A Bremerton Weekend

02 July 2017 Bremerton, WA – Overcoming adversity. When machines break down in the factory where one line depends on another to function troubleshooting becomes the action. In the older days it was kind of easy, did the belt come off? Did it become unplugged? Is something jamming it? All easy to look for and fix if that was the issue.

Now days with computers and electrical parts are combined the task is not as easy. Multi-meters, and computer error codes are what you are looking at to find the source of what has stopped everything from working. In what amounts to better than a half a mile of wires and sensors finding the issue can be a daunting task.

Saturday was that day for Bremerton Raceway and their staff. Error codes on the computer system helps narrow it down but with so many things connected to each other, is it this one or that one? In what amounted to better than an eight-hour search and find and re-place the timing system is back running.

Now what was to be a “race” day has turned into a test and tune operation to run the system making sure everything worked properly. That now out of the way part two of overcoming adversity day.

Saturday and Sunday are “two” separate races, with the exception of the super comp and super street racers, they have one each day. The “heads” got together and moved the Sunday event to a new date and moved all Saturday to Sunday. This move created a “first” for the SC and SST racers as it is now a “double header”.

Two complete races in one day. For the “two” winners, that’s right I did say two they may want to have them all this way.

In Super Comp class Emmett McKillop grabbed both trophies in his ’14 M&M dragster. In the Super Street class Todd Sims powered his red ’66 Nova to the top putting a trophy in each hand.

Now to what was the “event” of the weekend. What started as “The John Kilroy Footbrake Race” now slated as the “Northwest Independence Shootout” brought 119 racers from near and far to get a pile of “cash”, and a “hand-made” trophy at the end of racing. The keyword here is “footbrake”. No Trans brake, nothing but your foot on the brakes.

Put on by the Sears Family Racing with help from many more this race has grown huge. Four thousand to the winner, two thousand to the runner-up, not a bad payday for nine rounds of racing. The total payout money nearly touched “ten thousand” dollars.

When money is involved the racers will come to try and put it in their pockets. I have to say watching a car that normally runs off a trans-brake switch to his foot instead of his finger really shows what “footbrake” racing is all about. Rett Berteilotti in his “first” attempt at this style of racing became a new passion in his own words “this is fun”. It was so much fun to him that “he” claimed the “runner-up” cash and trophy and stated, “I’ll be back next year” for more of this “fun” racing.

To the big winner we go and is not a newcomer to putting the cash in his pocket. Pulling this off in 2015 Dustin Ward did it again. His hard launching “hemi” yanking the front tires off the track just keeps on going this time after having to “buy” back into the race after beating all the other buybacks. The big fella knows his race car like a “glove” and the red Dart fits him like one. Thinking this may be a fluke winning two out of the past three, think again. Dustin has put the car in many a “winners circle” around the Northwest.

In the “Shootout” classes Mark Cavar driving the dragster for the first time this season got the win in the electronics 1/8th mile racing. The motorcycle shootout Jim Were and his ’12 Kawasaki made it to the winner’s circle. For the Jr’s in a combined class race Cooper Chun from Vancouver, Wa. Running out of the Jr. Lightning class claimed the trophy. Congrats to all the winners and hope to see you at next years race.

Lots of great images for both days of action – click here to go to the event gallery, where images are organized into two sections, one for the Test-N-Tune, and one for Sunday.

LODRS Test-N-Tune at Pacific Raceways

22 June 2017 Kent, WA – Pacific Raceways is hosting the NHRA Division-6 racers this weekend. They are coming to the track the first of two times this season, racing in June as compared to the middle of August will be a change for the racers.

People in the Northwest joke about summer beginning on July 5th but the weather forecasted for this weekend it will seem like the late summer event. Plenty of hydration is going to be the order of the weekend as the temps are jumping 10 to 15 degrees above the normal for this just into summer time race.

Should be a great weekend for racing, come on out and see the action, it will be great also.

Images from the Test-N-Tune sessions today are now available – click here to go to the main event album for today’s images. More images will be added over the course of the weekend.

Good luck to all the drivers and teams!!

A Mid-Week Day at Pacific Raceways

31 May 2017 Kent, WA – In a little over a twelve hour time period, multi-use venue Pacific Raceways hosted ProFormance Racing School in the morning to early afternoon. Then there was a transition to the dragstrip and run until curfew.

The driving school starts at 7:00 AM with classroom instructions given by owner Don Kitch. The students take in diagrams and discussion that once on the track you put to practice. Four stages set up, two on the west end of the track and two on the east end. Each exercise from the beginning leads to the next, incorporating what you just learned from the previous stage.

Then back to the classroom to talk about what you just went thru, and then out to your car or truck for one on one coaching with one of the many instructors that work with ProFormance Racing School. Going thru 20min. sessions with an instructor as co-pilot guiding you around the track on the proper line which equates to the “safest” and “fastest” way to run the track. Give ProFormance a call to find your date for school.

As the driving school finishes their day the dragstrip crew is hard at work prepping the surface for racing into the evening. This afternoon/evening brings the motorcycles and diesel-powered rigs for points racing. With a test & tune at the same time you never know who or what may be taking advantage.

Street cars, race cars and license up-grades all fall into the T&T lanes assigned to them, walk the lanes and see the wide range of people using them. For those racing the series in Diesel Hudson Myers picked up the trophy and William Nitta denied Deanna Pelletier her first win in the PRDC series.

Images are now available for the whole day at Pacific Raceways – Click here to enjoy a unique mix of images from both the road course and the dragstrip!

Memorable Evening of Racing and Licensing at Pacific Raceways

17 May 2017 Kent, WA – Mid-week racing again hit the track for the bikes and diesel rigs along with a test and tune for those who wanted to test their rides. Early testing had a dragster running in Super Pro, a car that runs in Super Gas and a fine looking red Pontiac that runs in Comp. All with a different agenda seeking answers to their questions on the improvements they had made. It was fun to photograph!

Running into the night the bikes and their riders paired off in rounds till only two remain. This group that comes out for the mid-week fun is just what it is. They all like each other and help one another when needed; what a great group of riders. Out lasting the field, Chris Benda beat William Nitta for the trophy.

In the Diesel class Ray Bartroff took out Kevin Jellum for his first win and the trophy.

Also taking advantage of the test and tune a pair of drivers out to get licensed for some E.T. class racing. Out in a clean looking dragster was Alston Hentges, son of long time northwest racer Mark Hentges. A;stpm made his passes to run in Super Pro in what may end up in the future as “like father, like son” as Mark has a dragster of his own that is much faster than the mid 8’s Alston laid down to earn his license.

In what has to be the feel good about the track came when driving down her grandfather’s BLVD Camerin Lyle completed the number of runs required to earn a license to drive in the Jr. Street class of E.T. racing. Sporting one of Mark’s memory shirts, she donned a helmet and belted herself in and off she went. Her father Rob along for the ride as required by the class to the 1/8 mi. mark hitting near 70 mph on the pass and of course mother Kim watching from behind taking it all in. Gaining her license now she can legally run down the track with a competitor in the other lane. Helping with this part drag strip manager Ed Garfield drove his ride in the other lane pointing out a few things that she will encounter when racing. For Camerin it will take some time to erase the smile she was sporting at the end of the night and we know her grandfather has a big smile while watching from above.

Images are now available, click here to go to the photo album.

Test-N-Tune & Gambler Event at Pacific Raceways

dsc_991322 Oct 2016 Kent, WA – The month of October has been on a pace to eclipse the wettest on record. Thus, the first two of three dates for the month were washed out, I mean washed out. This day though mother nature shined as if to say “not three in a row”.

dsc_9724This the last drag race date for the 2016 season brought a wide range of cars to the track. For most it was a new experience racing only an eighth mile. This length came about over pure safety for the racers as the relentless rains left water seeping thru the cracks. This length was right at home for the “drag radial class” car out for some testing and worked out perfect for the Parker family out for testing on the “funny car”.

dsc_9637As the “gambler” race got underway, after a number of runs to the eighth for a way different “dial-in” than normal really did make for some great side by side racing.

dsc_9933Ending the day with the last money run right at the deadline finishing out the 2016 season and padding the pockets of Robert Cody and John Schwaller for their class wins.

Images are now available, the fall light made for great images.  Click here to go to the photo album.  Thank you so much for your support and purchases!

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Private Test Session at Pacific Raceways

Private Test Session 4-28-16 04628 April 2016 Kent, WA – Not all the dates on the Pacific Raceways schedule are spoken for. Those that are not tend to become “Private Test Sessions”.

You never know who is going to show up on any of these dates. This date had such a wide range of cars for testing that I don’t think you could get too much further apart in class. A newly built ’56 Ford slated for B/Gas, and the crew chief Mary, a scant 71 years young learning to drive a PRO class dragster.

Private Test Session 4-28-16 030Brad Jolly learning his new dragster, a BB/FC black Mustang being schooled by John and Ruth Evanchuk and Jim Ronan and his wheel stander out for more laps.

Private Test Session 4-28-16 A 062Private Test Session 4-28-16 A 042Quite a diverse group taking advantage of the date. Each having their own reasons for testing and what they would like to learn or gain information on.  Whatever their reasons they must have been successful as all left the track with smiles.

Got some great images today of some truly unique vehicles. Click here to go to the photo album.

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Test-N-Tune & Jr Dragster #1 at Pacific Raceways

Jr. Dragsters Race #1 4-9-16 39809 April 2016 Kent, WA – The fog moved in and the sun pushed it away casting a shadow on everyone for this first race of the 2016 season for the Jr. Dragsters. The racers, with another year under their belt were eager to get racing again.

Jr. Dragsters Race #1 4-9-16 477The other group of racers out today was there for the test and tune.   Great turnout! – Four lanes wide and around the curve. Can you say “happy to be racing again”.

One of the biggest happy grins had to have come from young Mr. Wilcox.  He was just recently licensed in a sleek race car in its own right  – he jumped into grandpa’s dragster and made his first of two runs required to upgrade, a little quicker and a bit faster. Good job to you.

The Jr. Dragster Winners –

Jr. Storm – Jaslyn Bean
Jr. Thunder – Ian Theofelis
Jr. Lightning – Josh Schmanke

Images of all the action are now available – click here to go to the photo album.

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Drag Racing Test-N-Tune at Pacific Raceways!

Test and Tune 3-26-16 14326 Mar 2016 Kent, WA – For as many years that anyone can remember guessing the weather and scheduling dates for dry conditions mix like oil and vinegar. Getting nice weather in the northwest spring that can change hourly and even sunny here and downpours a mile away is not uncommon.

To a drag racer when they hear the weatherman say no rain until early evening it is pure joy, on top of that it’s a Saturday. The lanes packed with cars showed many a racers were glad to be shaking off the winter and ready to once again hit the dragstrip at Pacific Raceways.

Test and Tune 3-26-16 038The day before Easter has a lot of families together for the day and as all know racing is a family sport and to do this together makes no difference that it’s a holiday weekend. Grandparents and young mothers watching the kids play in the enclosed area Pacific has brings the future racers to the enjoyment of the sport. How many racers today have memories of the same thing, you talk to them and they will tell you, yes.

The race team combinations have many forms like Gary and his wife and the red Camaro or John and son Ian both now in dragsters though John’s is bigger also grandpa Terry handing the keys of his sleek new race car to his 16 and a half year old grandson Yeshua to license in. No matter how you describe the team, family is the focal point. Friends, family and racing this was the real first test and tune of the 2016 season (the first rained out just after starting) enjoying the spring weather.

Test and Tune 3-26-16 331What was not normal to hear this early here is the sound of a “nitro” motor running. This motor resides in the frame rails of Dana Meeks nitro Harley out to test for an event in Vegas upcoming.  Made two productive runs too, the last ending the day of testing and tuning for all as the winter time curfew is still in effect. Good luck to Dana and all else in a couple weeks for the next test and tune.

Thanks to the great conditions there are over 300 images to choose from in the photo album. Click here to go to the album.

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Weather Induced Coverage – Test-N-Tune & 4-Stroke Karts

Test and Tune and 4-Stroke 3-20-16 065Test and Tune and 4-Stroke 3-20-16 08620 March 2016 Kent, WA – Weeks of anticipation to get a run down the dragstrip has arrived. Winter upgrades and new cars need to be tested.  There is only a month till the start of the 2016 E.T. Drag Racing Season, so these test and tunes can be very helpful.

Not so helpful though was Mother Nature as the weather pundits called for rain. We first got a round of “street” tires and then the “slick” tired racers got their shot at the track. Up next the motorcycles.

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As normal track champion Joe Lind was first in the burnout box. Did I mention that water is needed to do your burnout? Water provided by the track in a controlled amount.  Burnout completed and ready to “stage” Mother Nature started adding more water to the burnout box and everywhere else that matters to a drag racer.

There were no breaks in the rain and the test and tune is now history, so it was off to the PGP Motorsports Park for some 4-stroke kart racing – they have “rain” tires and the gear to keep you somewhat dry. We got there just in time to catch the last qualifying heat as the rain continued, throwing spray off the tires as they sped by.

Noted is the fact the lap times do not differ much between the dry or wet track surfaces – a testament to how well the rain tires work.

Throwing down some very steady lap times Derek Wang could not be caught and claimed the P1 spot. Standing in P2 young Mason Buck is showing the progression he has made over the past year and a frequent stander on the podium Zak Bothel picked up P3.

Two albums are available, one for the first Test-N-Tune event of the season, the other for 4-Stroke.  Click on the links below to go to the photo albums.

Drag Racing TNT Images – Click Here

4-Stroke Kart Racing Images – Click Here

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Toy For Tots – NW Toy Drive at Pacific Raceways

Toys for Tots 12-6-15 17906 Dec 2015 Kent, WA – Each December the Pacific Raceways property plays host to some very generous people. The annual NW Toy Drive benefiting Toys for Tots. Sponsored by Lexus of Bellevue and the O’Brian Auto Group thousands of folks brought their un-wrapped gifts or cash donation for the Marine Corps Reserve program.
Toys for Tots 12-6-15 010Combine this with holiday music covering the many cars out for the car show gathering. Out on the 2.25 mile track a “lead/follow” was done, overseen by ProFormance Racing School giving those who take part an idea of what it feels like to drive a road course.
Toys for Tots 12-6-15 170Of course Santa and his helpers were on hand accepting gifts and posing for pictures, also on hand passing out candy canes was Ed Troyer from the Pierce County Toys for Tots program.
Toys for Tots 12-6-15 400Every year that I have covered this event it has gotten bigger and bigger thus proving the generosity of the NW to those in need. Great job by all those involved as it takes many to help bring it together each year. Till next year Happy Holidays to all.

Toys for Tots 12-6-15 002Images of all the excitement and holiday cheer are now available click here to go to the album, & Happy Holidays!