PTRA’s recently held Fall of Champions weekend started with rain but ended with an exciting day of racing….
Racing slated to start on Saturday was postponed and started a day late as heavy rain through the night and well into the morning wouldn’t give the track time to get into race ready form. St.Thomas Raceway Park staff worked tirelessly to make it happen but the decision was made to wait and see what Sunday would bring. What Sunday brought was double the guaranteed payouts and also some of the best PTRA racing action to date.
Always a crowd favorite, the East vs West ShootOut was unfortunately a little light on the car count this particular weekend. AJ Donaldson did however put on a show with his incredible Fox body Mustang running a stout 4.95 at 144mph in the 1/8 mile on 10.5 tires.
Pro Comp is always a tough win because of the quality of racer that come out for this class. Dave Cooper of Sania, ON has put his 76 Corvette in the finals many times and would again find himself with another chance at the coveted “Red Shirt”. Hot off a recent DSE Super Pro win, Matt Costabile of Cayuga, ON kept his winning streak alive as he turned on the win light running 5.82 on his 5.80 dial defeating Cooper who broke out with a 6.46 on a 6.50 dial.
Dave Cooper was double classing his Corvette and would make his way through the rounds and into to final of Open Comp as well. Facing another tough opponent in Jarrod Kolne, the pair would both break out with Kolne getting the Win light in his 02 Camaro running 7.72 on his 7.73 dial to Cooper’s 6.40 on a 6.43 dial.
Pro Stick Comp would be won on the line as Stacy Cromwell of Brantford ON would go red in his Ford Mustang handing the win to Paul Forrest of Kitchener ON in his cool 65 Chevy II.
Mark Cooper of Sombra, ON would put his beautiful 81 Malibu in the winners circle of Trophy Comp defeating Chatham racer John McNair.
Veteran 9.90 competitor Kirby James was handed the win by Doug Hoffman when his high flying 73 Vega went -.003 red. James hails from Brampton ON and has been victorious in both his PTRA appearances in the newly added 9.90 index.
The 10.90 final was an exiting finish as Jay Lightheart of Norwich ON nailed the tree with a .001 reaction time but close behind with an equally impressive .006 would be the wheelstanding 86 Regal of Rob Vandemeer. Both racers would break out trying to get to the line first with the win light coming on for Vandemeer after he ran 10.89 to Lightheart’s 10.88.
Jarrod Kolne would meet up with long time 11.90 racer Randy Nunn in the finals. Nunn would leave the door open after cutting a rare .126 light as Kolne proved you can’t give up that much on the tree when lining up against him. Jarrod Kolne took the win, capturing his second “Red Shirt” of the event.
Track favorite Metzeler Morse would line up against newcomer Ryan Williams in Western Jr. Dragster. Metzeler was ready for the finals cutting a great light giving her the starting line advantage. Both racers would break out at the stripe with the win light going to Metzeler Morse after running 7.88 at 80mph on her 7.93 dial to Ryan’s 8.98 on his 9.18 dial.
PTRA again proved its a race for racers. Big payouts and lots of sponsor prizes at the end of racing keep racers coming back and entice new ones to try their hand at the Pro Tree. A unique part of losing is the “Winner of the Losers” where racers who didn’t make the cut get their names put in a hat and drawn for a chance to win everything from shirts to gift cards and even free dyno sessions at Misener Motorsports in Brantford. Normally after you lose on a Sunday you pack up and leave as soon as you can. Racers are quickly realizing it’s worth sticking around until the end for the PTRA awards ceremony.
(Best package which goes to the person with the single best run of the day went to Dave Cooper. Even the first red light in Pro and Open Comp competition get rewarded with prizes. Open Comp red light winner – Rick Tovey Pro Comp red light winner oddly enough was John Green
Pro Comp Bounty Hunter prize for taking out the #1 qualifier in Open Comp was Drew Buchner and Pro Comp was Matt Costabile. Staff announced PTRA will be back and better then ever for the 2016 season! With two Best Appearing awards to be handed out, Ryan Williams would get the first one for his beautifully built Williams Racing Jr. Dragster and the second would go to Cole Symon who was behind the wheel of his Dad’s immaculate 07 M&M Dragster.)
Posted with photos by Mark Ackert : www.DragNDen.com