Drag races hit Kaua‘i Raceway Park Saturday

MANA — Gates to the Garden Isle Racing Association drag races open at 11 a.m. Saturday with timed trials running between 2 through 6 p.m. at the Kaua‘i Raceway Park in Mana.

Bracket racing for the Saturday races start shortly following the dinner break at 7 p.m.

Admission for the races is $12 with children 12 years and under being admitted free.

During the May 5 event, drag racers competed with the ‘Supermoon’ which rose over the quarter-mile track for the National Dragster Challenge.

Kerrilyn Villa of GIRA said racers were challenged with the view of the moon as a backdrop to the track; at times it conflicted with the view of the Christmas tree starting lights.

First-place winners in each bracket racing received bragging rights and a monetary award, but more importantly, the prestigious Wally trophy named in honor of the late National Hot Rod Association founder, Wally Parks.

Courtney Brock topped the Junior Dragster competition, flying to an 8.25 run on a .329 reaction time on an 8.16 dial-in, his little dragster hitting 79.09 mph over the efforts of Tryanne Sakamoto who hit 47.52 mph on a 13.29 run on a .072 reaction time and a 12.33 dial-in.

Top gun honors went to Calvin Costa piloting a 1923 Ford T-Bucket to 156.48 mph on an 8.52 ET and a .101 reaction time, breaking out on his 8.63 dial-in. But Costa broke out on a lesser scale than Bill Turk in a 1972 Chevy Vega who hit 137.81 mph on a 9.35 run on a .004 reaction time, breaking out on his 9.49 dial-in.

Chris Loew captured the Pro ET class in his 1969 Chevelle, hitting the top end at 105.42 mph on a .073 reaction time and stopping the clocks at 10.72 over his 10.55 dial-in. Al Stiglmeier filled in the runner-up spot, hitting 103.04 mph on a .368 reaction time and stopping the clocks at 11.53 over his 10.80 dial-in.

Brandon Fujishige topped the Muscle V8 class in his 2011 Cadillac CTS-V, taking the shot on a 12.21 run over his 12.18 dial-in, the Caddy hitting 106.02 mph on a .062 reaction time. Shandon Takayama piloted his 1969 Camaro to the runner-up spot on an 11.83 ET over his 11.79 dial-in, the Chevy Camaro hitting 105.46 mph on a .118 reaction time.

Dennis Stoner captured the Bike class Wally aboard his 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 on an 11.30 ET over his 10.60 dial-in, reaching 129.98 mph on the top end with a .323 reaction time. Josh Mersberg filled in the runner-up spot on his 1998 Suzuki GCXR 750 hitting an 11.45 ET over his 10.50 dial-in for a break out, the Suzuki hitting 100.95 mph on a .471 reaction time.

Ricky Imada’s 2001 Toyota Tacoma filled the top spot in the Sport Compact class with an 11.86 ET over his 11.80 dial-in, reaching 108.66 mph on a .085 reaction time while Elena Kealoha’s 1956 Volkswagen Bug settled in the runner-up spot on a 13.05 ET on a 13.00 dial-in, the Bug hitting 101.32 mph on a .154 reaction time.

Ryan Stiglmeier drove a 2006 Ford Mustang to the top of the Street Class, the Pony car crossing on a 14.98 ET over his 14.78 dial-in and hitting 95.94 mph on a .062 reaction time. Emilie Balik drove a Nissan 2009 350Z to a 14.62 ET over a 14.49 dial-in, hitting 84.12 mph on a .166 reaction time for runner-up honors in the class.

GIRA drag racing is sponsored by Kaua‘i Auto Repair, King Auto Center, Auto Sylin’ & Performance, PS&D Napa Auto Parts, Kaua‘i Toyota, Txturz Hair Design, Garden Isle Portable Toilets, Manny’s Repair, Garden Island Motorsports, Ramos Excavation, Syngenta Seeds and Kaua‘i Fire Protection.

Visit www.dragrace-kauai.com or call Bobby Barros at 635-6034 for more information.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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