Samoa Championship: Part 1



             As you may or may not have heard, the Samoa Championships were rain-delayed as of the 2nd round of the regular eliminations, Sept. 13, with its make up date of Sunday, Sept. 27th, free to all spectators and returning drivers.

            This year’s final race date opened with a points championship up for grabs, in each bracket- in fact four racers vying for it in Pro and Super Pro.

            According to my notes, Ray Rapp was the only racer in Championship contention to be eliminated as of yet in regular Pro eliminations when he broke out (remember: there’s the Championship eliminations to follow, the same day).

            Top Qualifier on four wheels was Tom Brazil with his Hemi-powered dragster, and the event has so far featured a perfect reaction time by Mike Wright in Pro Round 1, running 10.18 on a 10.19 dial-in with his ’87 Camaro. Wright entered the race 3rd in points, and getting extra points for Best Package in his bracket (considering that was a perfect reaction time while very close to his dial-in), could help clinch a  points championship. He is 64 points behind Ray Rapp and would earn 60 points with a 1st place win, 75 points with each a win and best package. This is only one of several winning scenarios going on amongst the brackets, even in this rain delay.

            I write this, actually, on the night before the make-up date of Sunday, Sept. 27, anxious as ever to find out what tomorrow will bring. It’s been a particularly wild & unpredictable season for many, great to see “Gasser Kevin” Dinan bring his straight-axled ’56 Chevy two-door out of the lab for the first time. His personal best, with the silver ’66 Chevelle we’re accustomed to seeing him in, is 11.98, and after a few shake-down runs with his 4-wheeled brain child, Sunday, ran 12.10, still getting to know the car. The prolonged event bought Dinan more time to see what his gasser, the product of many a hard day’s night in a secret Arcata shop, can do.

            Weather was so touch and go, the 13th, the racing got increasingly hot in the face of the oncoming rain clouds until Mother Nature finally poured out a halt. With a two-week break ‘til the make-up date, and free for all to watch, Sunday the 27th is already promising to be a not-to-miss last date of the points season in the historic 54th season at the Samoa Dragstrip. Time trials begin at 9:30 a.m. before we pick up where we left off in Round 2 of Super Pro. Bring a camera, bring friends and be there.

                                                        Sleepless on the season closer’s eve,

                                                                     -- Tim O’Brien        

                                                                       Track Announcer