2016 is in the books! Thank you to all of the sponsors and racers who came out and supported us this year. With out you guys & gals, there would not be a series.
Maple Grove was the last race of the year and the Jerry Lewis Roofing A/Gas was a tight points chase coming. Stephen Hawes had just a few points lead on Jerry himself and these two would battle it out all day.
The semi finals would have Stephen up against the #1 qualifier Todd Pavics in his water cooled terror. Stephen put a big holeshot and was out in front until he missed 4th gear and the top end charge of the FWD car went 8.98 at 170 mph! With the loss, Jerry was now forced to take out Reggie Lee in the other semi final. If Jerry won the round, he would be the champ. Staged up and clutch dropped, the NOS car was out first and Jerry was bouncing the front end playing catch up. Catch up he did. With that, Jerry was the champ.
Race 2 was held on a gorgeous day in South Jersey and with again, the VW classes suffered 0 oil downs. Our Jerry Lewis Roofing heads up A/Gas class had 6 cars show up to qualify with 5 making it to round 1. The #1 qualifier was Chris Schaeffer with a 6.12 in a field that had turbo, nos, a street car and a water cooled. The final pair was Jerry Lewis versus Stephen Hawes. After a little bit of a staging mis que, Jerry left first with a .012 but got very crossed up and Hawes drove around him for his first win in his new car.
The Gel Air .com I/Gas class had 9 cars show up for race day. Full pay out was paid and many fans complimented the drivers on their cars in the pits. The final round came down to Scott Pocaro vs Anthony Manger in his quick FWD pick up. The tree came down and the head start went to Pocaro but the better light went to Anthony with a .009. Trying to stay out front, Scott broke out by a few hundredths and the sun went to team water cooled.
We started off with the backbone of our series the Gelair.com Sponsored I/Gas class which features 7.99 and faster bracket cars. With 17 entries in the class it proved once again to be the most competitive and largest field of the Vw Heritage Series. At the end of the day it featured a true North vs South finale. Nelson Rodriguez Jr from New Jersey was facing off against Clint Woolard from North Carolina. Over the last few years when our northern racers head down south for the Vw Drag Night event we usually take the money back north. However this year the money went down south as Clint took the win over Nelson Jr. Since Clint did not join the points series Nelson is the current I/Gas points leader with 37 points and 2nd place is tied between our fearless leader Scott Pocaro and Doug Stewart at 25 points.
2016 Wrap Up
First of all, I can for sure say we would not be able to do this if it wasn’t for our sponsors. With out them we would not have a foundation to get this series off the ground. They have allowed me to tell racers "hey, we can do this...come on out". The racers sure have responded too. We had many new faces in 2015 and 2016 has already promised MORE NEW racers. More cars, more racers and more success. Thank you to Pierside Parts Unlimited, Cookers V Dubs, PEP transmissions, JK Enterprises, Laser Service Solutions, FASRNU Racing, Burnt Industries, Bell Signs and Lettering, Ulrich Used Cars, Jerry Lewis Roofing, and Stephen Hawes.
Our final race of the year at Englishtown in the heads up A/Gas class we had 9 cars trying to qualify for the 8 car field. By time eliminations started we were down to 7 as Matt Loyd lost his brakes and Kevin Bartleson broke an axle. It should be noted Matt made the LONG haul from Kentucky to NJ and Kevin hauled his twin turbo ghia all the way from South Carolina! The field was a mix of air-cooled and water cooled with #1 qualifier going to James Castellano in a 5cyl Golf with a 6.17et. In the finals it would be class sponsor Jerry Lewis taking on James. At the hit Jerry had a hole shot but the car came out of gear and James powered to a 6.11 for low ET of the day. This strength of Jerry’s performance would give him the class championship and the title of "King" once again.
Our 2nd race of the series at Capitol Raceway turned out to be one of the best ones yet. We had over 18 cars show up for Pierside Parts I/Gas and in the heads up Jerry Lewis Racing A/Gas we had 7 cars show up for their first 1/8th mile race. The last A/Gas event was held at Maple Grove and was a 1/4 mile event. Capitol Raceway provided us with an outstanding surface to race on and with cool temperatures and killer air most of the racers were running their personal best ET's.
Right off the trailer Jerry Lewis posted his first ever 5-second pass with a 5.90 at 123mph. If you were there in person or if you've seen the video you know that this run had a lot more in it. Watch out for this turbo charged car once they really start turning the boost up. Our A/Gas finals paired #3 Qualifier Oliver Frey in his naturally aspirated pro stock against #5 Qualifier Kirk Adams in his turbo charged pro mod. When the tree came down it was Oliver Frey taking the win with a 6.07 ET to prove to the field that a naturally aspirated car can show up and win in a field of turbo charged cars.
Maple Grove’s race took place with 15 cars showing up for the Pierside Parts I/Gas and 13 cars making it to Round #1. Our finalists were Rick Lazaar from Bethlehem PA in his copper street bug dialed 7.99 and Jonathan Abrams from Manassas. Rick had the better light and forced Abrams to break out and scored the win. Unfortunately for Rick he did not sign up for points so that will put Jonathan in the current points lead.
This race also featured the debut of the A/Gas Heads Up 1/4 mile class. There were 10 cars attempting to qualify for the Jerry Lewis sponsored class (3 water cooled cars), a pro stocker, turbo street bug and dedicated race cars rounding out the field.
It is over! 2014 is in the books and we have crowned a champion. Eric Hellmuth driving his crazy red super beetle took the title over some VERY tough competition in the 2014 VW Heritage Series. With a series shortened to only two races due to rain, we all knew points would be tight. But what we wound up with was a VERY tight bunch when all was said and done.
Our last race at Englishtown NJ October 19th had 16 cars show up for I/Gas with each driver wanting that win. Race sponsors for the event were JK enterprises and PEP transmissions. Cold temperatures proved tricky for some as the air was only 53 degrees and under cloudy skies, the track did not have all of its teeth! In what was a survival of the fittest, the final round came down to New Jersey drivers, Steven Pocaro Sr. vs. Nelson Rodriguez Jr with Nelson taking the win in his street car. The point’s winner Eric Hellmuth had a few rounds lead coming into the day and he was able to maintain that as his total was 67.
First of all we want to thank everyone who made it out to Maple Grove on Sunday June 8th for the June Bug event. We especially want to thank Gene Ulrich for helping to keep this event going and for providing the payouts to the racers. Without Gene, we would not have a place to race. This was our first race of 2014 and we had 17 I/Gas cars through tech and 16 make it to round 1. We would have had 20 but a birth, family sickness and technical difficulties had us fall just a bit shy of our goal, while still expanding on our 2013 numbers.
After a few rounds of racing were completed, Joe Koenig driving his brother Ryan’s street legal, all steel bug was our lone semi finalist as he went red against Eric Hellmuth. Pete Peek got the bye, setting up our finals. Our last race of the day pitted the ageless Pete Peek driving Billy The Kid and Eric "Super" Hellmuth in his red super beetle. Eric left first with a 7.71 dial in, which left Pete to chase with his 7.31 dial in prediction. Unfortunately it was Eric getting there first, but a bit to fast going a 7.69 on his 7.71 dial, handing Pete the win. Even though Pete got the event win, he lost in round 1 and had to buy back in which gives Eric the points lead heading into event #2 at Capitol Raceway in Crofton Maryland on August 23rd. With a large turnout expected and more rounds of racing then usual, Capitol should be a good place to break up the tightly bunched field and give someone a chance to pull away with the points lead.
Be sure to thank our sponsors for the race as they were Gene Ulrich from www.ulrichusedcars.com located in Mohnton, PA and Ryan Koenig who owns www.laserservicesolutions.com .
Photos from HoleShot Photography: http://holeshotphotos.com/events/140608_Junebug/index.htm