Garden Isle Racing Association hosted its annual National Jr. Dragster Challenge May 3 at Kauai Raceway Park where Alexis Vasconcelles, seventh-grade student at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, claimed the title.
Ten kids from the island, including three from O‘ahu competed in the class. Vasconcelles took the win in her dragster by going 73.65 mph in 8.77 seconds, over Timothy LaBombard who made it to the finals but left the starting line before the green light.
PS&D Napa Auto Parts sponsors the Jr. Dragster class to give kids the opportunity to participate in a competitive, fun and exciting motorsport, within the parameters of a safe venue. A half-scale version of a Top Fuel dragster, the Jr. Dragster, is designed to be driven by kids ages 8 to 18 using a 5-horsepower, single-cylinder engine.
A Jr. Dragster can go as fast as 80 mph in as few as 7.90 seconds on the eighth-mile. Each month racers are awarded points for each round of competition they advance in. At the end of the season, the leader in points gets the championship title for the season. Currently, Courtney Brock, a 12-year-old student from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, holds the lead in points for the Jr. Dragster class.
The Top Gun class put on an exciting show where reaction time determined the winner. Calvin Costa, in his 1923 T-Bucket, cut a .57 second light, nailed his dial-in of 8.5, going 154.64 mph. Driving a dragster, Jed Kaiakapu also hit his 8.0 dial-in going 163.64 mph but was defeated after a slower start of .77 seconds on the line.
Marc Perales took runner-up in his 1967 Camaro after red-lighting, giving David Onodera, driving a 1969 Nova, the win in the Pro ET class. Claiming first place in the Muscle V8 class was Riley Takayama in his 1968 Camaro. Crossing the line second was Jon Nakamura in a 2005 Mustang. Two Honda CRXs met at the starting line in the final run for the Sport Compact class but Robert Wheelock claimed the win over Robby Silva. In another exciting showdown, teammates Derreck Brock, driving a 1971 Corolla and Byron Ponte, driving a 2002 Sentra made it to the finals but Brock took the win in a tight race for the Street ET class, crossing the finish line ahead of Ponte.
Flying down the track and running a close to perfect race was Howard Smith Jr. in a Suzuki Hayabusa after leaving on a quick .56 second light, and hitting his 10.00 dial-in, while Matt Kaleiohi took second place after breaking out.
The next race is scheduled for
For more info:
Visit www.dragrace-kauai.com for more information or call Bill Turk, GIRA president at 639-3965.