next round of races.
Bracket 1 Round 2
Bracket 1, round 2 will pair the two rails of Koa Grace #1122 in the tower lane against the slightly slower 7322 in the ranch lane. Both of the cars red-light, but Koa by slightly less thus getting a big break and will moving on to round 3.
Now Junior Alimoot in the #3 Wicked chooses the tower lane and is up against the 556 of Paul Giovanetti. Alimoot is dialed in slightly slower at a 4.50 as opposed to Giovanetti at a 4.25. It's a somewhat confusing race as both cars red-light and, although Alimoot misses the timing of his start by less of an error than Giovanetti the 556 is awarded the win. Upon review we learn that in bracket racing if the car leaving first jumps early the win is automatically given to the faster car regardless of any error made by the faster car.
The 7902 of Ashley Brown has a bye run and automatically will move on to the next round.
Bracket 2 Round 2
Bracket 2 round 2 and the 000 of Candy Smith is in the tower lane up against the 7x of Racquel Moniz. It's a close start and race and although the 7x appears to run well we find out that she has driven too fast and breaks out. Candy had Racquel wins by a fender at the finish so it's pretty safe to assume Racquel must have cut a slow light and was trying to catch up at the finish causing her to run too fast of a time. This was the final for bracket two so congratulations to Candy Smith for a great victory.
Bracket 3 Round 2
Bracket 3 round 2 and the white Toyota truck #44 of Noah Silva in the tower lane up against the Angry Bird #575 pipe buggy of Chuck Almeida in the ranch lane. Almeida launches early drawing a red-light and it's a fairly easy win for Silva who wins regardless of breaking out and running too fast.
The next race is a bye run for the 66 Ford diesel which appears to run strong, but sounds a bit off towards the end of his pass.
Bracket 4 Round 2
Bracket 4 round 2 has a pair of quads doing battle; the yellow and blue 777 in the tower lane against the white 888 in the (preferred by many) ranch lane. They're both off to a good start, but 777 has trouble with a shift and appears to get stuck in gear allowing Romeo Peralta on the 888 to streak off to the win.
Next to the line is quad #72 up against the red Honda #629 who's elected to go to the ranch lane. Henry Maile Jr. on the 629 is off first and to the line first, but runs to fast and breaks out. It looked close at the finish, but the lights don't lie and the win goes to Hodson on the quad.
Scott McCully gets a bye run and makes his typically smooth and faultless pass, the type that has earned him victories in many of his previous attempts.
Bracket 1 Round 3
Bracket 1 round 3 starts off with Paul Giovanetti getting a bye run for the 556 so he will go on to the final with his competitor being decided by the next pairing of Unlimited cars.
We've seen this pair of badass rails run before; the 1122 of Koa Grace is in the tower lane and Ashley Brown maneuvers the 7902 into position in the ranch lane and actually gets the car staged first. The dial in times are so close that it looks like a heads up race and at the finish it's really close, but we see the red lights flash on her side indicating she went to fast and broke out. Win to Koa Grace.
Bracket 2 Round 3
Bracket 2 Round 3 is already complete in the previous round so it's on to Bracket 3.
Bracket 3 Round 3
Bracket 3 round 3 lines up the two trucks remaining in this class. It's the white Chevy truck #44 of Noah Silva in the tower lane up against Derek Quizmoro's #66 Ford diesel in the ranch lane, but at the starting line the 66 stalls and can't get restarted. I had wondered if the 66 hadn't had something going amiss when I heard the rough sounding engine towards the end of his last pass. He can't get the truck restarted so essentially he hands the win to Duarte who cruises to the victory.
Bracket 4 Round 3
Bracket 4 round 3 pits the 17 motorcycle of McCully against the 888 quad of Peralta. At the light the 888 pulls a small wheelie and has to check up for a moment which is all it took for McCully to score a win and move on to the final round.
Now the stretched chassis quad #72 of Isaac Hodson comes to the line by himself and runs a bye run.
Bracket 4 Round 4
Bracket 4 round 4 and I swear we've seen this final more than a few times lately. It's the 72 in the ranch lane against McCully in the tower lane. There's a delay between the start of the 17 and the 72 due to the difference in dial in times and as they make their way down the track Hodson is trying like heck to catch McCully to no avail as the 17 crosses the finish first with yet another flawless pass. McCully cut a n awesome light and Hodson never had a chance to catch him.
Bracket 1 Round 4
Bracket 1 round 4 and it's the final race of the night. Paul Giovanetti brings the 556 to the line in the ranch lane and Ashley Brown carefully stages the 7902 in the tower lane. The lights drop and Ashley leaves just a hair too soon cutting a .021 second red-light handing the victory to Paul who had a solid start and great run through the finish line. It's been a little while coming, but Giovanetti gets his well deserved final round victory and the congratulations of fans and other drivers alike.
It's been a great evening of racing and no real serious breakages ( except for maybe the 66 who's still in the engine compartment seeing if he can get the diesel truck started again ) I recall many competitor comments about how much they prefer running at night instead of daytime. Of course it's a lot cooler and I think almost everyone starts running faster as the air cools making the selection of the dial in time even more critical.
We look forward to seeing you at the next event! Click here for the official race results.
(Normally, our articles are accompanied with photos...but our official photographer, Nick Latulip, was absent due to his wife having a baby! Congratulations Nick! Please look for the video, coming soon.)