HulaCross Race & Results - June 23rd, 2013
Written by Chris Messer Wednesday, 10 July 2013 00:49
The stiff winds and hot weather have made for a somewhat dusty day for the competitors, fans and crews alike. The stock car heat races have just ended and the track has been lightly watered in an attempt to lessen the dustiness. The Hula Cross cars and trucks are grouped together today and are going to run their heat race first: we see the black and blue “winged” Honda of Clifton Poteet number 13 on the pole with the 69x of Christensen Moniz which appears to be a Toyota Corolla or similar import. On the 2nd row it’s the 44 a red Mazda pickup driven by Robert Vierra inside of the black B2200 number 22 of Lopaka Vierra. The cars are running clockwise today and when the green comes out the cars speed “mauka” (or towards the mountains) past the starter’s stand. Trying to relate to the corner numbers was not only challenging to me, but may also be so for you as you read this so I apologize. The track has a mix of dry/tacky oval areas and a “sopping wet” chicane, but no jumps today and it will all come down to going fast in the fast sections and really slowing down sufficiently in the wet and slow chicane.
At the start of the car/truck heat the 22 comes up to 2nd. Moniz in the 69x gets into a tire, but gets restarted after collecting the field at the chicane. The 44 gets around all others before Poteet in the 13 stalls at the chicane. He’s trying to restart his car which is now partially blocking the track and it’s making the corner even more difficult for the remaining cars, but being that it’s so slow in this area and the track partially clear the yellow will not be displayed. 69x spins and stops and then gets it restarted in oval turn 1, so still no yellow. Running in front is Robert Vierra now laps the 69x. The 22 chasing in 2nd can’t get by the slowed 69x until the next lap at the chicane eliminating any chance of catching the 44. At the finish it was the 44 then 22, 69x & 13.
Now for the Hula Cross SUV heat race. On the pole is the 187 a black Jeep Cherokee next to the black and gold Jeep Cherokee of Jeff Bergman number 83. On the row two is Curtis Bautista piloting his Red Jeep Cherokee 213 next to the yellow Jeep Cherokee (2nd place in the points) David Rodrigues 08. On the final row is the current point leader Cliff Vierra in the orange Jeep JC1 next to the 04 Jeep of Shane Rodrigues. At the start 04 has a problem and had to pull off. They are three wide going into chicane for 3rd. Curtis locks up the brakes in the soupy material at the chicane and the 213 tags the 04 and spins him moving Bautista up to 3rd. Cliff Vierra in the JC1 dives under the 213 exiting the chicane and 213 fights back, but has to give up the position. The 187 catches up to and passes the 213 as he noses the car into the tires at the chicane on the 4th lap. Since the 04 was unable to take the green he’ll have to take the final position for the main event. At the final wave of the flag its David Rodrigues in the 08 followed by 83, JC1, 187, 213, 04 did not start.
The stock cars run all of their main events and the water truck is sent out again during this so the track is about as good as it could be for the main event. Again; the cars and trucks will run their main event followed by the SUV’s.
On the front row is the Vierra’s pair of Mazda trucks with Lopaka’s 22 on the pole next to Robert’s 44. On the second row the 69x of Christensen Moniz will start on the inside of the 13 of Clifton Poteet. At the start the 44 jumps out front, but 22 passes him back before the chicane. The 22 goes wide at the exit while fighting to get traction and makes an opening for 44, although he can’t take advantage of it. Lopaka spins the 22 at the chicane next lap and the 69 closes, but there’s no room to pass which allows the 13 to get right in close and there’s even a little contact. The 44 is out front now and the 69x is closing in then gets a small tap from the 13 who gets by. The little Corolla is fast on the sweeper and catches the black and blue Honda at the chicane where they bounce off each other and 13 finally gets by. The cars are a bit stretched out now although the 22 is slowly closing on 44 with 3 laps to go. Then the 13 stalls in the chicane making the apex even tighter and forcing the 44 & 22 to negotiate around him. Robert gets the 44 through the tight section more quickly dropping Lopaka’s 22 back now. On the last lap the 69 tags the wall slightly, but is able to get it going again at chicane. Unfortunately the 13 is “dead in the water” now and at the checkered flag Lopaka Rodrigues’ number 44 wins followed by the 22, 69 & 13.
For the SUV main event the front row is made up of David Rodrigues’ 08 and Jeff Bergman’s 83. On the 2nd row is Clifton Vierra’s JC1 next to the 187 of Mark Pascua. On the 3rd and final row are the 213 of Curtis Bautista next to Shane Rodrigues in the 04. The green comes out and they fly around the sweeping dirt track turns 1 & 2 then stack up as they brake hard going into the chicane. The JC1 jeep is coming forward and Cliff is seen rubbing David’s 08 hard and the at the same time Jeff Brgman trying to get through traffic and to the front. The mud bog at the chicane is finally drying out a bit and the SUV’s are now getting much faster there. Shane Rodrigues is struggling with the 04 and getting lapped now, while David is running strong out front. In a noticeably gentleman like move Shane pulls the 04 over to the outside when he gets to the flag stand and lets the lead lap cars pass. Bautista in the 213 is past the 187 who suddenly stops for a moment as thought stalled and then gets going and able to repay the 213. Jeff Bergman in the 83 is simply unable to make up ground and we see JC1 accidentally tap the 187 as he laps him. Right at the end the JC1 looks like he’s closing on the leader and 187 is suddenly fighting back and trying to unlap himself, but to no avail. At the finish it’s the 08 then JC1, 83, 187 and 04 followed by 213.
All in all this was a great race and those who left early missed out on some great competition so, if you’re a paying entrant I suppose it pays to stay until the very end to be sure not to miss all of the good action.