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It was just a few weeks ago that Karen and I were worried about the possibility of rain causing a cancellation of the “Jalopy Showdown”; but Friday’s morning rain cleared; and we were able to complete the event. Our final race of the year was also in jeopardy; as the rain that occurred on Friday night caused the track to cancel Saturday’s racing activities. As we drove down to Great Meadows on Saturday; the skies never really became sunny; but at least it did not rain. Sunday morning’s weather was cloudy, windy and cold. The thermometer was hovering around the mid-50 degree mark as we waited in the long line of trailers that were waiting to gain entry into the pits.

Our final race of the season will forevermore be known as: “The Wayne Magers Memorial” race. We lost our flannel shirt wearing, dear friend last November; and I wanted to remember him in a special way. Wayne and his son Tommy, campaigned their green ’37 Ford coupe known as the “Destresser”; and a year ago, Tommy was crowned the points champion. There’s nothing like seeing a father and son work together to achieve a common goal; and Wayne was the guy behind Tommy’s success. To honor Wayne on this day, Rob Carson, brother Ron and Louie (and a host of other helpers) put on a luncheon that was one of the best I’ve seen in a very long time. If only it had been ten or so degrees warmer; this would have been the perfect feast. There were tents and tables setup that were filled with hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage, kielbasa, pasta and those were just the hot dishes. In addition, there were many side dishes and all sorts of dips and chips for everyone to enjoy. In all, we had over 100 people attend this race in honor of Wayne; and every one of them had a great time. So, a “Big Thank You” goes out to Rob and his crew; and all the folks who brought in dishes to help make this day special. Today, you saw the East Coast Gasser family gather together to remember and celebrate a guy who left us way too early in life. Again, thanks to everyone that helped make this event a wonderful success. Now, let’s get to the racing!

Because we asked the track to delay our qualifying rounds; so that we could enjoy lunch; we did not get called into the lanes till about 2:30 P.M. in the afternoon. After the first round of qualifying, the top three reaction times, in reverse order were: Tommy Magers with a .064 light; Carly Boyer with a .052 reaction time and none other than the cook himself, Rob Carson with a nice .010 light. For this first round, Rob gets the prize and 2 additional points. After about an hour or so, our club was called back to the lanes for the second round of qualifications.

The best three reaction times, in reverse order, belonged to: Carly Boyer with her .042 light; followed by John Schreiner with a .037 light; and the driver with the best eye-foot coordination belonged to our chef of the day, Rob Carson. I guess being under pressure really helps you; as Rob had an almost perfect reaction time, cutting a .001 light. So, 2 more points and a prize go to Rob. We started the day with 17 gassers in attendance; but during the two qualifying rounds; Denny Stewart’s ’48 Anglia developed a chassis vibration that caused him to withdraw from the event. When your car runs in the mid-nine second bracket at over 135 MPH; it’s always best to be cautious. So, the field has now been reduced to 16 cars. The race ladder looked like this: Tommy Magers would race Rob Carson; David Grubb would go against Clayt Deming; while Pat Kelly would take on Ron Carson. Long-time member John Schreiner would face Ray Bruno and Tim Powell would run Gregg Grubel. In addition, Jim Wheeler would face Don Fardie and Carly Boyer would try and eliminate Bruce Deming. The final pair of sixteen consisted of Billy Magliane and Bob Troise. I forgot to mention that this race would decide who the 2018 points champion would be. Currently, Scott Hasko has a nice lead; and only one driver has a chance to catch and pass Scott and that driver is Billy Magliane. Scott was not present at this race; as he and Mary were down in sunny Florida on vacation; so Billy has a clear path to the championship; but can he get there?




It was pretty late in the afternoon when our drivers were called into the staging lanes for the first round of eliminations. The first pair to move through the water boxes toward the starting line had Tim Powell’s yellow and black ’65 Nova (11.36 dial) up against Gregg Grubel’s orange ’51 Chevy (9.62 dial). Gregg would have to wait almost 2 whole seconds before he could jump on the gas. When Tim’s lane went green, he did’nt have a very good light. His .375 reaction time opened the door for Gregg’s hard charging big block, Olds powered Chevy. To make matters worse for Tim, he ran under his number with an 11.32 @ 118 MPH; against Gregg’s 9.68 @ 114 MPH. I think Gregg got out of the gas as his mile-per-hour speed showed he lifted before the finish line. Following that race, we had two past point champions facing each other. Clayt Deming, driving his blue Chevy powered ’64 Falcon (11.05 dial) would run against David Grubb’s green Chevy powered ’41 Willys (9.42 dial). Clayt left the starting line with a .120 reaction time; but Grubby’s .022 light gave him the edge off of the starting line. At the far end of the track, Grubby’s Chevy was at full song as he just edged out Clayt running a 9.49 @ 138 MPH; while Clayt’s 11.11 @ 117 MPH was just not enough to pull him to victory. Next up, came Carly Boyer (10.67 dial) and Bruce Deming (10.52 dial). Carly is really coming into her own; driving her beautiful “Untouchable” ’39 Chevy sedan; and it showed in her qualifying runs. Bruce is still getting used to his beautiful, small block Chevy powered ’41 Willys coupe. He runs a stick and he always pleases the fans with his wheel standing starting line launches. As the Christmas tree lights started their downward decent, Carly had another great light (.037); but something happened in the other lane. Somehow there was a problem with Bruce staging the car. and this tripped the starting system into giving him a foul.

The race went to Carly, who ran a 10.94 @ 106 MPH; versus Bruce’s 34.49 @ 125 MPH. Bruce did make the pass; but as you can see, the elapsed time reflected the problems at the starting line. After that confusing race, a couple of very nice looking Chevy Nova’s pulled into the water boxes. Don Fardie’s absolutely flawless ’67 black Nova (10.46 dial); would face Jim Wheeler’s super clean orange ’64 Nova (10.70 dial). This race should be a close one; as the difference in the respective dial-ins is only 24 hundredths of a second. Jim would go first and he did with a .283 light; while Don was much quicker on the tree with his .101 reaction time. Down at the money end of the track, Jim’s win light glowed; as he took the win; running a 10.85 @ 122 MPH; while Don’s Nova slowed to a 10.93 @ 105 MPH. The next pair of gassers to move toward the line was Bob Triose’s cool “Rumble Bug” ’57 Volkswagen beetle (12.66 dial) and point contender Bill Magliane’s “Mister C Gas” Chevy sedan (10.80 dial). Bill has been having some issues with the injection setup on his car; and a new fuel pump hopefully will solve many of his problems. As the yellow lights moved down toward the green, Bob left the line on a slow .210 light; but Bill was not that much quicker with his .157 reaction time. Bill caught and passed Bob before the finish line; taking the victory with a 10.84 @ 111 MPH; against Bob’s losing 12.87 @ 100 MPH. Coming to the line next was John Schreiner and Ray Bruno. John has only been out a few times this year; but he is always a threat in his “Good Vibrations” Anglia. John put up a 10.26 on his window; and Ray Bruno posted a 12.00 on his ’57 Chevy known as the “Sidewinder”. Ray’s car is under new power this season; and he has yet to get everything sorted out. He certainly has enough power to put the car solidly into the 10 second range; but he’s had some issues trying to get the car behave like it should. Ray had a great .036 reaction time; but John was much slo1wer with a .158 light. Down at the money end of the track, John grabbed the victory, turning a 10.51 @ 125 MPH; while Ray ran much better than his 12 second dial-in, posting an 11.50 @ 100 MPH. The seventh pair of cars to run saw Ron Carson and Pat Kelly alongside each other. Ron was showing a 9.21 on his ’53 Ford and Pat had a 10.44 on the e window of his Falcon. As the lights clicked downward and the RPM’s rose upward; Pat left the starting line with a great .017 light and Ron had a slower .074 reaction time. Now the question is, could the big Ford run down Pat’s Falcon? Watching the far end of the track, the win light came on in Pat’s lane. He ran a 10.44 with a 4 @ 124 MPH; but Ron was right there with him; running a 9.24 @ 143 MPH. I think Ron’s foot was dragging on the ground. That big block Chevy was just pullin’ for all it was worth; but Ron fell just a wee bit short. Our final pair for round one had Tommy Magers in his beautiful green ’37 Ford (10.15 dial) up against the other Carson brother Rob (10.26 dial). This was pretty much a match race, considering what each driver had dialed in. When Rob got the go signal; he left on a .139 light; but Tommy was slower with his .190 light. At the money end of the track, Tommy snagged the victory; running on his number with a 10.15 and a 3 @ 125 MPH; while Rob’s losing 10.32 @ 127 MPH was also another good run. Well, eight cars have now been eliminated and eight cars remain for round two.


Before I get to the story about the second round of the race; I wanted to mention a special award that was given out by Wayne’s son Tommy and his daughter Nikki. The kids decided to give out a special award, in memory of their dad; to the driver who had the best combined reaction time and who ran closest to their dial-in time; in the first round of eliminations. Well, after all of the math was completed, the trophy was given to non-other than Pat Kelly. During the first round, Pat posted a .017 reaction time and he ran a 10.44 with a 4 against his 10.44 dial. He had the best combined score by far. I’m sure Pat and Kim will cherish this special award. It was another tribute to Wayne from his two great children. Okay, let’s get into round two. By now, the sun has gone down and the track lights are on; and it is pretty cold. The first pair of cars to get their slicks nice and hot was Carly Boyer and Bill Magliane. Carly had a 10.67 on the window of her ’39 Chevy sedan and Bill put up a 10.79 on the window of his ’37 Chevy sedan. Two Chevy sedans running together looked pretty cool on the line. Bill got the green first and he left the line on a .094 light; while Carly, who had been great on the tree all day, was just too eager to try and catch Bill; and she went red with a -.015 reaction time. This was a tough break for Carly; but a good one for Billy; as he added 10 more points to his total. Carly ran a 10.82 @ 119 MPH; while Bill ran 10.79 with a 3 @ 117 MPH. Next up came Pat Kelly (10.43 dial) and John Schreiner (10.32 dial). This would be another almost heads-up race; with Pat getting to leave first; and when he had the green signal; he could only manage a .217 reaction time. John cut Pat’s light in half with his .110 light; and this advantage gave him the victory. John’s winning 10.39 @ 120 MPH beat Pat’s losing 10.48 @ 124 MPH. The third pair of cars to approach the line was Jim Wheeler (10.85 dial) and Gregg Grubel (9.50 dial). The air was crisp and dry as these two orange cars did their respective burn-outs. Could Jim’s big block Chevy powered Nova beat Gregg’s big block Olds powered Chevy? When Jim’s lane went green, he left on a decent .068 light; but Gregg was on his game for this race; and his .017 light gave him an advantage he would need to catch Jim’s Chevy. Down at the stripe, Gregg got the win; running a 9.58 @ 134 MPH; while Jim actually ran under his number with a 10.81 @ 118 MPH. The last pair of cars had David Grubb (9.45 dial) and Tommy Magers (10.13 dial). For the final race in the second round, there were a couple of great looking gassers on the line. Could Tommy beat Grubby; or would Grubb’s big block Chevy rule. Tommy left with a .127 light; but David’s light was only slightly better with his .110 reaction time. However, it was just enough to help Grubby grab the win on a close race. In losing, Tommy ran a 10.15 @ 127 MPH; against Dave’s 9.47 @ 130 MPH. The field has now been reduced to only four cars and we had one more round of eliminations and then the final round……….or so I thought. As our cars waiting in the staging lanes, a racer on track had a problem; and he laid down a long strip of transmission fluid in the right lane. Even though the track crew tried to get all of the gooey fluid cleaned up; the air temperature (about 50 degrees) would not permit them to get the racing surface totally clean. The track owner declared that the right lane was not safe for racing. So, I was presented with two options.

Option number one was to call the race because of the track conditions or we could run a BOGEY round to determine the race winner. After 6 years of running our club and 2 or 3 years assisting Jack Olcott; I thought I had been exposed to just about every aspect of drag racing. However, at this race, I learned a new term and how it applies to our sport. The only bogey I had ever heard of was in golfing; and when the track owner suggested we use this method to determine our winner; I had to get some advice from the experts. After the previous round of eliminations, The lineup for the third round had John Schreiner facing David Grubb and Gregg Grubel against Bill Magliane; but those races would not take place. Instead, we would finish the race using the bogey format. Each of the four remaining drivers would put a dial-in on his car and then make a single pass in the left lane. After all of the passes were complete, the driver with the best combined reaction time and the best dial-in/elapsed time differential would be declared the winner. There would only be one pass made by each driver. So, the guys knew everything was on the line when they made their run down the track. It was about 7:00 PM when our guys advanced one-by-one into the water box, did their burnouts and moved toward the starting line. The running order had Gregg Grubel going first, followed by John Schreiner, David Grubb and Billy Magliane. After all four cars made their runs; Gregg Grubel came out on top with a combined number of .304. Therefore, Gregg was awarded the victory and John Schreiner, by virtue of the second best time of .640; became the runner-up. David Grubb was third and Bill Magliane fourth. It was a very unusual ending for the last race of the year. I think that all four drivers would have liked to race each other to see who the eventual winner would be; but because of the track conditions, this was the best solution to the problem. So, the 2018 season ended with Scott Hasko the point leader and the new point’s champion. Bill Magliane had a shot at passing Scott; but he would have had to win the race to gain enough points to take the lead from Scott. However, in this race, the track determined how the race would end. All that attended this race had a great time. We were treated to a great lunch, good drag racing, lots of talking and a day where we remembered Wayne Magers. A big thanks to all who came; and especially to all those who helped with the cooking, food preparations, tent setup, cleanup and ECG tent care. I know that each October, our club will continue on with the tradition that was started at this event. I’m sure that everyone will look forward to this race every fall. Many thanks to Diane Deming for her excellent camera work today and throughout the year.


Scott Hasko-218, Bill Magliane-206, Tommy Magers-160, Clayt Deming-142, Pat Kelly-140, Gregg Grubel-134, Denny Stewart-132, Jim Wheeler-110, David Grubb-108, Bruce Deming-90, Carly Boyer-84, Rob Carson-74, Pete Boyer-72, Don Lord-68, Ray Bruno-60, Don Fardie-60, Dave Fenzel-52, Ron Carson-50, John Schreiner-50, Kevin Lynch, Ron LaPollo, Paul McCorkel, Wayne Beach-40, Bob Troise-32, Mark Fenzel, Joe Lang, John Lang-30, Mike Alessi-22, Dan Bergeron, Frank Johnson, Tim Powell-20, Gordie Ford-12 & Steve Valleries-10.



































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