By Jim McCombe

Drag racers from as far north as Eureka and as far south as Bakersfield convened at Infineon Raceway, March 4, for exciting drag racing action at the STP Bracket Drags.  The event marked the fourth round of Summit ET Bracket Drags points racing in the 12-race series.

The days big winners were Windsor’s Keith Richards (Super Pro), Fresno's James Kirkman (Pro ET), Glen Ellen’s Bob Norrbom (Sportsman), Petaluma’s Randy Monte (Motorcycle) and Novato's Steve Wellman (Trophy).

The Super Pro Semi finals saw Richards getting the bye run with his Shook and Waller Construction/Fast Man EFI sponsored 1970 Challenger. Napa's Bob Nance, in a 1983 Camaro, then edged out Bakersfield’s Don Gatlin's 2001 Uncover built dragster which then advanced Nance into the final. Both drivers put up identical .017 reaction times with the win light going to Richards with a 9.190 ET (9.18 dial in) at 143.70 mph  edging out Nance's 9.256 (9.23) 148.14 mph.

More than 50 cars made the call for the first round in the Pro ET class but by the time the semifinals came around, all that remained was the ‘64 Olds Cutlass of Livermore's Clayton Nickels , the ‘73 Nova of Fresno's James Kirkman, Sacramento's Brett Olson's ‘67 Firebird and Suisun City’s John Gray in his Sims Automotive ‘72 Dodge Demon. Kirkman got the nod after Nickels fouled out and Olson nabbed the victory over a late leaving Gray to secure a spot in the final. It didn't take long to decide the champion as Olson drew a .023 red light sending Kirkman the class championship.

Sportsman ET had its fair share of upsets along the way but the three drivers who managed to make it into the semifinals were Concord's Robert Ward in a 67 Dodge Charger, Napa's Andy Elicock's "Anterra Winery" ‘67 Camaro and Bob Norrbom's 69 Pontiac Grand Prix from Glen Ellen. Ward got the bye which then saw Norrbom getting the win over a too quick Elicock. Ward's day came to a sudden end after he fouled with a -.035 RT sending Norrbom the class win.

The Motorcycle class semifinalists included El Cerrito's Denny Alves, who had not lost a round of racing since November 2011, Randy Monte's "American Muscle" 96 Buell, Ron Alves of Colusa and the ‘92 Suzuki of Martinez’ Brian Jennings. In a very close race, Monte ended Alves’ long winning streak. Then Ron Alves on board his "Alves Farms" Kawasaki held off Jennings in a thriller. Monte's better .013 RT to a tardy .108 light for Alves was the deciding factor. For the second race in a row, Ron Alves had to settle for runner-up money.

Steve Wellman, Kevin D'Adamo, Eric Reyes and Tom Malpede would be the ones to decide the final outcome in the Trophy class. Wellman's "Figspeed" ‘63 Nova stopped D'Adamo's Napa based B&G Tires 09 Pontiac which was followed by a big win for Fremont's Tom Malpede in his dragster over Eric Reyes in the Mark Lelchook's "Performance Welding" ‘69 Barracuda. Malpede ended his day with a -.002 red light in the next round despite a on-the-dial 7.45 run and made Wellman the class winner.

The next race in the Summit ET Series will be a two day event, April 14-15, and will be races 5 and 6 and the half way point in 12 race series.

The STP Wednesday Night Drags kicks off the 2012 season this Wednesday, March 7. Gates open at 3 p.m. For more information about the STP Wednesday Night Drags program, CLICK HERE.

With the exception of the 25th NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 27-29, all drag racing events will be carried live on www.1320go.com.

Below are the complete final round results including semifinalists:

Super Pro
Winner: Keith Richards (Windsor) 70 Challenger .017 RT 9.190 ET (9.18 dial in) 143.70
Runner-up: Bob Nance (Napa) 83 Camaro .017 RT 9.256 (9.25) 148.14
Semifinalist: Don Gatlin (Bakersfield) 01 Undercover dragster

Pro ET
Winner: James Kirkman (Fresno) 73 Nova .009 RT 10.358 (10.40) 129.60
Runner up: Brett Olson (Sacramento) 67 Firebird foul .-023 RT 13.041 (10.09) 64.19
Semifinalists: Clayton Nickels (Livermore) 64 Olds Cutlass
John Gray (Suisun City) 72 Dodge Demon

Sportsman ET
Winner: Bob Norrbom (Glen Ellen) 69 Pontiac .086 RT 13.927 (13.89) 95.01
Runner up: Robert Ward (Concord) 67 Charger foul -.035 RT 19.142 (12.34) 52.75
Semifinalist: Andy Elicock (Napa) 67 Camaro

Motorcycle
Winner: Randy Monte (Petaluma) 96 Buell .013 RT 10.549 (10.49) 115.22
Runner up: Ron Alves (Colusa) 78 Kawasaki .108 RT 10.382 (10.38) 123.54
Semifinalists: Denny Alves (El Cerrito) 77 Kawasaki
Brian Jennings (Martinez) 92 Suzuki

Trophy
Winner: Steve Wellman (Novato) 63 Nova .015 RT 10.256 (10.26) 129.90
Runner up: Tom Malpede (Fremont) 03 Race Tech dragster foul -.002 RT 7.451 (7.45) 177.60
Semifinalists: Kevin D'Adamo (Napa) 09 Pontiac G8
Eric Reyes (Petaluma) 69 Barracuda