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Kevin Sakamoto sweeps races

Kevin Sakamoto, dialing in an 8.10 in his ’98 rear engine dragster, took first place in the Top Gun class on both nights of competition, over Russell Izumo on July 4 and Calvin Costa’s 23 T Bucket (8.60 dial-in) on July 5.

The fireworks display served as the opening backdrop to the Kaua‘i Raceway Park for two days of racing hosted by the Garden Isle Racing Association. Following a moment of silence in memory of Kaua‘i Mayor Bryan Baptiste and a prayer by Keith Cordis, chaplain for Racers for Christ, it was on to some serious racing at one of the year’s biggest event attended by an estimated 1,500 spectators over the two days of racing.

Howard Costa, returning from a respite of nearly a decade, was back at the track and took the winning trophy on Saturday night in the Pro ET class, over Dave Onodera states a press release from the GIRA’s Kerri Villa.

As in previous competitions, Marc Perales and Bobby Barros again met in the finals of the Pro ET class on Friday, but Perales yanked the first-place trophy in a holeshot win.

Elena Kealoha and Ricky Uemura continue to lead in points for the Compact Sport class following their wins over Robbie Silva and Thaddeus Tumbaga, respectively.

In the Friday night event, Kealoha, who was grounded by mechanical issues in the June race, recovered for a winning run of 12.99, hitting a top speed of 93.36 mph over her dial-in 12.78 over Robbie’s CRX.

Sheldon Costa had to settle for dual second-place trophies in the Muscle V8 class — one on each night — when Jon Nakamura and Shandon Takayama proved that cutting a better light can give you a win.

In the Bike ET class, Mike Hawkes gave the automatic win to Dennis Stoner on Friday after Hawkes left the starting line before the green, or red-lighting.

Saturday, Bryce Hashimoto, dialing in a solid 10.00 on his 2007 Honda, took first place by crossing the finish line just five feet ahead of Stoner’s 2005 2X10 Ninja.

Nikko Tacsiat took the win in the Street ET class Friday when John Brock broke out, or ran faster than his dial-in time in bracket eliminations. Spectators witnessed a double red light start in the finals of the Street ET class, but Ron Victorino, dialing in at 14.40 in his ’88 Mustang, took home the first place trophy when John Brock, dialing in a 16.38 in his ’71 Toyota Corolla, lit the red before him.

Courtney Brock, racing in the Kealoha camp, finished in the finals on both nights with the Gomes brothers: Donovan on Friday night and Klifton, dialing in at 9.59, on Saturday. Each of the boys took home first-place trophies for their wins.

Brock, dialing in at 10.62 for the Saturday race, said Alexis Vasconcelles, the winner of that division in the June races, was on the Mainland with keiki rodeo performances to open the window for the Gomes brother’s victories.

She finished second to Donovan Friday with a 10.91 run reaching top speed of 57.47 mph.

The next evening races will be on Aug 2.

Visit the Garden Island Racing Association Web site at www.dragrace-kauai.com for more information.

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