As most would agree, the Open Test & Grudge Day presented by Larry Miller Subaru featured remarkably beautiful weather from the moment the gates opened until it all ended late in the afternoon. Under sun-filled skies, temperatures climbed into the mid-70’s as a hefty turnout of racers participated in the one-day test event.

Several new racers made their season debut at the May 12th event. Many others just wanted to take multiple shots at the Christmas tree and get more comfortable with their eighth and quarter-mile numbers. Most all in attendance recorded between 7 and 10 practice runs throughout the morning and afternoon (if they chose to say for the full meal deal).

Attending his first event of the season, Magic Valley racer Jim Climer (joined by his wife Shellie) was ultra-consistent with his very swift Pontiac Firebird. As most observed his car ran between 9.44 and 9.47 on what seemed like five or six, maybe more, consecutive runs – it was impressive to say the least. Steve Roberts brought out his wicked fast John Hite-owned `63 Chevy II Pro Street ride, punching out a run into the mid-8’s early in the day (career quickest!), making it look effortless as the team gets ready for the Oldies Drags, Fox Hunt and Street Machine Shootout, all key dates in fast approaching month of June.

Two racers were out making (and completing) NHRA licensing runs. Roy Barrera Sr. successfully put together six-solid runs (along with a best of 8.22) with his patriotic drag bike with help from former Firebird track champion Joe Collette. We want to wish our very best to Roy Jr. who enlisted into the armed forces and is headed off shortly to boot camp (after testing his own drag bike). Victor Clark also successfully recorded six impressive runs (which included a couple laps into the mid-8’s) with his all-new “Back in Black” Dragster with assistance from both Brian Burger and John Shaffer. Should they choose to compete, both racers should be good and ready for the upcoming Gold Cup races on the final two Sunday’s of May.

A good collection of Bikes and Sleds were out making runs during the day, too. It was fun watching both David Kletzien and Gerard Stanberry run identical 9.40 elapsed times in the opening grouping of they day. After fighting a few challenges in recent weeks, it was way cool seeing the veteran Brian Batten zip back into the high 9’s with a past of 9.85 to serve notice to the rest of the class that he’ll be ready to jump back into the Street Bike point’s chase coming up on Friday night, May 25th.

All four Juniors that were testing made quite a cross-section of laps. Paige Harris, August Basile Jr., Tristin Coulter, and Casey Compton were able to experiment with a wide range of combinations to prepare for their next Meadow Gold race coming up on Sunday, May 20th.

On the High School racing front, Blaine Sterling looked very sharp running his `85 Mustang for the first time this season, belting out a best into the 12-teen’s among a bevy of solid performances. Two other race cars made their May debuts, too, as 20 year old Brittany Alley (Jackie and Mick’s daughter) tested her very nice black `n yellow `68 Chevelle and James Jolley unveiled his positively red-hot `67 Nova (pictured above), a full tube chassis ride that has all kinds of potential and just the right stance.

A tip of the hat to the 44 year old Matthew Lindsay and his 383 Chevy-powered `72 Jaguar. With the help from an assortment of students and volunteers who were on hand watching and cheering, he finally garnered a pair of 110 mph stickers after several years of trying.

With help from Dennis Radford, Baker City competitor Wayne Ryder continues to fine tune his 5-speed Lenco-equipped `55 Chevy (with a 620 inched motor). They loosened up the clutch a bunch and it responded with at least one lap into the high 9’s.

Last but not least, thanks so much to Tyson and Triston Young’s father (Mr. Young) who was kind enough to give us a frame enlargement (photo) from the early 70’s of the Rowdy #3 `56 Chevy once driven/owned by the late Lloyd Taylor and raced today by Scott Downard. He picked it up at of all places from a yard sale from a lady who wasn’t sure who originally took the historic photo. If you’d like to see this gem, just stop by Race Control on the second floor of the tower and we’ll be glad to share it with you. What’s unique is that is shows the starting line in it’s original location (about 20 or so feet behind the current location, move northward in the mid-70’s) and the track’s first five-amber Newtronics Christmas tree. Thanks for your generosity!