O'KEEFE WINS SECOND CONSECUTIVE TITLE; TRACK CHAMPIONS CROWNED
Paul O’Keefe outdistanced points leader Steve McDonald and Michael Slaviero – last year’s runner-up – to claim his second consecutive Route 66 Raceway ET Bracket Racing track championship title in Sportsman on August 8, 2010.
O’Keefe watched both McDonald and Slaviero lose in the first round of the final race of the year, then advanced to the Finals himself – where he drove his 1972 Chevelle to a 13.935-second run at 98.70 mph on a 13.90 dial. His opponent, Michael Pryka, handed O’Keefe the win on the starting line when he went .141-red.
O’Keefe finished the season with 289 points. The top five in the point standings for Sportsman advance to the North Central Division Finals at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis. The top five in the points are: 1. O’Keefe (289); 2. McDonald (247); 3. Michael Slaviero (236); 4. Steve Opielinski (203); and 5. Anthony Riley (197).
“I’ve had trouble with my car the past couple weeks and today it ran well,” said O’Keefe, of Morris, Ill. “I won a bunch of rounds I shouldn’t have today. My win light just kept coming on. It feels pretty good to be track champion.”
Ron Headrick, who won the track championship title in Pro with 362 points, advanced to the semis, but it was Herman Zehnder who walked away with the event title. He drove his 1998 Mustang to a 10.271 at 130.94 on a 10.25 dial ahead of runner-up Matt O’Connell, who broke out with a 10.363 at 128.97 on a 10.37 dial.
Zehnder finished second in the points with 353. The top 11 in the Pro point standings advance to Indy. The top 11 include: 1. Headrick (362); 2. Zehnder (353); 3. John Haut (322); 4. O’Connell (309); 5. Dave Meccia (253); 6. Joseph Rivecco (251); 7. Matt Lambert (244); 8. John A. Singleton Sr. (239); 9. Ken Kamba Jr. (230); 10. Johnny Robinson (197); and 11. Gino Cimarolli (192).
Dave Ancel topped the season point standings in Super Pro with 306. The top 11 drivers advance to Indy, including: 1. Ancel (306); 2. Todd Trench Sr. (246); 3. John Schmitz (234); 4. Bill Hurst (223); 5. Marty Gibson (214); 6. John Savarino (206); 7. Bob Chase (197); 8. Jerry Cotton (190); 9. John Schober (182); 10. John Beyer (177); and 11. Alan M. Wagner Sr. (176).
Bob Chase, who competed in both Pro and Super Pro, won the Super Pro category when he clocked a 9.433 at 142.16 on a 9.42 dial in his 1966 Chevy Nova. Runner-up Chris Lancaster broke out with a 7.493 at 178.38 on a 7.50 dial.
It was Chase’s first career win.
“The most memorable part of the season was today,” Chase said. “Having the whole family here made it even better.”
In Bike, Donnie Banaski rode away with the season title with 270 points, 75 points ahead of No. 2 Bob Foster. Paul Waters defeated best friend Tom Florey in the final round for the event title. Waters cruised to a 8.672 at 148.07 on an 8.67 dial after Florey red-lit.
The top five advance in Bike, including: 1. Banaski (270); 2. Bob Foster (195); 3. Waters (192); 4. Florey (179); and 5. Greg Darm (156).
Scott Flounders (219) and Eva Henderson (203), the top two consecutively in the high school points, advance to Indy.
Robbie Vander Woude earned the event win when he drove his 2010 Camaro to a 15.250 at 86.08 on a 15.10 dial (.107 reaction time) to Andy Thompson’s 13.237 at 102.82 on a 13.15 dial (.170 reaction time). It was a margin of victory of .0004 of a second.
The win was a career first for the former NHRA Junior Drag Racing League driver.
The final ET Bracket Race also featured a Powder Puff event for the women. Kathleen Macke outlasted the nine-car field to defeat Carol Brodzinski in the finals. Macke drove her 2009 Charger to a 16.597 at 78.32 on a 16.50 dial. Brodzinski broke out to runner-up in the event.