Despite light rainstorm, racers get started at Dragway

Patience paid off.

For the first time this season, a J & A Super Quick Series race was completed early this morning at the Western Colorado Dragway.

The first race was scheduled the first weekend of May but was postponed until July 19 because of a hailstorm that hit Grand Junction.

The second race was scheduled Saturday and was delayed because of rain, but instead of rescheduling, track officials patiently waited out the light rainstorm. The finals, though, didn’t get started until after 9 p.m.

“We waited around to get it done,” Super Quick series driver Steve Willson said. “The rain makes you sit around and wait, but it’s not a bad deal.”

The rain actually helped, making the air more dense, increasing the oxygen flow and creating a lower elevation feel.

The Montrose man won his first-round matchup, beating Kelly Pearmain with a time of 8.60 seconds at 152.22 mph.

Willson, who drives a 1941 Willy’s Overland, did it without the help of the 330-foot timer in the right lane. The timer malfunctioned because of the rain.

There are timers set along the 3/4-mile strip to give the drivers an idea of how fast they are running through a race so they can make adjustments for the next run.

“It didn’t affect me,” Willson said. “If you get a good 60-foot reading, you’re OK. The
330-foot timer is nice to have, but you can live without it.”

Anita Olsen of Grand Junction lost in a first-round Super Quick Series matchup with Terry Wheeler despite a reaction time of 0.078 seconds.

“I never lifted (off my gas pedal) before in my life,” she said. “I scrubbed off 9 mph by lifting and I still broke out by two (tenths of a second).”

Olsen, though, was in the left lane and the 330-foot timer was operating fine there.

“It didn’t bother my run, because when I stepped on my gas, I had no gas in my carburetor,” she said. “When I ran that lane, my car didn’t act right.

“I wanted a pass in the right lane because I did two in the left.”

The third scheduled Super Quick Series race, along with races in the Commercial Tire Super Pro, Batteries Plus Pro ET, Car Tunes Sportsman and the Drag’n Butt Juniors, takes place today. Time trials begin at 10 a.m. with finals scheduled for 4:30 p.m.


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