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In the first pairing Paul Glandon took on Tom Meheden. Tom has worked all weekend trying to get the car dialed in after extensive changes over the last year. He is hoping for at least 6.30's this year but he real goal is the '20's. He ran two 6.50 passes but chassis set-up is proving to be a challenge. Paul really struggled a few weeks ago at the Divisional event, and then on the Sunday he made a couple more test runs with a hired tuner and they seemed to have it dialed in with a couple 6.0's. Then this weekend he struggled again through-out testing as well as the first round of qualifying. In round two he went 6.04 and then Saturday evening he ripped off his first 5 second run in a couple years.
In the race both drivers were a bit tardy and Tom went hard left toward the guard rail and he had to lift. Paul ran pretty solid staying within a few hundredths of his 5.99 with a 6.05/250.
Mike Gondziola was scheduled to race Dale Pedersen, but Dale struggled all weekend after his first two test sessions earlier in the week. He ran 6.20's then but during qualifying he could not make a full run and only went an early shut-off 6.7. He ended up with damage and could not make the call for round one. We all know how solid 'Gonzi' has been this weekend with a career best 5.79/246. In round one he ran a 5.904/243 and was not happy. He was hoping for a mid 5.80 or better.
Garrett Richards opponent also did not make the call. Keith Korecki is another racer with extensive changes from last year. He has always been old school, but he finally made the switch to a converter set up. "Basically it frees up our time. Me and the crew are not getting any younger. He bought the Tutterow set-up and after the first couple shakedown hits he was convinced it was the right move. Unfortunately he did have a few other issues and was not able to make first round. Richards got the single and ran like a bracket car going 5.966/246.00
Jay Syvertsen and Yvonne Lucas were next and they were neck and neck in qualifying. less than a hundredth apart. Yvonne Lucas only made two runs in qualifying having intake issues that required repairs that took longer than making the next session of qualifying each day. Jay Syvertsen is basically racing at his first race of the year as his first race did not go well. He slowly improved each run and ran a 6.130 best in qualifying. The race was over at the tree as Yvonne was a bit antsy and went red giving Jay a freebie. He ran a slightly off pace (compared to his q #) 6.27.237.
Kerry Stone ran Dan Vogt in the next pairing. Vogt ran his best number in a long while in qualifying going in the 6.20's for only the second or third time. Stone was looking for a low 6.0 or a 5 as they were getting closer and closer in early testing this year. This one was also over at the hit. Vogt was a bit lazy in staging hoping for any advantage and then waiting till the bitter end to finally go in before getting timed out. Once he staged the car rolled the beams for an automatic win for Stone. Kerry was on the converter for quite a while and likely that affected his launch as the car was off the gas with big time tire shake at 60 feet.
Wade Sjostrom and Jeff Doyle were next. Both had troubled qualifying issues but recovered and ended up with career best runs by the end of qualifying. Doyle went 6.05 at a likely speed of 252 or more. He had a bunch of excitement in Q3 when an oil line came off his filter and the car turned into a smoke show until he came to a four wheel side at the last turnoff. After spending a couple hours cleaning the car from a mess of oil he came back for the final session hoping to run the illusive '5'. He launched hard but had to get off the gas early. Sjostrom had ignition issues to start qualifying but by the end he ran a career best 6.28/231. In the race both drivers launched hard, but Doyle was off the gas by 200 feet. Wade kept the candles lit and turned on the scoreboard to a 6.21/232 a new career best.
The final pairing was #1 vs #14. It should be a mismatch, but in reality i was not convinced of that. Shane Molinari, the star entrant ran a couple 5.70's in qualifying. Rick DiStefano struggled right from testing Thursday. A number of different issues had plagued Rickie D and finally Saturday evening they felt they had things sorted out. He made a 330 hit and all looked okay in that final session. Against Molinari, the team felt they could run a decent number. Shane launched hard and ran the quickest et in the round clicking early with a 5.88/227. Rick started the run troubled but after a pedal he was back on the gas for the second half of the run and ran a 6.36/239. Well back but it seemed they were getting things sorted out. After further review, they did wound the engine in that run.
Paul Glandon took on Wade Sjostrom and this one was pretty close. Wade got a sizeable .08 starting line advantage and was actually pulling away from the turbo driver. at half-track Sjostrom ran a 3.98 to a 4.0 for Glandon. Glandon was faster to that point and was starting to reel the 57 Chevy in.
At 1000 feet it looked like Sjostrom would not only get the win in a big upset but he had a chance for a solid 6.0 pass. just past 1000 feet his car shut off (I thought he banged the blower or lost the belt.) Paul drove around him and won with another solid pass, a 6.02/250 to Wade's 6.16/204.
The third pairing had Richards taking on Kerry Stone. Both drivers had decent lights, with Stone getting .01 on the tree. Stone's Camaro looked a bit violent and he was driving the wheels off. Richard's was strong and steady and was past the turbo driver before half-track. He pulled away for a 5.98 win to a 6.18.
The final run in round two was a bye for the #1 qualifier Shane Molinari. He left the starting line and at 400 feet he got real loose and was forced to get off the gas. He coasted across the finish line with a seven second et.
At 245 mph there was no way anyone could tell. The TPR (Richard's) team went wild, they finally got the 'Gonzi' monkey off their back.
The other pairing was also very good. Molinari did get a half tenth on the tree and he was trucking down track. Glandon looked good too as he hooked up hard and was on his way to another strong pass. And the finish line it was a side by side 5 second battle with Molinari on top with a 5.89/256 to a 5.99/250.
the best semi-final races in Doorwarz history.
There was a bunch of anticipation for sure, could the underdog take out the NHRA national event winner. Once they left the starting line we would know in less than six seconds. The light turned green and Richards got a big hole-shot. He was .052 (similar to his semi-final win), ahead at the green and extended the advantage to half-track. At half-track the Turbo car was starting to gain ground, but at 1000 feet there was still a fender gap. At the stripe Richards turned on the win light with a hole-shot 5.93/247 to a 5.92/254. The margin was .042. The crowd was both shocked by the upset win but also cheered as it was a great side by side and the monkey was off the TPR team's back. This is THE race they have wanted to win for five years.
It was an awesome race and the Pro Mod class was stellar. Many personal bests, Gondziola asserted himself as the quickest' nitrous racer in Canada. Garrett Richards and the TPR gang got their long waited win. Shane Molinari and the Bond/Molinari team impressed all the Pro Mod fans in the NW with their appearance and their awesome qualifying performances. Jay Syvertsen got back on track, Jeff Doyle and Paul Glandon made personal best runs (Glandon personal best for Mission) and Wade Sjostrom crushed his old PB's.
I can't wait for next year.
Saturday final qualifying (Sheets are posted)
Round one of qualifying saw Mike Gondziola lay down the quickest pass with a solid 5.87/236. His last full run down the track were last year and they did not end well. To be safe, he was on the chutes 5.5 seconds into the run. When he came back all the data looked good and he made a career best run in the second session running a 5.796/ 246. He was going 200 mph at half-track. Only a handful of Nitrous Pro Mods have ever gone 200 mph to the 660.
Garrett Richards went 5.969 in round one and he stepped up under the lights with a 5.932/245.92.
Sitting number 4 is Paul Glandon. He made at least 6 runs in testing over the two days and could not get in a solid run but he did Friday evening with a 6.046/235. In the second round he looked to be on a better lap, but a wastegate issues slowed the car by a few hundredths. The scoreboard turned on to a 6.07 in the round.
Kerry Stone was on a good haul in round one but the car turned weak at 1200 feet and he went through the traps with a 6.12/240. When they got back to the pits they found a bit of leakage on the head area. They did not make the second round but will be ready for Saturday qualifying.
Yvonne Lucas went 6.13/229 in round one, but they had a bit of damage on that run and could not make the second round.
Jay Syvertsen went 6.33 in the opening run which was basically his first lap of the year. He ran at the Divisional WDRL race but has issues most of the weekend. In the second run Friday night he had to pedal the car at 200 feet but he still improved to a 6.20 237. Wade Sjostron had ignition issues in round one but go them fixed for round two and improved his career best with a 6.28/ 230 blast.
Dan Vogt went 6.37/224 in the opening round. and failed to improve in round two. Tom Meheden went round one and basically repeated that in round two.
Dale Pedersen had an ignition box issues in round one and in round two he had to pedal the car early. He went through the traps with a 6.75/220.
Keith Korecki had problems in both runs and was coasting through the finish line.
out the 14 cars was Rick Distefano. He blew he tires off on the
starting line in round one and then found mechanical issues. He
did not make the second session. They will be thrashing Saturday
to get the car in the field.
Round two Friday qualifying
Thursday opening day Test n Tune
(Con't from home page)
A dozen Pro Mods were on the property Thursday including Shane Molinari, Mike Gondziola, Garrett Richards, Dale Pedersen, Kerry Stone, Jay Syvertsen, Rick Distefano, Jeff Doyle, Tom Meheden, Dan Vogt, Paul Glandon and Keith Korecki.
Other Pro Mods due last night or Friday morning include Yvonne Lucas, Wade Sjostrom and Garry Weslosky.
Garrett Richards pictured on the home page was the quickest running a 6 flat at 243. Dale Pedersen was the only other to make a full pull. He went 6.29@ 229. Most of the others ran half track runs including Gonzi, Meheden, Doyle and Glandon. Ricky D only went to 330. Jay Syvertsen was going to make a run but trans issues kept him in the pits. Vogt, Molinari, Stone and Korecki did not make a run. Friday will see 5 hrs of testing (until three) then qualifying begins. For coverage of the other classes go here.
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