By Jim McCombe

Lillian Hoipkemeier of Rohnert Park celebrated her 85th birthday in the fast lane at the STP Wednesday Night Drags, Sept. 21.  She took the Christmas tree’s green light for the first time ever, getting up to 77 mph in her 2033 Ford Focus wagon on her first attempt and showing her son-in-laws and grandsons that she too can run on the drag strip.

In addition to the birthday celebration, it was the final warm up event before heading off to Las Vegas and the NHRA Division 7 Summit ET Bracket finals slated for Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

Claiming class wins were Team Infineon Raceway members Dwayne Opperman (Street), Don Waltenspiel (Sport Street) and Vince Cardinale (Gear Jammers). Other winners included Jack Nilson (Comp Rod), Hoipkemeier’s grandson, Richie Love (Motorcycle), and Martin Esparza (High School).

The STP Wednesday Night Drags will return next week, Sept. 28, and will be aired live on www.1320go.com. For more information, CLICK HERE or call 800-870-RACE (7223).

Listed below are the final round results and semifinalists:

Street
Winner: Dwayne Opperman (Napa) 67 Camaro .085 RT 11.967 ET (12.00 dial in) 110.77 mph
Runner-up: Barrie Beffa (Santa Rosa) 89 Mustang  foul - .176 RT 12.030 (12.02) 112.80
Semfinalists: Mike Gervais (Guerneville) 89 Corvette and Justin Flanagan (Napa) 08 Cadillac

Comp Rod
Winner: Jack Nilson (Redwood City) 85 Olds .008 RT 10.824 (10.73) 115.55
Runner-up: Michael Smith (Fairfield) 64 Chevy Impala .081 RT 11.735 (11.68) 115.14
Semfinalist: Zabaz Rosales (Novato) 89 Corvette 

Sport Street
Winner: Don Waltenspiel (Santa Rosa) 98 GMC .037 RT 12.912 (12.80) 95.41
Runner-up: Jeff Watt (Novato) 09 Scion .126 RT 18.217 (18.10) 72.13
Semfinalists: Doug McCay (Rodeo) 11 Ford Truck and Rick McIlmoil (Newark) 90 Toyota

Gear Jammers
Winner: Vince Cardinale (San Francisco) 03 Cobra .036 RT 13.415 (13.27) 106.69
Runner-up: Craig Love (Santa Rosa) 93 Mustang   foul - .002 RT 11.667 (11.60) 120.36
Semfinalists: Matt Brians (Petaluma) 09 Chevy and Steve Jasborsky (San Jose) 06 Mustang

High School
Winner: Martin Esparza (Vallejo) 91 Ford Festiva .323 RT 14.586 (14.57) 95.93
Runner-up: Justin Flanagan (Napa) 08 Cadillac .057 RT 16.784 break out (16.81) 76.31
Semfinalist: Michaela Rossi (Napa) 98 Mercedes

Motorcycle
Winner: Richie Love (San Rafael) 90 Harley .045 RT 13.101 (13.10) 89.01
Runner-up: Doug Love (Novato) 01 Triumph .030 RT 13.157 (13.05) 99.49
Semfinalist: Ron Love (Petaluma) 06 Sportster