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2022 Sportsman Motorcycle Bracket Shootout | Pacific Division 7 Finals – Las Vegas

NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Racing Series
Sportsman Motorcycle Bracket Shootout
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Pacific Division 7 – September 29 – October 2, 2022

2022 Sportsman Motorcycle Bracket Shootout

by Kirk Walton / Photos by Bob Johnson Photography

The 2022 NHRA Summit ET Pacific Division (D7) were held from September 29th to October 2nd at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Unofficially, there were over 450 cars/bikes entered for the weekend, with 44 bike entries in Saturday’s team race. That is up from last year’s 33. The temps were in the 90’s all weekend with light to moderate wind. One added addition was some insects. Grasshoppers mainly, but had some others as well. So cleaning off the track was more for them than gravel.

Gambler’s Race 

Testing was on Thursday, September 29th with the first rounds of the Gambler starting late afternoon. The rest of the rounds would be on Friday, September 30th. There were 25 total entries for the race. The final came down to Michael O’Neil, Sacramento, CA Suzuki against David Phillips, North Las Vegas, NV on his Harley Road Glide. It was a double breakout with Michael getting the better reaction time .016 to a .056. Michael ran a 8.742 at 142.99mph on his 8.77 dial to David’s 13.965 at 95.48mph on the 14.04.

Race of Champions

Friday saw a different format this year for the “Race of Champions.” In the past, the top six finishers from each track competed against each other. This year it was just one racer from each track. Since not all tracks sent a rider, there were a total of ten.

First Round ROC

  • Aaron Pine, La Mirada, CA (Las Vegas Motor Speedway) defeated John Coburn, Mesa, AZ (Wild Horse Pass)
  • Paul Silvas, Bakersfield, CA (Famoso) defeated La Verk Harper, Fontana, CA (Irwindale)
  • Ed Bradell, Rio Linda, CA (Sacramento) defeated Eric Jaquith, Queen Creek, AZ (Tucson)
  • Jason Tucker, San Diego, CA (Barona) defeated Tommy Brown, Fernley, NV (Top Gun)
  • Dj Miclette, Garberville, CA (Samoa) defeated Scott Simpson, Redding, CA (Redding)

Second Round ROC

  • Ed Bradell defeated Jason Tucker with a .018 vs .125 reaction time running a 9.371 at 134.36mph on a 9.29 dial to Tucker’s breakout time of 9.692 at 140.34mph on the 9.70.
  • Dj Miclette defeated Paul Silvas running a .029 10.030 at 129.80mph (10.02) to Silvas’ .013 and breakout time of 9.199 at 145.94mph (9.20).
  • Aaron Pine had the single and ran it out to 8.233 at 161.44mph on the 8.22 dial.

Semifinals ROC

  • Ed Bradell won over Aaron Pine in a double breakout race. Bradell had a slight reaction time advantage (.030 vs .045) and ran a 9.273 at 146.38mph on a 9.29 dial to Pine’s 8.194 at 156.44mph on the 8.22.
  • Dj Miclette took the bye run full out to run 10.017 at 130.67mph on a 10.02 dial.

Final ROC

Dj Miclette had the worse light (.028 vs .005) against Ed Bradell in the final but ended up winning the Race of Champions. He ran a 10.061 at 130.00mph on his 10.02 to Bradell’s 9.336 at 137.85mph on the 9.27. Congratulations to Dj and Karen for their first Wally!

Dj Miclette
Race of Champions winner DJ Miclette with his first ever NHRA “Wally”
DJ Miclette
DJ Miclette (near lane) defeated Ed Bradell in the Race of Champions

Run for the Money First Round

The race for “Run for the Money” was also held on Friday, September 30th. The top 16 closest to their dial-ins were invited back to race each other in an 1/8th mile race. There were a ton of redlights in the first round, five of the eight!

  • Kirk Walton, Salt Lake City, UT (Las Vegas Motor Speedway) defeated Clayton Howey, Hanford, CA (Famoso)
  • Ken Giles, West Valley City, UT (Las Vegas Motor Speedway) defeated Paul Silvas, Bakersfield, CA (Famoso)
  • Tom Medlin, La Mirada, CA (Las Vegas Motor Speedway) defeated Anthony Vanetti, Reno, NV (Top Gun)
  • Matt Fredericks, Tooele, UT (Las Vegas Motor Speedway) defeated Fred Camarena, Placentia, CA (Famoso)
  • La Verk Harper, Fontana, CA (Irwindale) defeated Manny Garcia, Sr., San Diego, CA (Barona)
  • Rick Newport, Bluffdale, UT (Las Vegas Motor Speedway) defeated Gary Oaks, Las Vegas, NV (Las Vegas Motor Speedway)
  • Eric Jaquith, Queen Creek, AZ (Tucson) defeated Daevon Morris, Anaheim, CA (Irwindale)
  • John Coburn, Mesa, AZ (Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park) defeated Andrew Manning, La Cresenta, CA (Irwindale)

RFTM Round 2

Matt Fredericks cut a .002 light to John Coburn’s .027 to force a breakout by Coburn. Fredericks ran a 6.571 at 114.50mph on the 6.41 to Coburn’s 6.800 at 101.51mph on the 6.86 dial.

  • Tom Medlin defeated Eric Jaquith by a redlight with Jaquith going red by -.034. Both ran it out with Medlin going 5.318 at 132.54 mph on the 5.32 dial, Jaquith ran 6.217 at 112.40mph on the 6.24.
  • Rick Newport beat Ken Giles when Giles brokeout by .001. Newport ran right on his dial of 5.34 with a 5.345 at 130.52mph, Giles went 6.949 at 100.39mph on the 6.95 dial. Giles had the reaction time advantage .055 vs. .070.
  • Kirk Walton won over La Verk Harper when Harper redlighted by -.002 vs Walton’s .018. Harper ran it out to a 5.792 at121.03 on the 5.81. Walton ran 6.995 at 108.67mph on the 6.94.

RFTM Semifinals

  • Rick Newport ended winning on a redlight by Tom Medlin (-.003 to a .027). Newport ran it out to 5.366 at 130.19mph on a 5.34, Medlin ran 5.306 at 132.35 on a 5.31 dial.
  • Kirk Walton defeated Matt Fredericks with both getting bad lights (.128 vs .158). Walton ran 7.042 at 108.92 on the 6.94, Fredericks ran 6.596 at 104.29 on a 6.41.

RFTM Final

Kirk Walton got a very lucky break when Rick Newport redlighted by just -.001 with Newport running right on his dial 5.348 at 130.44mph (5.34). Walton ran 7.037 at 111.16mph on the 6.94.

Kirk Walton "Run for the Money" winner
Kirk Walton “Run for the Money” winner

Team Final-Winner to the Summit ET National Championship finals

First Round

  • Terry Turner, Bakersfield, CA defeated David Phillips, North Las Vegas, NV
  • Dave “Wheels” Wheeler, Murray, UT defeated Fred Camarena, Placentia, CA
  • David Ochoa, Santa Maria, CA defeated Steve Harrison, Lehi, UT
  • Lonnie Woodruff, Pahrump, NV defeated Paul Silvas, Bakersfield, CA
  • Mark Avila, Fresno, CA defeated Matt Fredericks, Tooele, UT
  • Ken Giles, West Valley City, UT defeated Noah Penright, Rialto, CA
  • Aaron Pine, La Mirada, CA defeated La Verk Harper, Fontana, CA
  • Mike Pinkston, Magna, UT defeated Daevon Morris, Anaheim, CA
  • Don Nielsen, West Jordan, UT defeated #7163 rider name not listed
  • Kirk Walton, Salt Lake City, UT defeated Tommy Brown, Fernley, NV
  • Larry Mota, Orem, UT defeated Bill Burch, Orange, CA
  • Rick Newport, Bluffdale, UT defeated Benjamin Pangan, III, Yucaipa, CA
  • Gary Oaks, Las Vegas, NV defeated Ben Pangan, Jr., Crestline, CA
  • Tom Medlin, La Mirada, CA defeated Jason Tucker, San Diego, CA
  • John Coburn, Mesa, AZ defeated Ed Bradell, Rio Linda, CA
  • Michael O’Neil, Sacramento, CA defeated Dj Miclette, Garberville, CA
  • Scott Simpson, Redding, CA defeated Anthony Vanetti, Reno, NV
  • Eric Jaquith, Queen Creek, AZ defeated Manny Garcia, Sr., San Diego, CA
  • Kahea Woods, Las Vegas, NV defeated Everett Everhart, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Eve Pacheco, Fallbrook, CA defeated, Bill Combest, Igo, CA
  • Tracy Giles, Salt Lake City, UT defeated Andrew Manning, La Cresenta, CA
  • Clayton Howey, Hanford, CA defeated Sean Phipps, Mesa, AZ

Micheal O’Neil had the best reaction time of the round at .002. Two riders ran dead on their dial in times, Dave “Wheels” Wheeler ran a 8.952 (8.95) and later Aaron Pine ran a 8.217 (8.21).

There was a $40 buyback round and those winners were put into the second round to continue racing.

Second Round

  • David Ochoa, ’12 Kawasaki ZX-14 defeated Larry Mota, ’15 Kawasaki ZX-14R
  • Lonnie Woodruff, Suzuki defeated Mark Avila, ’12 Kawasaki
  • Clayton Howey, ’06 Kawasaki ZX-14 defeated Dave “Wheels” Wheeler, ’06 Kawasaki ZX-14
  • Fred Camarena, ’98 Suzuki GSXR defeated Tracy Giles, Harley-Davidson
  • Rick Newport, ’95 Suzuki GSXR defeated Terry Turner, ’86 Suzuki GS
  • Tommy Brown, ’02 Kawasaki ZX-6R defeated Ken Giles, ’00 Harley Sportster
  • Aaron Pine, ’94 Suzuki Hayabusa defeated Bill Birch, ’00 Suzuki
  • La Verk Harper, ’11 Suzuki Hayabusa defeated Kirk Walton, ’12 Kawasaki ZX-14R
  • John Coburn, ’96 Buell Lightning defeated Mike Pinkston, ’12 Kawasaki ZX-14R
  • Sean Phipps, ’02 Suzuki Hayabusa defeated Matt Fredericks, Suzuki GSXR 1000
  • Tom Medlin, ’93 Suzuki GSXR defeated Jason Tucker, ’08 Kawasaki
  • Gary Oaks, ’78 Kawasaki KZ defeated Manny Garcia, Sr., ’15 Suzuki Hayabusa
  • Kahea Woods, ’95 Suzuki GSXR defeated Everett Everhart, ’05 Kawasaki
  • Paul Silvas, Suzuki GSXR 1000 defeated Eve Pacheco, ’79 Suzuki
  • Scott Simpson, ’91 Suzuki defeated Eric Jaquith, ’06 Suzuki Hayabusa
  • Don Nielsen, ’19 Kawasaki ZX-14 defeated Andrew Manning, ’99 Hayabusa
  • Michael O’Neil, ’00 Suzuki Hayabusa had the bye run.

Don Nielsen had the best reaction time of .001 in round 2.

Third Round

Tom Medlin ran right on his dial of 8.34 with a 8.345 at 161.27mph and the best reaction time of the round (.003) to beat La Verk Harper who had a .001 breakout 9.079 at 146.61mph on the 9.08 with a .038 reaction.

Clayton Howey had a slight reaction time advantage (.046 vs. .078) over Rick Newport. Howey ran 8.793 at 145.88mph on the 8.78 dial. Newport slowed to a 8.771 at 142.64mph (8.39).

Paul Silvas won by a redlight by Lonnie Woodruff (-.017).

Fred Camarena also won by a redlight by Gary Oaks (-.002)

Michael O’Neil had to overcome a slight disadvantage on the reaction time (.012 vs .006) with a double breakout win over Kahea Woods. O’Neil ran 8.753 at 149.28mph (8.77) to Woods 8.721 at 151.60mph (8.74).

David Ochoa defeated Aaron Pine with nearly matching the reaction times, .041 vs .040 and Ochoa running 9.294 at 147.34mph on a 9.28 to Pine’s 8.229 at 162.20mph on the 8.20.

Sean Phipps beat Scott Simpson running .098 10.115 at 121.66mph on a 10.04 dial to Simpson’s .137 10.399 at 129.06mph on a 10.28 dial.

John Coburn won by a redlight by Tommy Brown (-.128)

Don Nielsen had the bye run and ran right on his number 9.56 with a 9.568 at 140.11mph.

Fourth Round

Fred Camarena had a slightly better reaction time vs. Don Nielsen (.038 vs .044) but Nielsen was a tenth off his dial to have Camarena cost to the win. 8.061 at 158.13mph (7.99). Nielsen ran 9.662 at 130.02mph (9.56).

Michael O’Neil defeated Paul Silvas running .029 8.791 at 147.78mph on the 8.75 dial to Silva’s 9.280 at 140.62mph on the 9.21 dial.

David Ochoa was behind at the start (.050 vs. .031) against John Coburn but he was off his number running 10.729 at 121.96mph on this 10.56 dial. Ochoa ran 9.305 at 138.36mph on the 9.28 dial.

Clayton Howey had the reaction time advantage (.029 vs. .047) and beat Sean Phipps with a 8.796 at 147.71mph on a 8.76 dial in time. Phipps ran a 10.048 at 127.74mph on the 10.02 dial.

Tom Medlin had the bye run and ran 8.316 at 161.77mph with a .002 light on the 8.33 dial in time.

Quarterfinals

Fred Camerana had the slower reaction time (.080 vs. .027) but ran dead on to defeat Tom Medlin. Camarena ran a 8.017 at 166.81mph on the 8.01 to Medlin’s 8.364 at 160.63mph on the 8.29.

Michael O’Neil defeated David Ochoa with a .050 vs .073 reaction time, running 8.784 at 145.75mph (8.77) to Ochoa’s 9.304 at 146.48mph (9.26)

Clayton Howey had the bye run and had the dead on run of the round running a .021 and 8.756 at 159.99mph on the 8.75.

Semifinals

Clayton Howey got the win with a -.004 redlight by Michael O’Neil. Howey ran it out to another dead on run at 8.749 at 154.60mph at 8.74. O’Neil ran it out to a 8.828 at 145.85mph on the 8.77 dial.

Fred Camarena had the bye run and ran 7.963 at 163.04mph on the 8.01 dial.

Michael O'Neil - David Phillips
Michael O’Neil (far lane) defeated David Phillips in the final of Thursday’s Gambler

Final

Clayton Howey won the championship with a reaction time of .031 to Camarena’s .069. Howey running 8.764 at 150.11mph on the 8.73 dial in time to Camarena’s 8.044 at 162.04mph on the 7.97 dial in time.

Clayton Howey over Fred Camarena
Clayton Howey (near lane) wins the Team Final over Fred Camarena for the trip to the Summit ET National final.

Clayton has won the Race of Champions and the Team Final before in Division 7 but this is his first win in an event to send him to the NHRA Summit ET national finals. He will face the other six champions and a wild card at the Las Vegas Nationals later this month.

Clayton wanted to thank the following people. “I would like to thank my wife Lindsay, Team APE, Jesse at GA Motorsports, Anthony De La Torre, Aaron Pine, Kahea Woods, Paul and Delia, Larry Mota, Gaige Herrera, “Wheels” and Capt. Kirk as well for taking the time to do this!”

Clayton Howey with the Wally and checks for the win.
Clayton Howey with the Wally and checks for the win.

Magnificent 7 Showdown

To finish off the weekend on Sunday was the gambler race. It was all 1/8th mile and the motorcycle winner would be put into the field with the cars. Sean Phipps won the motorcycle class of four bikes entered in the final over Eric Jaquith. He ran 6.378 at 103.03mph with a .068 to Jaquith’s .117 light and 6.333 at 110.38mph. That put him into the final 10 with the cars. He lost that round but still had a nice payout.

Summary

Another award was handed out to Ken Giles winning the “Best Appearing Motorcycle” with his beautiful Harley Sportster drag bike.

Ken Giles
Ken Giles with the “Best Appearing Bike” of the event.

In the overall points chase for the racetrack team championship, Tucson ended up winning the title this year. Congratulations to them.

Thanks to Bob Johnson photography for all the pictures and they can be purchased at https://bobjohnson.zenfolio.com/f626039113

Special thanks to all the crews from the NHRA and Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the very long hours in the heat. It was very much appreciated by all.

Thanks to all the competitors that were able to make the race this year. Some were there for their very first ET finals. Hopefully, we can get them back and all the regulars back next year!

Kirk Walton
#7151 NHRA ETMX

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