The 2012 STP Bracket Drags season kicked off under sunny skies at Infineon Raceway, Jan. 8. Class winners included Windsor’s Keith Richards (Super Pro), Richmond's Steve Parrish (Pro ET), Napa’s Dwayne Opperman (Sportsman), Novato's Doug Love (Motorcycle) and San Pablo’s Tracy Brooks (Trophy).

Richards, driving a 70 Dodge Challenger, started his victory march by earning wins over Mike Eling's Rohnert Park-based 65 El Camino followed by victories over Vacaville's Joe Brown and his 70 Duster as well as Sonora's Rich Nedbal in his Hemi powered Land Shark dragster.

Working the other side of the ladder was Napa's Kathy Ball in her familiar 69 Camaro. Ball opened up with a win over Lodi's Tim Koehler and his 70 Camaro followed by a close win over Chad Axford's 03 Undercover dragster from Carmichael. Next to go down was Stockton's Dennis Paz and his 41 Willy's truck, which was then capped off with a double break out win over Rohnert Park's Sean Eling's 240Z 71 Datsun. In the final, Ball took the early lead with a .047 light to Richard's better .016 but couldn't hold off Richards  who put up a 9.156 ET (9.13 dial in) at 139.83 mph to Ball's very close but slightly off 11.903 (11.88) at 126.93 mph.

Steve Parrish, a 65 year old retired lather from Richmond and 2011 Division 7 Summit ET champion, served notice that he will once again be a force to be dealt with.  Driving the very same 55 Chevy Wagon that he started with back in 1967 at the old Vaca Valley Drag Strip, Parrish put his plan into motion and sent Pacifica's Andy Koenrini and his 65 Chevelle to the sidelines in the opening frame.

That was followed up with wins over Napa's Mitch Whortons and his 68 Firebird in round two, then Marin City's Kevin Douglas in a 62 Nova. In the semifinal round, Parrish eliminated his archrival and friend Jeff LaSalle in his 67 Dodge RT from Santa Rosa.  

Marko Perivolaris, just 17 and still in high school is considered by many to be one of the rising stars in the sport with a great future ahead of him. Driving a 71 240Z Datsun, the Petaluma teenager knocked off Pacifica's Jeff Gladreck's 65 Chevy in the first round. Perivolaris then made a spectator out of Napa's Ken Briggs and his 70 Plymouth then backed that up with a huge win over American Canyon's Steve Caldwell and his newly revamped 72 Pontiac Ventura.

In the semis, next to go down was Santa Rosa's Stephanie Paz and her Paz Performance 68 Nova setting up the final round meeting with Steve Parrish.Unfortunately for the young Perivolaris, a too quick -.017 red light decided the outcome right on the starting line. Parrish nailed the tree with a nice .009 light, and then ran a winning 10.242 (10.27) at 123.01 mph.

More than 30 cars made up the Sportsman class and after six rounds of intense racing, all that remained were Napa's Dewayne Opperman's MP Motorsports/Synergy backed 67 Camaro and Sonoma's Fred Scheuing in a 55 Chevy. To get to the final, Opperman pulled off wins over Vacaville's Bob Choisser in his 73 Vega , Napa's Kevin D' Adamo in his 09 Pontiac and a upset win over veteran Glen Terry of Oroville and his 68 Plymouth Valient. Next to go down was John Terry of Rodeo in a 70 Nova which was then followed by a win over defending track champion Maryo Mendez of San Jose behind the wheel of his 69 Ford Torino.

Scheuing began with a victory over Stockton's Rod Norton in his beautifully prepared 73 Plymouth Barracuda. Next to fall was Napa's Gary Vellenoweth in his 70 Nova SS in a double break out affair which then saw the tables turned on Rodeo's Doug McCay and his new 2011 Ford truck.  The next victim was Napa's Sharon Whorton 72 Chevy wagon  giving Scheuing the bye and a automatic berth into the final.

In the final, Opperman dialed in at 12.04 to Scheuing's 12.00. Opperman took a commanding leave with a .034 RT to a .096 that forced Scheuing to break out with a too quick 11.985 at 107.21 mph to Opperman's closer 12.037 at 107.86 mph.

A total of six bikes made up the Motorcycle class  and to no one's surprise it was Novato's Doug Love on board of his street ridden 2001 Triumph Bonneville who earned a seat in the final. Love stopped San Francisco's Robert Grant and his 2007 BMW and then ran a single in the semis which got him into the final. Tim Kenny of Santa Rosa on a 2001 Yamaha got around Brian Jennings of Martinez and then put away Richie Love's 90 Kawasaki from San Rafael. In the final, Love once again showed why he is so dominant and used a .036 RT against Kenny who was tardy with a .124 light that forced him into a break out with a too quick 10.758 (10.80) at 123.06. Love's winning 12.990 on a 12.98 dial at 95.35 mph was all he needed to score the win.

A total of 39 entries made up the trophy class.  After all of the smoke had cleared, it was Jim Francis of Oakland in a 98 Camaro and San Pablo's Tracy Brooks in Bill Taggart's 92 Ford Tempo that would decide the winner. To get to the final, Francis eliminated Petaluma's Shaun Burr's 04 Lexus in round one and then backed that up with wins over Pacifica's Daniel Rice in his 71 Z 28 Camaro, Tom Johnson's Santa Rosa based nine second 70 Camaro, followed by a bye and then a win over Concord's Nick Bublitz's 89 Honda Accord.

Tracy Brooks opened with a win over STP Wednesday Night Drags standout Brian Kam of Pacifica in a 98 Camaro which then saw her getting wins over Ron Porcelli's 55 Chevy from Penngrove and the Citrus Heights based 2005 Corvette of Rick Rolin who fouled.   In the semis, Brooks forced Bob Choisser's 73 Vega Wagon into a break out and secured the opportunity to race Jim Francis for class honors. Brooks got the early head start using a .163 RT and soon saw the flashing win light on top of the score board indicating that Francis fouled with a -.154 light. Brooks ran it out with a winning 19.357 (19.05) at 69.77 mph to a losing 14.484 (14.40) 95.33. 

For those needing chassis certification, an NHRA tech will be here on Monday, Jan. 16 (Martin Luther King Day) to do NHRA certification in conjunction with the test and tune session. The certification will run from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Certification will take place in the garage area near the Sunoco gas pumps in the main paddock beginning at 10 a.m. (rain or shine).   Those planning on having chassis certification done should contact Dave Schwartz at Infineon Raceway (dschwartz@infineonraceway.com or 707-933-3956) to sign up. Cost for the test and tune is $75 per vehicle and includes crew members as well.

Our next scheduled STP ET Bracket Drags race will be a two day, two race points event on January 28-29. This will kick off the 2012 STP ET Bracket Drags points series. This event will be aired live on www.1320go.com starting at 8 a.m. each day.

Be a part of Infineon Raceway’s drag racing team and take part in the Division 7 Summit ET finals, which will be held in late September in Bakersfield. Team signups will take place in the Infineon Raceway tower at the upcoming STP Bracket Drags weekend, Jan. 28-29. Cost is $110 for each sign up and includes your entry into the Summit ET finals, racer BBQ in Bakersfield and Team Infineon Raceway shirts.

For more information about STP Bracket Drag Racing at Infineon Raceway, CLICK HERE or call (800) 870-RACE (7223).