TEST `N TUNE HELPS JUMPSTART FIREBIRD’S 45TH YEAR OF NHRA DRAG RACING
Even though the day started off very cold and quite
windy, it was filled with plenty of positive enthusiasm and intrigue as
a strong turnout of racers attended the opening Test `n Tune Day of
season. Braving temperatures in the upper 40’s for most of the day,
along with a reasonably constant headwind all day, quite a cross-section
of racers took advantage of the first chance to go racing since last
season came to a conclusion late last October.
The Test Day is the first of two testing opportunities (next up: Spring
Warm Up, Saturday, April 7th) before the Stinker Stores Season Opener, a
double-header weekend of racing on April 14th-15th.
Significant amongst an abundance of time runs was the day’s quickest
performer—Cody Hiatt, the defending Super Pro track champion in the
Boise Muffler Series. Driving his Boise Refrigeration Service-backed
Dragster, Hiatt nailed down the top run of the day with his all-new
set-up at (.002) 7.26 elapsed time and a speed of 184 mph and change.
Remarkably, it was a career quickest (on the motor) pass at Firebird,
proving the new combination more than ready for the new point’s chase.
The reigning Pro bracket track champ Randy Williamson looked extra
sharp, too, belting out a trio of passes at 9.40, 9.36, and a 9.40 with
his 140-plus mph Vega. Often known as the “house of hook”, he was one of
many that were lifting the front wheels off the ground on every test
Former Division 6 Super Pro champion Ed Cutler picked up right where he
left off last year following his #2 finish in the Gold Cup series.
Driving his familiar Vega wagon, Cutler whittled off a number of solid
laps (solidly in the 9.50’s) in anticipation of the upcoming point’s
Two racers were out licensing on Saturday, too. Defending Division 6
High School champion Christopher Northup buttoned up his license with
six solid laps, including an 8.56 and 8.57 (with the All American Towing
Dragster) on his final two runs in front of dad – Sam and his Uncle
Rick. Larry Lamberson also put together his six passes, finishing up the
day with a very sweet 9.99 with his burgundy-hued Camaro.
Other noteworthy runs included the Emmett-based Nova of Andy Strunk who
put together a pair 10.46 runs; Camille Shaffer delivered several runs
in the low-8’s after replacing an axle leading up to the test day; John
Lindboom was solidly in the 9.40’s with his hard-runnin’ Chevelle; and
three of the Nova Row racers, Stan & David Deming and Paul Nicolosi made
lap after lap in the 10-second zone. Melissa Jarboe earned the “best
wheelstand of the day” not once, but twice – sending the front wheels on
her completely refinished Vega about 3 feet (skyward), making it a bit
of a handful for her short wheelbase Pro bracket ride. A tip of the hat
also goes out to Doug Wikfors who debuted his beautiful new 1963
Plymouth Fury. Painted a very striking hot red, the Pro bracket muscle
car was one of the real eye-openers at the first test day of the 2012.
And not without a bit of attrition during testing, the day’s “hard luck”
award goes to Carl Youngstrom who was unveiling his new Pontiac Firebird
race car. Set up and painted to somewhat look like his 9-second Pro
bracket ride, his latest blue flamed `n white `bird unloaded the rearend
in spectacular fashion after launching off the starting line. The entire
center section ripped from the rearend housing leaving nothing but steel
and aluminum (and driveline) scattered behind his car en masse. But
knowing Carl, it won’t take him long to get that fixed and back out to
The bikes and sleds were out in force, too, along with a nice assortment
of Junior Dragster teams that were preparing for the Stinker Season
Proving that drag racing is truly a family sport, here were a few of the
family members testing on April Fool’s Day: Doug & Susan Wikfors
(husband/wife); David & Stephanie Meimann (husband/wife) John & Patsy
Lindbloom (husband/wife); Jim, J.R. & Necia Cox (dad/son/daughter);
Brent & Tayna Borchers (husband/wife); Tim & Kristi Shawver
(dad/daughter); Alex and Chandler Steen (brothers); Stan and David
Deming (brothers); Blake & Austin Berry (brothers); Gina & Amanda Luckow
(mom/daughter); Rich and Zach Pedraza (father/brother); Don Childers &
Greg Buckert (uncle/nephew); Blaine, Katy & Fuzzy
(brother/sister/grandpa); Melissa Jarboe & Luanna Malerich (daughter and
step-mother); Richard and Rachel Rush (father and daughter); Ron, Adam &
Duston Wurtz (dad/son/nephew) and several others…just sorry we didn’t
list all those who are related and tested on April 1st. For those we
missed, we’ll try harder next time.
Next up: Spring Warm Up & Swap Meet, Saturday, April 7th.