Marc Perales, Doug Gould win big at NHRA National Dragster Challenge

The Garden Island Racing Association held the National Hot Rod Association’s National Dragster Challenge at Kaua‘i Raceway Park in Mana Saturday.

In an evening filled with aggressive competition for NHRA’s prestigious Wally trophies, red light starts abounded, but in the end, Marc Perales was the big winner.

Geoffrey LaBombard, sponsored by Western Motors, JB Repair, and D&W Repair, won PSD/NAPA Jr. ET.

He left with a 0.555 light, ran 8.463 on an 8.4 dial-in at 77.99 mph to best Sheldon Costa driving a Jr. Dragster sponsored by D&W Services and RC Fabrication. Costa left with a 0.551 light and ran 8.365 on a 8.22 dial-in at 72.46 mph.

In Speedie Lube Street ET completion for street-legal cars, the winner was decided by 33 inches as Bill Norris driving a 1985 Chevy Camaro sponsored by D&W Services, leaving with a 0.584 light, ran a 15.105 on a 14.9 dial-in at 89.82 mph to best Billy Winningham driving an 88 Honda Accord 2.0L sponsored by Destination Autoworks, Brian’s Tires, MIC, and Johnny’s Cleaning, leaving with a 0.779 light, runs a 17.731 on a 17.7 dial-in at 77.45 mph.

Sport Compact completion saw a repeat winner, Ricky Uemura driving a 1993 Honda Civic 1.8 L sponsored by KAYA Racing Fuels. He left with a 0.753 light, ran 12.11 on a 12 dial-in at 112.78 mph to beat Brad Chikahiro driving a 1989 CRX Si Honda sponsored by Kryptonix Motorsports, MPRD Motor Sport, and Kitagawa’s Towing, leaving with a 0.812 light, but breaking out running 2.232 on a 12.3 dial-in at 113.92 mph.

Auto Stylin’ and Performance/Island Image Embroidery Muscle V8 was won by Calvin Costa driving a 1988 Chevy V8-powered Toyota pickup sponsored by D&W Services/RC Fabrication, leaving with a 0.628 light, running a 11.594 on a 11.5 dial-in at 108.96 mph to beat Karl Nakamura driving a 1989 Pontiac Firebird 350 Chevy sponsored by Kauai Petroleum/76 Gas Co., Manny’s Repair, M&H Service and Precision Tinting, leaving with a 0.938 light, breaking out with a 12.787 ET on a 12.9 dial-in at 106.13 mph.

Kauai Harley-Davidson Bike ET winner David Hudcovic drove a 2005 Yamaha WR 450 sponsored by S and S Speed Shop, leaving with a 0.560 light, running 14.638 on a 14.55 dial-in at 85.88 mph to overcome last year’s class winner Mike Hawkes driving a turbocharged Harley-Davidson V-Rod V-twin sponsored by Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, leaving with a 0.624 light, running a 11.274 on a 10.9 dial-in at 121.62 mph.

Buy Back class was won by Jesse Kealoha driving a 1992, 300 Z Nissan 509 Big Block sponsored by Manny’s Repair, Rapozo’s Auto Body, leaving with a 0.688 light, running 8.71 on a 8.68 dial-in at 148.03 mph over Bill Turk driving a 1972 Chevy Vega GT small block Buick sponsored by Turk Racing, Manny’s Repair, leaving with a 0.968 light who broke out running 9.341 on a 9.35 dial-in at 143.31 mph.

In Destination Auto Works Pro ET Marc Perales driving Doug Gould’s 1967 Chevy Camaro sponsored by Destination Auto Works, cut a 0.57 light, ran 11.023 on a 10.9 dial-in at 124.31 mph to beat Dave Onodera driving a 69 Chevy Nova 350 Chevy V-8 sponsored by Kuhio Motors, D&W Service, KS Auto Machine, who was unable to turn his 0.515 light into a holeshot as he broke out with a 11.241 ET on a 11.25 dial-in at 117.19 mph.

NHRA championship drag racing, with lighting sponsored by Pioneer, will return to Kaua‘i Raceway Park, June 9. Registration is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., time trials 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., single elimination class racing starts at 7 p.m.

For more information about GIRA and drag racing on Kaua‘i, visit www.dragrace-kauai.com or call 639-1046.

The Garden Isle Racing Association is a not-for-profit corporation which promotes safe motorsports and responsible street driving. GIRA hosts NHRA-sanctioned drag racing at Kaua‘i Raceway Park in Mana. GIRA races include classes for street-legal cars, imports, Jr. Dragsters, and pro race cars.

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