By Jim McCombe

STP Bracket Drags Results (Saturday, Jan. 28) - See below for Sunday's results
Under clear skies with temperatures nearing the 70 degree mark, the 2012 Infineon Raceway Summit ET Bracket Drags point series got off to a rapid start, Jan. 28.

Claiming class wins were Bakersfield's Don Gatlin (Super Pro), Santa  Rosa ‘s Jeff LaSalle (Pro ET), Oroville's Glen Terry  (Sportsman), El Cerrito’s Denny Alves (Motorcycle) and Galt’s Byron Tommeraason (Trophy).

The Super Pro semi finals got down to Napa's Bob Nance in a 1983 Camaro, which was eliminated by Concord's Art Hoover in his 2008 Sarmento built dragster which set up the final round confrontation with Gatlin's 2001 Undercover dragster. Gatlin used a .011 reaction time to Hoover's almost matching .012 and then ran a winning 7.443 ET (7.43 dial in) at 180.60 mph just edging out Hoover's 7.312 (7.30) at 183.05 mph.

In the Pro semifinal round, Jeff LaSalle powered his 67 Dodge RT to a huge victory over the ‘64 Oldsmobile of Ron Nickels from Livermore which was followed by a single by American Canyon's Steve Caldwell's 72 Pontiac Ventura setting the stage for the LaSalle vs. Caldwell show down. The suspense was soon over as Caldwell triggered a -.011 red-light sending LaSalle on a victory lap with a soft 11.763 (10.17) at 83.63 mph to Caldwell's dial in check losing 10.541 (10.53) 124.94 mph.

Oroville's Glen Terry, who began his racing career back in 1954, proved once again that despite the age of 75 can still hold his own against the younger set. The retired PG&E truck driver powered his ‘67 Plymouth to a victory over Pacheco's Bill Taggart  and his ‘87 Chevy SUV in the semifinals while final round opponent Brad Bowen of Novato drove his ‘94 Mustang to a win over Woodacre’s ‘02 Buick Regal of Jack Freckmann. For the money, Terry put up a .110 RT to Bowen's slightly better .109 light with the win going to Terry on a double break out at 15.232 (15.24) at 91.93 mph to Bowen's too quick 15.108 (15.13) at 90.39 mph.

After three rounds of intense motorcycle racing only Doug Love, Randy Monte and Denny Alves remained standing. Monte of Petaluma made a single on board his American Muscle backed ‘96 Buell automatically advancing him into the final round. Alves got the win on board his Alves Farms 77 KZ 1100 Kawasaki beating out Novato's Doug Love aboard his ‘01 Bonneville Triumph. Monte received the handicap head start putting up a stellar .002 RT to Alves .014 which ended in a double break out that favored Alves 9.912 (9.93) 129.49 to Monte's too quick 10.397 (10.45) at 121.98 mph.

In the Trophy class semifinals, Byron Tommeraason's ‘96 Chevy Beretta ended the day for Napa's Jessica Opperman in her ‘69 Camaro.  Meanwhile retired Air Force Vet Chris Conway from San Andreas ran a single in his 68 Camaro. In the final round, Conway's .042 RT to Tommeraason's .069 light looked good initially but end up running too quick with a 11.737 (11.77) 107.15 mph, giving Tommeraason the victors trophy with a winning 11.296 (11.27) at 121.00 mph.

STP Bracket Drags Results (Sunday, Jan. 29)
Sunday’s racing action in the STP Bracket Drags event saw only one repeat winner from Saturday in El Cerrito’s Denny Alves in the Motorcycle class.

Saturday's Super Pro winner, Don Gatlin, and runner-up Art Hoover never even made it past the first round.  Entering into the Pro semifinals were San Leandro's Ted Seipel and his Helmet City ‘56 Austin Healy, Napa's Larry Ball with his LJ's supported 71 Chevy truck and Rohnert Park's Mike Eling and his Mickey Thompson backed ‘65 Chevy El Camino

Ball got the win over Seipel, who ran too quick, and on the other side of the ladder, Eling got a bye into the final. Eling used a .020 reaction time to Ball's trailing .057 giving Eling the cushion he needed and held on for the win with a 10.964 ET (10.92 dial in) at 128.05 mph to a losing 10.178 (10.16) 128.64 mph.

Pro ET had its fair share of upsets, but defending Division 7 Summit Pro ET champ Steve Parrish with his "Die Hard" Dodge powered 55 Chevy wagon was good enough to make it into the semis. Joining Parrish was Petaluma's Eric Reyes who was driving Mark Lelchook's Performance Welding ‘67 Barracuda Stocker and Orangevale's Joe Janusch 68 Zerox 68 Chevelle. Parrish fouled out in his race with Reyes which then advanced him into the final and the shootout with Janusch.

Unfortunately for Reyes, a too quick -.10 red-light brought his day to a end sending Janusch down the track on a easy victory lap at 13.903 (10.33) at 64.59 mph, while Reyes coasted through with a 11.008 (10.73) 100.35.

Advancing into the Sportsman semi finals were Dublin's Scott McKenna's 68 Camaro, Brad Bowen's Novato-based "Independent Racing" 94 Ford Mustang and Napa’s Andy Ellicocks and his "Anterra Winery" sponsored 67 Camaro. Bowen pushed Ellicock into a break out while McKenna elected to sit the round out. Bowen fouled away his opportunity drawing a -.035 red light and then ran a perfect 15.129 (15.12) at 91.34 to McKenna's winning 11.991 (12.00) at 111.78 mph.

The Motorcycle semis looked very much like a Infineon Raceway STP Wednesday Night Drags gathering that consisted of Novato’s Doug Love on board his street ridden 2001 Bonneville Triumph, the ever improving Brian Jennings of Martinez onboard a 92 Suzuki and Saturday's winner Denny Alves, who was carrying the banners of Alves Farms on his 77 Kawasaki.

Jennings sent Love to the sidelines after he forced Love into a break out, which then earned him a shot at Alves and the class championship. Alves got the head start and used a .017 light to Jennings tardy .117 RT which opened the door for Alves with a shutting off 9.995 effort (9.92) at 120.68 to Jenning's 11.006 (9.00) at 123.00 mph.

Drivers Jarrett Laws from San Bruno in a 63 Nova SS, High School student Mike Norrbom's Sonoma based 77 Camaro and veteran racer Richard Hardy of Tracy in a 99 Pontiac Grand Prix would be the ones to decide the final outcome in the hotly contested Trophy Class.

Laws eliminated Norrbom while Hardy made a single run, which then would set the stage for the final. Hardy's Pontiac got the early lead with a .069 RT to Laws better .042 light which then saw Laws’ Nova running a perfect 10.830 (10.83) at 120.37 to Hardy's off paced run at 16.342 (16.21) at 84.25 mph.

The next STP Bracket Drags race will take place on Monday, Feb. 20 (Presidents Day Holiday) and will be carried live on starting at 8 a.m. PST. For more information on STP Bracket Drags at Infineon Raceway, CLICK HERE or call 800-870-RACE (7223).