Rapozo tops Junior Dragster

Kyle Rapozo, one of the Garden Isle Junior Dragster racing program members, topped the Junior racers during the NAPA Ladies Night drag races, Saturday night hosted by the Garden Isle Racing Association at the Kauai Raceway Park in Mana.

Sponsored by Kevin’s Repair & Racing, Snap On Tools, and Kauai Vehicle Service Center, the junior dragster rebounded from his July 4th weekend races where he finished third place.

Zailea Lawrence-White, sponsored by Manny’s Repair Service, the Lawrence Ohana, Gary Long & Purple Haze Racing, Barry Arruda Construction, Todd’s Cycle, the Souza Ohana, and Bobby Texeira, put on a strong challenge by earning the Closest to Dial-In winner, came up short, settling for second place during the night race.

Ryant Sakamoto, sponsored by Rapozo’s Auto Body, Richie Rapozo, Philip Rapozo, Triple T Plumbing, Pauly’s Mobile Service, Diamond D Ranch, and Half Scale Dragsters, Inc. filled in the No. 3 overall position. He also turned in a strong showing by earning the Best Reaction Time honor.

Christopher Silva, sponsored by RC Fabrication, 420 Air, Don Silva, Ekolu Valpoon, Keola and Janil Ke, Kauai Vehicle Service Center, and Mama and Papa, topped the leaderboard in the No. 4 position, overall.

Devin Almarza was named top “Second Shot” with Danika Braun taking runner-up honors for “Second Shot.”

Lawrence-White was one of three junior dragsters named to the Academic Excellence Top Honoree award winners during the July 4th races. She was joined by T’Ryane Sakamoto, Danika Braun. Rycancie Sakamoto, Ryant Sakamoto, Sanoe Kaluahine, and Taylor Montemayor earned recognition as Academic Excellence Honorees.

Tracie Sakamoto of the Garden Isle Junior Dragsters said the Academic Excellence award is presented following each quarter, the presentations made during the July 4th races representing the final quarter of the school year ending in May. The presentations are made to youth who demonstrate “exemplary efforts in academic achievement,” in essence, “Hitting the Schoolbooks as Hard as they Hit the Gas Pedal.”

“This incentive was introduced to the Garden Isle Junior Dragsters’ ‘Racing Toward the Future’ educational incentives program to challenge our youth to succeed on and off the track,” Tracy said. “Individuals with the Top 3 highest Grade Point Averages of 3.50, or better, get recognized as Top Honorees. Those youth who fall short of the Top 3, but maintain a 3.00 to 3.49 GPA are awarded as Honorees. GIJD also recognizes those with the greatest margin of improvement with Honorable Mention awards to enable everyone an opportunity to be recognized for their academic efforts.”

The junior dragsters next shine on the Kauai Raceway Park track during the Labor Day weekend races, Sept. 3 and 4 when the Garden Isle Racing Association hosts the National Dragster Challenge, the final night race of this year. Gates to the Kauai Raceway Park open at 10 a.m. with timed trials starting at 2 p.m., and elimination races starting at 6 p.m.

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