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Fastrax Raceway

Fastrax/SCR Series Race #1 Results

Fastrax Raceway      Slotcar Raceway

Race #1 of the four race, four month series was held at Fastrax Raceway in
San Pablo on Saturday, March 4th.  There were thirteen Fastrax regulars in
attendance, eleven representatives from Slotcar Raceway, two racers from Rancho Cordova plus two Bay Area "freelancers" for a total of 28 racers.

1/32 GTP Winners Expert GT1 Winners
The Kingleman at Fastrax IBSR GT1 Winners
NASCAR Expert Winners NASCAR Sportsman WInners
Racing action at Fastrax The "Brotherhood"

This first race of the season had a total of 60 entries for three classes. The 1/32 Plafit GTP class was open to all driver levels, whereas the 4" NASCAR and GT-1 Lemans S16D classes were divided into "Sportsman" and "Expert" driver levels.  Driver levels were determined by the two track owners running the series, and everyone seemed pleased with the results.

The race format worked well with the Plafit class first followed by the NASCAR and GT-1 classes.  The raceway was open actually before 8:00am with Mike Iwamoto at the helm.  George Russell showed up shortly after 8am with a thermos of Peet's coffee for Mike, which he promptly downed.  Racers filed into the raceway early, and by 9:45am we were ready to tech the Plafit cars.

Plafit racing started a little late, but we got going by 10:15.  The schedule all day was not hurried, yet we got a lot of racing in.  There was a lunch break around 1:00pm.  Racing was completed by 6:00pm, and everyone headed home for dinner.

There were a total of 12 entries for the 1/32 Plafit class, so there were two qualifying heats with six racers each.  This turned out to be a great way for
all the racers to warm up for the rest of the day's racing.  In the first qualifier, the winner was "Vee" from Santa Rosa with 193 laps followed by Mark Manion with 190, JK Street with 186, Andy Waluto (from San Jose) with 179, Keith Eastmead in fifth with 177, and Aaron Manion sixth with 171 laps. 

This was pretty much the same order all the way through the race.  The second qualifier was won by Gary Hooks with an even 200 laps, the first time this mark was reached by a Plafit car on the 120' Kingleman.  Ron Southern came in second equalling the previous track record of 196 laps.  Former record holder Bob Krash was third with 186 laps, Santa Rosa's Mark Graessle in fourth with 181, Scooter in fifth with 177 and "O Boy" in sixth with 171.  Racers not moving up to the main were Keith Eastmead, Scooter, Aaron Manion and "O Boy".

The main event was won, not unexpectedly, by Gary Hooks with 294 laps in the three minute heat race.  Gary did not lead all the way as Ron Southern and Marc Graessle were both hounding him from start to finish.  Ron won the first three heats, but Gary turned 39 laps on the third heat to end up on the lead lap.  In the fourth heat, Ron was on black and Gary moved into a one lap lead driving on the fast lane, orange.  But, in the next heat Gary had a bad run of 35 laps on white and Ron made up a lap on yellow.  Marc and JD Street were both within striking range of the top two drivers all the time.  By heat #6, Marc and Ron were one lap behind Gary, but JD had dropped back after a low lap count on blue (34 laps).  In the seventh heat, Ron moved back into a tie for the lead with Gary and Marc only one behind.  Bob Krash moved past JD Street for 4th place as JD continued to have trouble on the gutter lane, black.  The rest of the field, Mark Manion, Andy Waluto and Vee ran good races, especially Vee whose car was almost destroyed by the time the race was over.  He did a good job just keeping that thing on the track!

The second race of the day was the expert division of the 4" NASCAR, known locally at Fastrax as B Stock Car.  The Expert Division was made up of the most experienced racers from Fastrax and Slotcar Raceway, although free lancer Gary Hooks was the man to beat!  However, Fastrax hot shoe Hopper Kwiatkowski won this event with an impressive 325 laps.

The race was a round robin with 10 total entries.  Gary Hooks came out of the starting gate fast on orange with 41 laps and fast time of 4.327.  It was a five way tie for second at 39 laps by Hopper, Marc Graessle, Wayne Grigsby, Ron Southern, and Vee.  Mark Manion and Alan Ohashi filled out the field for the first heat with 38 and 36 laps each.  Showboat came in on the second heat and turned 38 laps, but Gary did another 41 laps on white as did Hopper on yellow.  In the third heat, Hopper did another 41 laps on orange while Gary sat out, and Tony Stewart came in on red for 39 laps.  Mark Manion, Vee, Wayne, Showboat and Marc were averaging 38-39 laps per heat, Alan Ohashi around 36 laps.  In the fourth heat, brothers Hopper and Tony turned 40 laps each as did Marc Graessle.

Gary Hooks returned to the red lane in the fifth heat to the tune of 41 laps and the rest of the field had 36-39 laps, so Gary was literally flying around the track!  Alan Ohashi had a good run on white with 39 laps, Wayne with 38 on yellow, and Marc and Ron with 37 apiece.  Gary won the sixth and seventh heats with 40 on green and 41 on blue while Hopper returned on red in the 7th with 40 laps.  At that point, Gary led Hopper 204 to 201.  In the 8th and 9th heats, Hopper went into hyperspace and ran 42 laps each heat while Gary went to the inside lanes for 40 and 39 lap runs.  Going into the final heat, it was Gary on yellow and Hopper on purple, Hopper with a two lap lead.  Gary had a really hard time on yellow (many racers have had difficulty on that lane!) and Hopper was able to add two more laps to his lead to finish the race with 325 laps.  Gary was second and Tony Stewart was some 13 laps in arrears with 307.  Santa Rosa's Vee did really well with 306 laps, and Marc Graessle with 303.  Alan Ohashi ran steadily throughout the race to finish sixth with 301 laps.  Wayne Grigsby was seventh with 300 laps even.  Ron Southern was 8th place with 299, Showboat 9th with 298 and Mark Manion struggled a bit to finish with 262 laps.

You can figure that any 3 minute heat race on the Fastrax Kingleman with a lap total of 300 and higher, you are doing awfully well.  All racers finished with respectable lap counts, and the race was very well run by all. After the NASCAR Expert race, we took a short 30 minute lunch break, and it appeared most racers visited the McDonalds.

The Sportsman division featured two qualifying heats, one with 9 drivers, the other with eight.  The first qualifier was won by Fastrax local Alastair Alty with the magic 200 laps.  Aaron Grigsby was only a lap behindwith 199, and Keith Eastmead rounded out the podium with 195 laps.  Santa Rosa's Aaron Manion had a good run with 187 laps, and Bob Krash was fifth with 180.  O Boy with 177, Bad Brad with 174, Spencer Smith with 159 and CK with 144 completed the heat.  Alastair was strong from beginning to end turning four 25 lap heats, two at 26, and two at 24 for the perfect 200.  Aaron Grigsby was really hot in the last heat on the orange lane turning 26 laps, almost catching Alastair.  There was a decided home court advantage in this race, and we all respected the efforts made by the Sportsman racers from Santa Rosa.  They raced well on a Kingleman that has a very tricky donut, and racing against a group of guys who race on the track every week.

The second qualifier produced 5 of the eight finalists with high lap count (201) going to Lee the Flea.  Andy Waluto and JD Street qualified well with 199 laps each, and Paul McNulty and Miles Alty made the main with 190 laps apiece.  Santa Rosa's Scooter had a respectable 179 lap run, Rancho Cordova's Bill Heiser had 176, and Dennis Bush finished with 168 laps. Lee the Flea led the qualifier until heat #6 when JD Street caught up to him on lap 150.  JD moved into the lead after heat #7 with a one lap lead over The Flea.  But, in the final heat, JD had a rough time on purple with only 23 laps and Lee turned an impressive 26 on the white lane to take the win by two laps.  Andy had a great run on green of 25 laps to catch JD.  Miles and Paul shadowed each other throughout the race staying within a lap of one another.

Likewise, Scooter and Bill stayed fairly close together. The Main Event was made up of Fastrax locals (just wait until next month when the Fastrax guys meet the Hillclimb!!!)  Alastair Alty won with a very impressive lap total of 304.  Andy Waluto was consistent and finished second with 299 laps.  JD Street made the podium with 298 laps.  Lee the Flea had problems and finished fourth with 290 laps.  The race started with Aaron Grigsby starting strong and taking a two lap lead over JD Street.  Miles Alty
was three laps down followed by Andy Waluto and the other main event drivers including eventual winner Alastair who was 8 laps down after running black. Aaron extended his lead over JD to four laps in the third heat.

The rest of the field remained in the same order except for Alastair moving past Paul McNulty for 6th place.  At the halfway point, Aaron still had a good three lap lead, but now over Andy Waluto who moved past JD Street who was on the black lane.  As Aaron moved to purple, Andy Waluto took over the lead in the 5th heat and for Aaron it was downhill to the end of the race.  While on the white lane, Alastair moved to within two laps of the leader with a strong 40 lap run.  In the 6th heat, Alastair took over the lead on red with 39 laps and was there to stay.  JD Street hung in there really well in third place staying about 2-3 laps behind the leaders.  Lee the Flea moved into fourth place passing Keith Eastmead (black lane!) in the final heat.  Paul McNulty also dropped in the standings going to the inside lanes and ended on the same lap as Keith, but in seventh place.  The early leader of the race, Aaron Grigsby, never recovered after the 6th heat on black turning 32 laps on yellow and 35 on orange.  Aaron, a great driver, was clearly having equipment problems in the second half of the race.  Overall, the NASCAR Sportsman race was a real success, and we look forward to the next race at Slotcar Raceway.

The Super 16D powered GT-1 Expert race was run as a 9 heat round robin race. The race was really beautifully run by all participants:  it was fast and
clean.  Tony Stewart lead the first three heats with Showboat hanging on to second, followed by Vee and Marc Graessle.  Gary Hooks sat out this first heat, but came in turning consistent 45 and 46 laps on red and green.  In the 4th heat, Showboat and Gary turned 47 laps each while Tony turned 42 on yellow.  This moved Showboat up to high lap count.  By heat #7 the lap averages showed Showboat with a one lap lead over Hopper and Gary.  

However, the black lane bit Hopper in the 8th heat (42 laps) while Showboat turned 47 and Gary 46.  In the final heat, Showboat held on to his two lap lead on blue while Gary raced on white.  The lower four places swapped around all through the race between Wayne, Ron, Marc and Vee.

The final race of the day was run as a 12 man round robin as it was determined by Mark and George that finishing by dinner time was important!  Aaron Grigsby redeemed himself in this race with a sound victory of 8 laps over Bob Krash.  Aaron jumped into the lead starting on orange with 44 laps to lead Scooter and Andy Waluto by 3 laps.  Bob Heiser from Rancho Cordova ran in this event and would be the first racer to finish all eight lanes. Andy moved to within one lap of Aaron in the second heat.  Lee the Flea won heat #4 with 41 laps.  In the 5th heat, Bob Krash had high lap count of 42 on green.  Overall it was Scooter with high lap count.  Aaron came back in heat #7 with a strong 43 laps and continued down to purple running consistently. He had trouble on black with only 36 laps, but came back on yellow with 41 to finish 8 laps ahead of Bob Krash.

We'll see you all next month on April 1st at Slotcar Raceway in Santa Rosa. If you enjoyed the first race of the series, tell your friends about it.  We had an excellent turnout for the first race and it can only get better!

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