Swift Tools ET Series Gets Season Underway

02 Apr 2017 Kent, WA – Kicking off the drag racing season in the northwest spring can bring a host of weather conditions. The overnight downpour left a big task to the drag crew drying and prepping the track. Beat the water they did but a later than normal start finally got things underway.

Two hits for all to start the day then into racing for real. A brief light shower both brought about no racing and pushed the “Sunday” curfew to the limits. Try as they did when “Mother Nature” dictates what you can do you just do your “best”.

So close they came, finishing three of the six classes leaving two “finals” and one “semi” to run.

The three class winners are in Jr. Lightning Josh Schmanke grabbed the trophy while also licensing for a Super Comp ride. In Jr. Lightning Ryan Warnke came out on top while Brian Thompson put his Mustang in the Sportsman Class “Winners Circle”.

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

The Hagen Twins

This habit that is called “drag racing” grabbed me in the early seventies. Since then, I have met thousands of stars that take part in the sport.

As any photographer that covers motorsports will tell you, the people you meet and their background can cover the full spectrum of life. As the photographer for Pacific Raceways, I cover a variety of different forms of motorsports, from Drag Racing, Motocross, Road Racing and Go Karts, and they all share one thing in common, Family.

All, of these families have their stories. When an unusual “story” presents itself, I like to focus on it…

An unusual or unique story in drag racing at Pacific Raceways are twins Abbie and Angie Hagen. As high school seniors they will once again compete in the Air Force Reserve High School Drag Racing Series. The twins hope to improve on their 3rd and 4th place finishes last season.

Their attraction to drag racing stems from father Steve who came to the track to watch the 1978 Fall Nationals. In the mid 90’s when looking to buy their first house Steve and wife Kim found a home just a few blocks from the track.

A few years later the twins were born and raised just blocks from the sounds of the race track. Abbie was the first to hit the track though not what you may expect. As a sophomore, she entered her father’s Dodge Challenger in the high school burnout contest. Abbie in the driver’s seat and Angie sitting on the passenger side, the track announcer asked her if her Dad knew you were burning the hides off his car? Without hesitation Abbie replies “Yes, he is in the back seat”.

Twin sister Angie was not really into Drag Racing, she kind of fell into it at her sister’s request. Abbie was fighting for points in the high school class. So, Angie jumped into her sister’s car hoping to do well. Angie had so much fun she decided that she should have a Challenger too. Then the Hagen’s became a three Challenger family as Abbie found one very close to her sisters.

With dad Steve running in the Sportsman class and the girls in the High School class, it is easy to spot them in the pits with the White, Red and Green Challengers lined up in a row.

This time together earned both girls a trip to the “winners circle” for trophy and pictures and enough points for Abbie to earn a prestigious spot on the E.T. Finals Team and a trip to Canada to race at Mission Raceway. Not bad for their first season of racing!

Seeing the fun that Abbie had last season, a bit of a sibling rivalry has formed! Angie is forgoing softball this season to put all her energy into racing in her effort to make it to the E.T. Finals and of course Abbie will try to re-peat her ET Finals performance.
If these two-college bound young ladies go at racing with the same energy as they do for school, the competition should be a bit worried!!

April 15th is race number one for the Air Force Reserve High School Series this season and should one of them win this special day to begin with would really be “frosting on the birthday cake”. Good luck to both of you this season.

AM Skills, Novice HP & PM Lapping at Pacific Raceways

26 Mar 2017 Kent, WA – For the dozen plus folks who took part in the ProFormance Racing School this day the weather played a big part. Choosing the date to go to school you hope for a great weather day, but this is the northwest in spring time and the weather is a crapshoot, with the record rain thru late winter into early spring today it just continued.

Bringing out the bumper-shoots that under normal use here shades the drivers from the sun reared back to their original use, to keep the rain off. To ProFormance Racing School and its instructors the weather makes no difference on the program and how they instruct the students.

Looking at the exercises, there are four of them, going thru them I believe it would be worth taking the class twice if possible, in the rain and in the sunshine. What you feel in the seat of your pants will be two very distinct sensations. Once you feel the difference in wet to dry you will come away a better driver in the northwest.

Important enough to parents to put their children thru the class to teach what is not in drivers training and to a husband and wife today with their personal plates sharing the experience together.

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

Check out this program on the ProFormance web site for your date to better driving.

ProFormance Racing School Action at Pacific Raceways

19 Mar 2017 Kent, WA – As more and more parents see their children go thru drivers training and what they are learn they are coming to driving schools for the skills that will better prepare them for driving on the hi-ways and bi-ways.

Seeing parents weather by their pushing or their kids choosing going thru the stages that ProFormance Racing School and their instructors teach is every bit a recordable moment. Deep in parents minds and spoken, this is the best bang for your buck to be found for young drivers.

This also you see on the faces of the students as they gather after the first go round and how fun it is to learn what your car is telling you when you tell it to do something. Then of course at the end of the school day the confidence that the students now show truly shows the impact of going thru the school.

Over 300 images are now available online – click here to go to the photo album.

For info on upcoming dates go to the ProFormance Racing School web site or their Facebook page.

The Fabulous Johnsons at the Red Dog

17 Mar 2017 Maple Valley, WA – Playing on a stage the weekend before with room to move around to the confines found when playing in a bar or tavern was a trip. The Fabulous Johnsons – the trio of Lynn Sorenson, Jeff Kathan and Manuel Morias rock in the small venues.

With four plus hours of playing the set list is pretty long and diverse. With help thru out the night from Christoff, Amanda, Susan and Jaysen it is well worth to check them out. Find out where and when on their web site or the Red Dog when they will be back to rock the house.

Images of all the action in Maple Valley are now available, click here to go to the photo album.

Spike And The Impalers at the Claws Chalet Theater

11 Mar 2017 Enumclaw, WA – As a DJ for local classic rock station KZOK Spike O’Neill has his pulse on the music that is played by them and brings this music to life as “Spike and the Impalers”. The “Claws” Chalet Theater and its stage became a perfect setting for 500 or so to enjoy some rocking live music.

Leading off the show local comedian Susan Jones put it to the audience with some great wit and punch lines. Nothing like laughter to get everyone in the same frame of mind ready to jam on some great live music and this she did as a huge thunder of hand clapping and yells as she finished and introduced the band to the audience.

Jumping into an Edgar Winter tune right away got everyone going, leading to Spike singing as he walked up on stage the next song in the nights set. The diversity of the band members and the multiple instruments they can play along with Spikes voice brings some rocking music to life. With no counter I lost track but there had to be at least 20 songs on the set list including a slow song so those dancing up front could hug up for one song. I say if you get the chance to see the band play you need to go, they won’t let you down.

Band members are: #Spike O’Neill – #Lynn Sorensen – #Jeff Kathan – #Manuel Morias – #Susan Kendall Morias – #Scott Adams – #Steve Hanna – #Jaysen Dickhoff Comedian: #Susan Jones

Got Lots of great shots – go to the photo album by clicking here.

Alfa Romeo Club PM Lapping Day at Pacific Raceways

11 Mar 2017 Kent, WA – Going thru a driving course in nice weather can be a challenge but when you put Mother Nature and the “Northwet” it does add a new dimension to what you are trying to accomplish.

As explained by instructor Mirko the rainy weather will help you feel in your backside what your car is doing when you put input to it. Steering, braking and peddle control is brought to the forefront going thru the four coned stations.

Seems simple enough, though once behind the wheel the focus gets intense as you want to complete the task as instructed as a dozen or more teachers watch your every move, then de-brief, good or bad what you just did.

Then take those instructions and get in line and do it again. It is truly a do it and you will get it right and become a better driver because of it. Anytime you get the chance to take a driving course like ProFormance Racing School, Doug Herbert’s “Brakes” or a Teen driving class you will come out of them a better driver for it. Do yourself or a loved one a big favor and check into a program near you and go thru it.

Images from the full day of action are now online and available for purchase – to go to the album, click here.

ProFormance Racing School AM Skills, Novice HP & PM Lapping Weekend at Pacific Raceways

11 Feb 2017 Kent, WA – Back for the first time this year the AM Skills class brought in sixteen students for classroom and on track learning. No matter your age or gender you start in the classroom eyes intent on what Don Kitch is telling you. It is the start of what ProFormance Racing School is all about.

What you gain from the in classroom and the four coned stages will show you and let your body feels and what input you need to do to your car in case you need to do so. Being prepared for anything when you are driving is the awareness you will also gain. Just about everything that is taught in the class is not given in drivers training.

This fact brought out a young lady just about ready to get her driving life underway. With no prompting from her parents the choice to take the class was her own, pretty smart on her part. As per requirements all teen drivers are instructed to bring their “daily driver” to class. This young lady rolled up in a full size Chevy truck, something I have not seen run thru the program, all makes and models of cars but no trucks. The shiny smile, I say that because she does wear braces would be hard pressed to remove at the end of the day and also saying “I will be back” to the track to learn even more.

Follow this teen driver’s lead and contact ProFormance Racing School for info on upcoming dates to do the same for yourself as this wise beyond her years young lady did for herself.

Images are now available – click here to go to the photos, and as always thank you very much for your support and purchases!

Teen Street Survival Course at ProFormance Racing School

04 Feb 2017 Kent, WA – For those parents and teens that attended the school today it mattered only slightly that it was raining. Yes, it was less than ideal conditions, but you could see the focus in their faces as Don Kitch and his instructors coached the teens thru classroom instruction and behind the wheel.

There were four different stages, two at a steady 25 miles per hour and two at 50 miles per hour. What you learn from these four stages is applicable to anyone not just for the teens as this is the way all should learn what to do when faced with it. It’s well worth the investment to go thru the ProFormance Racing School, check out their website for upcoming dates.

On another part of the property The Motorsports Lab and two of their many “super cars” were giving drivers the thrill of piloting one around a coned off pattern of twists and turns. Add to the course the “rain” puddles created by Mother Nature and her winter weather in the northwest.

Watching a Lamborghini plow thru four inches of water is not something you see every day unless you are at their factory testing grounds. Not exactly what they had in mind when they signed up for the experience but the smiles afterword tells all. To learn more go to motorsports.com for more info.

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

ProFormance High Performance Sport Driving Day

29 Jan 2017 Kent, WA – The event was postponed from last weekend, and we had much better weather day for some lapping around the track. It was dry around the 2.25 mile track, but the chill will take a few laps to get the tires up to temp then that chilly air will bring the engines alive.

For those who came out to run the track the smiles told all, they were having fun. On the property also taking advantage and using the paddock in auto-cross fashion was the UW Department of Mechanical Engineering, who brought out their projects and laptops for some testing.

A closer look shows all kinds of designs built into their test car (they have two) with data gathering points all over. Well in excess of 100 points taking the time to look close. No close in pics were allowed to give away their thoughts.

Watching them run the course a number of laps then checker the drive to come in, then watching the crew surround the car with probes and tablets taking readings and logging the information was really no different than any other race team out for a test session. It was great to see them again and can’t wait till next time they come out to test.

Images of the action and a few distant shots of the UW Engineering programs are now available – click here to go to the photo album.

The next track day is Feb.4th check info on the ProFormance Racing School website.