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.
22 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”.
This 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”.
As 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.
Ending 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.
28 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.
Brad 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.
Quite 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.
09 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.
The 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
26 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.
The 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.
What 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.
20 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.
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.
06 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. Combine 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. Of 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. Every 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.
“Radio Dave” as all that knew him will remember him by. If it had to do with communications Dave was there: SCCA, Pacific Raceways the two that I was in his service. Supplying the radios and other services to the SCCA events at Pacific Dave seemed to be everywhere and on the radio you heard his call sign “Radio” when things needed his attention.
He was an active member of SCCA for more than 30 years. He had the pulse on the communications during the events no matter where he was at, the radios were on and on many channels. He was also an active Ham Radio operator – Dave’s reach was worldwide. In the Ham Radio community he has joined other Ham Radio members as what they call a “silent key”, and they have their own special remembrances and memories of him.
For what he did for me and many, many others he will be missed and very difficult to replace. Godspeed “Radio Dave”.
03 Oct 2015 Kent, WA – Test and Tunes at this time of year are a weather gamble. You make these dates during the off season scheduling and hoping that Mother Nature smiles on you.
Putting a kink into the date today was things were slowed by an overnight soaking forcing the drying process of the track. Once done though the testing got underway for the 150 plus taking advantage of now the beautiful fall day. Bright blue skies always bring the smiles. Taking advantage also were a number of drivers seeking their competition license in a number of classes.
Australian native James Rowland and Stef Parker earning their BB/Funny Car licenses and coming up one run short was Mike Drzayich of Dallas, Texas. He may travel up for that one more run to get that Super Comp license. Look forward to the last test and tune on the 18th of October.