LYNCH KING OF THE TRACK, GRZELINSKI WINS THIRD CONSECUTIVE CHAMPIONSHIP
Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010 will go down as a lucky day for John Lynch, of Manhattan, Ill., who earned himself a Wally and the title King of the Track at this year’s ultimate face-off, and Tony Grzelinski, who earned his third consecutive track championship in Top Sportsman.
Lynch reached the final round by first winning the Super Pro category in his 1985 Chevy at 8.212 seconds on an 8.21 dial. After fixing a flat tire and working on the car until 1 a.m. that morning, Lynch was just happy to actually be racing. He defeated Jack Larsen, of Cropsey, Ill., for the King of the Track title with an 8.209 at 164.87 mph on a 0.12 light. Larsen red-lit in the final round.
The NHRA King of the Track Championship at Route 66 Raceway is a special event where the winners of the bracket race categories compete head-to-head with dials to become the King of the track champion. The driver finishing closest to his or her dial-in wins, and receives a Wally and a King of the Track hat.
Curt Fredrick, of Burlington, Wisconsin, won the Top Sportsman category. Fredrick, driving his 1968 Camaro, came out to simply test his car, but nabbed the win at a 6.990 (6.93).
“When it’s your day, it’s your day,” said Fredrick. “We learned a lot, and this is the fastest the car has ever gone.”
Despite the defeat, Grzelinski didn’t go home disappointed. His consistently dialed 2000 Camaro ran a 7.564 (7.23) naming him track champion for the third consecutive year in Top Sportsman at Route 66 Raceway.
Grzelinski said the greatest part of the day was getting past the first round. “I had a lot of jitters trying to get the three track championships in a row,” he said, adding the secret to success is a fantastic crew and his supportive wife.
Ken Kamba Jr., of Elwood, Ill., gained his eighth career win in Pro by driving his 1993 Chevy to a 10.513 on a 10.46 dial at 129.27 mph. Kamba defeated John Haut, of Grant Park, Ill., who fouled out at the Christmas tree, advancing him to compete against Larsen in Round One in King of the Track.
After winning a Wally at the National Dragster Challenge for Sportsman in his blue Camaro, Larsen then piloted his less consistent 1972 Comet to victory with a 14.994 on a 14.72 dial. The win was secured with a perfect light over Steve McDonald, of New Lenox, Ill. McDonald red-lit.
Another National Dragster Challenge winner, Scott Flounders, of Homer Glen, Ill., drove his 1971 Dart to a 15.271 (15.30). He earned his second career win over Eva Henderson, who red-lit in her 2007 Charger. “It was nice catching a couple breaks when the other guys redlighted,” said Flounders. “The best thing about today was having an H&H final.” Flounders graduated from Lockport High School this year, and looks forward to competing in Sportsman next year.
In Bike, Bob Foster, of Lansing, Ill., pushed his Kawasaki to an 8.530 (8.49) at 147.57 after snatching an advantage at the top end of the track with a .009 reaction time over Donnie Banaski’s .082 light. Banaski, of Hobart, Ind., drove to an 8.797 on an 8.76 dial. After overcoming clutch issues thanks to help from his dad, Foster said his favorite part of the day was facing Donnie in the final round. “He’s tough,” said Foster of Banaski.
Vince Nannini, of Lake Bluff, Ill., drove his 2004 VRN Dragster to an 8.897 (8.90) to defeat Gary Jenkins, of Naperville, Ill., on a double-breakout in the Super Comp division.
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