Sunday, March 31, 2013

From Tim Glover - Atlanta Dragway Summit ET Series event


(Commerce, GA – March 30)  Nearly 150 racers showed up for their first race of the season, the 2013 Summit ET Bracket Series season opener held at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA.  For many, it was the chance to catch up with old friends and check out all the changes they made over the winter break.

            As has happened before, rain made its presence known shortly after nightfall.  Seeing rain was imminent, the track management called the event about 8:30pm, giving racers just enough time to store their cars and equipment before rain began falling on the track surface.

            Before the plug was pulled due to rain, the Junior Dragster competitors finished their events.  Also, two complete rounds of Summit ET Series racing were already in the books, and the Pro and Super Pro classes finished their third round of competition.  Points were awarded for the three rounds of competition in Pro and Super Pro.  Sportsman, Street ET Motorcyle and Pro ET Motorcycle were awarded points through their second round of competition.

            "My dad taught me how.  I just knew I could do it," commented 8-12 Jr Dragster winner Christopher Kittle from Oxford, GA.  The 12 year old racer's dad is Billy Kittle, who has been racing since 1976, but is taking time off from his car to help Chris compete.  Although Kittle has won previously at another track, this was his first Atlanta Dragway win.  Kittle met Homer, GA racer Austin Bowden (11 years old) for the final, and used a slightly better reaction time to secure the victory.  Bowden actually crossed the finish line 0.01 seconds in front of Kittle, but broke out with a slightly too quick 8.910 second pass at 73.18mph (8.92 dial-in time).  Kittle posted the winning time of 8.911 at 68.58mph (8.90 dial-in time).  "Thanks to God, mom and dad, uncle Dwayne, and friends Gary and Kay," added Kittle.  Nate "Hot Rod" Halsey (10 – Gainesville, GA), who qualified number one earlier in the race with a 0.001 second reaction time, finished in the semi-final round.  Halsey noted this was his first time competing in the 8.90 bracket, using a brand new Young Guns engine which was started for the first time two days prior to the event.  The other semi-finalist trophy winner was Jesse Daniel (12 – Loganville, GA).

            The 13-17 Jr Dragster winner, 15 year old Maddie Lee from Campobello, SC, is no stranger to the winner's circle.  Lee's great 0.022 second final round reaction time was actually slower than eventual runner-up Chris Bowden (16 – Homer, GA), who reacted with an even deadlier 0.016 second react.  However, Lee's car was tuned right on the money, crossing the big end stripe with an 7.907 at 83.46mph (7.90 dial).  Bowden's car was also very close, crossing the stripe 0.014 seconds after Lee with a 7.927 at 79.56mph (7.90 dial).  "I have an amazing crew chief and family.  I couldn't ask for any better.  We came down here and wanted to have some fun.  I also want to thank my good luck charm and friend Logan," added Lee.  Alex Krause (15 – Peachtree City, GA) earned the semi-finalist trophy.

            Although they did not win their class, brothers Austin and Chris Bowden made their parents proud when each advanced to their respective class final round.