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HulaCross - Race & Results - Aug 31, 2013

As a welcome change (at least to those HulaCross fans and competitors) they'll run in advance of the heat races for the stock car classes tonight. The water truck gives the track a quick spray to the unique layout the organizers have arranged for the HulaCross racers tonight. Today's layout looks nothing like the recent kidney shaped configurations and the jumps are back which should provide for some technical and precise racing. In order to work the water into the track the cars are brought out for half a dozen, or so, laps before getting the "one to go" signal from the starter. So it was time for the HulaCross heat races.

The first group is that made up of cars and trucks. On the pole is the Manuel Moisa in the 12 next to the 44 of Robert Vierra. On row two the 2 driven by Lopaka Vierra and the 13 of Clifton Poteet. On row three the 69 of Christensen Moniz is lined up to the inside of the 57 of Todd Schuler. At the green flag Schuler gets a good run up the inside while Robert Vierra passes Moisa on the outside. Schuler moves forward quickly through the field in part aided by a slippery track which is to his advantage, but the 69 of Christensen Moniz has also leapt to 4th place past Poteet in the 13 who appears to be struggling. Moniz continues to advance now working on Lopaka Vierra's Truck #2 for 3rd. Schuler has a big lead half way through the five lap race and is already approaching the back of the field. The cars appear to have an advantage over the trucks as we see Moniz pass both the 44 and the 2 and into 2nd place on the final lap. The finish was; Todd Schuler #57 1st, Christensen Moniz #69 2nd, Robert Vierra #44 3rd, Lopaka Vierra #2 4th, Manuel Moisa #12 5th and Clifton Poteet #13 6th.

Based on what we've experienced over the past few HulaCross events what we expect to see in the SUV heat is one heck of a battle as the points are very tight so every position is critical. The class is predominantly made up of Jeep Cherokees and are all very close performance-wise. On the pole is the 83 of Jeff Bergman with an alternate driver tonight who's name I don't get and to his right the 04 of Shane Rodrigues. On row two are the JC1 of CLiff Vierra and the 213 of Curtis Bautista.

On the final row is the 11 of Clyde Vierra and the 08 of David Rodrigues. The green comes out and they fan out four-wide each looking for the right line into the first chicane with the 83 in the lead. It looks as though Curtis has made a good decision as to his line and he's able to get by the 04, but they all bunch up as they slow way down and I'm anxcious to see if the 213 can stay in 2nd for the remainder of the lap knowing the aggressive racing that's going on right behind him. He doesn't. In fact he gets tangled up with the barricade and this allows the JC1 of Cliff Vierra to get through. I'm not sure if there was contact, but the following lap both Shane Rodrigues 04 and Clyde Vierra's 11 pull off the track.

Now we see David Rodrigues in 2nd place and trying to make up ground on the leader about mid race. Rodrigues has been making up all kinds of time throughout the track, but isn't getting the type of bite the 83 is coming out of the chicane. Then suddenly David is starting to slow a little and we see the JC1 gaining on him and they appear to get locked together which allows the 213 of Bautista to almost pass David and Cliff Vierra up to 2nd before the checkered flag. The finish was; Mystery driver of the #83 1st, Cliff Vierra #JC1 2nd, David Rodrigues 3rd, Curtis Bautista #213 4th, Shane Rodrigues #04 5th and Clyde Vierra #11 6th.

The Stock Cars have now run their heat races and it's been an action filled night thus far including a pretty wild roll and cartwheel by one of the Econo Sprints. There is a short break to hand out purses from the last event event and as we are becoming accustomed to; the track maintenance crew water the track down before we get started with the car and truck class. On the pole is (and because we are running in a clockwise direction the line up has the pole to the inside) Todd Schuler in the 57 to the right of the 69x of Christensen Moniz. In the 2nd row is the 2 of Lopaka Vierra on the inside of the 44 of Robert Vierra. On the final row it's the 12 of Manuel Moisa and the 13 of Clifton Poteet.

Christensen has a poor start and Robert Vierra gets a run past Manuel Moisa in the 12 for 3rd. Moniz appears to have a problem and is dropping back towards the rear and eventually off the racetrack while Schuler has a ten car lead on the field by the end of the first lap. There's a skirmish between the two Mazda trucks of Lopaka and Robert Vierra with the 2 of Lopaka getting by and what looks to me like smoke from the 44 (who later pulls off the track). Schuler is now lapping the back of the field and he gets up to the 13 of Poteet who's nudged lightly into the barricade and then tangled with the 2 briefly before getting separated. Moisa stops the 12 for a moment then gets restarted and pulls off the track. Schuler continues to lap the back of the field as we come to the checkered flag and the 57 gets the win with the 2 of Lopaka Vierra in 2nd, Poteet in the 13 managing 3rd. The 44 of Robert Vierra, 12 of Manuel Moisa and 69 of Christensen Moniz did not finish.

Now it's time for the highly anticipated SUV HulaCross main event. On the pole is the 83 of Jeff Bergman and driven tonight by Racer "X" next to the JC1 of Cliff Vierra then on the 2nd row 213 of Curtis Bautista next to the 08 of David Rodrigues, the 11 is back out driven by Clyde Vierra next to he final starting position for the 04 of Shane Rodrigues. They're off as the green comes out and as they bunch up at the first tight corner somehow we see Curtis Bautista get turned around and he's into a tire. Bautista manages to recover quickly, but it looks like he's lost valuable time and positions.

As the SUV's storm towards us and over the jump we see David Rodrigues into the side of the JC1 of Cliff Vierra in what looked like an intentional retaliation from something at the first corner and both SUV's come to a stop before the hairpin. There's a small fire under the 08 and everyone is yelling for the driver to get out as the red flag waves and all action comes to a stop on the track. Cliff gets the JC1 restarted and limps off the track with a problem and all of this has allowed Curtis Bautista to move back up now finding himself in 2nd. The 83 will still be in front at the restart and the 11 in 3rd followed by the 04.

The 08 has had to leave the track so there are only four SUV's remaining at this point. The green flag waves and Bautista makes a move on the 83 who's gone wide and is in the loose stuff. The 83 continues to struggle and we wonder if he's got a problem when he slows then stops on the track and we get another red flag so he can be towed off. The 08 of David Rodrigues re-enters the track as the track crew removes the 83, but he's already one lap down to the field and it will be difficult for him to move forward. At the restart Clyde Vierra gets his 11 past the 04 of Shane Rodrigues who appears to be slowing and just before the checkers fly Bergman's 83 returns to the track. In the end it was Curtis Bautista in the 213 who ended up grabbing the victory. 2nd place went to the 11 of Cliff Vierra with the 04 of Shane Rodrigues picking up 3rd. 4th went to the 08 of David Rodrigues, Jeff Bergman got 5th for the 83 and 6th place went to the JC1 truck of Clyde Vierra.

See you next month!

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