Racers hit re-opened Kauai Raceway Park

MANA — Devin Almarza piloted his junior dragster to an estimated time of 8.01 seconds, reaching speeds of 80.58 mph, Saturday night when the Garden Isle Racing Association and the Kauai Junior Dragsters opened the 2019 drag racing season at the Kauai Raceway Park.

Almarza’s clean run of 8.01 seconds was clear of his 7.98 dial-in set during the tech runs earlier in the afternoon and gave the young dragster the title of the Junior Dragster class over Christian Silva, who ran the short course on a 9.01 ET reaching 76.70 mph over his 8.97 dial-in.

Third-place honors in Junior Dragster belonged to Ryant Sakamoto, who also finished as the runner-up for Best Reaction at 7.91 seconds to his 7.90 dial-in.

Kyle Rapozo, finishing the day in fourth place overall, topped the Closest to Dial in, hitting his 7.90 dial in on his bracket run. Rapozo also snared Best Reaction honors with a 0.025 reaction time off the light. Almarza earned Best Reaction runner-up honor with a 0.043 reaction time.

Top Academic Excellence honors belonged to Ryancie Sakamoto, Sanoe Kaluahine and Kelsey Kai with honorees in the academic excellence going to Ryant Sakamoto, Almarza, Rapozo, Christopher Silva, and Christian Silva.

Bracket racing in the Junior Dragster class was just part of the day-long drag racing that re-opened the upgraded and improved Kauai Raceway Park that was closed for a period of time while upgrades were being worked on.

Top Gun honors belonged to Jon Nakamura, who piloted his ‘67 Nova to a 9.79 ET, reaching 121.82 mph over his 9.76 dial in. Nakamura claimed top gun honors after Calvin Costa broke out in his ‘20 T-bucket, running a 7.99 ET to reach 170.63 mph on an 8.00 dial-in.

Don Silva claimed the Pro ET honor after the runner-up Gilbert Barretto red lighted in his ‘67 Camaro, running a 12.31 ET to reach 111.48 mph on an 11.17 dial in. Silva ran his ‘72 Celica to a 10.96 dial in.

Muscle V8 honors belonged to Wayne Costa, who piloted his ‘88 Toyota pickup to an 11.78 ET reaching 101.79 mph on an 11.50 dial-in. He was challenged by Chris Loew, driving his ‘83 Camaro Z28 to a 12.56 ET reaching 110.08 mph on a 12.25 dial-in.

Wendall Nonaka claimed the Super Pro honor in his ‘27 T-Roadster, piloting the car to an 8.77 ET reaching 141.84 mph on an 8.74 dial-in. He was challenged by Donaven Gomes in an ‘80 Ram that clocked a 10.93 ET reaching 121.44 mph on a 10.85 dial-in.

A dual break out gave Joshua Yokoyama the Street class after the ‘94 Civic ran an ET 14.05 reaching 90.18 mph over his 14.10 dial-in. Travis Freitas settled for runner-up honors in that class after his ‘92 Civic ran a 13.95 ET reaching 85.66 mph over his 14.00 dial-in, Freitas breaking out by a greater margin than Yokoyama in the final run.

Bike ET honors belonged to Dennis Stoner after his challenger, Tim Lach, broke out aboard his Buell to run a 12.00 ET reaching 109.47 mph on a 12.10 dial-in. Stoner claimed the top spot aboard his Kawasaki that ran a 10.68 ET reaching 130.98 mph on a 10.60 dial-in.

The Garden Isle Racing Association will host its next drag races on April 6 at the Kauai Raceway Park in Mana. This will be a night race with gates opening to spectators around lunchtime and the tech runs starting around 2 p.m. Bracket racing starts following the dinner break.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

  1. Art Masi March 6, 2019 5:07 pm Reply

    67 Nova? I have a Bachelor’s degree. The 67 Nova cannot climb a hill.

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